Does quantity lead to quality?


In the old days, when we sent out our newsletter via the postal service, every subscriber cost money. There was good reason to do our best to control the size of our “mailing” list by removing bad addresses and troublesome subscribers.  

Today, in the digital world, there is virtually no such thing as “too big” or “too many”. 


There is still a cost to acquire and maintain our list, and while this is usually not prohibitive, we need to consider the cost of our time answering questions and building engagement, plus any additional costs for providing incentives for signing up e.g., a copy of your book, a free consultation. 

Since we don’t sell chewing gum, for most lawyers, the added cost of maintaining a bigger list is usually worth it.

If you have 5000 subscribers, and it turns out that only 500 are good prospects and eventually hire you or refer a client, it doesn’t matter if 4500 aren’t interested, don’t have a case, can’t pay you, refer no one, or don’t even read your newsletter. 

The cost of maintaining your newsletter is relatively insignificant compared to your potential return. 

Besides, you never know when a “bad” prospect might become a good prospect, or meet someone who is. 

Which is why, unless your list is extremely large and the costs of maintaining it are prohibitive, don’t worry about how much “dead wood” is on your list, or invest a lot of time or money to remove them.   

However, if you want to “clean your list” and eliminate subscribers who are unlikely to become a client, here are a few ways to do that: 

  1. Narrow your focus. Don’t make your newsletter (blog, etc.) about “the law,” make it about your practice area(s). Don’t target “business owners,” target specific industries or professions. 
  2. Offer fewer freebies. Many, perhaps most, subscribers sign up primarily to get the bonuses you offer as an enticement to subscribe. Offer fewer bonuses, or tone down your rhetoric about the benefits thereof, and you’ll get fewer subscribers. 
  3. Make them “qualify”. Ask questions about their industry, problems, needs, or interests as part of the sign-up process. The more you ask, the fewer will subscribe. 
  4. Tell them how often they’ll hear from you. If you email once a week or daily and they think that’s too often, you’ll get fewer subscribers.  
  5. Periodically ask subscribers if they still want to continue getting your newsletter. Make them reply in the affirmative to continue getting it. Or, track your “opens” for a few weeks and remove the ones who aren’t reading your messages.   

Conversely, and more importantly, if you want more folks on your list, do the opposite. Build your list as big as possible. Quantity does lead to quality.

Email Marketing for Attorneys