When 700 subscribers is better than 7,000

You can be very successful with a small number of subscribers.

Last week I got a reply to my newsletter that started like this:

“I only have 700 subscribers right now but…”

First, let’s acknowledge that 700 people is a lot of people, so I focused on finding his true growth potential.

Cutting through the self-doubt, I asked this simple question:

“What’s the conversion rate of your most viewed form?”

Here’s the screenshot I got back:

21.76% is a really great conversion rate. So I offered up this food for thought…

Let’s say you had 10x the amount of subscribers and 20x the amount of visitors.

Sure, you now have 3,420 subscribers from this form, but what did you lose getting there?

31,440 people would have looked at this form, but only 11% of them decided to subscribe.

At your current conversion rate, you would have 6,841 from this one form.

Find your growth potential

You can do this same exercise with your email list right now.

  1. Find your most viewed/visited form.
  2. Analyze the conversion rate. If it continued as-is, where would your list size be with 10x the amount of visitors?
  3. Continue to look at all of your forms this way.

This works for all sorts of other things as well. Such as:

  • Conversion rate of calls to action (link clicks) in your emails
  • Conversion rate of sales focused emails to paying customers
  • Conversion rate of social posts to landing page visits

You’ve got to move past looking at number of subscribers as a measure of success. There are small lists out there making $100,000+ because of excellent conversion rates.

Improve your growth potential

Conversion rate is one of the most important metrics you can follow for growing your email list.

Knowing your conversion rate can help you easily visualize what you can expect to see from any strategic effort, like responses to a survey, selling a product, or making money from ads.

Here are 5 things you can do right now to improve your conversions:

  • Try a new call to action. The headline, sub-headline, and even button on your form(s) all affect your conversion rate.
  • Change your offer. What are you telling your subscribers they will get when signing up?
  • Include social proof. Someone saying they love what you do, a great company you’ve worked with, or stats that prove what you share is valuable. Show why subscribers can trust you.
  • Walk through the flow. What do your subscribers experience when they sign up? Does it compel them to stick around and share with others?
  • Experiment. If you think a green button will work better than a red one, try it. Don’t be afraid to do something small to evaluate the impact.

Making meaningful adjustments to your conversion rate takes time. You’ll need to do these things one-by-one and wait weeks or months to really see the impact.

But it’s worth the effort.

I don’t know about you but I want to build something people latch on to and care about, not a gigantic lukewarm list.

Written by Kyle Adams

I work at ConvertKit helping top creators every day and bring what I know about growing your email list to Creator Glue every week.