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Size Doesn’t Matter – 9 ways to build a profitable list no matter how big or small it is

I remember the first time a girl told me that size doesn’t matter.

You obviously don’t believe the person that tells you that and you just think they’re being really, really nice.

Funny thing is that she was right 😉

(I think).


You may hear this all the time:

“The money is in the list.”

What people forget to tell you is that the size of your list doesn’t have a direct correlation with your ability to profit from that audience.

I’m asked all the time…

“Scott, how big is your list?”

“1,000… oh, that’s small.”

“10,000… nice! How’d you do that?”

“50,000… dude, you must be rich.”

As entrepreneurs, your list doesn’t have to be huge in order to generate significant revenue.


A huge list full of people who barely remember how they opted-in to your list is low value. But a moderate sized list filled with subscribers who trust you, and are engaged with your brand’s message, well, that’s pure gold!

So with that said, I’ve put together 9 really great ways to build trust, establish relationships and profit from those who follow you.

Remember… it’s not about the size, it’s about how you use it 😉


1. Use the SSF Method to segment your subscribers

I personally believe that you always need to have a marketing funnel that sells SOMETHING before you bring someone to your email list. That could be your time, a product or something else.

When you use the SSF Method, it allows you to know who has seen your “offer” and who has not – it also allows you to engage those in your “Slow Lane” and “Fast Lane” while leaving those in the “Sidewalk” to continue to explore their problem.

This is one of the keys for why our email list generates the revenue that it does… we target our Slow Laners and Fast Laners and give them an amazing experience, while slowly nurturing those in the Sidewalk.

2. Would you send this to your best client?

It doesn’t matter if it’s an offer, a story, or just some valuable information. If you aren’t proud of what you are sending, then don’t send it.

I see so many who have a list and forget that those people are… well, actual people.

They aren’t robots, they are human beings that have their own fears, hopes, and dreams… and if you don’t remember that, you’re doomed.

A “list” isn’t your property.

It’s a collection of relationships, just like ones you have with your wife or husband or best friend.

So act like it.

3. The only person in the world

When someone reads your email, does it feel like it was sent to thousands of others, or are they the only person in the world?

See, when it comes to building relationships – people won’t come to love you if they feel like they are interacting with a robot.

While they logically know that an email may go to thousands of others if you make them feel as if they are the only person in the world, they will form a relationship and a bond with you… sometimes, you won’t even know that bond is there.

4. Responding to your connections

If someone replies to your email and doesn’t receive a response, the odds that they will engage with you again are extremely small.

Now, don’t get me wrong.

It is a lot of work to respond to every single person that replies to an email that you’ve sent out.

However, I can almost guarantee you that spending 30 minutes replying to everyone will have an incredible R.O.I.

While my team responds to most emails for me at this point, for years, I responded to every single email myself.

It’s the difference between “response” and “no response” like I talk about over on the GetResponses blog with Ramit Sethi and Sujan Patel.

5. Be like a (really good) TV show

With my email marketing, I attempt to be like a really good TV show… just the right amount of information, entertainment, empowerment, and advertising all tied together with a dialogue that helps someone feel like they are on the journey themselves.

This goes back to ensuring that you send emails strategically… that you don’t try to “sell” those in your audience and that you don’t simply SAY something but you ENGAGE someone.

6. Allow your subscriber to be in control

If you give the control to the subscriber, not only will they never push the unsubscribe button, but they will feel a level of empowerment that will allow you to further nurture them.

A few examples that make sense when giving control…

  • Anytime you have a promotion, allow that person to raise their hand and opt-out of it. This is so simple, yet so many people don’t do it.
  • When someone first signs up to be on your email list, send them a very short quiz and ask them what they are looking for… then send them information that makes sense to them.
  • If you send emails frequently, allow people to opt for fewer emails. I’ve found people LOVE this.
  • Have branching email logic… such as, “If someone clicks “x”, “y” happens.” The level of engagement that occurs because of this very simple email trick, is amazing. Once over 50% of people replied when they visited the sales page, simply because it triggered a quick, “hey- any questions” email.

Overall, allow the person to be in control and the person trust you to the point where they become fans that look forward to your emails.

7. Bleed

Ernest Hemingway once said, “There is nothing to writing, simply sit down and bleed.” If you want someone to be connected with you, simply bleed. While it’s important to be a TV show with your email marketing, you also need to be real, be authentic, talk about how you really feel and what’s actually happening.

In a world that is very “fake”, one of the biggest advantages that you likely have is being exactly who you are.

Sure, you will piss people off. However, by bleeding and openly doing it in your writing, you will attract your true super-fans.

8. Create super connector moments

I love creating moments that allow you to really connect with your audience.This could be anything from doing a live-stream and sending it to an exclusive group of your most engaged followers…

Or it can be as simple as giving your burner number (see to your email list during your birthday so they can text you a little “happy birthday”…

Simply put, it’s those moments that allow you to connect with your audience on a level that goes beyond why they signed up on your list. It allows you to become a person they feel they know on a deeper level.

9. Don’t nurture forever

I hear from people all the time that say… “Scott, I’m afraid to sell to my list”.


Here’s the deal: people want to buy.

People want to feel special and want to support you if they are following you.

See, if you nurture forever and don’t sell on at least a monthly basis, people won’t think of what you do as a business, but rather a hobby.

It’s important as entrepreneurs that we allow people to buy from us, as that’s where we can give them the most value.

Don’t be afraid.

Of course, a few people will complain about it…

But those people aren’t really your followers anyways.

What’s next?

You already know that email marketing is powerful. If you aren’t already building an email list, then it makes sense to really shift some of your resources here.

If you need an email system, I recommend Active Campaign.



Oldford |

Founder and CEO Infinitus

Scott Oldford has been an entrepreneur since his early teens, having built multiple million dollar businesses. In 2013, after a failed business left him $726,000 in debt, he decided to go all in on building an online course for entrepreneurs. Since then, he's paid off his debt and generated millions in revenue.

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