Why a small list will kill your next launch and what to do about it


Two years ago, Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling released a book under a pseudonym.

Sales were dismal.

The publisher freaked out and quickly took action by leaking the REAL name behind the pseudonym.

Suddenly, the book sold like hot cakes.

What does this tell us?

It’s hard for even the most talented and richest of women to launch a product if no one knows her name.

A 20K Launch will NEVER happen with a list of 50 people

Selling is a numbers game. The larger your platform, your email list, your social media following; the more you will sell.

I see many launch gurus claiming: “You can have a 50K launch to a small list“.

I will tell you, it just doesn’t happen.

When you look at the REAL numbers, most online launches see sales of 1- 5% of their list. 1-2% being average, 3-5% being AMAZING and WILDLY SUCCESSFUL.

If your list includes 50 people and you sell 3 spots, you can roll down the aisle rejoicing at how fantastic your launch just did.

What do you do if you have a small list?

I have many ideas on this subject but I find that my community of Launch Warriors has even better advice:

  1. Launching will help you build your list
  2. You gotta start somewhere
  3. If you have the right people on your list size doesn’t matter.

– Desiree Wolfe, mamaownedbusiness.com

Get close and connected to the ones on your list. Sometimes a smaller list with interactive subscribers is more beneficial than a large list with mediocre subscribers.

– Nesha Yasmin, neshadesigns.com

Engagement is much more important than size. It’s better to have a small, engaged list than a huge list that doesn’t do anything. Quality over quantity.

– Kristie Lorette McCauley, actionmarketingcopy.com

Make it an intimate. Like your list is your group of besties.

– Elyse Sparkes, elysesparkes.com

How exactly do you get close and intimate with a small list to increase engagement and sales?

A few things have made me and my list pretty close. But one thing has worked most: inviting them to hit reply and email me back with their thoughts and questions. I always reply with genuine, non-scripted messages, and get into great conversations. It’s a great way to connect with your list!

– Nesha Yasmin, neshadesigns.com

I made a decision a few months ago to take comments off my posts and now I tell people to hit reply to my email. Although I’m not getting the blog comments and whatever that does for SEO, it has increased people communicating with me. I think with my *small-ish* list size, this is manageable and creates strong connections.

– Elyse Sparkes, elysesparkes.com

In my experience, it’s with JUICY content and information sharing. That can be with e-news, videos, webinars, etc. I also pose questions and encourage them to just hit the reply button to e-news because I read the emails personally. They respond. It’s sort of a share before you sell approach.

– Kristie Lorette McCauley, actionmarketingcopy.com

#smalllistproblems? Read this. – Tweet This!

We all start somewhere

You can’t launch to a big list without launching to a small list.  The only way to have your 20K launch is to start with a 1K launch.

Start now. Build your list. Really connect with your subscribers. Find out what they want and do your best to serve them.

What is your advice for launching with a small list?

The 7 Launch Monsters That Will Kill Your Online Launch & How to Beat Them
{ 5 comments… add one }
  • I know you wrote this to me Farideh… 😉

  • Vanessa

    You know what I would like to know?!?!?!? I would like to know WTF I am doing with all this launching and signing-upping and stressing???!!!

    Meh, who know. But maybe you can shed some light on my second question:

    Pre-launch email signup >>>> What’s the best way?

    LeadPages has me sold, buuuuuuuut I’m a broke white girl and $25/mo. almost made me crap my pants.
    BUT- I love and could benefit from what they offer. AND needing it for more than one site.

    Going crazy with all this damn……crazy..ness. Uhm…. yah. Suggestions??? (:


    • I totally feel ya on Leadpages – there are cheaper ways to do things. Ie. Just set it up on your website. Or buy a new domain just for your freebie and use seed prod a plug in that just allows for a splash page.

      Do you have a freebie just on your website? thats the place to start. Having CTA’s on your sidebar and footers that call people to sign up for a freebie in exchange for their email address. Thats where you gotta start 🙂

  • Love this! Thank you…

  • Hi, 🙂
    I just did follow your facebook ad course and I got many new subscribers! I did not want to try at first because I felt that I had invested enough money and did not want to pay for ad, but just for 10$, got 80 cliks to website and many subscribed! I am going to try the hit and reply, sounds like a good plan!
    Thanks 🙂

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Leah-circleI sold 10x over my goal and grew my list by 30% with Farideh on my launch team. There is no way I could have done that without her help. Launching is hard. Farideh is a life-saver and you need her.
Leah Kalamakis, leahkalamakis.com