Last Month’s Earnings


The Smart Passive Income Podcast

AP 0063: My Email List Is Too Expensive for the Return. Is It Worth Consolidating?

AP 0063: My Email List Is Too Expensive for the Return. Is It Worth Consolidating?

By Pat Flynn on

AskPat 63 Episode Transcript

Pat Flynn: What’s up, everybody? Pat Flynn here, and welcome to Episode 63 of AskPat. I am so stoked to be here helping you by answering your online business questions five days a week.

Today we have a question from Morr, but before we get to Morr’s question, I want to mention that today’s episode is brought to you by AWeber. It’s my top recommended email service provider. I’ve used it for years. Morr uses it. Actually, you’ll hear that in this question. I love it because I can send broadcast emails to all of my list. I can collect emails on any page on my site, even on Facebook, or through webinars, or wherever. I can also set up an autoresponder. That’s probably, I feel, is the most powerful thing and most underutilized thing when it comes to building an email list is using your autoresponder, being able to pre-write emails that get sent out sequentially after people are subscribed every week, every couple weeks, how often you want them to get it. It allows you to stay connected with your audience. I love doing that because you put up the work up front, you can reap the benefits, which, I love it. to check out AWeber $1, 30-day free trial.

Now, let’s get to today’s question from Morr, which is actually a really interesting question. It’s actually one that I actually never heard of before, because his list is growing too big. Let’s hear what Morr has to say.

Morr: Hey, Pat. My name is Morr. I run an animation tutorial website called Bloop Animation. My question is about email newsletters. I use AWeber to collect emails from viewers. I’ve seem to collected a little too many. It’s starting to become too expensive for me to keep it. I pay $20 plus $10. I think it’s for the range between 1,000 and 2,500 subscribers. I’m not really getting much in return. I am making a little money out of ads and YouTube views, but it seems like $30 a month is a little much. My question is, do you think it’s worth losing a few subscribers or consolidating your list to a little less people than you currently have? If so, how would you do that? Thanks.

Pat Flynn: Morr, thank you so much for your question. First and foremost, I just want to say it’s always good to consolidate your list. I’ll go over some strategies on how to do that, and when and why you should do that. However, I think it’s crazy that you want to do it because you’re growing your list too fast. We all want to grow our list as fast as possible. If you’re getting targeted leads coming into your email list, why would you want to cut them out? You shouldn’t do it just for the reason you’re paying too much. If you are paying too much for your list, then you’re not making enough money from it.

My recommendation to you, Morr, is to actually think about, are you actually utilizing your list? Don’t feel bad. A lot of people are doing this. They’re building a list because everybody says you should build a list. They are sending emails out every once in awhile, but they aren’t utilizing that list to help make them money. I feel like if it’s something you’re going to be paying for, it should be something that should be paying you back, as well, in one way or another. I feel like if your primary method of generating money is through your advertisements on your site, then there’s no way that your email list is actually going to help you increase that income. I think you should think about providing other services, or products, or affiliate recommendations through your email list, or indirectly through your email list.

What I mean by that is, that’s the strategy I use. I use my email list for two things. One, to provide more value to my audience in content they can’t find on the blog to build that relationship even further. Secondly, to bring people back to my website. Often, when I bring people back to my website, there are then opportunities to purchase an affiliate product, or to buy a product, or pay for something down the road. That’s an indirect way to use your email list, which I like because I don’t like to sell directly on the email list. Send an email to somebody: “Hey, purchase this now.” I would do that only if I came out with a product and I knew that absolutely it was something that I needed people to see. That’s not bad, as long as those expectations are there and you are doing a good job of not … Anyway, we can go more into how to email your list later. But I feel like if it’s too expensive for you, you’re not getting the return you should be getting. I would think about the strategy you’re using with your email list. Where are people coming in, and what do they expect, and how could you better provide for them? That’s the first thing.

I would not consolidate my list just because it’s too expensive for you or it’s growing too fast, especially because it’s growing too fast. If it’s growing too fast, that’s good. You should be making more money as a result of your list growing bigger. Amy Porterfield said, and this was a quotable a couple of episodes ago, I think it was actually the last episode, she says, “The energy of your business is directly tied to the strength of your email list.” Then she goes on to say how Facebook is a great way to build your email list. Well, no matter how you’re building it, if that’s true, you definitely don’t want to cut it just for the purposes of it growing too big and growing too fast.

Anyway, that’s the first thing. The second thing, now, there are things you should do to consolidate your list because, yes, you can be paying more than you need to. No matter what program you use—I know for AWeber, specifically, when you send out emails, sometimes people unsubscribe to your email list. That’s okay. Those aren’t bad. A lot of people go crazy with their numbers for unsubscribes. “Oh my gosh, 58 people unsubscribed to my list today. Agh!” and they pull their hair out. But that’s good, because you don’t want those people on your list. If they don’t want to be on your list, you don’t want them on your list. You want highly targeted, warm leads on your list: real people who are willing to listen to you, and take that content, and perhaps take action with you in the future.

The thing is, when people unsubscribe, they aren’t deleted from the system. You’re still paying for those people to be on your list. Even though they aren’t on your list and getting emails anymore, you’re still paying for them. What you can do, Morr, specifically in AWeber, I’m not sure how or where to go on MailChimp, or ConstantContact, or GetResponse, but if you’re AWeber, specifically, you sign in, and then you go to subscribers and you click, “Manage Subscribers.” In there, you’ll see a whole bunch of filters. What you want to do is change the dropdown menu on the left from, “Select field,” to, “Stop status.” You want to make the stop status: “Is unsubscribed.” That will show you all the people who are unsubscribed who you still are paying for. I remember at one time I had 4,000 people who unsubscribed who I was still paying for. That was 4 times 10, so $40 a month for no reason at all. What you could do from there is, you can click a box to select them all and delete them. You might have to do it a few times if you have over 100, but that’s how I would do it. You’re paying for those people, so you might as well get rid of them because they’ve chosen to not get your emails. They’re not going to get your emails anyway. I’m not sure why they keep them there. It might be useful to have that list, for example, if you wanted to export that list and tag them in the future for whatever reason. Maybe ads or something like that. But anyway, that’s the first thing I would do.

The second thing I would do is, you can filter, and consolidate your list, and delete the people who have sort of been inactive. You can check to see how long people have been subscribed or perhaps the last email that they opened. If they haven’t opened an email in forever, then again, for the same reason, they maybe didn’t unsubscribe manually, but in their head they’re unsubscribed. They get those emails and they aren’t even looking at them. That’s another group of people you might want to consider consolidating. Then another thing you could do to really make sure that your list is active and full of people where you know you’re going to get a high open rate in the future, what you can do is you can filter by creating a new list. Then in your old list, you say, “Hey, guys, I’m creating this new list.” Or you have some reason to click over and join this new list. You can set rules in AWeber and other email systems when people click a certain link or when they subscribe to one list it automatically unsubscribes to another one. Then what happens is you end up with an email list that you know is full of people who are really interested in being there. This is especially useful if you’ve had your list for a long time and you haven’t emailed your list in awhile. That’s what I would do. Yeah.

I hope that’s helpful, Morr. I really want you to really consider how you’re using your list and how you’re utilizing it, because, like I said, if it’s too expensive and you feel like it’s growing too fast, then you might not be getting any results from having an email list. You want to get results so you can want your email list to grow because, when your email list grows, you should be making more money. That’s what should happen.

Morr, thank you so much for your question. Again, if any of you guys have a question, head on over to and you can ask it right there from your computer or mobile device. I’m going to give a shoutout and once again remind you that today’s episode was brought to you by AWeber. We talked about AWeber a lot today. They’re great and have a lot of things. It’s really good for the beginners. It’s really easy to set up. But then there’s a lot of advanced things you could do once you get set up and want to take things a bit further as far as list segmentation and things like that. Again, I would highly recommend AWeber. For $1 you get a 30-day free trial. You could check it out. You could start building your list and see what it’s like.

Of course, I’m going to end with a quote of the day. This comes from Derek Halpern from Social Triggers. It’s one of my all-time favorite quotes from him. It makes complete sense, because we do the opposite of this, but this is what you should do. Derek said, “You should spend 20% of your time creating content and 80% of your time promoting it.” Now, let me ask you: Are you spending more time creating content, or are you spending more time promoting it? You should probably flip that around if you find that you’re spending more time creating it. Because if you’re spending all this time and it’s awesome content, you spent time on it, but then you don’t give it the best chance to get seen by most people. I love that quote. Anyway, think about that. Have an awesome day. I’ll see you in the next episode of AskPat. Love you guys. Peace. Oh, leave a review and ratings in iTunes if you haven’t already. Thanks so much.

Let's figure out what works!

Join 150,000+ active members in the SPI community

Email address required
No thanks, I'll pass for now :)
  1. 1. Free Stuff

    You'll get instant access to free resources, including my most popular book, Ebooks the Smart Way! (Downloaded over 125,000 times!)

  2. 2. Content Tailored to You

    Over time, I'll get to learn more about you and deliver content that actually matters.

  3. 3. No Hype

    Just real content that's meant to make a difference.