Over and over clients express their concern about not having as many people on their mailing as they think they should, or a mailing list that isn't growing as fast as they would like. They believe that bigger is better and they focus their marketing and list building activities on getting lots of people, any people, fast.
Sure, a growing mailing list and increased sales are what we all want and need. It's just that from what I'm seeing, working with clients' mailing lists every day for years, and watching their sales (or lack thereof), I can see that bigger isn't always better.
It breaks my heart, especially when they're beating themselves up due to the size of their list (or the size of their shrinking list) instead of focusing on what DOES work: Making QUALITY additions to their mailing list, working that list consistently, tracking results of their email/online/snail mail marketing, and refining their approach over time based on what they see is working.
What's a "quality" addition? A quality addition is someone who "gets" you and your products, someone who speaks your language, and who might have a good reason to buy now or in the near future. You meet or have contact with these people every day, personally and professionally. Are they given the opportunity to opt into your mailing list?
I have clients with very small mailing lists (like, dozens, not even hundreds) yet each name on their list, on average, generates significant income - on average hundreds to thousands of dollars per year from each name on the list. These are really great lists of clients, past customers, and other people who, through their marketing and list building activities, truly resonate with who and what they are.
I have a client with an email list of about 25,000 grown over several years. Yes, it's a larger list but it was built with focus on attracting people within their industry, and their marketing is targeted to these people. On average, each name on that list generates about $10-$20 per year in revenue. Do the math, that's a very nice living.
I've had clients who have a good, but very small, personal list and because there was no way the few people on their list would fill, for example, a reception for the opening of an art show or buy places in a workshop, we rented carefully screened/qualified snail mail lists from a reputable list company (Note: I did NOT say email lists. Please don't go there.) Results from targeted postcard mailings? Great. The results were a packed reception, workshop signups, sales, and many people on the rented list opting in to their permanent mailing list. Awesome.
So my dears, don't worry so much about the size of your list. Focus on growing it, and email me if you want to talk about ways to do that so you increase your dedicated following. I'm just sayin'. :-D