Ask Jenna Anything... About Email Lists

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Ask Jenna Anything… About Email Lists!

Jenna Kutcher 

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Hey Goal Diggers! “Ask Jenna Anything” Episodes are BACK and better than ever. I fielded your questions from both the Goal Digger Insiders FB group and the Goal Digger Instagram  (if you’re not hanging out there, you’re totally missing out!)

I was absolutely floored by the number of responses I got from you guys and decided to approach this round of “Ask Jenna Anything” with a twist– instead of the usual smorgasbord of questions, I have grouped them by category! I am still letting you call the shots and am fully covering ALL the nitty gritty details but in a more focused, topic-specific way! I am super excited about this shift and can’t wait to hear what you think!


Q: Another fear I want to touch on came from Kelly – and she wasn’t alone, so many people had a similar fear –  She said “I’m scared of the tech side of list building. Which provider to use, setting up sequences, making sure it’s all connected properly…

A: When it comes to starter email service providers, I’m a fan of the FREE or low-cost ones —  the ones absolutely anyone can get started with. Mailchimp and Madmimi are two of my favorite email service providers that fit into most marketing budgets for small businesses. Mailchimp has hundreds of how-to articles and help docs to walk you through everything you would need to know to get it off the ground. The hardest step is simply getting started and having the confidence you can figure it out.


Q: Melanie T said: “I would love some of your insight into building relationships via email once they’re on your list!”  


  1. Treat them like VIP insiders – they get to be in the know first and receive offerings and discounts first.
  2. When you write an email, write as though you are having a conversation with your best friend
  3. Always serve in a way that will build the know/like and trust factor WELL before you ever ask anything of them. We spend 9+ months out of the year focused on providing free content that’s extremely valuable before I ever sell anything.

Q: Similarly, the handle Matchstickwax asked on Instagram: : You say “it’s all the list” all of the time and I love you for it! But what does a product business offer in exchange for someone’s email instead of a coupon code? You talk about freebies and I love that idea, but do us makers have anything to offer when it comes to freebies?”


Let’s brainstorm some freebie ideas to get your wheels turning on the possibilities. A freebie certainly does not just have to be a PDF download or coupon code:

It could also be a:
Worksheet, customizable guide or template, video course on a subject, sample of a book, calendar download, blog content repurposed, audio training, product roundup, stock images, screensaver or desktop background, giveaway, free shipping, pre-sales to an offering, access to a private Q&A session, blueprint towards a result, time saving cheat sheet, a quiz with a result provided, free report, a challenge, video series, fascinating case study, inspiring quote a day, free trial of your product or service…


Q: Stacie said: “Jenna!!! Oh, how I love you and I get SO much from your blog & podcast as a new blogger and hopefully future girl boss 🙂 currently, I’m struggling to know what kind of free content to give for people who sign up for my email list! I’m a Christian blogger so would a mini-devotional be okay?

Q: Shannon said “I know you’re supposed to use freebies as a way to get people to sign up, but as a wedding planner and birth photographer I feel like anything I would give out are my secrets and I’m not sure how to get people interested in what I have to say in an email.”

Q: Elisabeth said: “I honestly haven’t been a fan of email marketing. I noticed much more interaction with my private Facebook groups and I struggled with getting people to sign up for my list. I don’t want to hassle people for their email address when they freely would rather join a private Facebook group”.

Q: Meagan asked: “How do you decide what content to share on your blog versus in your email list or social media or is it all the same content? I’m not sure if I should post to my blog, then share that post in my email list and on social media, OR if I should serve my email list before my blog with different content. I have chosen to serve my email list first in the past, but then I find I have less content for my blog and Instagram. If I put out the same content to all of them, I don’t want my followers to feel like I’m being redundant and wasting their time! It feels a little overwhelming to come up with this much content.”

Q: Ruth said “I need an email list, but thinking through a welcome email and the nurture sequence is what has me stuck.”

Q: Donna said, “I struggle with getting people to sign up without seeming obnoxious or too-pushy; without begging for it. Nowadays people are so turned off by you asking for their email until they’ve booked you, and even then I’ve had requests for “communication purposes only.” How do I set my emails apart? And more so, what is the “right” way to grow your list?”

Q: Julia said “It’s so hard when it seems like there are SO MANY lead magnets and freebies out there. How do you differentiate yourself from the crowd without paying thousands for ads?”

Dedicating an entire Q&A episode devoted to this topic was so invigorating and exciting! Email marketing is such a big, scary topic… but it truly doesn’t have to be! If you’re wondering how to get people to sign up for your list, what the heck to say to them or if the fears of tech or staying consistent or not sounding too pushy are things keeping you from implementing an email marketing strategy for your business, then this episode is for YOU. 


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  1. Hey Jenna,

    I listen to your podcast every morning and am obsessed! I love your story and how inspiring your content is.

    I have two questions I would love to hear your thoughts on:

    1) Is it possible to be a successful blogger if you don’t have a niche and/or product? I feel like my niche is word vomit, to be quite honest.

    2) I built my blog on WordPress which has its own built-in subscription widget. I would have to “lose” my 560+ hard-earned followers if I moved to Mail Chimp. Have you had any experience with dealing with something like this or any thoughts/suggestions?


  2. cory says:

    this was such a helpful and inspiring l site (and read) thanks for sharing all your knowledge

  3. […] Ask Jenna Anything… About Email Lists!- episode 116 […]


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