The Joy of a Small Opt-In List

    December 17, 2003

The year 2003 is coming to a close. The new year will bring with it many changes for those of us who do business on the internet. Because 2003 has seen a tremendous change in the way we market, newsletter publishing has taken on new and often frustrating challenges.

With the advent of all the new regulations regarding online publishing, I became quite disillusioned. At one point I even made the decision to give up my website and newsletter entirely and focus my energies elsewhere.

I really had intended to close up shop.

Fortunately, the love that I have for online marketing won out (it always does). But in order to protect myself in the new era of government regulation of permission-based email marketing, I decided on a subscription method that no doubt was going to drastically reduce the number of subscribers to my newsletter.

And it did – no doubt about it. My subscription rate is now approximately 1/10th of what it was when I provided a simple form on every page of my website.

But what I’ve discovered is this – those who do choose to subscribe are those individuals who are sincerely interested in developing a home-based income. And their response to my publication has been nothing short of amazing.

My current list is small – much smaller than what I’ve had in the past. But not surprisingly, these subscribers have proven to be what I would call “hard core” home business enthusiasts. I’ve had that confirmed not only through the correspondence I’ve had with them, but even with phone calls that I’ve received.

So in effect I have what could best be described as an intimate list made up of individuals who have either already ventured into a business of their own, or who have shown that they are much more than the proverbial “tire kicker.” These are people who recognize that nothing comes without hard work, and they are willing to invest the time, energy, and capital that it takes to develop home-based income streams.

Because the list is small – and no doubt will continue to be – I avoid the naysayers and negative thinkers that often permeate the larger lists. These are individuals who seem to take great delight in sending hateful, nasty emails to those who are in the best position to help them. I know I’m not alone among my colleagues by being on the receiving end of some of these tirades. I refuse to be a pawn in the head games that some of these people want to play; yet, it can still be disheartening at times. And the worst part is that it takes away from my ability to help those individuals who are sincere in their quest for success.

The bottom line is this – if you’re a publisher and feel that you need to go for quantity when building your own opt-in list, I suggest that you consider the quality of your list instead. Small lists do not necessarily translate into small profits.

By focusing your efforts on only those who are anxious to succeed and have shown that they trust your advice and recommendations, you eliminate the frustration that comes with answering countless emails and inquiries from the merely curious.

It is then that you are free to help those who are anxious to help themselves!

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Cathy Bryant has been marketing online since the last century, so she knows what works and what doesn’t. Right now she’s offering a terrific 5-part mini-course titled, “Promoting Your Business Without Busting Your Budget!” You may access a copy by sending a blank email to: