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Tale of Two Lists: Paid vs. Free

updated 2022-01-06
The emails you send to your free list will be different from those you sent to your paid list. Be aware of the difference and you’ll be able to serve both groups in the best way possible.
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I hinted at this in yesterday’s article and the time has arrived.

Today we’ll talk about the tale of two lists: free vs. paid (customer) and why it’s important to distinguish between the two.

Free Lists

Typically, these are created when you initially start out. When you first get started with list building and email marketing as a newbie.

You set up a list and invite people to sign up for free. Sometimes all you do is offer to share great content with them, but more often than not, you give in an extra bonus to entice them to sign up. That’s your lead magnet.

For the purpose of today’s article, the key element here is that your subscribers don’t have to pay anything to get on your list.

Paid (or Customer) Listspage

These are comprised of people who have spent money with you. They typically bring some sort of product or service with you, or maybe signed up for a paid membership site.

The key here is that they have spent money with you and that takes them from being “just” subscribers to being customers or clients.

Each type of list has a place in your overall list building and marketing strategy, but there are some crucial differences between these two basic types of list. Your free list is your big net that you cast out to get hold of a large chunk of your target audience.

Your paid list, on the other hand, is a more focused segment of your larger list. These are the people that trust you enough to spend money with you. They are also the ones that are likely to be most interested in what you have to offer.

Why Does This Make A Difference?

Your customers have some skin in the game. They are ready to take action and are opening their wallets to prove it. In terms of conversion, they are a LOT more likely to buy future products from you. In other words, your customer list is a lot more valuable per person than your subscribers on your free list.

Should Your Free List Be Ignored?

Of course not, because the majority of your customers originally came from your free list. It simply means that you are aware that you have two sets of lists, and you treat them slightly differently.

You won’t have to push as hard to gain the trust and make a sale with your customer list. You also shouldn’t worry if your customer list is a bit smaller than your free subscriber list. What it lacks in size it more than makes up for in conversion.

With your customer list, it’s all about maintaining a good relationship, helping them implement, and offering them more products and services they need and can use down the road.

With your freebie list, your goal is to build the relationship to the point where they trust you enough to become a customer.

The Rundown

When you really think about it, there is no “better than” when it comes to building a free or paid email list. They both serve valid purposes, and you can use them both.

The emails you send to your free list will be different from those you send to your paid list. Be aware of the differences, and you’ll be able to serve both groups in the best way possible. Your objective must be clear on both lists and that is to build relationships and convert the curious into dedicated fans who love what you offer.

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Charlene Brown,
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