How do you feel when someone—a potential guest blogger, a business coach, a copywriter, or even a new mastermind buddy—asks that dreaded question…
“How big is your email list?”
It feels like no matter what stage of business you’re in, the question can make your stomach churn.
If your number is on the small side, this question can make you completely doubt yourself and your ability to run a successful business.
Afterall, isn’t your list size tangible, measurable proof of whether or not you’re doing a good job?
Bigger, Better List = More Clients = More Money in the Bank
Well… not so fast.
A small list size might be perfect for some business owners; while a bigger list might be what someone else requires to be successful. It all depends on your unique business model.
So how big does YOUR list size really need to be?
That’s what I’m here to help you figure out right now.
How big does your list size really need to be?
Your Email List Is Important, No Matter What Size It Is
In the world of online, service-based businesses, email marketing is absolutely, positively, without exception the key to running a successful online business.
I know I never would have gotten this far in my business without it.
That’s because studies show that 50% of subscribers are interested but not yet ready to give you their money. And that’s okay! Your job is to create a relationship with those 50% and sending valuable content to their inbox is the best way to do that.
This is why you must focus on building and properly utilizing a high-quality list in order to create the business of your dreams and make the kind of money you deserve.
As a savvy online business owner, your job is get as many names on that list, meaning win over as many fans as you possibly can.
But do you have to have a big list to reach your income goals? And can list building be the answer to earning more money no matter what the online business model?
The answers might surprise you…
Leverage a Small List by Selling One-on-One Services
I advise a lot of my clients who are in the early stages of their businesses to focus on creating and selling outstanding one-on-one services. (In fact, I can help you do just that in my Make It Work Online program.)
You can earn great money this way with a relatively small list, because you can really focus your email messaging to speak to your target audience in their language about the specific problems you can personally help them solve.
If you’re communicating your value well, you shouldn’t have trouble getting paying clients from a smallish email list. And if you’re pricing your services correctly, you shouldn’t need too many clients to make a decent living!
Even those of you who sell one-time or time-sensitive services (resume writers, doulas, transition counselors, etc.) don’t need a huge list to benefit from email marketing. But you will need to focus continuously on list building in order to maintain your list size as folks fall off because you solved their one-time or time-sensitive problems.
It’s also a great idea to practice your craft with clients one-on-one before you jump to developing larger-scale programs or digital products meant to have mass appeal. And if you elicit and listen to feedback, your subscribers can be invaluable in helping you develop those next-level products.
My personal recommendation for you: Steal This! My No-Fail Approach to Getting Clients Even If You Don’t Have an Email List.
You’ll Need a Large List to Sell Group Programs and Digital Products
Raise your hand if you dream of someday making gobs of money by filling group programs and creating digital products that practically sell themselves.
Don’t we all?!
Okay, now raise your hand if you have any idea what it actually takes to get your business to the point where a risky revenue model like that is even possible.
Don’t worry if you’re clueless — most business owners are in the exact same boat!
Let’s do some math.
Here’s how to know how much you’ll make from a launch:
- 1–5% of your list will buy what you’re selling when you launch it, assuming you have solid marketing and copywriting skills and a list of people you have been regularly communicating with who like, know and trust you.
- This means that if you have a list of 1000 people, about 3% of your list will buy whatever product you’re selling, you can expect 30 people to make the purchase. (The conversion rate is more like 1% if it’s priced at $999 or higher.)
- That means if your product (or group program) is priced at $299, you’ll earn $9000 by marketing it to your list.
Sure, $9000 is a good chunk of change — but is it enough? Does it cover the cost of creating that product and net you a decent profit? Does it get you closer to your ultimate business goals?
Other factors to consider
In addition to conversion rates on launches, you have to consider how often you can launch something.
Generally, one to three times a year is all you can do for a single product or program without fatiguing and alienating your subscribers. It’s important to give your list a breather between sales pushes. (I advise my clients to aim for three or four campaigns per year.)
Even when you space out your campaigns, you can’t keep reselling to the same people over and over and expect to maintain the same conversion rate. (Meaning, if you don’t keep growing your list between launches, your conversion rate is quite likely to plummet.)
This is why list building is the key to selling digital products and filling group programs—especially if that’s your primary source of revenue stream.
In order to do it effectively and expect to earn any sort of income – much less the six figures I want you to aim for – you’ll need a mega-sized list that you continuously replenish and grow for as long as you plan on being in business.
There’s Simply No Way Around List Building
Whether you solve one-time problems or offer subscriptions; whether you market to other businesses or individuals; whether you want to sell one-on-one sessions or fill larger programs—you should be focused on list building.
In the online business world, it cannot be avoided, my friend!
Now I know what you’re thinking…
Yes, you are totally capable of building up a large email list — even though you’re starting with, like, 15 people on yours. (We all start there!)
Yes, list building can be time consuming, particularly as you’re just getting started. Yes, there’s a lot to learn and a shit-ton of information and advice out there to sort through. And yes, it’s something you’ll have to continue doing for the life of your business.
But the good news is that list building will also be what contributes to the HUGE successes in your business,because it all starts with your list.
My personal recommendation for you: Bite-Sized Offer: The Only Thing You Need to Bring in a Steady Flow of New Clients
If you’ve been putting this off, or if you’ve started to build your list but hit a wall, I urge you to get going on it.
The good news is, I can help!
How are your list-building efforts going?
Do you have any secrets to share for marketing one-on-one services?
What’s your biggest list-building question?
Leave a comment below, and I’d love to help you however I can.
More personal recommendations for list building:
Also Recommended for You: Free Workshop
Discover the exact steps to get a steady flow of ready-to-buy prospects—even if you’re starting at zero! Access the free training.