Small List? 5 ways to standout + make more money

Updated: May 11, 2021

Feel like you're sending emails and it's just crickets? Use these 5 tips with your small list to create a deeper connection and get more engagement.


This is a common question. And it’s my least favorite one: “How many people are on your list?”

This came up when I was chatting with a new friend at a conference. I presented on email marketing and afterwards, this new friend pulled me aside.

He asked “I’ve got 500 on my list...is that good?”

I wanted to encourage him so told him right away it was great. And it is. Ultimately, momentum and action are more important than anything else so I will always tell you to just keep going. 30 is great. 50 is great. A subscriber count of 1 is always better than never starting.

But here’s the reality: the volume itself tells you nothing. It’s the quality of your subscribers that matter. If you've built a list of 500 random people, then a list of 100 hot leads is a much better size.

You can be more successful with a list of 300 engaged subscribers than 3,000 inactive ones. It all boils down to how connected your subscribers are to you. Do they feel a part of your movement, are they a part of your mission?

Our culture is obsessed with growth. In fact, nearly every single email workshop and freebie I see promoted focuses on growing your list, and growing it fast. Words like “rapidly” and “fast track” are common.

I encourage you to embrace where you’re at.


Yes, you should absolutely focus on growing your list, but take note of the people already there. This means loving on your 50 followers on social media and your 10 email subscribers. This means not obsessing about seeing your follower count tick up everyday or *gasp* losing a follower, but instead focus on taking care of what you have. If you do this, the rest will follow.

It all starts with being authentic and creating a solid connection. If you take time to listen in the beginning, you’ll learn what products to pursue, what content is resonating, and likely discover your niche.

I know it can be discouraging in the beginning when you have a small list and feel like it’s just crickets. You have to learn your email tool. It takes time to write your emails and get them sent out. You hit send and it can feel like nothing happened, whereas on social media you get instant gratification by likes and comments.

But, if you keep at it over time you’ll build a stronger following combining social media AND email.

Here are some tips to help you while your building a list and how to celebrate your subscribers while you're starting out.


1. Don’t start your automation (yet)

If you're just starting out, let things percolate a bit. If you power through your entire automation before you even launch your list, you’ll focus on what you “think” you should send, and you’ll set it, and forget it.

What you “think” your subscribers want will be very different from what they show you they want. You’ll miss out on some powerful insights.

You only need one email to launch: a Welcome email.

Once your Welcome email is set up, your goal should be to email your subscribers every 2 weeks, or if you feel pretty gangster and can commit to it, once a week.

In these weekly or bi-weekly emails, your goal should be to see what resonates with your audience. What type of content are they opening and even more telling -- what emails they are replying to.

When you get a reply, you know you’re really hitting a cord. They trust you enough to ask for help, or tell you their opinion. Or they like you enough to take the time to reply.

Which leads me to #2, a magical li