This post was most recently updated on July 30th, 2016
Shrink your email list, only if you want to increase your email profits.
I know, you’re thinking I’m a bit confused.
It sounds funny to talk about “shrinking” your email list when mostly what you hear around the water cooler is to build up your list.
Let’s start with this.
What’s so great about having a big list?
The Money Is In The List
I haven’t told you anything you haven’t hear a million times.
Of course, the money is in the list.
So, at a glance, you’d think the bigger your list, the more money it would bring it.
That’s right, too.
You do have to build your list.
The more people you can email offers to, the more commissions and sales you’ll make, and the more leads and prospects you’ll drive to your business opportunity.
On the other hand, it’s not only the size of your list that matters.
There are real people opening your emails.
They’re not just numbers.
They’re real people with real problems, looking for real information and solutions.
The money is in the list as long as you are giving these people what they’re looking for.
If you’re not, then they will become “unresponsive” in email marketing jargon.
In other words, you may be sending them great offers, but they won’t be interested if you’re offering things they don’t care about.
Who’s Fault Is It?
One way to look at this problem is to say “I have a bad list.”
I hear this all the time.
It’s true, too.
Your list can be “bad” if it’s a mismatch for your offers.
If your list is mostly people looking to lose weight and you keep offering them fitness tapes, it’s because you think people who want to lose weight also want to get physically fit.
But that may not be the case.
I don’t really know if it is or not, because I don’t work in that niche.
But if you’re sending those people offers to something they’re not interested in, then that list is “bad” in the sense that it’s not perfectly matched to your offers.
You’d probably be better off to try to build your list with people who like exercise instead of people who want to lose weight.
Then, the “bad” list of people who don’t open your emails or buy your offers, will suddenly become a “good” list of people who do.
So, the fault can’t really placed on your subscribers.
The fault is your own because you’ve built your list the wrong way.
Not a problem.
We can fix things.
Shrink Your Email List
Here’s the solution to this problem.
Shrink your email list.
Find out which “segment” or part of your list is, in fact, interested in exercise and fitness, and send them your fitness offers.
But, at the same time, find out which segment is NOT interested, and get rid of them.
Get them off your email list because
- They won’t open your emails (open rate)
- They won’t click through to your offers (CTR, click through rate)
- They won’t buy them (conversion rate)
By sending emails to the “bad” (mis-matched) segment of your list, you’ll decrease your open rate, CTR and conversion rate of subscribers being converted into paying customers.
Why Not Keep Everyone So You Have A Bigger List?
They don’t give awards for having a big list.
In fact, if you’re sending offers to people who don’t open your emails, you’re seriously hurting your general open rate.
If you have a list of 100 people and 50 typically open your emails, you have a 50% open rate.
If you have a list of 1,000 people and 50 typically open your emails, you have a 5% open rate.
The spam bots care.
When they see you only have a 5% open rate, they’ll be far more likely to send your emails to the spam boxes. In other words, those messages won’t get delivered.
Eventually, your entire email marketing will suffer because even people who want to see your offers won’t be getting them.
This is an issue of what is called “deliverability.”
If your emails aren’t getting delivered, there’s little point to even running email campaigns.
It’s like sending postcards to the wrong address.
Nobody’s getting them.
To make matters worse, email delivery companies like Get Response, Mail Chimp, Aweber and all the others, charge you according to the size of your list. The bigger your list, the more you get charged.
That’s great if your profits are increasingly with the size of your list, but if not, you’re paying for nothing.
So What’s An Email Marketer To Do?
First of all, don’t build your list with people who may be a mismatch.
If your niche is exercise equipment, give away a free ebook about the best types of exercise equipment to buy.
Sure, you can build it with people who want to lose weight, or people who don’t exercise enough and give them a free ebook called “why you should exercise more.”
But then, you have to convince them to buy your exercise equipment.
When you build your list with people already interested in exercise equipment, you don’t have to convince them of anything. You just have to present them with good offers… the ones they’re already looking for anyway.
Of course, things aren’t always that clear cut.
We all end up with email lists that include plenty of folks not really interested in taking action on our offers.
So we need to get them off our list.
One of my favorite ways is to just come out and tell people to unsubscribe if they’re not getting value from my emails.
Or, send them emails that tell them they must subscribe again in order to stay on your list. This is a really effective method for getting rid of people who never even open your emails.
It’s also a great way to get rid of people who never take action.
They won’t even take the action of re-subscribing.
Most of my students don’t like the idea of doing these things because…
it will definitely shrink your email list.
I love doing it because…
it will definitely shrink your email list.
Shrink Your Open Rate
Another good tactic here is to shrink your open rate.
Wait… I thought we wanted to get a higher open rate.
Well, yes we do.
But that will happen as a result of first, discouraging certain people from even opening our emails.
The people we don’t want opening our emails are those who are mismatched for our messages.
Let me demonstrate with this common little scenario.
Let’s say your “exercise equipment” list is full of people only wanting to lose weight. They’re not really interested in exercise equipment.
Had you done a better job of building your list, they wouldn’t be there to begin with, but, hey… nobody’s perfect.
Now you have to send out emails.
It’s time to create the subject header.
You could send out an email with this subject heading: “This really worked for me!”
Or, you could send out this one: “Here’s a treadmill that really worked for me!”
Which one do you think will get a higher open rate?
The first one will for people who may or may not be interested in my treadmill offer.
But the second one will among the smaller segment of people interested in my treadmill offer.
And those are the folks I’m really talking to.
The first group is a mismatch for my offers.
I’d rather they not open my emails, so I can identify them over the course of 10, 15, 20 emails as being “unresponsive.”
Now that I know who they are, I can send them that email asking them to subscribe again, and that will probably be the end of them.
Or, I can even just delete them from my list without asking them anything.
Either way, by periodically lowering my open rate with highly targeted messages, I’ll grow a better and more responsive list.
If I do this as a matter of course, my list will actually have a higher open rate in the long run because it’s increasingly stocked with people interested in my messages.
Shrink Your Email List
These are some of the best ways to shrink your email list.
To build a profitable online business, you almost always need to involve some level of email marketing.
That requires you build an email list.
- People to open your emails
- People to engage with you
- People to become your clients or customers
Some subscribers will show no inclination to do any of those 3 things.
Getting them off your list will vastly improve your email marketing.
That will help your online business to increase in profitability.
Do you think only of “growing” the size of your list?
Or do you work to shrink your email list, too?
Please leave your comments below.