How to Build a 6-Figure List for Your Health Coaching Business

As a health coach, you know that itʼs important to have a list of prospects and clients.  In online marketing we call this “your list,” and it is created when people subscribe or opt-in on your website for a newsletter or free gift.

I find that most new coaches donʼt realize how valuable their list is or how powerful it can be at helping them achieve a great income. If you want a 6-figure health coaching
business, youʼre going to need a 6-figure list.  So in this article, Iʼll show you how you can have a 6-figure list.

Youʼre going to love this.  Just plug in these simple formulas to calculate how many subscribers youʼll need to have a 6-figure (or multiple 6-figure) health coaching practice.

First the basics.
What is a “Big List” and Do You Need One

This term usually refers to a list of over 10,000 subscribers.  But it also implies a list that generates multiple 6-figures a year.

When I first started learning about Internet marketing (over 10 years ago), most people who earned 6-figures or more per year had lists with over 10,000 subscribers.  And if you wanted to earn 7-figures or more a year, you often needed a list of 40,000 or more.

That was then, this is now…

The great news is that list building strategies have come a long way since then.  Itʼs now possible to have a 6-figure health coaching business with only a thousand subscribers – sometimes less.  I know one coach who earned $250,000 with a list of less than 500 subscribers.

This is why itʼs so important to keep up with the latest cutting-edge online marketing techniques for coaches.  The list building strategies being used today can help you achieve your online goals much faster than a few years ago.

How Much is Your List Worth

Youʼll want to calculate both the total value of your list and the value of each subscriber.

Your list value is equal to your income for the last 12 months.  This applies to anyone who is marketing online, building a list of subscribers, and emailing that list regularly.

You might be asking, “What if no one buys products or services from my website or emails?  Do I still calculate the value the same way?”  The answer is yes.  You see, as a health coach, your income comes from clients, but it starts with prospects.  And those prospects are on your list.

So even if all your income was derived from clients who chose to work with you while talking to you over the phone, the process started with your marketing for prospects.  And list building was a part of that process.

So the next critical number you want to know is..

How much is each person on your list worth

You want to know whether or not you have a profitable list or just a list of free-bee seekers.  Knowing the value of each person on your list will help you make that determination.  It will also help you calculate the value of your marketing and advertising.

First, take the total value of your list and divide it by the total number of unique subscribers.

Why unique subscribers?  Because if you have more than one email list for your coaching business, some people may be subscribed more than once.  For accuracy, you donʼt want to count an email address more than once.

How do you get the number of unique subscribers?  If you use an autoresponder service like 1ShoppingCart or AWeber, you are able to send your newsletter out to all your subscribers and only send one email per email address.  The system eliminates the duplicate addresses for you.  So look at the total number of emails sent the last time you did a broadcast to your entire database. Thatʼs the number of your unique subscribers.

For example, letʼs say you have 3 different email lists.  One is for opt-ins to your free offer, one is for people who registered for a free teleseminar you held, and the third is for a free report you promoted.  You have a total of 375 subscribers on all three lists.  But when you sent your last newsletter to all three lists, it was sent to only 280 subscribers.  That means you had 95 duplicate email addresses and 280 unique subscribers.

For this example, letʼs say that your past 12-month income was $68,000.  Then that is also the value of your list.  So what is the value of each subscriber?

Letʼs apply the formula: Value of list divided by the total number of unique subscribers. $68,000 / 280 = $242.86

So each unique subscriber has a value of $242.86.  Now, letʼs look at that number in context to see if that is a great number to have.

As a health coach, your subscriber value should be at least $200/unique subscriber.  If itʼs less than that, youʼll want to determine where the problem is and fix it.

Low values may mean that you just havenʼt offered subscribers what they really want.  If so, you can quickly increase your income simply by finding out what they want most and offering a product or program that gives it to them.

Or low values could mean that your current subscribers are not really your ideal clients.  This often happens when coaches have an email list and decide to change their niche and packages.  Itʼs also a sign that you may need to change your free offer so that it attracts your ideal client and filters out everyone else.

One of my clients has a subscriber value of over $400.  She had a $500,000 coaching practice, and her list was only 1,200 subscribers when we last spoke.

Another multi-million dollar coach I know has a subscriber value of about $360 per person.

If every new subscriber was worth $200, $300, or even $400 to your health coaching business, how excited could you get about growing your list?

Which leads us to our next question…

How big does your list need to be?

This formula is easy to calculate:
1. Decide how much you want to earn.
2. Divide that number by the value of each subscriber in your list.

For example: Youʼre new at health coaching and earned $10,000 over the last 6 months (equivalent to $20,000/yr.).  You have a very small list of 114 subscribers. Your value per subscriber is $175. ($20,000 / 114 = $175)

Letʼs say you want to double that and earn at least $40,000 next year.

$40,000 / $175 = 228 subscribers (You need an extra 114 subscribers.)


What if you work on clarifying your niche and your ideal client so you can charge what youʼre worth and get it?  As a result, your income rises.  Your subscriber value could easily rise to $250 or more per person.  In that case, your business is now worth $57,000 with the same 228 subscribers.  (228 subscribers X $250/person = $57,000)

Is it realistic to get an extra 114 subscribers in the next 12 months?  You bet it is!

Want a 6-figure business?  Hereʼs how using the above numbers for an example.  With a subscriber value of only $175/person, all you need is 572 unique subscribers.  Increase that  value to $250/person, and all you need is 400 subscribers


I hope youʼre getting really excited about growing your list in the coming 12 months.  I know I am.

No matter which list building strategies you decide to use or who you choose as a mentor, all methods require a website to collect names and emails and an autoresponder to send emails.  And youʼll want to email your list regularly with tips, articles, and strategies to help them achieve optimum health.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below

Lora Downie - May 22, 2012

Hi Karen – this article is great! Thank you for the information! I do have one question…how do you calculate the “healthy” range for subscriber value. You mentioned a subscriber value of $200 is a good number…why is that a good number? what is it based on ? Just want to do the math myself. thanks!

    Karen Brunet - May 23, 2012

    That is a great question. Thanks for asking. What constitutes a good subscriber value for a coach? Here’s how I came up with this number.

    I have worked with many successful coaches. And as their online marketing consultant, I have access to their statistics, along with my own statistics. In addition, I have either spoken to coaches making 6 or 7-figures a year, or I have heard them give their subscriber values.

    Based on that information that I have personally collected from successful coaches, I know that a good database list will have a subscriber value of $200+ per unique address. The smaller the list and/or the better the coach is at marketing, the higher the dollar value is likely to be. With larger lists of 5,000 or more, you might see a lower value. However, I know of one 7-figure coach with a list of over 5,000 whose subscriber value is around $350.

    Keep in mind that these numbers are SPECIFIC to coaches. If you look at the subscriber values for most other internet marketers, it is a lot less. For instance, an affiliate marketer may have a subscriber value of only $50 and be thrilled.

    However, a successful health coach should look for a subscriber value of $200 or better, even if their list is only a couple hundred in size. And the more irresistible their marketing, the higher that value will be! This is why it is SO EASY for health coaches to have a 6-figure coaching practice with a small list.

    Best wishes on creating your own successful health coaching practice.

    Karen Brunet
    The Irresistible Marketing Coach

KerriLyn Brown, BSN, RN - February 21, 2015

Thanks Karen, for this posts. Very informative. Would you have a post highlighting the most lucrative health coaches you know? I’m interested to see what that potentially represents for my business. Wishing you Well Endeavors in business and in health. All the best. -KerriLyn

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