They say that size matters. But, I think how you use it is more important, no?
Now, get your minds out of the gutter…. I’m talking about email lists here.
It seems that many bloggers have a really bad habit of under-valuing their email lists due to size. You read tips about email marketing, or read other people’s stories of using their email lists to make good money. Then, you look at your own list…
Not so big. Maybe under 100 people? Doesn’t really measure up, as you see it. Then, perhaps, you think the following thought (which is suicidal, really)…
I’ll wait until my list is bigger to start doing email marketing.
Or, if you’re using a service like Aweber to host them, you consider canceling your account because you feel as if your email marketing work isn’t paying off.
No. No. Let’s put something in perspective here…
Imagine Them Naked
Oh jeez, Dave. What’s up with you today? It was porn a couple weeks ago. Is this a trend?
But, I digress…
It is a common trick of nervous speakers (or so it is said) that you can get over stage fright by imagining your audience as naked. I guess the idea is that it humanizes them and, all of a sudden, you don’t feel like such a weirdo.
I’m not going to tell you to imagine your email subscribers as naked (whoah!), but what I DO want you to do is humanize them.
Every single person who subscribes to your list is a real, live, breathing human being who has raised their hands and said, “I’m interested in what you’ve got.”
Now, you tell me, if you have 50 people like that, does that make those 50 people any less valuable? Any less interested in you? Any less worthy of you standing up to the plate and giving them the value they signed up for?
Those 50 people could end up being your biggest fans and brand promoters – EVER. If you treat them right.
And if you don’t think 50 people is a lot, imagine being up on that stage with 50 people sitting there looking at you. Yeah, all of a sudden, it hits you like a ton of bricks – THOSE ARE REAL PEOPLE.
I’ve heard people tell me, almost in a lowly tone, “Oh, my list isn’t that big. It is only a few hundred people.”. Yeah? That’s awesome! Imagine, now, a few hundred people sitting there STARING at you. That’d be a pretty big crowd.
Oh, did I mention they all have wallets, too? Yeah.
The Danger of Comparisons
When you hang around in this internet marketing space, numbers begin to all look the same. The only ones that stand out are BIG numbers. Especially when you read the “guru” sites and they talk nonchalantly about their big numbers. As a person still working on making it to that point, it can make you feel small and inconsequential.
Whether it be pixels on your analytics graph, or subscriber counts in your Aweber account – they’re all numbers. But, they’re actual PEOPLE.
You don’t need a list of 100,000 people to make a killing online. I don’t have a list of 100,000 people and I’m doing just fine.
You don’t even need 1,000.
You have 50 subscribers? 25? 10? Hey, it’s all good! You’ll build it over time, but don’t make the mistake of delaying the flow of value until you’ve got the big list. You take those 10 people, those 25 people – and you take good care of them. Turn them into evangelists. Do everything you would do with a larger list.
… Because it’ll grow that way. Not to mention, you’ll build a LOYAL following, and that will beat the shit out of a big unloyal following any day of the week.
Don’t underestimate your reach.
UPDATE – 3/25, 10:52AM
So, I decided to put something cool together as a nice extension to what we’re talking about in this article. I’ll be announcing it next week. Stay tuned to your email boxes.