Is Your List Special?


My wife is on my email list. I think she actually reads some of my content. But when I send her a love letter, I KNOW she reads it.

The size of my email list matters little if I don’t send the right content to the right people. Growing your email list is a foundational strategy for growing your platform and influence.

But my message for you today will probably frustrate you. I’m going to ask you to divide your big list(s) into smaller lists. Even with a list of 10 people, there is probably a good reason to divide and provide targeted content. It’s better because it’s interesting to the reader.

When you receive email from lists you’ve joined, do you sometimes wonder why you subscribed? Some emails totally miss your interests but others smack you in your eye. You receive just enough great content to endure the content that doesn’t interest you.

Professional email campaigns use triggers to send waves of very narrow messages. When I check a box on a photography store’s website to suggest I’m interested in Canon camera lenses, an email campaign could be launched to show and tell about Canon products, how to use a wide angle lens, lighting issues with longer lenses, creative options with interchangeable lenses and any other content about camera lenses. Once in a while, I could expect to see an offer to purchase a new lens.

The more we know about the people on our list, the better content and sequences we can create. (That might be a powerful takeaway.)

The camera lens campaign may be of little interest to other visitors to the camera store website. General content is generally not interesting to a general list.

Follow this example of how to divide your list into powerful segments:

Assume you just signed up to receive a newsletter from the genius photographer at the online camera store. You receive a welcome email from the guru something like this:

Thank you for your interest in learning more about high-quality amateur photography. So that I don’t waste your time with emails of little interest to you, please check the box below that best describes the type of photographs you want to learn more about. I’ll make sure you get more content in your area of interest!

  • Nature/wildlife
  • Portraits
  • Candids
  • Architecture
  • Creative Table tops

When the reader checks a box, they receive a new email that welcomes them to whatever list they checked. Now, the photographer can send the right content to the right list.

There are many ways to iterate this process, but the important thing to do is segment the list into specific need groups. (It’s always fine to allow multiple lists to be checked.)

Send your best-targeted message to your best-defined targets.

I may produce a lot of content for a lot of people, but only my wife receives the love letter I write. She’s on a very small but special list.

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