Here’s What’s Currently Working to Grow My Email List

Jenna Kutcher 

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December 21, 2022


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I was recently asked to share about what my #1 focus is for the new year business-wise and honestly, it’s the same it’s been for the last handful of years: grow my email list. I know it doesn’t sound fancy, it definitely won’t be celebrated with champagne or confetti, but as a business owner, I’ve learned time and time again that the health of my business is dependent on one main channel: my email list. 

Truth be told, we overcomplicate marketing. As entrepreneurs, I truly believe that you have TWO main objectives for your marketing strategy – use your desired channels to connect with people and then invite them to your list! Every effort in your business should point to ONE big goal, and that goal is growing and serving your email list. 

Email list building has been and is my #1 focus in my business – all roads lead to my list. It’s the biggest way I connect, serve, and drive results in my biz and so I’m always trying to optimize how we can continue to grow our email list (and serve our subscribers well!) So if you’re curious what’s working right now, what new thing we’re trying that got us 9,000 new subscribers in a little over two months, and what tried-and-true strategies aren’t going away, this episode is for you! 

How to Start a List

First and foremost, if you are listening right now and you don’t have an email list. Stop what you’re doing, park your car, pause my voice and go sign up for my absolutely FREE Zero – 250 Free Email List Building challenge. We’ve had over 60,000 people take this challenge and it’s been a huge launchpad for people who are just starting their list or if they’ve stalled and need to get back into it. 

It’s absolutely free and I guide you day by day for five days – think like 10 minute videos or less! I help you create your offer, make your sign up form, deliver a freebie, and send out content your list will love PLUS there are free tutorials that walk you through all of the tech so it’s impossible to get stuck! Head to listbuildchallenge.com to get started.


We recently launched a brand new quiz and I’m so excited about it. It is the “Who Are You, Really? Quiz”, and if you’ve read my book then this will make you smile. I wanted to create a new quiz that was kind of adjacent to the book. When I created this quiz, I wanted to bring people back home to themselves and to know that the way they are makes them amazing. It is their superpower, and if they have the right resources and tools, it can only positively impact their life and their results and the way that they feel.

My previous quiz, the Secret Sauce quiz, was created way back in 2017 – I am SHOCKED by that. We’ve had 2.75 MILLION views of the quiz, 200,000 starts, and over 100,000 completions and leads from that single quiz. About 50% of people who start it, complete it and opt in. That’s pretty amazing. 

If you want to take my new quiz and just see how this process goes and how easy (and awesome it is!) head to whoareyoureallyquiz.com.


This is a huge way to get a big amount of list growth in a short amount of time. Webinars and challenges are HUGE when it comes to list growth here. Doing a concentrated push to a resource or offer that gets people to opt in can be a huge list generator. One thing that people forget is how valuable a new lead is so even if you don’t have something to sell — especially if you don’t have anything to sell, create some free offer and promote it like you would a real launch and use it to grow your list.

So for example, we did a live launch of my List to Launch email list building program and got over 3,500 new contacts just in that one week time frame for the launch. So those are brand new subscribers who are interested in the offer right off the bat and even if they don’t purchase during the launch, I can now show up and serve them and hopefully the next time I launch it, it IS the right time and offer for them. 

Another example of how launches can help you grow your list – and it doesn’t even have to be launching your own product so this can work for you even if you don’t have an offer yet, I partnered with my girl, Amy Porterfield for her fall Digital Course Academy launch and in the two week launch window, my list grew by almost 7,000 new subscribers, so there are a lot of different ways launches can bring someone onto your list and keep in mind the long game – that it’s not just to go straight from a new subscriber to a sale, you want them to stay on your list and continue to be served by you! 

Paid traffic

Nearly 50% of our ads that we pay for are running towards list builders…44% to be exact and we could argue it’s way higher than that since we run ads to my webinars as well! It’s a way cheaper lead and we get to bring them through our funnel and get to know the person. 

Now, it’s important to note that I have a large following these days and have worked for many years to build a relationship with my audience so these results might not be typical but they are definitely achievable. For the month of November alone, we generated close to 10k leads through paid traffic! 

With ads, it’s important to look at the results. See which creative and copy version (words) people are resonating with and take that information to feed it back into your ad efforts, thereby making the ads more and more effective.

Pop Ups

I know it seems weird, right? A pop up strategy? Love ’em or hate ’em pop ups WORK. In 2021 alone, we had 317,056 visitors to our blog site and 23,756 conversions (a killer conversion rate of 7.49%). 

How did we get here? Test, trial, and research. For example, we utilized Google Analytics to dig into the type of device the majority of our site visitors were using. For us, that was mobile. We then evaluated our mobile designs and re-crafted them to increase optimization all-around. That pivot alone helped us gain close to 38K site visitors and 17K conversions from the year prior! AKA growing our list and connecting our audience to additional resources and offers we provide.

Popup Pro Tip: Utilizing VERY specific offers versus generic offers can increase conversions by over 50%. Utilize tools like Google Analytics to evaluate where one might move the needle most. For example, our about page is one of our highest traffic pages (and I’d assume the same for most). Since someone has already landed there to learn more, this would be a super smart place to place a pop up with your top performing specific resource for them to opt-in to.

Instagram DM Automation

This is brand-new for us, we increased our list by 9k in two months time and has been so wildly effective. I had literally no idea that this was a thing until I got the best cold pitch of my life and it’s been a massive focus and list growth strategy for us. Press play on this episode to hear the full story about that pitch!

Basically, these chat automatics help us build our list through social media using trigger words and a sequence of automated events that follow. Once someone engaged with my posts, stories, or saw the CTA in my bio to DM me “SECRET,” they received the first automated message prompting them to respond.

From there, we had a “chat funnel” to capture peoples’ first name and email to get them on the list. The chat funnel involved follow-up 1 hour later and 22 hours later at each step, and selfie videos, audio messages, and selfie images from me.

The numbers here are pretty staggering! We captured 6,018 emails for the Journal Pre-order Waitlist. 6,933 people engaged with my stories and posts for the campaign. This means we had an 87% conversion rate from post/story engagement into an email capture. 

If you want to see how this works, just DM me on Instagram the word FUNNEL and you can see it in action and get connected to the amazing team who helps set this up for me to see if it’s a fit for you and your business! 

The Big Picture

There is so much power in your email list, and so if you do not have one, please, please, please join my Zero -250 free email list building challenge. I will walk you through every step of this and then take the tips in this episode and leverage them to help grow your email list so that you can show up, you can serve well and you can eventually sell to your email subscribers because you will be so perfectly aligned with exactly what they need. 

I love showing up in inboxes every single week. It feels like writing little love letters, sharing more about my life, and just different invitations and opportunities, and it is the number one focus for next year, just like the year past and the one before.

Thank you to our Goal Digger Sponsors

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Before you get any further... Hi! I'm Jenna Kutcher!

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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