Do you want to launch an online course but not sure if you should because you have a small email list? As a launch strategist, I get this question a lot. 

Many online business experts say you need at least 1,000 subscribers before you launch.

But growing your email list takes time. If you wait to launch an online course until you get 1,000 subscribers, you could be waiting months — or even a year or more.

You don’t need 1,000 email subscribers to launch. You need one potential buyer.

This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t worry about growing your email list. You totally should, because:

  • More subscribers = more sales
  • A bigger email segment gives more reliable data to draw conclusions from
  • Launches are a lot of work, so you want to make sure there’s a payoff

But here are 3 reasons I think you should go ahead and launch, even with a small email list.* 

Reason 1: Launching to a small email list is great practice

There are a lot of moving parts in a launch and it’s not uncommon for something to go wrong. Some things are beyond our control – like your server going down. And some are preventable, like sending an email out with a broken link. 

Either way, if something is going to go wrong, it’s better for it to be with a smaller group than a larger one. That way you can create systems and backup plans to accommodate potential points of failure and be better prepared for your next launch to a bigger audience. 

Launching sooner than later will help you iron out the kinks so that your launches go more smoothly in the future. 

Reason 2: Launching gets your name out in a bigger way

A launch helps you establish your expertise, gets you in front of more people in a bigger way, and can lead to other opportunities in your business.

In fact, launches are great for growing your email list as new people hear about you and sign up for your challenge, webinar, or other launch event. 

And even though you know you have a small email list, other people don’t know that, so launch as if you had 5,000 people on your list, even if you only have 500! 

Because those 500 people don’t care how big your email list is. They only care whether or not you can help them. 

So put yourself out there. Let more people see you as the expert you are, and you’ll attract even more people in the process. 

Reason 3: Launches are money in the bank

And to a business owner, money in the bank is more important than data.

I know several people who had successful launches with fewer than 1,000 email subscribers.  

In fact, I had a successful launch with just 278 subscribers. I converted 3% of my email list, which is a tad higher than average. Sure, it wasn’t life-changing revenue, but it was money in the bank, and that’s a lot more than I could say if I’d waited until I hit 1,000 subscribers.

And that revenue helped me invest back into my business in ways that helped me grow my email list. That was huge for me.

Don’t let the size of your list be your excuse not to launch.

You don’t have to go balls to the wall and have a huge launch with all the bells and whistles. You can launch your online course, membership, coaching program, or other digital offer, even with a small email list.