So many of my clients and peers are concerned about the size of their email newsletter/ezine list. But does size really matter?

Mark Brownlow from Email Marketing Reports suggests not. He sites the example of people being afriad to loose numbers from their list. His take is that good lists are not necessarily large ones. Good lists, are those whose members respond to our messages.

I have to agree. There’s so much focus on the size of lists today that people forget about the quality.

Take two clients I have. One has a list of around 10,000 while another has a list of about 3,000. You’d think by sheer numbers the person with the largest list would be getting more business, right?

Wrong. My client with 3,000 has really taken the time to understand how to leverage his list. He write really good articles and makes just the right offers that get people to act. The result is that he gets about 3 times more business through his list than my client with the larger list.

Why, because he’s not obsessed with the size of his list. He’s more interested in the quality of the people on this list. And he understands what they want and need. Much of this is accomplished by his very clear web copy. When you signup for his list, it’s because you really want what he’s offering.

The other client, with the larger list, does great work, but her site and newsletter lack the clarity that my first client has. Her business is flourishing. She’s just not leveraging her list in the same way as my first client is.

Over at Aweber, they’ve written a little follow-up, suggesting that double-opt-in alleviates this problem a bit by weeding out list members. I have to agree to some degree. Yet, I’m still not a fan of double-opt-in lists simply because I know how un-techie many people are. So why penalize them for not being with the game?

My suggestion is focus on the quality of your lists. Whether it’s through double-opt-in or other means.

Reader Interactions


  1. Ponn Sabra says

    ” Good lists, are those whose members respond to our messages.”

    Here, here!

    I’m proud to share that since March 15, 2007 when I basically moved servers, changed email lists, etc. I basically had to start from scratch…my proud moment is to share that to date “I have 0% unsubscibers to date”.

    My list is growing by leaps and bounds unlike any other list before; but because I do two things:

    1. Respect their privacy and adhere to the “monthly ezine” = 1 email a month.

    Basically, I do not lie, mislead, or abuse my list.

    I may have added 1 more here or there in a month with a highly-rare exception.

    2. I treat my ezine list SO special! They get unique “Empower Me Now Tips” that I do *not* re-publish on my blog or even distribute to article directories. I’ve gotten such personal emails thanking me for keeping them “empowered” and obvious tone and style is “professional” (my best-selling author/syndicated columnist writing) rather than my more fun, loose, blogging voice and tone.

    Great post Dawud 🙂

  2. Dawud Miracle says


    Zero unsubscribes…wow. Sounds like your list is highly targeted. Can you share any more tips that you feel have attributed to having so few unsubscribes?

  3. Pocket Pc Phones says

    I have large email lists from several ventures I do online but I guess I haven’t become comfortable with using them yet. Any suggestions on how to break that ice?

  4. Ryan says

    Email lists are definitely an important part of an email marketing strategy. Concentrating on a particular niche and targeting a specific audience can sometimes create more success. However, there are times when an entire email list can come in handy, it just depends on what you are trying to accomplish with your business or product.


  1. - Women entrepreneurs blog. An International Women Entrepreneur's Online Resource Center with free tips, tools, resources, networking and mentoring says:

    […] All my recent talk about ezine list started at Lars-Christian’s blog. ..I just can’t find the post. Then, I continued to share my experiences in the comments of Dawud’s post here, and will answer his question “how?” in this post. […]

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