How Big Does My Email List Need To Be Before I Launch A Course?

July 20, 2020
POSTED IN BLOGS › Marketing The Latest    

How big of an audience do you really need to launch effectively? The answer is a lot less complicated than you think….

You need an audience of 1.


If only one person on Planet Earth followed you and knew about you, and if you created a program then launched it to them and they bought, you’d have a 100% conversion rate.

Obviously this isn’t what people want to hear right?

What they are asking is, “How big of a list do I need in order to ___________?”

  • Make six figures
  • Take home six figures
  • Make a million dollars
  • Quit my job
  • Retire my spouse
  • Pay off my debt
  • Feel financially free
  • Travel where and when I want
  • Stop the feast and famine cycle
  • Consider myself successful
  • Stop worrying about money once and for all
No matter what the objective, most of us just want to feel relieved from the burden of less-than-great finances—either for ourselves or for our families!

As you can see, everyone will have a different objective. “List size to what end?” is always the question we ask.

  1. If you want to make a million dollars, you’ll need a bigger list than 1.
  2. If you want to consider yourself successful, that list size is dependent on your definition of success.
  3. If you want to “feel” financially free, you’ll never have a list size big enough because this is actually a mindset issue more than a money one.

So let’s do a bit of an exercise today.

STEP ONE: First, answer the question above. When you’re asking about list size, what are you really asking?

Do you just want permission to start? Permission granted as long as one person is following you.

Do you want to have something transformative happen in your life? Drill down what it is you’re actually asking. Get specific! Come up with tangible milestones.

STEP TWO: Next, once you have the answer, ask yourself this next question…

“If it takes you two or three or four or five launches to reach that goal, are you okay with that?”

Answer honestly.

As John Maxwell says, “Everything worthwhile in life is uphill….all the way.”

If you answer, “Yes, I’m willing to go the distance!”, then proceed. If not, it might mean that either your expectations are mismanaged or you’re not as passionate about your online business as you thought. (Which is okay!) No matter your answer, this is still solid information to have.

STEP THREE: Make a plan to build a list size that will get you to your goal. For most people, they understand that list growth is a slow and steady climb. It often works like this:

  • 1 subscriber (OMG it worked)
  • 10 subscribers (huh…I don’t have 1000 people yet…)
  • 50 subscribers (wow…took me longer than I thought to get here)
  • 100 subscribers (big milestone—woohoo!)
  • 140 subscribers (gosh this is so hard and slow)
  • 500 subscribers (nailed an awesome summit interview and got my list growing well! I’m on top of the world!)
  • 600 subscribers (wow, it’s so cool how fast ads work—I don’t want to do any organic stuff, let me just push $$ at it!)
  • 640 subscribers (what the F is wrong with FB?! Why’d they disapprove my ad?!)
  • 740 subscribers (back online with FB, but I’m nervous so now I’m doing some ____ {insert Pinterest, IG, YT, etc}_____)
  • 1000 subscribers (I never thought I’d get here but look, here I am!)
  • 2000 subscribers (the second 1000 were easier than the first—I’m starting to get a groove!)
  • 5000 subscribers (funnel is on and I’m Dream 100ing and now this looks like I might actually have something here!)
  • 10,000 subscribers (now I realize that list size is really not magic…I just need money and strategy to do it)

So what’s your list building plan?

Most people start TOO big. They try to do too much and quit. So don’t do that. Instead, pick one ORGANIC and one PAID method. Here are some options…

  • YouTube
  • Instagram
  • Facebook Lives
  • Facebook Posts
  • Facebook Groups
  • PPC Ads
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • Blogging
  • Podcasting
  • TikTok
  • LinkedIn
  • JV Partnerships
  • PR
  • Dream 100

Then STICK to it. In Phase #2 of Launch Gorgeous, we tackle the list building through both organic and paid strategies—with a funnel and with content.

But here’s where most people don’t get it quite right…

They build a publishing plan that isn’t attached to any particular outcome or goal. It’s the spray and pray. It’s the “I just downloaded a bunch of prompts and captions and now I’m just posting for posting sake.” That’ll fall flat because social media and list building respond to one thing…


And when you forget that fact and just do it for the sake of the motion, the list building doesn’t work quite as well.

One more step…

STEP FOUR: Measure your KPI’s and your expectations

There’s a common belief that on average your business will earn $1.00 per month per email address. That means if you want to earn $10,000 a month, you need a 10k list.

But at Funnel Gorgeous HQ, we’re averaging $100k months with an email list of 22,000 people so take that model with a grain of salt. What’s more important is to determine what your expectations should be in order to feel good about your launch!

In Launch Gorgeous + FG Society, we have a KPI exercise that helps you estimate how many people will see your offer in a launch, and how to create THREE possible outcomes… your minimum goal, your awesome goal, and your insane unicorn goal.

Simply put, the formula works like this….

  1. How many humans will see my offer?
  2. What will my conversion rate be?

If I get 100 people to see my offer for $100 and have a conversion rate of:

  • 2% minimum
  • 3% awesome
  • 10% insane unicorn

That means I’ll earn:

  • 2% minimum = $200
  • 3% awesome = $300
  • 10% insane unicorn = $1000

How many people do you need on your list and social media following to get 100 people TO the sales page? 

That depends on your engagement on social, your open rates and click rates. The hardest number to estimate is “humans to see the offer” and people wrongly assume with a 100 person list, there will be 100% of them that see the offer, and they won’t. That’s what we tackle more in depth in LG. How to truly understand your “humans to see your offer” number.

The sales conversion benchmarks are easier because most great offers convert between 1-5% for cold traffic and 3%-10% for warm. “Humans to see your offer” is the name of the game.

Maybe those aren’t huge numbers on your first go around, but if you just friggin pushed through and did the first launch, you could at the VERY least get momentum and market validation. Then the next time you launch, maybe it’s to 1000 people. Then 2000. Then 5000.

Notice with the next launch with 1000 people seeing your offer, you might just hit the 5 figure mark with a $100 offer. If it’s a $500 offer, now you’ve hit $50,000.

  • 2% minimum = $2000
  • 3% awesome = $3000
  • 10% insane unicorn = $10,000

Most people simply don’t stay in the game long enough to reap the reward.

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