The money’s in the list: true or not true?

Ever heard this saying: “The money’s in your list’? On a conceptual level, it may make sense, after all more people = more sales, right? What does it really mean on a practical level, though, and why is it such a big deal? Consider the following examples:

  • You have a sale. You send the sale offer to your list. You have a 15% order rate on an item that costs $199. With a list of 350, you just grossed $69,650. With EXACTLY the SAME EFFORT but a list of 600 people, you just grossed $119,400. Seems like a no-brainer, doesn’t it?
  • You have an email list of 5,000 people a year. If you don’t add contacts at a higher rate than your churn rate, your list actually SHRINKS instead of grows. This costs money.
  • You are a non-profit with a donor base of 20,000 people. You do an annual appeal via direct mail. You add a quarterly brief email update to let people know what’s going on in the organization and how their money is being used. The increased engagement increases donations by 25%. You just raised a lot more money to further the mission of your non-profit.
  • You open a new business. You use social media; Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter specifically, to grow a decent following. That following doesn’t seem to be translating into business, though. Why? You don’t have their contact information (email address), so you can’t contact them directly, which means you don’t know if they are seeing your messages or not.

The examples could go on forever, but the point is simple – no list (or stagnant list) means severely limited opportunities for marketing and sales. Your contact list is a critical component in relationship building. Let me say that again because it is THAT important:

“Your list is a critical component in relationship building”


Of all the marketing strategies, activities, and tools, LIST business, not-for-profit organization, government institution, educational institution, community group, or social endeavor.

If you have but one takeaway from this article, please let it be this: “Spend time EVERY WEEK growing your list.” You’ll be glad you did. Oh, and by the way, you’re welcome.

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