October 17, 2018

How big a list do you REALLY need?

So here’s a question to think about…

How many people do you need in your world to support your work? It might actually be smaller than you think.

My email list size is around 800. It grows at a slow net rate because I regularly delete contacts who never buy or open anything. Given that I send an email at least every working day, if you don’t open 80 emails in a row I’ll normally delete you. I review all of these manually mind to check I don’t delete anyone I know.

Based on my current numbers I’d conservatively say that an email list size of 4,000 contacts would comfortably support my business and everything I want to do. (Work from Italy, work from New Zealand, unlimited espresso, company motorbike etc etc.)

An email list of 10,000 would create real equity.

Every email list has a power curve effect going on. From a list of 1000 contacts, you may over time build a core customer base of 100 users, as long as you have things to offer them.

The alternative is to build or ‘acquire’ a list of 100,000 contacts, and nag them to death to create the same net result.

Personally I know which route I prefer. Building a smaller but engaged list isn’t as flashy and takes longer, but ultimately it’s more sustainable.

Every marketing problem can be looked at from the perspective of bottlenecks. The bottleneck in my world is audience size. I have an enticing set of nurture options: books, courses, membership options and so on. The bottleneck is audience size.

If you already have the engaged audience and you’re not hitting the numbers you want, the bottleneck is lack of nurture. You end up having to build a bigger than necessary list to support what you want to do.

It’s instructive to think in this way because it highlights the single most important step to take next.

Rob Drummond

Rob Drummond runs the Maze Marketing Podcast and Maze Mastery. Rob specialises in content production, ad creation, storytelling and CRM systems. He has two published books, Magnetic Expertise and Simple Story Selling, affordable on Amazon.