How many email subscribers do you need before you can start selling?
By Chris Orzechowski
So… you got an email list.
I’m sure you have a million questions now that you’ve started to build your following:
How long do I have to wait before I can start selling stuff?
When will I have enough subscribers?
How many subscribers do I need to have to make REAL money?
If my open rate is __% and I have X subscribers, that means…
Relax… You Probably Already Have Enough Email Subs To Start Selling
Let me tell you a little story…
When I first got started out in this online game, I was NOT a copywriter.
I was actually a blogger/content creator/podcaster/affiliate marketer kind of all rolled into one.
I knew what copy was. I knew it was a thing.
But I was trying to build an online business around things I was passionate about at the time… strength & conditioning and wrestling.
I actually wasn’t that bad at it.
Ok, my first couple of sites sucked ass.
But I created a site for wrestling coaches and started publishing some articles. And the first two articles I published actually went mega-fucking viral (within the context of the wrestling community in 2014 and according to the relatively smaller size of this niche market).
I got over 50,000 unique visits to my site within 48 hours.
It was crazy.
I got a flood of subscribers.
And I wound up with a list of just over 300 people.
Not too bad for some kid who had no idea wtf he was doing.
Even With That Tiny List And Underdeveloped Copy Skills… In A Market Known For NOT Buying Info Products… I Made Some Sales
Because my article went viral… and because I was doing a weekly “podcast” interviewing top wrestling coaches, I started to make some connections. One of them was a guy who had his own set of info products for the wrestling market on Clickbank.
I started plugging his products to my tiny little list as it was growing.
And I actually made some sales!
In fact I made 4 sales, and some people took the upsells in these funnels.
So I had like $140 in affiliate commissions earned.
Only thing was, I needed to make 5 sales before Clickbank would release the payment… and by that time I was making the pivot to just writing copy because I saw how powerful of a skill it was to learn how to write words that sell.
So even with a tiny little list, if you have even a rudimentary understanding of how to sell, you can generate sales.
But What If My List Is Even Smaller? What If It’s Only 60 People?
One of the people on my email list asked me a question:
Hey man, meant to get this out to you much sooner. I dont know if this is topical to write something about but my biggest burning question since starting my email list (up to 60 people now) is should I try and personally reach out to any of these leads and try to start a convo? Or should I let my list emails do the talking and see who consistently reads them, then maybe later reach out to those people?
I’ve researched each one and identified the good prospects from the eh ones. I feel the need to try and engage them beyond just my 3-4 emails per week in order to get them to a phone call. Good idea bad idea?
I love this question.
Because about a year ago, my email list was only 55 people.
At first, I thought I needed hundreds, if not thousands of people to make a real dent in this new market I was in.
With that list of 300 people, I felt like I had the numbers on my side.
But a list of only 55 people was way to small, right?
I wound up making a pitch for a small group coaching program I was putting together for $597. And I made one sale.
Imagine You Are Standing On Stage In A Room With 55 People Who Know You, Like You, Trust You… And Want To Buy Things From You So They Can Solve Their Problems.
That is a lot of fucking eyeballs.
When you look at your email list and see 60 people, you think that’s nothing.
But when you’re standing on stage in front of those people… and you realize they are living, breathing people with problems and fears and anxieties and hopes and dreams and all that… well it kind of changes the way you think about this whole email marketing game.
That’s how you need to approach this situation.
If Someone Raises Their Hand And Expresses An Interest In Your Business… Don’t Be Selfish And Stand In The Way Of Them Getting The Help They Need
Those 60 people on your email list will buy if you make them an offer that is a dream come true for them.
That can happen through your broadcast campaign…. or that can happen by reaching out and engaging them one-on-one (although this is highly inefficient and unleveraged… I’d opt for a more leveraged approach like using the broadcasts.)
To answer my subscribers question from above… I would definitely start making offers.
The fastest way to learn about the behavior of your market is to start making offers and tracking feedback.
Once you establish this feedback loop… and determine what “your people” want and need help with.
You start to get really clear on the problems they have that they’d like to solve.
You start to understand what type of offers they like.
And you start to learn how to sell to your people.
Don’t Let A Small Number Of Subscribers Stop You From Selling Solutions To Problems That Will Make Their Lives Better
Another thing to consider here is that when you start writing emails, you might suck.
And it’s a lot better to suck when you have 60 subscribers then when you have 6,000.
You get better as your list grows. It’s a very organic process.
If you let those 60 or so people go cold and not hear from you… it’s like starting from scratch because there’s not relationship built when you do start emailing again in the future.
Take care of your people.
Help them solve their problems.
Sell solutions that will change their lives.
Grow your list and kick some ass.