Are you in the 5,000 club?

4 minute read

Here at we see 5,000 email subscribers as something of a threshold. Of course you only need 1 email address to send a campaign, but as your subscribers grow you’ll see both an economy of scale and an increase in benefit from some of more advanced email features at your disposal. Here’s why.


For established businesses of between £1 and £50m turnover, 5,000 fully opted-in subscribers is above average – various studies put the average at around 3,500 to 4,000. But that’s not to say that 5,000 is a particularly large subscriber database – it’s not. Many businesses operate with far larger numbers, but with 5,000 subscribers you’ve reached something of a critical mass and things start to get really interesting.

Why? Well for several reasons.

Firstly, churn. People move, become inactive and unsubscribe, so expect your data to decay over time. But with 5,000 or more subscribers, and assuming a fairly regular level of contact and an established acquisition strategy, natural losses from your database will be manageable and won’t significantly impact your activity.

Secondly, engagement. It can be, and often is, more, but we know that on average only 23% of subscribers will open and 4% actively engage with your campaigns. With 5,000+ subscribers that’s typically over 1,000 readers and 200 active clickers. Again, assuming you’re sending fairly regularly that’s a healthy level of interest in your products and services. With typical ROI from email marketing at greater than 20% that’s more than just a subsistence business, that’s a recipe for sustainable growth.

Thirdly, advanced functionality. Again you can do it with less, but reaching 5,000 subscribers is when several key features really come into play. Good examples are audience segmentation (using profile intelligence to define targeted recipient groups) and split-testing (automatically comparing the impact of campaign variations like subject line). In our experience both will significantly improve your overall performance but both equally require a core working data base size in order to realise their potential benefit. More is better, but 5,000 will do nicely.

And finally, Marketing Automation. Again, automating campaigns like birthday offers, confirmations and renewals can (and in our view, should) be done with any number of subscribers, but as your audience grows the benefit of automation progressively expands from a benefit of consistency to one of increased efficiency. It’s true for any size of database but manually managing regular campaigns to more than 5,000 subscribers will inevitably lead to missed opportunity. So if you are in the 5,000 club, it’s time to get automated,

Reaching 5,000 subscribers is easier than you might think. Numbers vary according to sector but it’s estimated that email lists grow at around 5% per month, even accounting for attrition that’s around 40% per year. With a well thought out strategy combining on and offline acquisition, 5,000 subscribers is well within the reach of most businesses. And when you arrive – congratulations, you are now at the start of your next marketing chapter!

If you do have 5,000+ subscribers – get in touch. We’d love to welcome you to the 5,000 club and show you exactly how to take advantage of what you’ve built so far.