3 Reasons to Start an Email List in 2017

Jenna Kutcher 

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November 28, 2016



Let’s be honest, I’m pretty darn passionate about email lists – well, those and mac and cheese. But the first one? You might not have heard much about. In fact, if I sat down face to face with you today, my guess is that you might not have an email list and you have no clue why you might be needing one (here’s a hint: your business might be relying on this list that you do or don’t have.) So today I wanted to share the top 3 reasons on why your #1 priority going into 2017 needs to be growing an email list.

1.) You own your email list, you don’t own your social media audiences:

Wait, did that catch your attention? Good. It should. We have this odd notion that we “own” our Facebook fans, our Instagram followers, the people who read our tweets but here’s the thing: those platform owns the people. They decide and dictate how their user experience is, what they see, what they won’t see (and chances are, they aren’t seeing YOU or your posts.) Shoot, right? That’s why an email list is so important. When you acquire those names, you are in control of how often you contact the person, what they see, how personalized you will be, and when they will hear from you. Last time I checked, every one checked their email daily, right? Are you starting to see just how powerful an email list can be for your business?

2.) Speak directly to people who care about your product or offering:

When you have an email list, you have what we like to call an “opt in.” Basically a place where people are saying, “Hey, here’s my email list, yes I want what you are offering.” Businesses use all kinds of different strategies to get your email address: for 20% off coupons, free shipping, waitlists, free downloads, worksheets, guides, etc. They realize that if they can serve you through a free offer or something you find value in, they will likely be able to serve you in the future with something you’ll love. When people join your email list, they are clearly interested in what you have which means you don’t have to scream to the masses anymore, you can hit “send” on an email and deliver it to people who already know who you are and what you do! Sounds great, doesn’t it?

3.) Serve your audience even better through thoughtful communication:

Email is intimate… okay, okay, you’re rolling your eyes at me but it is. It’s more personal than a post blasted on Facebook or a pretty Instagram photo because it’s landing in someone’s inbox. My theory? I serve for almost 50 weeks out of the year and sell for two of them. Seriously, we try to get really smart and careful with how we are selling to our audience (and making it an invitation more than a pitch!) I know, it can get annoying when someone is filling your inbox with constant sales pitches BUT if you focus more on serving your audience with content they will love (free downloads, links to blog posts, inspiration) when the time comes to offer them a product, they will be the ones who are ready to purchase. My email list is the #1 way I generate profits to my business. Why? Because it’s more personal, it’s targeted to people who I know are interested, and I’ve served my audience for months upon months before I even offer them a product or service.

So there you have it, what I believe should be at the top of your resolution list going into 2017! If you don’t have an email list started just yet, pop back to our last post on the subject and get your hands on our free quickstart guide on how to get going or simply start your email list! If you don’t have one yet, now is the time. With algorithms getting trickier and your audience being bombarded with ads at every turn, it’s time to serve your audience better and plan for the future and one that you are in control of, not Mark Zuckerberg…. (no offense Mark, you’re crazy brilliant.)


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  1. Stephanie says:

    Love this! But quick typo: “I serve for almost 50 years out of the year and sell for two of them.” Did you mean “50 weeks” or “50 days” ? 😉

  2. Britni says:

    So, how does this work for photography? I am focusing on newborns and weddings. What do I send in an email? I totally agree that email is so much better than social media!!

  3. shannaskidmore.com | I Quit Social Media for a Year. Here’s Why. says:

    […] Don’t know where to start? My friend, Jenna Kutcher, put together a great post on how to get started with your list, here. […]


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A small town Minnesota photographer, podcaster, educator and puppy rescuer, my happiest days are spent behind my computer screen sharing my secrets with the world. I'm glad you're here.

I’m an expert at online marketing, a nerd when it comes to the numbers, and my obsession is teaching others how to make a living doing what they love (without it taking over their life). 

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