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35 Responses to A Big Email List Can Have Small Results

  1. Barrie Evans January 17, 2016 at 11:29 am #

    Right on the button David. It’s not about the size of the list, it’s about the way you interact with them. Also, some small email lists have a lot more quality than large ones. It all depends where you got your sign ups from. There are a lot of factors to include, but you hit on the most important.
    Barrie Evans´s last blog post ..Practice Is A Daily Business.

    • David Merrill 101 January 17, 2016 at 8:23 pm #

      That’s right, Barrie. a good indicator of the quality of your list is its source.

      Once you get the kind of audience you want on your list, you need to interact regularly. That’s far more important from a profitability perspective… than scrambling to “grow” your list with people you may be better off without.
      David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..How Do Bloggers Make Big Bucks?

  2. Enstine Muki January 18, 2016 at 2:08 am #

    I love this post David and it makes me rethink my list building strategy. My open rate and CTR make me think I’m on a good footing.

    I hardly send mails to my list selling stuffs but the last time I did giving out my product for $7, I got really good response.

    I think this is some really great stuff on list building I’m reading here this morning. I should focus on value not numbers 😉

    Have a wonderful week ahead buddy
    Enstine Muki´s last blog post ..Temok Review ~ Premium Webhosting Starting $2.99/mo

    • David Merrill 101 January 31, 2016 at 12:16 am #

      Yea, Enstine, you’ve really gotta concentrate on “value not numbers” for sure.

      But we’ve all been taught that the numbers are the big deal, right.

      I’ve taken whole courses on email marketing where “engagement” was never even mentioned. It was all about get x number of subscribers and you’ll earn x number of dollars per month.

      Want to make more? Just build a bigger list. Sell, sell, sell.

      No wonder so many people hate to open their emails, or sign up for people’s email lists… 🙂
      David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..How Do Bloggers Make Big Bucks?

  3. Iyabo Oyawale January 21, 2016 at 6:05 am #

    I love this post. Bloggers are always worried about the numbers instead of focusing on engagement. I used to be bothered but not anymore. Instead, I focused on building a relationship with the people on my list and the rewards have been tremendous.

  4. Sue Bride January 22, 2016 at 10:46 am #

    I’m going to take the plunge this week and actually send out an email to my list. I so wanted to provide value, and something a bit different, that I’ve put it off. I think most on my list are knowledgeable themselves so what I do needs to be pretty special. I’m now creating a free resource that I hope will be useful to them.

    I subscribe to lots of lists because of free offers but, after giving their emails a chance, I reckon I must unsubscribe from at least 90%.
    Sue Bride´s last blog post ..Free Floral Images for Picture Quotes

    • David Merrill 101 January 31, 2016 at 12:19 am #

      I don’t think you’re too different than most of us, Sue, about unsubscribing from most lists. I don’t even do that, I just stop opening. That’s worse really, If you unsubscribe it keeps your inbox cleaner.

      Hope you have some success with your email list as you try to engage them in something meaningful. It’s not easy, so many people do hate opening emails. But if you hit the right chord with them… they will, for sure.
      David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..List Building On My Mind

  5. Kathryn Maclean January 23, 2016 at 3:25 pm #

    Very timely article for me David,

    Going to be setting up a new email newsletter on one of my blogs soon.
    I liked the “silent promise to make it worth while and entice properly. ”
    This is the important point – offer something very worth their time.
    Make an offer they can’t refuse.

    I like how you showed that a small responsive list is much more
    valuable than a huge list with only offers in it. I regularly unsubscribe
    from those lists without value. Great article.

    • David Merrill 101 January 31, 2016 at 12:22 am #

      Good luck with your new email newsletter, Kathryn. Just focus on writing to “one” person… your typical and ideal client. Write to them like a friend, not like a “subscriber.”

      That usually keeps you on track with giving value instead of just trying to convince them to do something they probably don’t want to, ie., buy something 🙂
      David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..6 Steps To Affiliate Blogging

  6. Mark January 28, 2016 at 6:44 pm #

    That’s some really solid advice David!

    Thanks! And what you say definitely makes sense.

    And sadly, I think we’ve all experienced, at some point or the other,
    the overly aggressive marketer, that the moment you join their list, they
    instantly start bombarding your inbox, with nothing more than pitch
    after valueless pitch!

    Causing us to rather quickly unsubscribe! So when you
    advise us to over deliver value first, that is some extremely practical

    Mark´s last blog post ..Seven Incredibly Dynamic Coaches And Mentors You Simply Can’t Afford To Ignore Any Longer!

    • David Merrill 101 January 31, 2016 at 12:25 am #

      We do all know about those overly aggressive marketers that wiggle their way into our inbox, don’t we Mark.

      But, like you say… they don’t get far with most of us because we just unsubscribe, or ignore. That does trash to their open rates for sure, lol.

      So much better to just treat folks like human beings and focus on trying to help them solve their problems. That’s really your business, not selling stuff. When you solve problems, sales will happen one way or another.
      David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..How Do Bloggers Make Big Bucks?

  7. Claudia Peevy January 31, 2016 at 11:49 am #

    I need to set up an email newsletter! Been stalling trying to find the perfect offer! Something of real value. Need to get off the fence and just do it!
    Claudia Peevy´s last blog post ..WHY BLOG POST IMAGES ARE SO IMPORTANT

  8. Mary Sloane January 31, 2016 at 8:17 pm #

    Great reminder David it is not always about size

    Quality over quantity

    It is definitely time for me to start tending to developing a quality email list… seems much easier in my tshirt and product niche

    To the top


  9. MINHAJ UDDIN February 2, 2016 at 8:11 am #

    Hi David!

    That’s why people say the real money is in the list 😀 Having a unique list even a small list can make happens than a large messy list! I am trying to build a good list on my blog! I always think about the quality of a list. Providing value to the audience is the main thing to get this.

    However, loved your great post. Thanks a lot for sharing this useful one as usual!

    Keep it up!
    MINHAJ UDDIN´s last blog post ..NEW Top 300+ Free High PR Directory Submission Sites List 2016

  10. Chery Schmidt February 7, 2016 at 7:02 pm #

    Hello David, I actually just got my opt in and free offer up a few months ago and have started building my list, but so far I have not really promoted anything to them.

    I do although send out a news letter each time I publish a new post and so far it looks like everyone is opening and clicking so this is a good sign Right?

    Great share my friend
    Chery :))
    Chery Schmidt´s last blog post ..3 Easy Steps To A Successful Online Business

  11. Dr. Erica Goodstone February 7, 2016 at 9:06 pm #


    I have had a good number of people on some of my lists for a long time, many years. At first, they may have signed up to get a specific freebie. Maybe they were looking for a relationship and my freebie was helpful – and so were my autoresponder messages. However, it is now several years later and their needs and desires may have changed. They may no longer need my suggestions for finding a new relationship. They may be happily in love and not need to change anything or examine anything at the moment.

    Sometimes it gets confusing for me as I attempt to promote a product because the lists are diverse. And I have to accept that some will opt out because they are no longer interested, but there are always some new people who are looking for what I am offering.

    Your suggestions for how to keep your list engaged are really valuable. Thanks.


    Dr. Erica

  12. Rahul Gupta February 9, 2016 at 2:58 am #

    Hi David,

    Completely agree with you. The only thing of consideration here is quality. If a list of 5000 subscribers is not interested in your product then you can’t generate a single sale. But if you’ve got 500 targeted subscribers then there are chances that you get 100% conversion.

    It’s all depends on your targeting. Always believe in quality than quantity.

    Rahul Gupta´s last blog post ..[Tutorial] Remove Powered By Blogger Attribute Gadget

  13. Bobby February 10, 2016 at 8:24 pm #

    Good read! Not really sure what we are going to do with our email list. For now we are just updating the followers on new articles. We kinda accidentally got into blogging when our FB page grew quickly. We are tech entrepreneurs so blogging consistently is pretty new but also really awesome. Thanks for the tips! Will definitely keep them in mind.
    Bobby´s last blog post ..[Video] Marcus Lemonis: How I Gauge an Entrepreneur’s Level of Commitment

  14. Charles February 12, 2016 at 8:27 am #

    I don’t know why I have never really considered list building. I think I’ll be ruminating on this post and kick-starting my list building journey, because I plan on going into affiliate marketing full time in the coming months.

  15. Joy Healey February 14, 2016 at 2:29 pm #

    Hi David,

    I know i need to work harder on my email marketing and list-building.

    Because I’m a part-time internet marketer, and very busy in my offline business, it’s taken me a long time to get my “ducks in a row” – as we say in the UK!

    I have some free optin-offers and squeeze pages, and send new blog posts to my various lists, so it’s all moving in the right direction.

    Actually despite having a very small list, I have to say they’re loyal subscribers. We engage mostly on my blog, so I guess sending my blog post to them does seem to get them onto my blog, which is encouraging.

    I’m getting “there”!

    Joy Healey´s last blog post ..WordPress Security Services – What Really Works?

  16. sazia kazia February 21, 2016 at 8:57 am #

    Hi David, Great tips yes we need to give quality and valuable content which solve problems. I am not building any email marketing right now i need to look into it. I will definitely follow these steps. Thanks for sharing this knowledge.

  17. Jeff Sollee February 26, 2016 at 6:56 am #

    Hi David,

    This is a fantastic post! The title really run a bell with me because I can completely relate.

    I built up a list of 10,000 people, because I believed that the bigger the list, the bigger the results. The only problem was that I built it completely out of buying solo ads from other marketers.

    I started getting pretty excited about the thought of making all kinds of huge money, only to find out that I was actually losing much more!

    -I had to pay for the solo ads
    -I had to pay my autoresponder fees for having that amount of people on my list.

    That would be all and good if I was making the money back, but what I didn’t realize at the time is that most of the people on the solo ad vendors list already had some sort of relationship with them… NOT ME.

    I tried to deliver as much value and good stuff to them, however most were just freebie seekers who didn’t care about usable information. They wanted e-books and plug-ins just because they thought the more they had, the more money they would make.

    Big List… Negative Money

    I deleted every single person from my list and I’m starting from scratch. This blog post gives me the perfect mentality. Thank you for that. Small list of people who really know, like, and trust you, is definitely the way to go!

    Thank you for sharing these great tips so people don’t keep falling for the “big list” myth.

    All the best,
    Jeff Sollee
    Jeff Sollee´s last blog post ..What Aspiring Marketers Can Learn From The Movie “American Gangster”

  18. Nikhil February 27, 2016 at 6:15 am #

    Hey David,
    I loved the tips you taught in this post. The targeted audience is always good for conversion whether we have a small chunk of data. Well, sharing value is a big concern. I myself, feel annoyed when someone takes my email in opt in and doesn’t deliver the source in my email..

    I think that he or she betrayed me. This happens with lots of people. and for the next time I don’t accept any such offer from the site. It happens naturally.

    I haven’t more people in my list. I think I should try some affiliate with it.

    Thanks for such deep insights of email marketing.
    Nikhil´s last blog post ..150+ High PR Blog Commenting Sites to Supercharge Your Referral Traffic

  19. Mandy Allen February 29, 2016 at 7:28 am #

    When I first started blogging in 2009 I was encouraged to build a list, build a list. I worked hard at it and achieved a decent list size, however my email marketing was not up to scratch and I found people leaving the list frequently. I was never sure why they left but after research formulated an email marketing plan that worked for me. It is important to be very clear with anyone signing up exactly what they are signing up for and stick to that ‘contract’ with them. I hate spammers!

    Enjoy the journey!

  20. Lesly T. Federici March 12, 2016 at 2:05 pm #

    Hi David,
    I have a small list and I don’t panic about it. The way I see it, I would rather have people sign-up because they like me and want to hear from me. There’s so much hype about email lists… If you build relationships, they will come .. hm .. sounds like something I heard once…

  21. Swadhin Agrawal March 18, 2016 at 1:10 am #

    Hi David,
    My first time on your blog and I am loving your posts that break the common notions and make the readers aware of the real truth.

    When the world is diving towards bigger lists, more readers and bigger ad budgets, it feels fresh and trustworthy to listen that small things can often do wonders.

    You are right, having a huge list requires a bigger marketing budget and it still becomes difficult to cater to the needs of the huge list with different interests.

    Instead, a small community of raving fans is awesome and dedicated.

    Thanks for your post.

  22. Dr. Elise Cohen Ho March 19, 2016 at 6:48 pm #

    I absolutely adore the fact that you acknowledge that a small list can be just as, or even more, successful than a large mailing list.In the end it is not about volume but it is about true connection.

  23. Robin Khokhar March 28, 2016 at 3:44 pm #

    Hi David,
    This being my first visit to your blog through the PAC community on Facebook. Getting a huge email list is difficult but turning them in traffic is even more difficult.
    Although, I enjoyed reading your post. and will be returning to read more post like this.
    thanks for sharing.
    Robin Khokhar´s last blog post ..11 Things That Hurt SEO And How to Avoid Those Mistakes?

  24. Bob Barocas March 30, 2016 at 5:28 pm #


    This post was extremely helpful and very refreshing to find! It’s nice to hear that small lists can still be incredibly powerful.

    Out of all the techniques out there, what do you think is the best tactic I can use to improve my list building? Thanks again for a phenomenal post!
    Bob Barocas´s last blog post ..Top 5 Online Marketing Strategies for Small Businesses

  25. Manidipa Bhaumik April 18, 2016 at 2:37 am #

    Hey David,

    When everyone else is forcing on having a huge email list, this article title surely captures my eyes.

    You said it very right that, most of the time people are busy only in growing the list and try to add literally anyone and everyone in it. They forget that most of these people were somehow forced to subscribe and not intentionally joined there. And they may also unsubscribe from the list in some time. The outcome – definitely lesser conversion.

    The result is in the value – not in numbers. So to see actual result, one must focus more on how to provide more value to the existing subscribers than to grow the list.

    Thanks for the share. Take care and have a great day ahead 🙂
    Manidipa Bhaumik´s last blog post ..15 Killer Blog Post Ideas that are Proven to Work

  26. ikechi April 27, 2016 at 10:03 am #

    Hi David

    You are so right. It is not about the size but the quality of the list. I have seen that all over the internet everyone is talking about increasing his list and not focused on increasing the quality plus value to their list.

    You have given me so much insight on the topic. Thanks for sharing. Take Care
    ikechi´s last blog post ..Are You Missing the Boat with Your Own Life?

  27. Gaurav Singh June 30, 2016 at 4:47 pm #

    Hello David,
    Again i found this post on your site. I just want to say, it’s true and matter of fact a reality that sometime people with large email bundles do not succeed. The merely work on getting these emails and forget the main purpose and that was to convert these visitors to customer’s. Well, when they find out , it’s too late.
    Interaction is the key. Informative Post. Keep it up.
    Gaurav Singh´s last blog post ..Advance WordPress Speed Optimization Tricks and Tips

  28. Denis Peterovsky October 7, 2016 at 4:46 am #

    Hello David,
    Great post – I’ve been saying it for years. The amount of money you earn is what you give to your society – have more value – earn more money.
    As human being, we tend to take the short and easy path. But that path goes nowhere.
    Invest in your list – or in any other project you have – and you’ll see value.
    Share valuable content, up to date tips, awesome advice – and they’ll trust you. When they trust they’ll buy.

  29. Aysha March 9, 2017 at 8:03 pm #

    Hi David!

    Yes, you are right! I have seen even a small list can actually works if it is more targeted and unique! We do no need to build large list if it is not relevant or audience are not interested to read the content!

    Anyway, great post and you explained it very well in this post!

    Thanks a lot for sharing!

    Keep it up!


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