Should you keep competitors on your mailing list?

should you keep competitors on your mailing list

There you are: Creating cool content that’s as unique as you are.

And there they are: Lurking in your mailing list and eyeballing what you’ve got going on.

Is it good? Is it bad? Is it something you need to worry about?

This is veeeery much a “your biz, your rules” topic, but if you’re struggling to decide if you should keep or kick competitors on your mailing list, here’s some food for thought.

Why are competitors on your mailing list?

Okay, so before you cover your content up, you gotta know that there are a variety of reasons a competitor might sign up to your mailing list.

They might be:

  • New the industry and want to check out how a pro runs their business.
  • Curious about your offerings.
  • Interested in your prices (and want to suss out if their own are competitive).
  • Genuinely fan-girling over your biz!
  • Legit interested in your opt-in offer.


Which is to say: Your competitors might have zero intentions of stealing your stuff, running away with all of your good ideas, and sashaying off into the sunset cackling evilly, “Mine! Mine! Mine!”

They might not be doing, that ‘k?

Don’t catastrophise things (just yet).

Which is probably why my client and fellow lady boss, Anna Dower, says it’s no biggie if competitors are on your mailing list.

“They’re likely harmless,” she says. “And besides, community over competition, right? There are enough clients for everybody.”

Yep! High-five. Except …

When it’s NOT okay for competitors to be on your mailing list

We’ve all heard an entrepreneurial horror story about that one biz babe who had her content stolen by a competitor.

“She blatantly copied my blog/web copy/ebook/homework,” they tell you with barely contained rage.

‘Cos while it’s always good to assume that humans have good intentions, the reality is that not everybody out there is as kind, wonderful and good-looking (look at chu; you’re stunning) as you are.

I’ve had a few near misses with copywriting copycats in my time, and while imitation is supposed to be the sincerest form of flattery, it’s a hard compliment to swallow when you watch your carefully-created niche/content/copy being gulped up by a greedy competitor.

My good friend, Brianna from 27 Design Street, concurs (which is my word of the day, by the way: concur).

“I love connecting with kindred businesses, but if they are a professional in the same field or niche as you, it does bring to question why the need to be on your list.” Brianna confesses.

As a branding expert, I believe a brand should be unique and full of personality. Which means focusing on your own original and fresh content … rather than allowing somebody else’s (intentionally or sub-consciously) to influence your own.

The verdict

So … should you keep competitors on your mailing list?

“I say leave ‘em on your list!” Anna says.

“Keep your eyes on your own work,” Brianna suggests.

And me? I recommend following your heart. It knows the heroes from the zeroes and who should be kept or kicked.

Good luck!

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