News: Press Clippings

3 Tips for Profitably Acquiring New Email Subscribers This Holiday Season

Jordan Cohen, Fluent CMO, for ExactTarget

It’s hard to believe that we’re only 2 weeks away from Thanksgiving and the 2014 holiday season home stretch. The pressure to close out the year as strongly as possible is as intense as ever, and over the coming weeks marketers will be competing furiously to dominate their customers’ share of wallet (and inbox).

For email marketers, the ability to play a greater role in contributing to overall holiday sales success is limited by the size of the email list they have on file. The math is simple: Having more names at the “top of the funnel” creates more opportunities to drive sales at the bottom, regardless of how targeted or untargeted one’s mailings are.

With that said, acquiring new customers (and/or the email addresses of existing ones) has long been a top challenge. While there are many tried and true “organic” means of getting more site visitors to opt-in to email programs, any marketer worth his or her salt knows that real growth requires expanding acquisition efforts with paid advertising campaigns.

Below are 3 key recommendations for profitably acquiring new email customers and subscribers as you head into the 2014 holiday season and beyond.

  • Buy email opt-in ads on a Cost-Per-Action (CPA) basis. Fundamentally, all ad buying comes down to how effective ads are at driving conversions at a profitable price point. Traditional display and search buys are purchased by marketers on a cost-per-thousand impression (CPM) or cost-per-click (CPC) basis, with the hope that people will come to a landing page and buy something or fill out a registration form. CPA-based ads remove the uncertainty of CPM and CPC and cut to the chase—you only pay when consumers take a desired action such as opting into your newsletter. The CPA market has matured over the years and CPA advertising has become affordable and accessible to a wider variety of marketers than ever before.
  • Acquire people, not context. Last generation approaches to 3rd party acquisition focused obsessively on context over people. What I mean by that is ads were served on publications based on the alignment of offers with content, as opposed to offers with people. For example, if a person were reading an article about a new car, they would see an ad for auto insurance. New targeting technology enables marketers to transcend context and target individuals. Sure, I may be reading about a new car, but I already have insurance, have no plans for buying a new car or insurance, and what I’m really on the market for right now is a flat screen TV. Big data and real-time ad serving technology make it possible to serve the right ads, to the right people, in the right places—no matter where those places may be.
  • Optimize and iterate, constantly. Marketers can use purchase and engagement data to apply lookalike modeling to top of the funnel campaigns and rapidly scale their acquisition programs’ quality and volume. “Best Customer” profiles and personas can be identified across vast networks to drive more opt-ins, faster, and at widening profit margins as campaigns run over time. Data collection and analysis should be conducted as often as possible in order to perpetually optimize campaigns.

The year may be coming to a close, but there is still plenty of time left to acquire new customers, with precision, at a massive scale. If you’ve read this blog post all the way to here—thank you! And, if you’re interested in learning more about how you can intelligently grow your list through the rest of 2014 and beyond, please contact me at

About the Author

Jordan Cohen is Chief Marketing Officer for Fluent. A well-known email marketing industry veteran, he is charged with all strategic marketing, branding, demand generation, communications, and partnership programs for the company. Fluent is the industry’s leading customer acquisition platform. Its innovative ad serving technology and extensive advertising network enable brands to acquire their best customers, with precision, at a massive scale. Fluent’s integration with the Salesforce Marketing Cloud establishes a real-time data transfer and triggered welcome message when a new users signs up for an email list.


Your Greatest Marketing Challenges, Solved Get fresh up-to-date insights and content. Sign up now.