We know that it’s a smart idea to build your list, but you have to build it the right way or you may struggle to grow your brand.

Lisa is running an online business designing WordPress themes. She has a mailing list of over ten thousand and she emails them regularly. However, she complains that she’s not getting any feedback from her list and that they rarely message her looking for tips on how to create and manage their WordPress websites. She’s making some money but not enough to launch the business fulltime. She’s frustrated because she’s not able to level up her business.

Karen also runs an online business designing WordPress themes. She has a mailing list of a thousand subscribers. Like Lisa, she emails them regularly. She gets lots of feedback from her list and she’s always answering emails and messages about their WordPress websites. She’s making enough money that next year she’ll be able to turn her side job into a fulltime business.

You may be wondering what the difference is between Lisa and Karen. Why is one seeing so much success that she can afford to quit her job while the other continues to struggle to make profits?

Are Your Subscribers Engaging with Your Content?

The answer is simple Karen built her list differently than Lisa did. Instead of focusing only on the numbers, Karen looked for subscribers that matched her ideal client profile. She carefully monitored the health of her list and removed subscribers that weren’t engaging with her content. The result is that she has a much smaller list than Lisa but that list is far more engaged.

If you only measure the size of your email list and you’re not taking the engagement of your reach into account, then you’re making a big mistake. Low engagement can be a sign that you’re not connecting with your community.

Are Your Subscribers Buying Your Products?

After looking at your engagement level, you want to start looking at what types of content your list is taking action on. Of the subscribers who are opening your email messages and reading them, how many are taking action? How often do they go on to purchase your product or a product your promoted? If you offer a service like coaching or content creation, are they hiring you?

If you have a new list or a tiny list, then you may not see a lot of activity at first. But as your list grows into the hundreds, you should start seeing some of your subscribers taking action. If you don’t, it might be a sign that you’re promoting the wrong products or that your community isn’t connecting with your messages.

Are You Asking for Engagement?

Some entrepreneurs send out plenty of emails but they never include a call to action. A call to action is the point in your content where you ask your reader to do something. For example, if you run a blog on adult coloring, then email your list with a review of your favorite coloring pencils and ask them to try out the pencils, too.

Remember that if you want engagement, you have to ask for it. It doesn’t always have to be in the form of asking subscribers to buy something. You might ask them to fill out a survey that will help you create your next blog challenge or you could ask them to leave a comment on your latest blog post.

When it comes to building your email list, make sure you’re filling it with subscribers that are genuinely interested in your content. This helps you grow a thriving community that loves your brand and engages with it regularly.