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What is the Right Email List Size and How to Grow Your List for Effective Marketing

It is puzzling to understand the optimal number of contacts to add to your list for a great marketing strategy. You don’t want to undershoot it and not be casting a wide enough net to drive results. But, you also don’t want to be spending too much time and energy on your email list and not be able to dedicate enough to actually serving your audience. Then, what is the right email list size for effective marketing? Let’s find out.

Two Factors Influencing Email List Size

Effective marketing comes down to the quality and quantity of your efforts. When considering the size of your email list, we will look at two factors that play fundamental roles.

1. Communication Channels

First is the communication channels. This factor takes into account the mediums through which you are trying to reach your target audience. The number of contacts you will need on your email list to increase your chances of success greatly depends on the channel you are using.

And the number of potential customers you wish to reach varies by other factors, including the target market share you hope to gain, your advertising budget, the amount of emails/content you send out, etc.

Consider the sales funnel. The more people you can reach at the top of the funnel in Awareness and Interest, the greater number of people you can convert into customers.

sales funnel

If your email list is the primary source of customer acquisition, it will need to be large enough to support your sales goals. If you have other channels funneling into your sales pipeline, your email list does not need to be as large. However, email marketing is a powerful tool to get people to like, know, and trust your brand. When someone opts into your list, they are expressing interest in your product and your messaging.

This positive action tells you something. You must cater to these subscribers by providing them value. Their inbox is a sacred and busy place. The average open rate for emails in 2019 was 21.33%. Your messaging needs to stand out and remind them of why they decided to let you communicate with them via email.

2. Conversion Rate

The second factor that plays a role in determining your ideal email list size is the conversion rate. Your conversion rate is simply the number of people who take the desired action, such as making a purchase.

When determining the right size for your email list, you need to understand where you currently stand.

  • What is the current conversion rate?
  • What is the behavior of your target audience?
  • How close are you to achieving your sales targets?
  • At what point are you losing subscribers?
  • What is bringing in the maximum new subscribers?

If your current conversion rate is 1% and your sales targets require a 2% conversion rate, you will need to create a larger candidate pool. Another strategy is also to look at the quality of your email list contacts. If you have a large number of contacts and still a very low conversion rate, you may be reaching the wrong audience with the wrong content.

In this case, it will require better email copy, exploring different communication channels, behavioral targeting, and honing in on your message with personalization.

Reaching More Interested People

You know you need to grow your email marketing list of contacts. Explore different strategies to determine which has the best results and improve your conversion rate. 

1. Analyze your existing network.

It is possible that you already operate in circles with your ideal customers. You can use apps to help automate and organize the task of managing your contacts for scalable, efficient networking. LinkedIn is one well-known resource for expanding and sharing information with your network. You can also opt for a personal CRM app like Covve. This route is a more tailored approach that will help you create a personalized touch to your networking efforts, provide the assistance of AI, and even allow you to digitize business cards.

Growing your email list should not be another daunting task. Use your existing assets and make them work for you.

2. Increase the number of locations potential customers can sign up.

One of the best ways to grow your email list is to incorporate multiple calls to action in all of your communications across many channels. Place the opportunity to subscribe to in as many places as possible without overwhelming the audience. If we aren’t reminded, we tend to forget. So, keep reminding them.

Consider a pop-up on your website, a sidebar, or footer where they can enter their email, even a dedicated page to opt-in. Limit your calls to action to two to four locations on your website, so you don’t overwhelm visitors. Here are some common places to include a CTA:

  • Homepage
  • Sidebar of blog posts
  • About page
  • Footer or right above the footer on your webpages
  • Site header
  • Contact page
  • Pop up

In addition to your website, ask current subscribers to refer a friend, put it in your social media bio, or remind your followers weekly.

3. Offer an incentive.

Providing customers a reason to sign up will expedite your email address collection. If you want customers to opt into your email list, give them a good reason!

The most effective incentive will depend on your type of product or service and your company. Some potential options include:

  • Coupon or discount for a purchase
  • Free shipping on an order
  • Free product with the purchase
  • E-book, app, or resource download
  • Online course or workshop
  • Exclusive access to content

An incentive should not cost you much time or resources to create. However, they do need to offer true value to your ideal customer. 

4. Create an automated email sequence for new subscribers.

Someone who signs up for your email list is expressing interest in what you have to offer. That is a strong vote of confidence and responsibility for you to deliver.

Because your email list will grow continuously, you can set up automated email sequences to introduce yourself, your company and create a sense of urgency to drive a purchase. This approach will make your email list an effective tool for growing your business. 

When they join is the best time to persuade them to take the desired action. This includes making a purchase, visiting your store, signing up for an appointment, or scheduling a call. To capitalize on customers’ excitement, they can be automatically communicated via a welcome email series once they sign up. It can be anywhere from three to seven emails spanning days or even weeks. This automated sequence aims to guide new subscribers through your offerings and convince them to take action. You want to connect with them, get them to like, know and trust you, and do so without expending extra effort.

An automated email sequence can help you turn your email list subscribers into loyal customers. You can nurture these relationships with a tested sequence that drives conversions. It is loyal customers who will refer you to their friends, thus further enhancing your email list. 

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Gabrielle Sinacola is the Head of Content and Social at NeoReach and an independent digital marketing consultant. She has a strong background in influencer marketing, merging her technical and creative skills to drive impact for companies. Gabrielle is dedicated to propelling strategic marketing initiatives forward with innovative thinking and detailed execution.

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