How Big Is Your List? 3 Numbers You Need To Know


One of the mistakes I see many, many business owners making is being so focused on the size of their list (i.e. the total number of subscribers) that they’re not paying attention to actually what’s going on in their list. And then they wonder why they’re not making the kind of money they want to be making.

You already know that it’s really important to build your list, i.e. the number of people that are in YOUR database that have personally subscribed to receive your newsletter and other promotional emails.

You’ve no doubt heard that the “gold is in your list”.

But the real gold is in understanding your list; how it works; and what your numbers mean so that you can do some real strategic planning when it comes to building your business.

One of the exercises that I like to get my clients to do is to focus on their list as it is right now. In particular, we’re looking at three key areas:

  • Total List Size
  • List Size vs. Open Rate
  • Conversion Rate

Once they know these numbers, they know exactly how to grow their business going forward.

So, let’s take a look at each of these three areas now, and see how they relate to your business.

1. Total List Size – this is the total number of subscribers you currently have in your database that you send your newsletter (ezine) and other promotional mailing items to. This is typically the number that most people focus on, and when asked about the size of their list, this is the number they’ll give… because it’s the biggest number.

2. List Size vs. Open Rate – this is the “real” size of your list. How many people are opening your emails and reading what you send. Let’s use an example. Say your current list size is 500 subscribers. Of those 500 subscribers, 20% are opening your emails (average open rate for today’s email marketing). Your real list size, therefore, is 100, not 500. The other 400 people aren’t even opening your emails, let alone reading them and taking action.

3. Conversion Rate – of the number of people who open and read your emails, how many are actually taking action, meaning, how many people are purchasing your products, programs, and services as opposed to just reading about them? Let’s say you have an industry average conversion rate of 2%. So for those 100 people who are opening and reading your emails, 2 will take action and purchase (assuming you make an offer to do so). So on a $47 product that’s $94 income; on a $147 product that’s $294 income.

Now that you know the three most important numbers you need to focus on when growing your business, go ahead and apply these calculations to your own business. What are the results?

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