I/Pro is teaming with 20 Web sites, including Sony Online, Pathfinder and USA Today, to encourage consumers to provide demographic information about themselves and obtain an I/Code registration number. Consumers who visit participating sites during the 1-month promotion are eligible for the cash prizes and also receive special offers from participating sites.
I/Pro had intended to launch the promotion in January but pushed the start date back to add more partners and solidify details. After the March promotion ends, I/Pro will line up new promotions for April and May, adding Web partners and offering different incentives.
The goal, said I/Pro Chairman Ariel Poler, is "to get the system jump started."
I/Pro has already registered 100,000 I/Code users and expects to add "several times the number we have now" during the course of the promotion, Mr. Poler said.
To get an I/Code, users fill out a form specifying their age, gender, marital status, education, occupation and other demographic data. The form will be available on I/Pro's site as well as all its partners' sites. Each time a user visits a site and provides his I/Code, he is registered for that day's $1,000 prize.
Sites also are providing other incentives for users to register, such as free online time and custom content. Partners pay nothing to participate in the promotion. I/Pro will provide basic demographic data to them for free but will offer analysis and interpretation services for a fee, as yet unannounced.
Critics of I/Code and other registration systems say getting consumers to sign up is the biggest hurdle. Consumers have been leery of providing information about themselves, for fear it will be abused. But I/Pro insists the only data a site will get are anonymous demographics, unless someone willingly provides his or her name and e-mail address.