I Have a List of 34,950, Now What?

by covert
21 replies
Over the years I have built several lists
along the same niches.

1shoppingcart- 17,865 (starting in 2004 and purged it about 2 years ago)

aweber- 17,085 (about 2 years old)

Total 34,950

Here's my delema...

I get about a 5-10% open rate with aweber (10% being the high)

I get about 3-4% on the 1shop lists

I email at least 3-4 times per week, maybe more.

I send both content and promotions.

I get conversions when I email

Since I really don't know what the average or normal is, I have
no idea if I am getting good results or poor results.

I am a fulltime marketer, so my business does enough to support my lifestyle,
but I seem to think I could be getting better results.

Is 5%-10% normal for open rates on a list that size?

Should I

-> Try and purge the list?
-> And if I do that, how do I know if I got the message
out to all the right people?
-> Do I just keep building the list and leave all the "dead wood" in there?

If 2,000 people out of 35,000 are opening the email, shouldn't I try and get
rid of the other 33,000? But that leads to the question that maybe the 2,000
who are opening are different each time?

How do I effectively find those 33,000 to get rid of them?

Sorry for the long post, but this is something that has been bugging me.

-Al
#950 #list
  • Profile picture of the author Rob Howard
    Have you segmented?

    Here is what you should do - get everyone to opt-in again. Do something like give away a ton of products or something of real value and have them opt in for it.

    You will weed out a ton of people who no longer pay attention to you, allowing you to focus on the group of people who do. You can then unsubscribe the ignores and perhaps lower your bill

    You can also then sell higher priced products/services to that group of people and they will respond better.

    Segmenting is great for tracking. I see the gurus do it all the time - every time Frank K. is promoting a new product, whether his or someone else's, it always leads to a squeeze page. The constant segmenting and moving of people keeps his list fresh.

    It's something I should probably do...lol

    Rob

    Rob
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  • Profile picture of the author Trent Brownrigg
    I'm certainly not an email marketing expert and I am sure you will get some good answers, but here's what I think...

    I see no reason to "get rid" of any of them. You never know who might buy in the future or all of the sudden become an active subscriber. Plus it could be different people opening your emails each time. It doesn't hurt anything to have them all on your list so I see no reason to purge them.
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    • Profile picture of the author Rob Howard
      Originally Posted by Trent Brownrigg View Post

      I'm certainly not an email marketing expert and I am sure you will get some good answers, but here's what I think...

      I see no reason to "get rid" of any of them. You never know who might buy in the future or all of the sudden become an active subscriber. Plus it could be different people opening your emails each time. It doesn't hurt anything to have them all on your list so I see no reason to purge them.
      Except if they are unresponsive then the chances of them becoming responsive is really slim.

      And with aweber, you pay per lead, basically. (The price changes based on your list size)

      I have segmented like this a few times, pruned the list of the nonresponse people, and have seen no drop in income.

      Al, if you do as I suggested in my first post, you have the potential to increase your income, especially if you tie in segmentation by interest as well. Get these people on niche lists - submarkets of whatever it is you are selling. Those can convert way higher.

      Rob
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      • Profile picture of the author Trent Brownrigg
        Originally Posted by ccmusicman View Post

        And with aweber, you pay per lead, basically. (The price changes based on your list size)
        True. I always forget about that. My list isn't huge so my price has never gone up. Plus I am pretty sure I was grandfathered in from being a member since way back in like 2003 or somewhere around there, so I don't think my price goes up no matter how big the list. I could be wrong though.
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        • Profile picture of the author covert
          Thanks for the advice...

          I do have the lists segmented.

          In 1shop I distilled the lists into 2 main lists, and have about a dozen in aweber.

          In aweber, I have both opt in lists and customer lists once they purchase.

          I like to tell people I have a big list, but I wonder what others results are as far as open rates?

          I hear people say 20%, but I have not experienced that in my niches, which are not Internet Marketing.

          And I'm not complaining, because I make great money, just trying to figure out a strategy that will serve me better.

          Al

          PS- Rob, Your Ezine articles program looks very interesting.
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    • Profile picture of the author Janet Sawyer
      Originally Posted by Trent Brownrigg View Post

      I'm certainly not an email marketing expert and I am sure you will get some good answers, but here's what I think...

      I see no reason to "get rid" of any of them. You never know who might buy in the future or all of the sudden become an active subscriber. Plus it could be different people opening your emails each time. It doesn't hurt anything to have them all on your list so I see no reason to purge them.
      Trent,

      The ones you can afford to loose are the ones who are "bouncers" this means they have moved on from their original ISP an no longer have that email address available to them that they used to sign up to your list.

      Purging your list does do wonders for you and your email service provider. Once you get rid of the bouncers, your email send goes out a lot quicker and then it's going to those live and valid email addresses.

      Think of it as a ping pong ball. Do you want that ping to go pong, pong pong - richocheting everywhere or just to go ping and win the point?
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  • Profile picture of the author JHC81
    I would agree with what Rob said, have them optin again and see who is paying attention to you and who's not. I stopped reading newsletters from few people because they just bored me lol but if they would send me something like..... free report or free software then I would open that email and I would optin again....
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  • Profile picture of the author Rob Howard
    Al, I pm'ed you about Slap Ezine, as it's not appropriate to talk about it here.

    In any event, you should form a "gold list". Get everyone on all those lists - offer a product or something for free. (Make it high value), and then a second opt-in.

    You would be surprised how valuable that list would become.

    Rob
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  • Profile picture of the author TelexTape
    Don't purge just because you don't think they are opening. There are still those that read emails only offline and those that have graphics turned off.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mark R Carter
    You could try to improve the content of your emails and also make the subject line sound more enticing.
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    • Profile picture of the author WillR
      Originally Posted by ccmusicman View Post

      Segmenting is great for tracking. I see the gurus do it all the time - every time Frank K. is promoting a new product, whether his or someone else's, it always leads to a squeeze page. The constant segmenting and moving of people keeps his list fresh.
      I think you will find the reason they do this is so they are only sending out further emails regarding that new offer/product to people who have expressed interest. This is common-sense. If they just sent them out to everyone their lists would end up very unresponsive, very fast.

      Originally Posted by covert View Post

      I like to tell people I have a big list, but I wonder what others results are as far as open rates?
      This is a great example that yet again demonstrates the money is NOT in the size of your list but the quality of that list. There are probably people out there with lists 1/3 the size of yours who are making a lot more money from their lists. There are also probably people out there with lists 10 times the size of yours making less than you are now.

      Forget what the girls tell you - size doesn't matter when it comes to listbuilding. It's all about the relationship.

      If I were you, I would try and get all my lists in one place - Aweber. I would then, if you haven't already, upgrade to the analytics package with Aweber. Yes, it costs you a little extra however you will make that money back in no time.

      What this feature will allow you to do is to track who has opened your message, and who has clicked on the link inside the message. What you should be doing about a day after you send out every email is to go into Aweber, use this function, find out who didn't open your email, and re-send a new version of the same email to only them, this time with a different subject line.

      For those who did open your first message but didn't click the link inside it, also send them a different version of the same email, but give them some extra incentive to click on the link this time.

      This way you will start to get a whole lot better results from the same list. This function also lets you tag your list when they open your emails, so you could run some promotions for the next month or so, then go back in and see who hasn't opened any of those emails in the last month, and you would be pretty safe to delete those people from your list.

      I hope that makes sense. Wrote it in a bit of a rush...
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      • Profile picture of the author Rob Howard
        Originally Posted by WillR View Post

        I think you will find the reason they do this is so they are only sending out further emails regarding that new offer/product to people who have expressed interest. This is common-sense. If they just sent them out to everyone their lists would end up very unresponsive, very fast.
        Yes, that was implied too, I just didn't say it.

        But I somewhat disagree about the relationship part...it's, at most, about proper expectations. The relationship is an understanding of "I will give you stuff that helps you - whether it be in sold products or free material. If you don't like my material or I don't do things you like, unsubscribe."

        I have always had that attitude and it has worked out for me.

        If you set proper expectations, and stick with them, then you won't have issues.

        People tend to think that list building is about "being their best friend". It isn't. It's about helping them solve a problem. That is the relationship.

        People think that "helping them solve a problem" is giving away tons of free stuff and *hoping* that they will purchase on goodwill.

        I know that this isn't the topic of the OP, but I felt it necessary to say for others reading.

        In any event, I bow out as I have said my piece.

        Rob
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        • Profile picture of the author WillR
          Originally Posted by ccmusicman View Post

          I have always had that attitude and it has worked out for me.
          Who knows what you could have made if you had actually built some rapport with your list. People are a lot more likely to buy from and listen to recommendations from those they know, like, and trust.

          End of story.
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          • Profile picture of the author covert
            I believe I've built up great rapport with my list as most of my clients will eventually own all of my products and services...

            However since I'm still learning, I think that some of the lists are stronger than others.

            Some are single opt in and others are double.

            I will check into the analytics package, as I didn't know there was one with that much detail.

            Thanks for all of the advice.

            No one has answered the question though, "WHAT IS A GOOD AND REALISTIC OPEN RATE"?

            I'm curious to know.

            Thanks,

            Al
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            • Profile picture of the author Ross Vegas
              Originally Posted by covert View Post

              "WHAT IS A GOOD AND REALISTIC OPEN RATE"?
              Forget realistic or someone else's numbers, just keep trying to improve while also increasing $. You'll never go wrong with that mindset...whereas the other may lead you to accept less than your own potential!

              Definitely re-send to non opens as mentioned.
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            • Profile picture of the author WillR
              Originally Posted by covert View Post

              "WHAT IS A GOOD AND REALISTIC OPEN RATE"
              No one has answered that because it is totally irrelevant. It is like people I always see on this forum who are confused why their Clickbank product is not converting at 2%, because that's what everyone else's is doing.

              The reason is, because their product probably sucks!

              There are far too many variables that will alter your open rates. The niche you are in, the relationship with your list, how old your list is, the quality of information you give your list, the quality of the products you recommend to your list, and on and on it goes.

              Don't worry about whatever anyone else is doing - there is no point. You obviously know what your current open rate is and I know it's not 100%. So until you get to 100% you should always be trying to improve your own open rate - regardless of what anyone else is doing.

              Keep improving your own open rate and you will keep growing your profit.
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  • Profile picture of the author sarahberra
    How did you build a list? I am so afraid to do this. Actually I am terrified. I don't want people to forget that they joined my list and then think I am spamming them later on.
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    • Profile picture of the author WillR
      Originally Posted by sarahberra View Post

      How did you build a list? I am so afraid to do this. Actually I am terrified. I don't want people to forget that they joined my list and then think I am spamming them later on.
      Keep in regular contact with them and they won't. That is the key. You must be consistent and contact them on a regular basis. You must also be giving them good information so they look forward to receiving your emails.
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  • Profile picture of the author Snappinn
    I don't know anything about email marketing but I do know that I stop paying any attention to the ones that sends me email with offers of some kind 3 to 4 times a week and then I unsubscribe to that email list in the end.

    Just to let to know how some people are at the other end of the email.

    In fact I also have to many marketers sending me email, I have opt-in for to many lists and now i am starting to opt-in out of them all , they all seems to send me the same offer all the time.
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  • Profile picture of the author Valtan
    Awesome stuff guys! Thanks
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  • Profile picture of the author Vogin
    Do the same things you were doing to get that list - only with monetary results. Start by including something like a $1 offer to figure out how many subscribers are willing to use their credit cards. Then you'll get an actual number you can work with.
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