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Determining Subscriber Value: What's an Email List Member Worth?

by Karen Talavera  |  
February 18, 2014
  |  12,818 views

In this article you'll learn...

  • Approaches for determining subscriber value if you can't clearly attribute revenue by channel
  • How to determine what each email subscriber is worth to your business
  • How to calculate hard numbers based on email subscriber response

Last month we explored the first of two important digital marketing list subscriber metrics: CPA, the cost to acquire a new list member. I also presented a process for determining your maximum allowable CPA—that is, how much it's worth paying or investing to acquire a single subscriber.

This month we'll explore various approaches to assigning economic value to every subscriber already on your list.

Let's start with the clearest way first: the revenue-per-subscriber (RPS) method.

What Is RPS?

Revenue per subscriber (in email marketing commonly termed RPE—revenue-per-email) is a method for determining what each list member is worth to your business in cold hard cash: How much revenue does the average subscriber produce per year? Per quarter? Per campaign?


It's a relatively simple calculation when you can clearly attribute revenue to the specific channel of your list. For example, if you have an email marketing list and want to calculate RPS for the year, take all revenue attributed to your email marketing programs and divide it by the number of valid, deliverable email addresses on your list.

So for example, your annual email RPS might look like this:

  1. Annual revenue attributed to email marketing: $1,000,000
  2. Number of valid, deliverable subscribers: 25,000
  3. Annual email RPS ($1,000,000/25,000) = $40

In this example, on average each email list member produces $40 in revenue per year.


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Karen Talavera is the founder of Synchronicity Marketing, a company specializing in digital marketing training, coaching, and education.

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Comments

  • by Sherry Tue Oct 14, 2014 via web

    when calculating value/subscriber over a full year period - do you look at the total number of subscribers at the END of the year or an averaged number of subscribers over the entire period?

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