How to Make the Most of a Small Mailing List

Do you have “list size shame”? It’s okay to admit it, I’ve had it too.

What I didn’t get when I first started growing my tiny little part time coaching business was the importance of list building. There was a lot to learn back in those days, the terminology, the tech stuff and exactly who I was going to be attracting.

I made a lot of mistakes back in those days. Adding anyone and everyone I knew to my email list, yes I even did it without their permission (a HUGE no no!). Not emailing them regularly and not having any clue what to share with them when I did.

But I kept at it and little by little I found my groove and started building a targeted email list of subscribers.

Clients were coming and they were converting directly from my newsletter (I could tell because I’d asked them if they were already on my list) and my business was growing quickly—even though I had a micro mini mailing list.

When my mentors asked me the size of my list and the income I was making they congratulated me. I didn’t realized how big a deal it was until I found out that what I was doing was atypical.

What I discovered I had done was I unknowingly had connected with my subscribers so well that they were converting from my mailing list to paying clients.

The real reason most people aren’t getting enough clients isn’t just because of not having a large enough list, it’s because they’re not making the most of the subscriber/mailing list they have.

No matter the business you have it’s important to emphasize that building a mailing list is the life line of your business. I’m sure you’ve heard this a thousand times but I wouldn’t be doing my job well if I didn’t tell you that list building is essential for you growth.

This isn’t the article for telling you how to build your list, that’s an article for another day. This is the article to tell you how to make the most of the list you already have.

Here are a few tips to help you develop your small list and convert them to paying clients

1. Email them regularly and consistently– One mistake I see my clients make is that they figure that when they have a small email list that they don’t have to keep up with it. That’s absolutely not the case. Email them monthly, every other week or weekly. Do it the same time of day, same day of the week. You’ll get your current readership to look forward to seeing you in their inbox consistently.

2. Get to know them better-If you can, try to imagine that when you write that you are speaking to one person and they are right in front of if you’re having a conversation. Let them feel that they are the most important person to you because they are. You’re earning their trust by them allowing you to arrive in their inbox. Don’t waste this opportunity.

3. Find out what they want from you– To better serve them you want to ask them what they would like from you. Survey them by asking them a question in your newsletter and telling them to hit reply to answer the question. Or develop a multiple question survey using Knowing this will help you know what they would like so you can offer it to them.

4. Make your offers based around what they want– Now that you know what your readers want you can develop products, services and future email articles to help and serve them. This will guarantee that you can start getting paid for what you do.

Don’t underestimate the importance of these steps. They will help you increase your income while growing your business. Keeping in touch with your readership and getting to know them better will help you serve them more specifically.

Assignment: Start by committing to a regular newsletter schedule. Find a regular date and time and use an editorial calendar to keep track of article topics. In the next newsletter you send out, ask your readers what they’d like to learn more about regarding your topic. Tell them to hit reply and let you know.  Then start creating what they’re looking for and offer it. You’ll stop guessing what they want and start serving them in the way they are asking you to.

Your Turn:  Are you sending a newsletter regularly? How often do you send it?

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles /

2 thoughts on “How to Make the Most of a Small Mailing List”

  1. Jeannie,

    I think this is great advice. My big question is do you think consistency of day is a big deal. I’m still experimenting with what are the best days/times to email my list since they are all over the country. Have you found there are better times that work for East and West Coast and best days for entrepreneurs. I basically never do Monday or Friday since I think those are loser days (either too overwhelmed or too checked out) but perhaps I’m missing something??

    1. Thanks Jo.

      I absolutely do think consistency is important. I recently switched my time from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. and had readers email me wondering why the change occurred. Some people who are really following you will take notice.

      The best way to answer the time of day and which day is to know your readers well. As a general rule you should know that Tuesday through Friday seem to test better for email and newsletter open rates. Time of day also depends on where you’re based and they live. My recommendation is to choose a day and time and stick with it. People do pay attention.


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