An online television network was testing new subscriber acquisition channels and worked with Campaign Inbox to acquire new subscribers through email at a below-budget cost.

Previously, the majority of subscribers were acquired through online advertising, which came at a high cost.

With email marketing, we were able to build an email list and then form a sense of brand loyalty with the housefile emails by consistently engaging with them. Once emails were educated about the brand and trusted it, we shifted our focus to converting emails to subscribers. Because users were already interested in and engaging with email content from the network, we were able to successfully and cost-effectively convert emails to subscribers.


  • Acquired subscribers at a 50% lower cost than advertising acquisition cost
  • Converted 4% of emails to subscribers in 60 days
  • Built a housefile of emails at a CPA below $2

Step 1: Acquiring Email Addresses

The critical first step in our subscriber acquisition strategy was to acquire new, engaged email addresses to build a housefile. In the first 30 days, we built and grew the housefile through email prospecting. By acquiring emails through content that was similarly interesting as the network’s content, we were able to build an audience that we knew would be likely to convert to subscribers.

Step 2: Converting Emails to Subscribers

After the first 30 days, we moved into the subscriber conversion phase. To convert a high number of subscribers, we sent content to the housefile that first educated and then engaged them. Once users were consistently opening and clicking emails, they showed interest in the brand and we added subscription ask emails to the content schedule, asking them to sign up for an annual subscription to the network.

Our client saw great success with our innovative email campaigns and then began using the same creative from our email campaigns for online advertising — further exemplifying the importance of strong creative content.

Creating and sending content that was relevant, newsworthy, and consistent with brand messaging was critical to converting subscribers at a rate that kept the email cost per subscriber below the cost on other marketing channels. Success in this program was unique to email marketing because email remains the best channel to create an ongoing relationship between a brand and its subscribers — by gaining data on subscribers, providing them valuable content and information, creating a sense of trust, and then finally converting subscribers.