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How To Grow An Email List That Converts

How much is a single e-mail address worth to you?

If you answered that question with anything but, “It depends on the e-mail address,” you might want to revisit your e-mail acquisition strategy.

According to a recent blog posting on MarketingProfs titled, The Art and Science of Growing Your Email List, by Karen Talavera, the value of an e-mail address directly correlates with how much business it brings you over the course of year.

So how do you determine the value of e-mail addresses as you grow out your list? That’s a problem that might not be as tough as you think. Here are a few of Talavera’s thoughts on how to grow an e-mail list that’s cost effective and really converts.

Know What You Want & Are Willing to Pay

Before you get too far along on your e-mail list building efforts, you need to have a very clear sense of how much each conversion costs you; the cost-per-acquisition (CPA). This is a pretty basic, but incredibly important, exercise that involves a little basic math.

Talavera’s CPA formula starts with figuring up how much revenue a new customer will bring in over the course of year. Subtract the cost of sign-up premiums and marketing and you’ve got your CPA.

Now you’re ready to go out get some e-mail addresses.

Grow That List

According to Talavera, the three most common venues for e-mail acquisition are paid efforts, events and specific promotions. Each of these techniques has its own pluses and minuses that break down as follows:

  • Paid acquisition – Whether its Facebook ads, SEM, or rented lists, this can be an expensive and time consuming process, but it definitely works.
  • Events –  There aren’t a lot of in-person events that are worthwhile for gambling affiliates, but there’s no reason why you can’t build your e-mail lists with online promotions like pick ’ems and other contests.

These methods all cost money so be certain that the CPA associated with each one is worth your while.

Testing, Testing, Testing

Once you’ve started building your list, you’ll want to start measuring the quality of leads/addresses each one is generating.

Start out by keeping a spreadsheet that tracks how many addresses each acquisition method generates and the CPA associated with each. As time goes on, add on the overall conversion rate you’re getting from each group.

Before long, you’ll have a very accurate picture of which method is most effective overall and which one is the most cost effective.


In the age of mobile, e-mail marketing is as important, if not more important, than ever. And with increased competition eating up affiliate revenue streams, a cost-effective e-mail list growth strategy is a pretty sweet deal.