How To Make Money With Small Email Lists

By Yaro Starak
48 Comments

I just finished watching video two from Jason Van Orden as part of his Traffic Attraction Formula launch.

The title of the second video is – The Myth Of The Big List

The Myth of the Big List Video

The premise goes that conventional thinking states in order to make big money with an email list it needs to be big – you need lots of subscribers.

Jason in the video explains that you don’t need huge numbers, what you need is a strong relationship with the people on your list.

That’s true of course, and I’ll talk more about this in a moment, but let’s state something obvious – if you have a big list AND great relationships then you will make more money than a small list despite great relationships.

The relationship with your subscriber comes first, and that’s a good thing, however simple mathematics dictates if you can reach more people you can make more sales.

I’m not refuting Jason’s statement of course, but I do think it’s necessary to point out the importance of your reach and your relationships.

I certainly have made more money as my email list has grown, but it’s not a direct correlation. There are all kinds of variables that go into making a list profitable. The important thing, and this is what Jason’s point is, you can do very well even with a small list, if you build a list of quality subscribers who trust you.

How Important Is The Relationship?

I like what Jason says in his video. He talks about how he build his audience using podcasts, which are distributed via iTunes. He provides valuable content that people consume, which helps to foster great relationships because his listeners hear his voice every single time they listen to one of his shows.

You can imagine people sitting in their car listening to Jason and his co-host Sterling interview experts. That’s like having a captive audience spending intimate time with you. There’s no distractions like on the web – no browser back button, no banners, links, email, search bar, skype, facebook, twitter or all the usual suspects that grab your attention.

That’s some powerful relationship building time, and all it takes is one show a week to keep people connected. There’s one more reason you should have a podcast on your blog too – I’ve had one for years and it’s one of the best traffic and relationship building resources I’ve ever created.

If you watch the full video Jason explains how he was able to rank first in a product launch affiliate competition (one of Jeff Walker’s product launch formula campaigns) using a list of about 10,000 people.

I happened to rank 4th in this particular launch and I was marketing to about 90,000 people, so you can see why Jason is proud of his results.

Obviously there are other factors, such as what bonuses were offered, how often you email your subscribers, how often you promote affiliate products to them, how many times you mailed for this particular offer, which impact results, but still, Jason’s result is particularly good considering the competition he was up against. Some of the other marketers have lists in excess of 100,000 subscribers.

I suggest you watch the whole video to hear his case study and explain why you don’t need a big list to succeed.

What Makes An Email List Responsive?

To add to what Jason talks about in his video, here’s a few relevant factors that impact how responsive your list is. The more responsive, the more money you make of course, so these are some very important concepts.

There’s a lot more to it than just these points, but they offer a good starting point to begin your email marketing training. If you’re keen to learn more, watch Jason’s videos, they are free as part of his Traffic Attraction Formula launch.

The Myth Of The Big List

Yaro Starak
Sending Email Since 1998

About Yaro Starak

Yaro Starak is the author of the Blog Profits Blueprint, a report you can download instantly to learn how to make $10,000 a month, from only blogging 2 hours per day. You can find Yaro on Facebook, Twitter and .

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48 Comments

  • Yaro, one of my lists is quite small, and none of them are what you would call huge, but they are responsive. I find that the most important factor in creating engagement is a good welcome message, followed by a follow up the next day or so, that asks for a little action.

    I think that these factors have contributed to my 90% open rate on emails, and 75% click through rate.

    Very good stuff, thank you.

  • I agree, most of the time website owners depend their statistic on the quantity and for them the more subscriber you have chances are you have a future online then. We have to realize that oftentimes quality still prevails. Subscribers are just numbers but whether we believe or not just a few of them really believe in you and willing to invest on you. Better to work hard on how to get your reader and turn them into a client maybe that way it will definitely go miles.

  • I like your subsignature :”Sending Email Since 1998″ ……that was in the days of dial up ;-)

  • Thanks for sharing this article. A while back I build up a great network and relationship with my list – although it was small, I was able to make over $2,500 in a training webinar/seminar to a list of less than 100 people – for 2 hours work! It was WAY COOL! Not my list is tiny for my new site – but I am getting 80% open ratio for mail outs – still relationship building not selling… but then that’s the secret right?! lol – anyway – just thought I would share my experience with this.
    Kat

  • List segmentation is key – I’ve started doing that meself and wow, I truly wish I had taken advantage of it years ago. Yes, it requires keeping track of more data, but that then helps fine-tune how you come across to your network.

  • I came across these in my inbox and I’ve actually learnt a lot from the videos. But I ended up kicking myself coz despite the new media geek I am, I gave up on a podcast I started years ago after just a few months.

    I guess it’s never too late to start another one though!

  • Thanks for the video and detailed post. I’ve done pretty well with a relatively small email list, so I can definitely say it doesn’t have to be huge to get results. I did also notice that when I put in more content (sending out pictures, referrals, discounts, articles) along with the email, I definitely got a better response. When there’s no substance, people will definitely stop paying attention. I know I do.

  • Hey, thanks for sharing this. I am still in the process of getting into internet marketing, and starting off with a small list is quite depressing. But I agree with what you said: its about building relationships and giving value instead of just focusing on numbers.

  • Quality always win compared to quantity. This is a good example. I guess this is the way of all business works today.

    • Jon

      I agree with you Atniz… quality beats quantity… although a big list can always make you a lot of money, but that is not always possible!

  • I am expecting a lot of backlash for my comment below, but here it goes anyway…

    Lists, or as IM’ers refer to as rich list, can no longer be seen as a steady source to earn money. Not because of the dwindling economic situation, not because people are reluctant to spend money…but for the reason that people have been spammed to hell with the onslaught of affiliate links for the recent flood of crap*py products on the market.

    Let’s reason with some common-sense people! How many of us are on the mailing list of the IM “Gurus”? And how many of us have actually bought products through the affiliate inks we are bombarded with everyday in our inbox? Not many, I guess!

    Now how many of us are on the mailing lists of people such as Yaro and Gideon? How many of us scan through the loads of spam in our inbox to locate emails from Yaro, Gideon and a small number of such other experts and make a point to read it immediately? Almost all of us, I guess! Why?

    Because these people give value in their email rather than the “check out this tool that my puppy used to make $567,777,424.35 in 2 sec” cra*p from the Guru’s, such as Filsaime….

    Moral of the story…Don’t rely on mailings lists to earn money…as its reputation has been greatly tarnished by the no-good IM’ers.

  • Your comment about email ratio/content struck a cord with me.

    About a month ago, I cleaned out my email subscriptions to many well known gurus because I was tired of seeing aff offer after another. The key to a list is building relationship by instilling value.

  • Thanks for the tips Yaro. I’m really keen on working with my small list and learning to build that relationship with a small group of people.

    • I think this method is very useful for newcomers and those who have small list of subscribers. Let’s see this magic works.

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  • [...] How To Make Money With Small Email Lists – Entrepreneurs Journey [...]

  • Quality always win compared to quantity. This is a good example. I guess this is the way of all business works today.

  • Thanks for your helpful post. It inspires me lot. I just wonder how long those emails’ content should be?

  • I would say that you need to send highly target content to make money out of short subscriber list.

  • Sure, a big list is nice, but I agree – A smaller, responsive list is always better. I’d rather have a list of subscribers with a 75% response rate for every e-mail rather than 1000 subscribers with a 30% response rate. It’s simple math.

    Building the relationship can be tough, but I think if you truly offer some serious value, you’ll win the game. I need to get back into the list building game, but I know that when I was doing it, for my small lists, I would personally send out a few e-mails from time to time, letting people know there was a real human being behind those e-mails. Obviously, the bigger the list, the harder that is to do, but if you are in a tightly focused niche with highly responsive, targeted list members, the more valueable it can be.

  • I also think that when you got bigger numbers, the chance’s of somebody clicking on a a (ppc marketing) or purchasing a product on your site will be a lot bigger.
    It’s just simple mathematics. On the contrary having a strong relationship with your customers (subscribers), is a lot more valuable than people who are randomly visiting your sites.

    Great post by the way.

  • You highlight some fantastic points about the power of the relationship.
    Too often the numbers game is harped on like its the most important factor, but as you so eloquently pointed out, if you can focus on the relationship first – imagine what the numbers game will eventually do to your bottom line.

    Thanks Yaro, as always

  • I think we should first build trust and strong relationship with subscribers and then inform them about our products. We could also offer our subscribers special deals that are not available to anyone else. This way we will increase conversion rates and continue to build trust with the people on the list.

    • A free product or ebook will always be a good bait. I notice many top players in the industry starts with free program to attract more subscribers and then starting to promote their product.

  • This is certainly good news for myself and many others out there with small or nonexistent email lists. I’ve always thought that the relationship was more important than the number of subscribers and that the only communication between you and your list shouldn’t be just offers. Keep giving them solid information and they will likely make purchases when you do send them an offer.

    ~ A

  • Trust is always key in in getting a successful sale. If someone senses the slightest bit of deviousness then you will certainly lose that sale.

  • Hey Yaro,

    I am a massive believer of quality over quantity (probably because I haven’t quite got to having big quantity yet). Getting people onto your list is one thing but keeping you in the front, developing trust and building that relationship is another.

    Nice post.

  • You raise very good points. It’s always good to put more focus on a smaller group than to divide yourself further into a larger one. You are able to dedicate more attention and services to them quicker and foster a good relationship. And that is definitely going to help your reputation in the long run.

  • Enjoyed the video Yaro , thanks for sharing. I have a small list myself so this may end up working for me. I haven’t had anything in regards to profit but I am hoping to down the road. I don’t know if I could tell how you responsive they are just yet either, only time will tell.

    – Robert

  • Some Internet Marketing folks talk about a $1 per subscriber per month rule. That might be true, for them.

    But for someone who truly develops a REAL relationship with their subscribers, it’s possible to do much more.

    With a small list, $4 a subscriber is possible for those who are willing to go the extra mile. It’s really not that difficult.

    – Tyrus

  • You packed a lot of truth in this article. It really is about quality not quantity. Relationship marketing is the key to success in this industry. Great article Yaro.

  • it’s all about value – what have you done for me recently? the more you can answer that question for your subscribers, the more effective the email list will be

    other than that, i believe the type of product or service offering and its scarcity or abundance in the marketplace makes a whole lot of difference (i.e. niche selection)

  • Powerful stuff there Yaro, just proves that the relationship with your list is much more important than big lists that may not be as targeted.

    Dwight Anthony
    Financially Elite Blog dot Com

  • [...] wrote a post about how having a small email list is all you really need. I dig it. It’s the first straight forward post I’m aware [...]

  • Your beliefs and attitudes about money are influencing both how much money you can make, as well as in what ways you can make it. Your beliefs about money will determine whether you’ll experience infinite abundance or whether you’ll constantly struggle to make ends meet. They will determine whether you will create money through suffering and forcing yourself to work at a job you dislike, or whether money will come to you easily and effortlessly.

  • I stumbled upon your blog by chance. Really informative post

  • Powerful stuff there Yaro, just proves that the relationship with your list is much more important than big lists that may not be as targeted.

  • The info posted is good, but I think a little more research is needed!

  • I would say that you need to send highly target content to make money out of short subscriber list….

  • ali

    Thanks for the video and detailed post. I’ve done pretty well with a relatively small email list, so I can definitely say it doesn’t have to be huge to get results. I did also notice that when I put in more content (sending out pictures, referrals, discounts, articles) along with the email, I definitely got a better response. When there’s no substance, people will definitely stop paying attention. I know I do……..

  • I notice many top players in the industry starts with free program to attract more subscribers and then starting to promote their product.

  • Yaro, just proves that the relationship with your list is much more important than big lists that may not be as targeted.

  • But for someone who truly develops a REAL relationship with their subscribers, it’s possible to do much more.

    With a small list, $4 a subscriber is possible for those who are willing to go the extra mile. It’s really not that difficult.

  • Email marketing does very well for us. There is always more to learn. Thank you for the excellent points.

  • Powerful stuff there Yaro, just proves that the relationship with your list is much more important than big lists that may not be as targeted. thanks for article

  • great article. yeah its true it doesn’t matter how big is your list. what matters is the relationship with your list you have established. thanks for sharing. :)

  • But for someone who truly develops a REAL relationship with their subscribers, it’s possible to do much moree.

  • This article makes alot of sense. The better connection you have with your email list, the more loyal they will be to you. You probably could lose people with the quickness if you dont follow these rules, good article.

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