What you need to know about your list size

How big is big? Is 500 people a big list? How about 5000? Or even 50,000? Many people will talk about growing your list, getting the biggest audience possible because it is a numbers game. And while growing your list is important because it gives your brand exposure, it isn’t everything.

Here is the truth about list sizes: it is quality over quantity that will make a list work for your business.

It is easy to take every unsubscribe personally and to worry that your list size isn’t the right size. But in doing so you are mis-directing your attention. It isn’t the numbers that makes your list powerful, it is the actions of the people on your list that makes your newsletter marketing powerful.

If you are creating a newsletter that people WANT to open, read and click then you have got a list that really works.

When I started my craft business, I had 50 people on my list. A large chunk of those were friends and family who were being supportive and the ones who were strangers to me were the really special ones. Because my list was so small I used to take every unsubscribe as a sign that my business wasn’t going to work, it used to hurt getting those updates.

I was paying attention in all the wrong places.

What I should have been focused on was the fact that over 50 per cent of my emails sent were opened and then over 37 per cent clicked on something I was sending to them. Not only that but when I grew my list these stats were not diluted. They stayed the same, if not increased. The people on my list were reading what I sent to them and interacting with it.

Now when I send a newsletter I know that I am likely to get sales from every single email. And that is what you should be focusing on.

What is the point of a list of thousands if no one opens, reads and buys what you are selling to them? This is not a numbers game, it is a means of communicating to your potential customers in a way that suits them.

All those people who unsubscribed from my list? Well they were not going to buy what I was selling anyway. Those who are subscribed want to hear what I have to say.

Do this one thing for your business today:

Go through your newsletter subscribers and do some house-keeping. Filter out anyone who has not opened your last five newsletters and remove them from your list. You might want to send them a courtesy email and see if they are still interested in remaining on your list but otherwise, cut them out.

They are otherwise not going to buy what you are selling but they are also skewing your metrics, which can lead you to false assumptions about what is working on your newsletter. More importantly, if someone is regularly not reading your emails then the chances are those emails are being flagged as junk. The consequence of this is that other emails sent to those who actually want to open what you are sending may end up in the junk folder too.

So when looking at your mailing list numbers make sure it is the right numbers you are noticing: open rate, click rate and conversion rate.