My newsletter mailing list has 2,000 names. Should I cut it?


Q: My mailing list has 2,000 names on it and it’s getting costly to mail. What can I do reduce my mailing expenses? Should I cut down the size of the list?

A: Ultimately, you have to determine whether your mailings are producing a profit and the only way to know this is to rigorously track response. If you aren’t at least breaking even, you should make some changes.

You can reduce mailing costs by:

  • Cutting older names
  • Mailing to everyone and ask them to tell you if they want to stay on your list. (Make it easy for them to respond, however, with a postage paid response device, for example, because people are busy and may forget to respond even when they want to remain on your list).
  • Reducing the frequency of your mailings
  • Reducing the weight (which saves on printing/postage)
  • Using bulk rate postage and professional letter shops

But marketing professional services is a process not an event and tracking results can be elusive. How do you know that someone who has been on your list for three years but never hired you won’t become your client (or refer your next client) next month?

The answer is you don’t know. Therefore, I would err on the side of keeping people on your list. But I would segment the list and create different mailing categories.

Your best clients or referral sources, for example, should hear from you more often; monthly is not too often. People who have never hired you or referred to you, however, might hear from you only once or twice a year.

Your BEST source of NEW business will always be people who have hired you or referred to you in the past. Spend more on  them.