Is 30c per subscriber too much?

27 replies
While more of a free traffic generating marketer, I recently decided I am going to give adwords a go to grow my list.

After two days of testing this out, and 80 signups later, I calculated how much I paid per signup. It cost me about 30c per signup. This for giving away free ebooks and other courses on squeeze page.

Is this too much for freebie signups? My current list in this niche is too small to work out if this will be profitable in the long term.

How much do all of you pay for a signup?
#30c #subscriber
  • Profile picture of the author Gee S
    To be honest you'll not know until you start marketing to them.

    If you make a dollar from each sub on average every two months for example, then you would be in profit.

    If you want a cheaper source of traffic then try PPV traffic, you'll usually get traffic for a penny. But with this method not all visitors will see youer squeeze page/ offer as your site will be delivered as a popup/ popunder in most cases.

    Gee
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  • Profile picture of the author ChrisJamesG
    Might be worth giving cpa a try? I haven't yet so I can't really comment too much more than that but I intend to soon.

    Don't know if anyone has had any luck with this for generating cheap signups?
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  • Profile picture of the author Trieu
    It may be worth it if its extremely targeted subscribers. Making just 1 sale can payoff what you invested. I would do some testing first.
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    • Profile picture of the author ARVolund
      I would say that it really depends on the quality of the subscribers an whether or not they will purchase anything from you or not. There is probably no way to know for sure until you have them for a month or two.

      My advice would be to decide on how much you can afford to budget for this and then stop growing the list until you see how much each of them is worth. If you find that they are worth more than what they cost you then go ahead and ramp it up at that point.

      I would say as a general rule if you can not get at least .30 from each sub on your list then you either are doing something wrong or the quality of the subs is pretty low.
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  • Profile picture of the author karlhadwen
    All of my sign ups are free, I hate paying for PPC services just to build a list. A good list comes over time, maybe sometime I'll try PPC on my list, but for me the niche would just be far too expensive p/c. Try just building a blog and getting readers/commentators and the sign ups will come. As TEO said if PPC brought fantastic subscribers (targeted) then it would be great.

    Be sure to let me know how the subscribers are; as in if you profit from them.
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  • Profile picture of the author bertuseng
    To get a list of 1000, it will cost me about $300. That sounds like a lot and I would probably not make any profit in the first month or so, but If I go to 10000 subscribers, I think I would be able to profit big.

    With 10000 active subscribers, you would at least make $100-$300 everytime you send an email. Do this every 4 days for 2 months? Hmmm.
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    • Profile picture of the author karlhadwen
      Originally Posted by bertuseng View Post

      To get a list of 1000, it will cost me about $300. That sounds like a lot and I would probably not make any profit in the first month or so, but If I go to 10000 subscribers, I think I would be able to profit big.

      With 10000 active subscribers, you would at least make $100-$300 everytime you send an email. Do this every 4 days for 2 months? Hmmm.
      10000 active subscribers is a lot. Surely if you have a decent list with targeted subscribers you should make at least $500 or more. My friend makes like $1k for each email he sends out and I think he's got about 7,000. Give it a test thought, make sure you get your moneys worth. Let me know how it goes too, as I'd be more than happy to pay for subscribers if their targeted and profitable.
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    • Profile picture of the author Joe118
      Originally Posted by bertuseng View Post

      To get a list of 1000, it will cost me about $300. That sounds like a lot and I would probably not make any profit in the first month or so, but If I go to 10000 subscribers, I think I would be able to profit big.

      With 10000 active subscribers, you would at least make $100-$300 everytime you send an email. Do this every 4 days for 2 months? Hmmm.
      My cost for 430 subscribers so far has been $40 (WSO plus one bump). Not bad. So $0.10 per subscriber. Thats for the WSO in my sig.
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      • Profile picture of the author Lance K
        Originally Posted by Joe118 View Post

        Thats for the WSO in my sig.
        Did you really need to include that?
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        • Profile picture of the author Joe118
          Originally Posted by Lance K View Post

          Did you really need to include that?
          LOL, nope, mea culpa.
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          • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
            It all depends on the lifetime value of a subscriber on that list.

            Theoretically, if you make 31c per subscriber, you should want as many as you can get.

            Reading between the lines, it sounds like you want to build a list just to send sponsored mailings...

            With 10000 active subscribers, you would at least make $100-$300 everytime you send an email. Do this every 4 days for 2 months? Hmmm.
            Given these numbers:

            List acquisition cost: 10,000 x .30 = $3,000

            Possible revenue with 15 mailings (every 4 days for 60 days):

            At $100 per email, that's $1,500, or a loss of $1,500. 30c per is double what you should be paying to break even.

            At $200 per email that's $3,000, or breakeven. Unless you learned something you can use next time, or you have some other way to monetize, you've worked for free on this go.

            At $300 per email, that $4,500, or $1,500 profit (50% ROI). 30c per subscriber is a bargain, and you should be scaling up your efforts as large as you can.

            So you see, for a given cost per subscriber, you could be looking at a waste of money, a waste of time or an incredible investment. You have to put it into the context of your other numbers.
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            • Profile picture of the author bertuseng
              Originally Posted by JohnMcCabe View Post

              It all depends on the lifetime value of a subscriber on that list.

              Theoretically, if you make 31c per subscriber, you should want as many as you can get.

              Reading between the lines, it sounds like you want to build a list just to send sponsored mailings...



              Given these numbers:

              List acquisition cost: 10,000 x .30 = $3,000

              Possible revenue with 15 mailings (every 4 days for 60 days):

              At $100 per email, that's $1,500, or a loss of $1,500. 30c per is double what you should be paying to break even.

              At $200 per email that's $3,000, or breakeven. Unless you learned something you can use next time, or you have some other way to monetize, you've worked for free on this go.

              At $300 per email, that $4,500, or $1,500 profit (50% ROI). 30c per subscriber is a bargain, and you should be scaling up your efforts as large as you can.

              So you see, for a given cost per subscriber, you could be looking at a waste of money, a waste of time or an incredible investment. You have to put it into the context of your other numbers.
              Good point. With the list that I currently have, I make about subscribers/3 dollars each month.

              So if my new extended list has 10000 subscribers ($3000 cost), I would make about $3300 per month. So within one month I project to be in profit and then it is handsoff profit from there.

              Any fault with my logic there?
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              • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
                Originally Posted by bertuseng View Post

                Good point. With the list that I currently have, I make about subscribers/3 dollars each month.

                So if my new extended list has 10000 subscribers ($3000 cost), I would make about $3300 per month. So within one month I project to be in profit and then it is handsoff profit from there.

                Any fault with my logic there?
                Nope, as long as you start allowing for attrition once you have numbers to work with. Eventually, you will have to replace subscribers, even if only from addresses going bad.
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  • Profile picture of the author Lance K
    Originally Posted by bertuseng View Post

    While more of a free traffic generating marketer, I recently decided I am going to give adwords a go to grow my list.

    After two days of testing this out, and 80 signups later, I calculated how much I paid per signup. It cost me about 30c per signup. This for giving away free ebooks and other courses on squeeze page.

    Is this too much for freebie signups? My current list in this niche is too small to work out if this will be profitable in the long term.

    How much do all of you pay for a signup?
    It's impossible to tell if it's too much at this point. You need to track how many of these PPC subscribers convert to customers and determine your lifetime customer value.

    If I were you, I'd offer them an upsell/OTO after they opt-in (on the thank you page ). If your offer is $10 and it converts at 2%, you've made 2 sales per 100 subscribers.

    Obtaining 100 subscribers costs you $30 and your 2 sales make you $20. You've acquired 2 customers at a total cost of $10 ($30 ad spend - $20 income) or $5 each. If your offer converts at 3% you're acquiring CUSTOMERS at break even (high 5s for you).

    Enter the importance of having a back end.

    But you need to get an offer in front of your subscribers so you can figure out your CUSTOMER acquisition cost rather than your PROSPECT acquisition cost.
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  • Profile picture of the author Shoaib
    There are companies who pay $40 or more per subscriber, and to them it's not too much.

    It just depends what business you're in, how much profit you're anticipating to make, and most importantly: how much money do you have to spend on these PPC campaigns collecting opt-ins before you run dry?

    If you've got some cash to play with, building a list of targetted prospects can only do you more good than bad, even if it's at the cost of $0.30/cents per subscriber.

    The smart thing to do would be to build your list upto whatever your budget comfortably allows you to do (500, 1000, 1500, etc), and then look into ad-swaps and other JV methods and your list will grow exponentially. Once you've got a list of 1000 targetted subscribers, you can start playing with other marketers, jump into the world of JV, and only grow from there.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mr BOLD
    if you add a one time offer right after you capture the lead and say you make 3-5 sales for every 100 subscribers you will recoup your ad cost - how fast just depends on how many leads you generate per day.
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      Originally Posted by Blitzian View Post

      if you add a one time offer right after you capture the lead and say you make 3-5 sales for every 100 subscribers you will recoup your ad cost - how fast just depends on how many leads you generate per day.
      Good point.

      Take the OTO sales, divide by the number of subscribers and add to the value of each subscriber for doing calculations.
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      • Profile picture of the author Simon Royal
        I am just getting going with some ppc myself.
        This round I learned some stuff,
        I sent my traffic to the sales page.
        I didn't build a list.
        I paid .18 per click for my targeted keyword.
        Made zero sales.
        Total cost for my campaign. $35

        What was the real lesson?
        I need to build a list.

        What I am going to setup is free give away ----> oto for $7 hope for decent conversions. ---> break even on list building.

        At .30 per subscriber that seems like you should be able to m make a profit if you market the list right.
        A list of customers is ideally what we are all looking for though.

        Good job on the list building.
        Now go do so ad swapping.

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        • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
          Originally Posted by Simon Royal View Post

          At .30 per subscriber that seems like you should be able to m make a profit if you market the list right. A list of customers is ideally what we are all looking for though.

          Torrance
          That depends on your business model.

          If your real "customers" are other marketers looking for a place to advertise their offers, then a list of targeted readers willing to accept those ads is all you need.

          You become the middle man, taking your cut for putting the two groups together.

          Just for the sake of an example, let's say the two groups are people interested in learning about article marketing techniques and tools and owners of article marketing courses and software.

          Rather than relying purely on their own list-building efforts, the product owners pay the middle man to put their offer in front of his subscribers, either as a straight CPM deal or for an affiliate commission. In this instance, you would be correct in saying the product owner would like to build a list of buyers.

          The middle man, however, simply needs a pool of potential prospects whose value goes up as they become more tightly matched to the product owners' offerings. His customers are the product owners and his 'product' is the list of potential prospects.

          In direct mail, one of the best list sources for some products is a related catalog company. That company's mailing list can be split according to their value to mailers renting the list. In order, from least valuable to most, you can get lists who have:

          > requested a catalog at some time
          > requested a catalog recently
          > made a purchase at any time
          > made a purchase recently
          > made multiple purchases
          > made multiple purchases recently

          Each time you move down the list, the splits get more expensive, but even the bottom tier has value.

          By doing sponsored emails 15 times in a 60 day period, as a middleman the OP would effectively be renting his list 15 times.

          At .30 per name, he would need to charge at least .02 per name per email. (.02 x 15 = .30) Any price above that, he makes money.
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  • Profile picture of the author Profit-smart
    Boost your opt-in rate.

    Make sure your free material kicks ass.

    now split it into two pieces-Offer the first for direct download


    At the end, link them to the squeeze page to get the other half.


    People think I'm crazy for doing this-but it works. I get roughly 20 extra subscribers for every 200 visitors this way.
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  • Profile picture of the author Guy G.
    Wow,

    I think we would be more than happy with 30c per sign up. I think we're just over a dollar right now. We've done a little work on the squeeze page to improve. However, if you average out the amount of sign-ups we get from giveaways, directly from the website, we're probably closer to 50c per subscriber.

    On thing you could do to offset the cost of adwords is to monetize your signup process.

    What you do is have a One Time Offer page people are directed to once they've confirmed their subscription. This is something we've done with our free how to manage money tips tool kit. We've offered 5 bonus ebooks related to finance for $17. There hasn't been tons of buyers, but those that we do get can be turned into more adwords budget and speed up the list building.

    Hope this helps,
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    • Profile picture of the author Klunne
      Hello Warriors,

      Quick question, I am thinking about starting a campaign to build my list using adwords but I wanted to double check that it is acceptable to Google to do so. I read on a thread talking about the Google wave of bans due to unscrupulous CPA offers and there was a couple of posts that said something to the effect that google does not like/allow email list building using adwords. Is there any validity to this or was it just some noob scaremongering?

      Thanks
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  • Profile picture of the author paulie888
    If these are responsive subscribers, 30 cents per subscriber is well within acceptable limits. I read somewhere that Matt Bacak runs massive advertising campaigns through PPC and gets his subscribers for around 50 cents each. If these are responsive subscribers and you know how to monetize them, even 50 cents per subscriber isn't really too bad a price to pay, because you *should* be making $1 per subscriber per month, if you promote properly. This means if you do everything right and promote targeted and high-converting offers, you should probably be in profit within 30 days, given that you only paid 30 cents per subscriber.
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  • Profile picture of the author bertuseng
    It's hard to get $1.00 per subscriber per month. I currently get about 20c - 50c per subscriber, but my list is still under a 1000 so I guess it is hard to get an exact value pinned at this stage.

    I am going to look into other PPC methods to bring the cost down. Maybe Images...
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  • Profile picture of the author Gary Huynh
    Before you continue paying for those subscribers, you should determine the value of each subscriber. Don't just look at the monetary value. You should also think about the traffic value.

    You shouldn't rate your subscribers based solely on the profit you make directly from them. Subscribers can help you drive more traffic to your site even if they don't buy anything from you. Let's say for example that you send an email to your subscribers asking them to tweet a message for you in exchange for getting a free report.

    If they are active subscribers, they will tweet your message and you'll be able to make a sale from their tweets or drive more traffic to your site. These subscribers have given you value in terms of traffic. Some people won't buy but they will do things that are of value to you. You can then make money indirectly from their efforts.

    See how active they are. Check these stats to determine their activity level:

    Email open rate
    Click through rate
    Conversion rate

    If they sign up and do nothing else for you then they aren't worth much. If they are active subscribers, they will be a big asset for you because you can use them as leverage to grow your business in other areas.

    Don't be afraid of sending emails to your subscribers. If they don't like it they simply unsubscribe. You'll lose subscribers but you'll make more in terms of volume of sales or activity. Don't be shy or else you'll leave money on the table. I've done this for years so I'm not just speaking from my rear.

    Buying subscribers to start your list is a good way to go but you should ultimately be using your list to help you generate more free traffic. It's very easy to do these days with the popularity of social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook.

    Some tips:

    Offer a one-time-offer on your thank you page to bring your cost per lead down even more. $7 reports work very well for this because they're impulse purchases.

    You can also use a CPA offer if you don't have a product.

    One other method is to include a Co-Registration offer. You contact other webmasters and ask them to put your optin form on their thank you page and you'll do the same. Just join other people's list and see if they are using their thank you page. This is highly valuable website real-estate that a LOT of people don't use.
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