When you have a mailing list, you can have an expected open rate about 10-20% (higher if it’s smaller, lower as you scale). Sometimes, you will be the magical person with a 30-40% open rate, even with thousands, or tens of thousands of people on it, but that’s not normal.
You can expect a click rate of 1-3% across all your links on a really good mailer.
Again, you might have higher. That is not normal. You must just be really great at writing copy. You might have lower, that sucks. However, you can improve your writing and fix that. Now… if you only have 500 people on your email list, or less, that means you will only get 50-100 people opening, and 5-10 people clicking.
And just because somebody clicks that doesn’t mean they are going to take action.
Hopefully, 60-80% are going to take action when they click.
Do you see where I’m going with this? The numbers do not work out in your favor when you have a small list. And if you say your list isn’t working, the first question I always ask is…how big is it?
Because if it’s small, you just…can’t do much with it. This is not always true, of course. Some small lists are very powerful, but they are usually that way when you are selling a higher priced product. With ebooks, or small things, a small mailing list isn’t going to do a lot to move the needle.
I know one of you is going to comment saying how much action you have on your list…
…to which I will again say, you are the EXCEPTION, not the rule.
What I wrote above is how most mailing lists work. However, even if you have 500 people and 500 people open and click, that means you should DEFINITELY be trying to scale it b/c you have amazing emails that resonate with people. That’s almost guaranteed not happening though. If your mailing list is broken, the first question I have for you is about scale and size.
Seriously, it’s math. Not even complicated math. Pretty simple math.
On a $2.99 book, you just cleared $16. I would agree that my mailing list was broken if that was the end result. Luckily, the easiest way to fix that issue is with scale, because.
That is now $160 that you’ve cleared, which is much more exciting.
Open rates do fall, though, when you scale, so you won’t be able to get exactly 1:1 numbers as you grow, especially if you grow fast.
However, you will have much more power as you grow, too. I don’t think it’s something you can do once though. The people I’ve seen go nuts with their sales have committed to do a LOT of growth rapidly, and then are pruning their list as they keep adding.
I doubt your list is broken. My guess is that it’s not big enough to function properly, even if you are doing everything else right.
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I write cool things, filled with monsters, humor, action, adventure, and generally awesomeness. Then, I sell those things to humans. I am pretty good at it.