I don’t know the best place for asking these types of questions, which I guess means this is my first question - where is the best place to ask questions about email marketing?

Because of that I figured I would write this post and share it around some places!

I have just started a mailing list for my football tipster website, it is growing slowly but steadily. The content I am going to send will contain information not found on the blog and offers not available anywhere else. It will not be sent at regular intervals but just when the content is ready and great.

My question is how many people should be on the list before I send the first email? 50? 100? 1000? I don’t want to keep people waiting too long for the first email but I don’t want to create this exclusive content and send it out to too small an audience.

Any guidance would be appreciated!

Update

As well as passing this around my social networks and Reddit/Hacker News I sent an email to Startups for the Rest of Us asking their advice.

If at all possible, I would recommend setting up your email list such that things that you post are considered “evergreen”. As in that it doesn’t matter whether someone reads it today or a few years from now, it should still be relevant and generally applicable. Avoid referencing time or recent dates such that it gives clues as to when it was written.

If you do this, then you can schedule your emails to be sent out X days after someone subscribes. That way, it doesn’t matter when they subscribe, they will get a steady stream of emails from you.

If this isn’t possible, then it’s a little different. You have to do a balancing act between growing your subscriber base and creating new emails to send out. Time spent doing one is time not spent doing the other. Also, there’s the matter of a ROI on the content you’re sending out to small numbers of people. If it truly can’t be reused, then you should probably wait until there’s enough people on the list to make some sort of impact. Ideally, you want to get a steady stream of people joining the list without you being too active in pursuing those people.

Existing marketing efforts for scaling your list should create sort of a flywheel effect. It won’t be permanent, but once you get some of the basics down, you should be able to get people onto that list on a regular basis without a lot of extra effort.

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