Episode 103: New Mission & Features: What Facebook’s Group Updates Mean for Digital Marketers

Where does community fit in your business? Community is so important that Facebook recently changed their mission statement to include community and rolled out 5 Facebook group updates.

Join the experts and special guest Suzi Nelson, DigitalMarketer’s Community Manager, to learn what the Facebook group updates mean for digital marketers and how you can use these new features to build and grow your business and make data-driven decisions.


  • Community’s biggest advantage for businesses and how it positively impacts the bottom line.
  • What the 5 Facebook group updates do and how to use their metrics to create and maintain a thriving community.
  • How one new update will help you create consistent content (« this is one of the key strategies of community building).


What Facebook’s New Group Features Means For Community Managers
[CASE STUDY] How DigitalMarketer Activated 44% of Previously Silent Community Members in 5 Days
Tony Robbins: 6 Basic Needs That Make Us Tick
Episode 103 Transcript (swipe the PDF version here):

Keith Krance: Hello, and welcome to Episode Number 103 of Perpetual Traffic. Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook, they’ve all been trending in the news recently and it’s because quietly over the past maybe one to two years. It’s been longer than most people realize when they make big changes. There’s actually a lot happening in the background as our awesome guest expert’s going to touch on today. I think one of the big reasons they’ve been trending is they’re making some big changes with Facebook groups. Which a lot of you, I think, are really tapping into all sorts of ways with your business. Whether it’s building a community around your customers, building a free Facebook group, we’re going to get into that today, we’re going to get into some of the strategies where we think groups are the most effective.
Should you be using free groups, should you be using paid groups, and more importantly, all these new additions to communities and groups. Facebook has literally changed their core business mission statement. What it used to be was this, to give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected. They changed it to this, to give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together.
Molly Pittman: First off, obviously a timely topic and we’re definitely going to talk about the updates that Facebook’s making to community but most importantly, where does community fit into your business? When we first started talking about community at DigitalMarketer, it was something that a lot of people passed off because they thought oh, that’s a bonus for people that buy products but as you’re starting to see, online communities are becoming a part of almost every business. I think we as humans really desire to feel connected and as we become more disconnected in day to day life as everyone’s using technology, now technology is becoming the place where we do create these communities. Really excited to have Suzi Nelson on today. Suzi’s our community manager at DigitalMarketer, an overall really fun and awesome human. Suzi’s one of the best community experts out there in the world. She does an awesome job of taking care of all of the people inside of our DigitalMarketer Engage Facebook group, DM Engage is a bonus for our DigitalMarketer Lab product and people are buying so that they have access to the content but they stay because of the awesome community that Suzi’s facilitating on Facebook. Suzi, thank you so much for coming on.

(Not a DM Lab member? Try it for just a $1!)

Suzi Nelson: Yeah, I’m happy to be here.
Molly Pittman: It’s time to talk community. Obviously, the latest news from the Community Summit this week from Facebook, all the features and cool things that they’re adding to Facebook groups, that’s really what sparked this conversation. We will get to that later in the episode. I really, really want to start with what Keith was talking about. Facebook is changing their mission to really revolve around community. It is that important. Is running ads on Facebook important? Absolutely but what do you do after someone clicks on the ad? How do you continue to make them feel like they’re a part of something bigger? I think what’s interesting is the different way that people use groups in their businesses. There are different types of groups on Facebook. You can have private groups, you can have open groups. Suzi, can you walk us through where do these communities fit into someone’s business and if someone’s sitting there thinking okay, a community sounds cool but I don’t know if it’s worth the resources. Not only where does it fit into someone’s business but what really are the benefits?
Suzi Nelson: People can use Facebook groups in a lot of different ways. The advantages for businesses using these groups is that it’s a free platform, everybody already knows how to use it, it’s not like you’re trying to train people how to use it.
Molly Pittman: Right.
Suzi Nelson: You don’t have to fight with creating a new habit, visiting a new website, people are already on Facebook, you don’t have to train them to visit your forum or visit your onsite community.
Molly Pittman: I know that’s big too because at times Facebook hasn’t been the best platform for communities, right? It hasn’t given us the best insights, it hasn’t given us the best tools, but the benefit is that everyone is logging onto Facebook every day, so we’re able to give up, in the past some of those features that we wanted for people to actually use the community.
Keith Krance: I’d like to go back to the very beginning. I remember, you told me about the conversation you had with Ryan, that you guys wanted to do a Facebook group instead of an online forum, where you wouldn’t actually own the group. It’s kind of risky. I remember you tell me about how that Facebook group was the biggest game changer ever because people joined DM engage for the tools, but then they stayed for the community.
Molly Pittman: We did try an offline community, and it was great in terms of the structure and the different features we were able to add, but no one was ever in the forum, right?
Keith Krance: Yeah, and I remember you saying that the biggest reason why DM engage grew so fast, the number one reason why was because you guys went to a Facebook group. Even though it was risky at the time.
Suzi Nelson: Facebook just makes it so easy, but the disadvantage is you do have to fight with all the other content that’s on Facebook. So it does take some creative strategy to cut through all of the noise and really create a tribe, rather than just another Facebook group, just another post that competes with pictures of peoples’ dogs and babies.
Keith Krance: Some people are still skeptical about being among the cluttered crowd. You have a Facebook group, and you don’t want to compete with all that. Just think about the offline world, heard this over and over and over again, and it’s so true, think about why all the automotive dealerships are together. You go and there’s about ten of them, usually in some cities. All the different stores, why they built malls to begin with. The reason why stores want to be together is because there’s a lot more people there.
This is why a Facebook group is much more powerful than an external forum.
Molly Pittman: Suzi, what are the benefits for a business? Not just Facebook as a platform, but aside from a place where people can go and talk, what do you see the business advantages being?
Suzi Nelson: The biggest advantage is that you’re taking transactional relationships with your customers and making them emotional relationships. Whatever type of community you have, whether that’s before the sale or after the sale, no matter where they are in that Customer Journey, you’re making emotional relationships and people bond over that, and it’s something that they cannot get anywhere else, if that makes sense. So, it’s something really special and really unique, and really adds value to whatever you’re selling or whatever you’re offering. It adds brand value, because people are forming those member relationships.
Member to member relationships is the difference between a community and an audience. If you have a Facebook group and it’s mainly you talking to your members and your members talking back to you, that’s an audience, and that’s okay, but if you’re looking to form a true tribe and a true community, those member to member relationships are absolutely key.
Molly Pittman: It’s a place where people can come to bond around a common interest. This isn’t just for marketing. Whatever you’re selling is topical. You’re selling something that is of interest to someone, and if it’s of interest to someone, it’s probably of interest to many people, or you wouldn’t be selling that product or service, right? So, giving them a community where they can bond with those like-minded individuals is huge, and this can also benefit your business from a number standpoint.
So, DigitalMarketer Lab is a continuity program that we have, it’s $38.60 a month, and DigitalMarketer engaged our community absolutely helps stick rate for our continuity program. It’s definitely affecting the bottom line and it’s not just at DigitalMarketer, at our sister company Survivor Life and makeup tutorials, they’ve created communities around those common interests.
But it’s not just about continuity programs. There are other stages of the Customer Journey where you could use a community. Suzi, what are your thoughts on using community at the beginning of a Customer Journey?
Suzi Nelson: Well there’s groups that serve the top of the Customer Journey, so that’s whenever they’re your prospects, they’re just becoming aware of you, maybe they’re looking to engage with your brand a little bit before they take the plunge and get on your mailing list and subscribe and things like that. Definitely before they convert. So, there are businesses that use Facebook groups to meet people at this awareness stage. Screw the nine to five comes to mine, they have a free Facebook group that anybody can join, they get people on board with their company mission.
These are people who are not necessarily customers, anybody can join it, and they use it to bond people together around this idea of entrepreneurship. They only post tippy, tippy top of funnel content. It’s things like instructional videos, a blog post every now and then, other than community building content, like asking people questions and starting discussions, the only quote unquote promotional content they put on there is extremely top of funnel stuff.
Molly Pittman: Yeah.
Suzi Nelson: So, it’s not like they’re trying to get everyone to convert, they’re not trying to get them to promote their brand, per se, they’re just trying to make them aware, engaging with the brand, getting to know them, getting familiar, so whenever they’re ready to make that move, it makes more sense to convert at that stage.
I think it’s a super, super powerful strategy if you’re looking to connect with people at that part of the funnel. I don’t think that any one community can move people all the way through the Customer Journey, from prospect to promoter. You have to strategically place it in places, and usually that’s before the sale and after the sale communities. Then you have kind of a third tier that’s communities that are just for advocating for your brand.
There’s people who will do that for you, and you can create a community around that. We do that with our certified partner Facebook group, a place for them to connect and talk about best practices and things like that, so you can definitely meet people at different parts of the Customer Journey and really optimize it.
Molly Pittman: I really like what you said, Suzi, you said no one community can move someone throughout the entire Customer Journey, and it’s the same thing we teach with traffic campaigns. When someone says, “Okay, I wanna set up this Facebook campaign,” you ask what their goals are and their goals are to generate awareness, to cull traffic, to generate leads, sales, and to generate a bunch of money. The way that humans function in relationships is the same way they function online and to expect one Facebook ad to take someone throughout the entire Customer Journey, it’s almost impossible. It’s definitely impossible at scale.
So, okay, maybe it happens a few times, but it’s not possible at scale because it’s not the way our brains work, and I love that you said that because communities work in the same way. So, if you’re willing to put the work in there, it can almost function as a blog, a way for you to get to know these prospects and hopefully turn them into customers. Then you have groups like DigitalMarketer engage, so they’ve purchased a lower dollar product, and we’re just trying to give them value, and give them that sense of community.
At the end of the Customer Journey, we have a certified partner group, and we really see our certified partners as approved affiliates.
Okay, Suzi Sue, I think we’ve laid the framework for community, do you want to go into these big updates that Facebook announced, and get your feedback and recommendations. I think people are very excited about that.
Suzi Nelson: So, there are five updates, five big updates for groups. The first one is group insights, which is huge. You guys are probably familiar with page insights? Now, Facebook is applying those to groups as well, so we can get some really, really valuable information into what’s actually happening inside our groups, which is great.
So, it reports on three main areas in groups, new members, so growth metrics, engagement details, and details about your actual members. Things like top contributors are in there.
Molly Pittman: I know previously you’ve used a tool called Grytics, to report on these types of metrics. Do you have any recommendations for what to do with them? I know that you’ve pulled our most engaged members before, and announced them in the group. What do you do with these metrics?
Suzi Nelson: We do highlight our community leaders from time to time, because it’s important to give intrinsic value for participating in communities. That means that people feel good when they participate. So, we do things like highlight leaders, highlight popular posts. We did a case study last year with a theme week all about engaging lurkers, which is people who don’t participate in your group at all.
It’s a whole internet phenomenon, it happens in every single community on the face of the planet, so if you have a lot of lurkers, you’re normal. We use that information to just gauge the health of the community. If we have a lot of members and not many members participating, we know that there’s a problem we need to address, so we keep a close eye on that. We did use a tool like Grytics for a really long time. We just switched over, actually, recently to a different platform called Community Analytics.
It just gives you more information about the health and the pulse of your community.
Molly Pittman: Those are important metrics when you’re starting to look at okay, I have a community now to help with churn, or to create awareness. Then it’s time to start looking at metrics like engagement, right? So, I have these people in the group, how many people are actually participating? Has this turned into a customer service nightmare? Am I actually posting things of value? Am I facilitating conversations? These are really important metrics to really gauge the health of your group.
Suzi Nelson: The only bad thing so far about Facebook’s new group insights is that they display vanity metrics for growth. So, we’re talking about things like the total number of members and the total number of new members. That is always going to get bigger in pretty much any Facebook group. It’s kind of a vanity metric, it feels good, it looks good on paper, but unless those people are actually participating, it doesn’t really mean anything.
Keith Krance: Tony Robbins talks about this a lot, and we’ll link out to one of his Ted Talks about six basic needs that make us tick. When you understand this, you end up becoming a better leader, you end up becoming a better leader with your team, with your employees. You build a much stronger community, and a lot of it’s happening on the subconscious level. People don’t know it’s happening, but one is the need for certainty comfort, another is uncertainty variety, those aren’t really related to this, but number three is significance, we all need to feel important, special, unique, or needed. Number four is love and connection. Five is growth, six is contribution.
So really, if you go back and you look at three needs, love and connection, growth really, as well as contribution. Really the last four are all related, if you really think about those things, and you’re implementing things like calling out people that are extra active in your group, or doing cool things for those that you know are lurkers because you know they’re getting value, they’re just quieter, they’re sitting on the sidelines, but they’re actually consuming, and getting them to communicate and showing them that you appreciate them.
It all comes down to appreciation. People feel appreciated, they get motivated. So, Facebook realizes this and this can be an absolute game changer for your business growth.
Molly Pittman: Suzi, did you have anything else on the numbers?
Suzi Nelson: For engagement, they now report things like the number of posts, the number of comments, the number of reactions, so pretty much any action that your community member can take inside of a group, it now reports on and measures, which is great cause now you can see when your members are most active, when they are participating, when they are most active on the group, what time of day even, so whenever you’re making important announcements or important community building content, you can actually schedule those posts now at times and days where your community is most active in your groups.
Molly Pittman: I’m sure there are more metrics to come to that dashboard.
Suzi Nelson: Absolutely. I think that’s the just the tip of the iceberg.
Molly Pittman: Alright, what’s announcement number two?
Suzi Nelson: Announcement number two is membership request filtering. So, any community manager who runs a Facebook group, especially if it’s an open group where anybody can join, you know how painful it is to spend hours of your day approving or disapproving membership requests into your group. It is the worst process, especially for us, it’s a lot of copying and pasting.
Facebook prior to this filtering had recently also added questions whenever people requested to join a group, a little pop up could come up, and you could ask your members questions to use that to filter if your members should be in that group or not.
So, this new membership request filtering feature is that you can now sort your members by demographic, so things like gender, location, and you can do batch accepts or batch declines.
Molly Pittman: Wow. That’s huge!
Suzi Nelson: So, that is amazing, especially for those open groups who just have to sort through a million membership requests at a time, this is going to be a huge time saver, so it’s a really, really exciting feature.
Molly Pittman: Yeah, celebrations everywhere.
Suzi Nelson: So, the third feature is removed member cleanup, so this means whenever someone joins your group and they’re not the best community member. Maybe they’re a spammer, maybe they’re a troll. Generally toxic to your community, and they’ve commented on everything and there’s a million different droplets of poison around you-
Molly Pittman: They’ve left little turdlets around, like a mouse.
Suzi Nelson: The common practice whenever that person is removed is you have to go through and try to hunt down every comment and every post that they’ve made and try to remove it from the group, so it doesn’t just sit there and fester. So, the removed member cleanup means that whenever you remove someone from your community, you now have the option to remove all of their content at the same time from the group.
This is important because human beings are imitators, we learn by imitating. It’s just how our brains are wired, and so when people see behavior that’s not welcome in your community, they tend to imitate it, and then it just becomes this spiraling out of control thing really easily.
Keith Krance: I can’t believe you brought that up, it’s just so, so true, it’s how we grow up.
Suzi Nelson: The good news is that good behavior works the same way.
Keith Krance: Yes.
Suzi Nelson: So, it’s a really important community management tool, this member cleanup that you can remove their posts, their comments, maybe even other people they’ve added to the group in one step, so it’s a pretty amazing feature as well.
Molly Pittman: Then you don’t have to go back and search the person’s name and delete everything they’ve said. That’s just powerful.
Suzi Nelson: Right, and since our Facebook group, DM engage has grown so much, especially we grew the most in 2015, after Traffic & Conversion Summit, where we gave everyone a dollar to join DM Lab, our activity level and our member level just spiked. Whenever you have that many people features like the three I just mentioned, the insights and the filtering and the cleanup, this just makes my life as a community manager easier.
It was at the point where I was saying to Kevin my supervisor that Facebook groups is not a community management tool, and I was so frustrated because they wouldn’t give us the power to do our jobs correctly. I’m so excited that they’re taking a step in that direction now.
Molly Pittman: Obviously, it’s going to make lives easier, but it also allows for more data driven decisions inside of the Facebook platform, so you’re not having to look to third party tools to get all of the numbers that you need to either prove the case that we should have a community or to say that we have a problem. It’s just making everything a lot easier.
Suzi Nelson: It’s all on the platform, which is amazing.
Molly Pittman: So, what’s number four?
Suzi Nelson: Number four is scheduled post. So now group admins and moderators can create and schedule posts on a specific day and a specific time, which has never happened before inside of Facebook groups. It’s a feature that we’ve long waited for, and we can celebrate that it’s finally here.
Molly Pittman: Yeah. Everything was manual, right?
Suzi Nelson: Everything was manual. You know, one of the key strategies for building community is to create consistent content. For example, we do a post called one week, one thing every Monday, inside of DM engage, so it’s our accountability post. People tell us what their big goal is for the week, and then we just help kind of check in, keep them accountable, give them resources if we can. People learn to expect that every Monday, and they call me out if I forget to post it.
Molly Pittman: They’re like waiting.
Suzi Nelson: It’s just one of those rituals that our community has come to expect, and it’s just a way for them to connect with each other as well. We have regulars that post on there every week, and they cheer each other on. So, it’s a good community building tool to create that ritualistic content. Another example is every Friday we do a celebrate the win post, where our community can brag on themselves a little bit and tell each other what cool things they accomplished or learned that week.
The ability to schedule these frees up time to actually think about more community strategy, and creating more posts like this, so I’m super, super stoked that scheduling posts is now an option.
Molly Pittman: It’s going to allow for more engagement, because you can look at the time, where people are most engaged with the group, and then start to of course post at those time. So, it’s going to allow you to do so much more than just in the window of time where you’re actually online.
So, what’s number five?
Suzi Nelson: Number five is probably my favorite. It is group to group linking. A few weeks back you might have gotten a notification that you could link your business page to your community and post as your business. That was kind of the precursor to this group to group linking. So, what that means is that you can recommend similar or related groups to your members, and it will pin it to the top of your community. Probably above your pinned post, if you have one. So, it’ll be just recommendations up at the top.
The reason why I’m excited about this is it’s all about a concept called social density. So, let’s say that your community is five people in real life, you have five people, and you put them inside of a stadium, that stadium’s going to feel super, super empty. If you put them inside of a storage closet it’s going to feel really, really crowded. That’s social density. It relates to the number of conversations that happen in a set space.
So, for big groups that are really, really active, there’s a really, really high social density, there’s so many different conversations going on that people don’t know how to contribute, new members have a problem plugging in, active members have a problem deciding where they can best comment.
If there’s not enough activity happening, it feels like a ghost town and nobody wants to participate in that, and if it’s too high nobody can keep up with everything that’s happening. So, I think the group to group linking could be a solution to groups that have really high social density, the groups that have so much activity and so much conversation, and so many posts that people just are overwhelmed with the amount of content. This could be a way to break it off into sub groups or sub topics and kind of keep it all in one place.
I think that that would be a really cool experiment for those larger groups to look into.
Keith Krance: Some of the big free groups that have maybe 30, 40, 50,000 people, is that what you’re talking about like maybe they have some sub groups within that group?
Suzi Nelson: So, typically whenever high social density happens on a different community platform type like a forum, they break it off into sub topics or sub groups. I’m thinking about Reddit. Reddit has all of the sub-Reddits up at the top and its specific spaces for specific conversations to happen, so everything’s just not happening on one page, if that makes sense.
So, this could be a way, if you have a lot of different types of conversation happening, to address that social density issue and say okay, in this section, we’re only going to talk about this topic, but all of our community members can still interact with each other.
Keith Krance: This is interesting because the one thing I was thinking that they didn’t add, which I think is coming down the road, is really being able to categorize and have a much better search capability for content that’s segmented like that, but this has actually a way to do that. I think you have to be careful going too narrow.
Suzi Nelson: You’d have to be really careful and make sure that if you’re going to break off a topic that there’s enough social density around that topic, enough conversations happening so that it doesn’t feel like a ghost town.
Molly Pittman: I think what’s key with something like this too is to not predetermine, right? So, a lot of people that would create a new group today might go ahead and create these sub groups. This would be way after the fact when you realize wow, there’s this one huge topic inside of my large topic that’s really being discussed, or there’s this group of people that I think should really have their own group. In my opinion, it’s definitely something that comes after you’ve already seen it happening in the bigger group.
Keith Krance: Like my example, I wouldn’t do that at all. I wouldn’t have separate groups for targeting, etc. Ideally, it would be cool to be able to tag different posts.
Suzi Nelson: Well, I think the feature in smaller groups, groups that are under 250 members, I’ve seen a couple that let you categorize posts, you can create tags and tag the posts inside the platform. It kind of organizes them up at the top, like here’s all of the conversations happening around this specific topic. But I have not seen that anywhere in large groups, and that’s been around for quite a while, so I don’t know if they’re going to roll that out to everybody, but I hope they do because it would be amazing.
Molly Pittman: Those are all the updates.
Keith Krance: All right, good stuff. Awesome stuff, this is so good, like my mind’s blown, and hopefully your mind is blown too. You guys can once again always head to the Show Notes at digitalmarketer.com/podcast. This is Episode 103 – for the links and the references and resources that we talked about.
The best way to really learn even more is go join DigitalMarketer Lab and really see how Suzi is managing this community and see the changes that she’s going to be making. So, Molly what’s the URL for that?
Molly Pittman: DigitalMarketer.com/lab-trial
Keith Krance: And Suzi, maybe just a quick recap and anything else you want to add, and we’ll wrap her up.
Suzi Nelson: Sure! So, Facebook’s new group features are group insights, a message request filtering, removed member cleanup, scheduled posts, and group to group linking. So, I’m really stoked about all of these options, and it’s going to make community managers everywhere better at managing their communities and building that business value.
Keith Krance: Awesome.
Molly Pittman: Amazing. Thank you so much, Suzi, for the knowledge here and everything that you do for DM, and I see more community episodes on the podcast in the future.
Suzi Nelson: Yeah, anytime.
Keith Krance: Yeah. Good stuff, all right, talk to you all soon.
Molly Pittman: See ya!
Keith Krance: Bye.

Thanks so much for joining us this week. Want to subscribe to Perpetual Traffic? Have some feedback you’d like to share? Connect with us on iTunes!

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The post Episode 103: New Mission & Features: What Facebook’s Group Updates Mean for Digital Marketers appeared first on DigitalMarketer.

Creating Advanced Facebook Custom Audiences Using Google Tag Manager

Are you looking for advanced ways to build Facebook audiences for retargeting? Do you know you can combine Google Tag Manager with Facebook Pixel Events? To explore the value of using these tools together, I interview Chris Mercer. More About This Show The Social Media Marketing podcast is an on-demand talk radio show from Social […]

This post Creating Advanced Facebook Custom Audiences Using Google Tag Manager first appeared on .
– Your Guide to the Social Media Jungle

[PDF Download] DigitalMarketer’s 101 Best Email Subject Lines of 2016 (…and 5 free tools you can use to amplify your email marketing!)

In 2016, DigitalMarketer sent 107,442,263 emails…

…emails centered around promotions, blog posts, charity, and certifications. And we learned a thing or two about what works in the process.

It’s safe to say for us, 2016 was “the year of the content mail.” DigitalMarketer has become much less reliant on promotional emails as our primary means to engage customers (we still run promotions, but they aren’t as essential for driving traffic).

Instead, we have begun to focus more on email as a content distribution platform, to help us segment and excite customers about our products.

What can you take away from that lesson?

Make sure you’re incorporating the value-first strategy into your email calendar, and not prioritizing promotions too highly over content. If your customers aren’t getting value, they aren’t opening your emails (and you’re missing tons of sales and relationship-building opportunities).

We went data digging and found our best 101 subject lines for you to swipe or use as inspiration. And as a bonus — we’ve also rounded up five FREE tools you can find online to help you make the most of your email marketing.

This is our fourth annual Best Email Subject Line Roundup, but there are 303 more subject lines for you to swipe here:

Before we dive into our 101 winners, let’s look at what common elements you might find in a subject line. There were eight different components we found again and again in our top performing email subject lines:

1 – Self-Interest

These are your bread and butter subject lines – you should be using them most frequently.

They are usually direct and speak to a specific benefit your audience will gain by opening the email. Self-interest subject lines also help pre-qualify openers by giving them a clue about your email’s body content.

2 – Curiosity

If self-interest subject lines work because they communicate a direct benefit of opening the email, curiosity-based ones succeed for the exact opposite reason. These pique the interest of subscribers without giving away too much information, leading to higher opens. Be careful though, because curiosity-based subject lines can get old fast and are the most likely to miss their mark.

3 – Offer

Do you like free stuff?  Do you like to buy things?

So does your email list. When you are giving something away or selling something your subscribers would be interested in, directly stating that in your subject line is a great way to convince them to open the email and learn more.

4 – Urgency/Scarcity

This is the most powerful type of subject line you have at your disposal. Subject lines that communicate urgency and scarcity tell readers they must act now. Too many of these can lead to list exhaustion so use sparingly and, of course, only when there is truly a deadline, limited quantity or limited availability.

5 – Humanity

Don’t forget to remind your list about the person or people behind your products. Sometimes you need to thank your subscribers, tell them a story about yourself, or make a human appeal for their attention.

6 – News

Keeping your audience informed about new developments in your field builds authority and keeps your open rates high. These subject lines often work well when combined with a curiosity element.

7 – Social Proof

A fundamental characteristic of humans is that we look to the behavior of others when making decisions. You can leverage this in your email subject lines by mentioning individual’s success stories, familiar names, or highlighting how many people are already using a product or service.

8 – Story

Telling a story, or at least teasing the beginning of one, in your subject line is a unique way to highlight a benefit and get the open rate you’re looking for.

Ready for the subject lines? As is our tradition, we’ll start with our top 10 best…

  1. How “Ryan Deiss” became “DigitalMarketer”
  • Content: Blog Post
  • Open Rate: 14.61%
  • Analysis: This subject line appeals to people’s human nature. It promises a compelling narrative, DigitalMarketer’s origin story, and reminds readers that a person started this company, emphasizing a human connection.
  1. Don’t buy this from Amazon!
  • Content: Invisible Selling Machine
  • Open Rate: 14.64%
  • Analysis: This is an old standby, and has worked time and time again. It’s a perfect example of what successful curiosity-based subject should do – generate an emotional reaction without giving away the email’s purpose.
  1. [DOWNLOAD] 15-Point Landing Page Audit
  • Content: Blog Post
  • Open Rate: 14.97%
  • Analysis: This kind of subject line (and email) is the very definition of value-first content. A free download that is intended to give audiences the opportunity to self-identify as interested in this topic.
  1. I called. You didn’t answer.
  • Content: Blog Post
  • Open Rate: 15.05%
  • Analysis: Just reading this subject line makes me feel a little guilty! While it doesn’t take something away, it creates a sense of urgency similar to an expiring offer. And of course, using “I” in a subject line is a great way to humanize email copy.
  1. [DECLASSIFIED] DM’s 2016 Planning Meeting
  • Content: Blog Post
  • Open Rate: 15.44%
  • Analysis: What’s your reaction when someone let’s you in on a secret? For most people, it’s to lean in a bit and give them your ear. This subject line takes a traditional (but great) blog post and gives it a bit of mystique.
  1. Announcing: The 7th Annual Black Friday Bootcamp
  • Content: Black Friday Bootcamp
  • Open Rate: 15.71%
  • Analysis: This subject line needs no frills and no complex hooks; it relies on people’s familiarity with our annual Black Friday Bootcamp workshop. When leveraging the familiar, a direct, clear offer works wonders.
  1. 13 billion emails analyzed [Infographic]
  • Content: Blog Post
  • Open Rate: 15.79%
  • Analysis: This subject line uses a classic technique, featuring an odd number that stands out to readers in an inbox. And highlighting the content type, an infographic, assures readers that this massive amount of information will be easily digestible.
  1. Steal these email templates…
  • Content: The Machine
  • Open Rate: 16.16%
  • Analysis: Making a direct offer, “download this,” “grab this,” is a strong hook for any email. And this subject line does a great job of amplifying what’s already working with more surprising language.
  1. 5-Point Paid Ad Audit
  • Content: Blog Post
  • Open Rate: 16.25%
  • Analysis: This is a great subject line to appeal to intermediate and advanced marketers, which comprises most of DigitalMarketer’s list. It’s a direct offer, and one that speaks to people who are knee-deep, and trying to make the most of their efforts.
  1. Your new favorite marketing tool…
  • Content: Blog Post
  • Open Rate: 16.57%
  • Analysis: This subject line touches on a broad interest for the audience, marketing tools, and promises positive change. Finding new software or strategies means faster, better processes, which marketers are always looking for.

Those may be the cream of the crop, but with nearly 108 million emails out the door, we saw a few other good ones, too. Here are the next 90 subject lines that had the highest open rates and a breakdown of the elements that compose them:

  • Facebook’s New Pixel: What You Need to Know – News | Self-Interest
  • G + L + F = 2X Your Sales – Curiosity | Self-Interest
  • I’m in this new book… – Humanity | Curiosity
  • Google Compliant Landing Page Checklist [Download] – Offer
  • 28 ways to increase organic social traffic – Self-Interest
  • Yep, that just happened… – Curiosity
  • BRAND-NEW certification released today… – Curiosity
  • These 6 skills will pay the bills… – Self-Interest | Curiosity
  • [BLOG] How an unknown podcaster generated 100,525 organic downloads in 80 days – Story | Self-Interest
  • Did you get your book yet? – Curiosity
  • She sold 122 subscriptions for $97 each. Here’s how… – Story | Self-Interest
  • New for 2017: 2 ways to master marketing… – Self-Interest | Curiosity
  • 15 killer content marketing tools – Offer | Self-Interest
  • [Download] Customer Avatar Worksheet – Offer
  • 10-week live training and certification – Offer
  • What do Google, YouTube, Amazon and Pinterest have in common? – Curiosity
  • All Execution Plans 75% off! – Offer | Self-Interest
  • Is “ISBO” the future of search marketing? – Curiosity
  • Ultimate Guide to Facebook Video Ads [2nd Edition] – Self-Interest
  • Facebook Ad Targeting (The Complete Guide, 2nd Edition) – Self-Interest
  • ANNOUNCING Recommended Agendas and “learning tracks” – News
  • The Complete Guide to Google Tag Manager [Part 2] – Self-Interest
  • Better than T&C? – Curiosity
  • Become a Certified Digital Marketing Professional – Self-Interest
  • Your Content Campaign Planner (Google doc) – Offer
  • Ryan Deiss #TCS2016 Keynote: What you need to know – News | Self-Interest
  • Happy Birthday to… …DigitalMarketer! – Humanity | Story
  • How to generate FREE, organic traffic! – Self-Interest | Curiosity
  • ⏰  Are you In or Out? – Urgency/Scarcity | Curiosity
  • Great News — new T&C tickets released! – Self-Interest
  • Bad news…closing down – Urgency/Scarcity | Curiosity
  • [DOWNLOAD] 8-Point Lead Magnet Success Checklist – Offer
  • Why “Yes” Kills and “No” Can Make You Rich [part 3 of 3] – Story | Curiosity
  • ⚡️ [FLASH SALE] Our Facebook ad plan (and best templates)… – Offer | Self-Interest
  • Huge Announcement: Brand new event… – News | Curiosity
  • 3 proven Facebook campaigns to run today… – Self-Interest | Offer
  • T&C 2016 in Tahiti? – Curiosity
  • [RANT] Why I HATE Business Cards! – Story | Humanity
  • Lethal Combo: AdWords Remarketing + Google Analytics – Self-Interest
  • Reach your audience… without their contact information. – Curiosity | Self-Interest
  • Open up for our best content – Self-Interest | Curiosity
  • Secret FB campaign gets 23,247 leads in 30 days… – Self-Interest
  • Case Study: 7-figure eCommerce Funnel – Social Proof
  • 49 Split Tests that (Almost) Always Win – Self-Interest
  • Our Paid Traffic Playlist – Curiosity | Offer
  • Meet me in San Diego? – Curiosity | Self-Interest
  • [Flash Sale] A 7-Step ”Paint By Numbers” Process for FB Campaigns – Offer
  • Forget GroupOn — this stuff works! [Case Study] – Curiosity
  • Swipe our eCommerce Email Marketing Roadmap – Offer
  • [Case Study] $25,865/mo in recurring revenue – Social Proof | Story
  • Are you a victim of manipulated data? – Curiosity | Self-Interest
  • The power of empty pockets – Story | Curiosity
  • New business model — this is the future of business… – Self-Interest | Curiosity
  • [Last Call] For the Ultimate Email Marketing Game-Plan (PDF) – Urgency/Scarcity | Offer
  • [Save $500] Become a Search Marketing Specialist – Self-Interest
  • Watch T&C in your underwear… – Curiosity
  • ✈ Meet me in Orlando – Self-Interest | Curiosity
  • ⚡️ [FLASH SALE] My 6-Step Market Research Plan (and workbook) – Offer | Self-Interest
  • [DOWNLOAD] 10-Point Blog Post Audit – Offer
  • Finally, track social media ROI – Self-Interest
  • Community Manager vs. Social Media Manager: Which is right for you? – Self-Interest
  • [SWIPE] This email got 6X open rate… – Offer | Curiosity
  • Stand out in your customer’s inbox – Self-Interest
  • Pokemon GO: 3 Marketing Mistakes, Millions of Users Lost! – News | Curiosity
  • [Free Gift] Our Facebook ad targeting checklist… – Offer
  • 3 wicked AdWords tactics to increase your ROI – Self-Interest
  • This is what’s truly essential… [part 2 of 3] – Curiosity | Story
  • $4 Million in Ad Spend (Here’s what works) – Self-Interest
  • Measure ROI by traffic source – Self-Interest
  • 📢  HUGE Announcement (another big change at DM) – News
  • Marketing Showdown: Hillary Clinton vs Bernie Sanders – News | Curiosity
  • [Case Study] Local Facebook Advertising – Self-Interest
  • Does anyone even WANT what you’re selling? – Curiosity | Self-Interest
  • [Last Chance] 75 percent off all our Execution Plans ends TOMORROW! – Urgency/Scarcity
  • Turn your assistant into a marketing rockstar – Self-Interest | Curiosity
  • The Ad Grid: 20X your success rate – Self-Interest
  • Aducational Video + Remarketing – Curiosity
  • Lowest price on T&C – Self-Interest
  • ANNOUNCING: Marketing Mastery Class – News
  • There is still time… – Urgency/Scarcity | Curiosity
  • T&C hotel almost SOLD OUT! – Urgency/Scarcity
  • A tested and proven framework… – Self-Interest | Curiosity
  • ✔ [Checklist] Your Split Testing Guide – Offer
  • [TODAY] Our Facebook ad targeting plan (3 pm Eastern) – Urgency/Scarcity | Offer
  • CLOSING down soon! (Don’t get locked out) – Urgency/Scarcity | Curiosity
  • Why I (kinda) HATE surveys… – Humanity
  • $7 today, $47 tomorrow – Self-Interest | Urgency/Scarcity
  • How an electronic retailer surged their revenue by 60% – Story | Self-Interest
  • New DigitalMarketer event for Bloggers! – News
  • [ICYMI] Everything you need to know about Facebook’s new pixel – Self-Interest | News

5 Free Tools You Can Use to Amplify Your Email Marketing

Now that you’ve got some subject lines to get you started, I want to hand you just a few more free resources going into the next year that you can use to improve email open rates, clickthrough rates, and even deliverability rates.

1. A/B Significance Tester

Split testing is one of the best ways to figure out not just what works in email marketing, but what works for your audience. You could read a dozen articles on email tips and tricks but at the end of the day, what you need to know is what the subscribers who have opted in for your materials are interested in.

Unfortunately, when dealing with split testing large audiences, it’s sometimes hard to get a sense of what actually worked. That’s why it’s so important to see if your results are statistically significant – basically, how likely is it that if you ran the test again, you’d get the same results.

I’ve used this free resource from Kissmetrics for more than two years because it’s simple, free, and easy to use to get a read of whether or not your split test results matter.

2. Bulletproof Email Buttons

Responsive buttons are a great way to make the CTAs in your email copy stand out.

In fact, in last year’s subject line roundup, I talked about how DigitalMarketer saw some amazing results from buttons in emails – a 38% higher earning per click for emails with buttons.

But if you aren’t a coder, you’ll need some other resource to help simplify creating these – otherwise, you run the risk of screwing up your email templates or breaking your links.

Luckily, Campaign Monitor has an awesome free solution for creating buttons of all shapes, sizes, and colors. With this tool, creating a button is easy and doesn’t require any special knowledge of CSS or HTML.

A pro tip for slightly more advanced users: you can easily increase the font size as well by changing the value for “font-size” from 13 pixels to whatever your heart (or email template) desires.

3. GifRocket

This one’s for Mac users only, but boy is it a doozy. If you’ve ever seen an email with a “video” in it, most likely it was actually an email leveraging gifs. Gifs are graphics that store and show a series of images, creating an experience similar to a short video.

For most people, making gifs requires finding a graphic artist or hiring out the task on Fiverr or TaskRabbit, a slow and often painful process.

But with GifRocket, anyone with a Mac and a video can create their very own gifs. Here’s an example (which took under two minutes to film and gif-ify):


Combining this software with your smartphone camera can create some magical moments, no technical skill required. All you need is a dash of imagination!

4. Headline Analyzer

If you just can’t quite decide if a subject line you wrote is good enough, maybe you need to test it out “in the lab.”

CoSchedule created a free tool that helps you evaluate the efficacy of your headlines. All you need to do is post your headline in their analyzer and they will give you a score for how well you did, and how likely the headline is to get your audience clicking.

The program identifies what kinds of words are used and how effective they are at evoking an emotional response, or how eye-catching and “powerful” they are.

Feel free to take their advice with a grain of salt – I tend to find them overly critical of short subject lines which have been shown to work well. But it’s a great resource if you’re looking for a second opinion.

5. Sender Score

This one’s a bit technical but is a must-use resource for anyone wanting to make the most of their email marketing.

Do you feel like your emails don’t make it to the inbox as often as they should?

The IP you use to send emails may have a bad reputation, literally.

With Sender Score, you can see the sender reputation that your emails have, and figure out what mailbox providers like Google think of your mails. This free tool from ReturnPath is a great way to keep an eye on the more technical elements of your email marketing. After all, with

After all, with poor delivery, even the best subject line isn’t going to get many opens. So go sign up for a free account and remember to keep an eye on your score.


Don’t stop there!

Read on to Learn DigitalMarketer’s 101 Best Email Subject Lines of 2015 (…and our 3 best email split tests!)

First, here are our ten best emails subject lines of 2015…

10. Seriously, get this book.

  • Content: The Choose Yourself Guide to Wealth (James Altucher’s book)
  • Open Rate: 16.91%
  • Analysis: This subject line is pretty direct – seriously means no fooling around. But the blind reference to an as-yet unidentified book demands the recipient take a look inside and see if it’s a good fit for their library shelf.

9. I’m pulling the plug…

  • Content: Blog Post
  • Open: 17.13%
  • Analysis: This subject line uses negative language to great effect. What does “pulling the plug” mean for DigitalMarketer subscribers? Is this bad news (or as it turned out, great news)? Only by clicking through can you find out.

8. 7 split testing mistakes

  • Content: Blog Post
  • Open: 17.34%
  • Analysis: Do you like making mistakes? Neither do we (though it happens). So when someone promises to show you pitfalls to avoid before it’s too late, no one wants to miss the opportunity to do so.

7. How HostGator does retargeting

  • Content: Blog Post
  • Open: 17.40%
  • Analysis: This subject is simple and to the point, with a clear value proposition (learn how to leverage their retargeting strategy). The social proof of leveraging a well-known brand helps validate the information contained within the email.

6. TRAFFIC (on a “shoestring” budget)

  • Content: Blog Post
  • Open: 17.79%
  • Analysis: All caps can be pretty polarizing – no one likes to be yelled at digitally. But when you pick a word business owners love, the results are more positive. And offering a cost-friendly solution to a problem never hurts.

5. 11 sneaky email tricks

  • Content: Blog Post
  • Open: 17.83%
  • Analysis: This subject line uses a number that stands out (11) and a compelling adjective (sneaky) to hook the audience. And everyone loves simple to implement strategies, as implied by words like “trick,” “hack,” or “shortcut.”

4. Facebook Ads (Your first 3 steps)

  • Content: Perpetual Traffic Episode
  • Open: 17.87%
  • Analysis: If you’ve wanted to try something new, like Facebook ads, one of the biggest barriers to entry is not knowing where to start. This subject is clear, direct, and helps people who aren’t sure if they’ll be able to use the information.

3. The YouTube Gold Mine

  • Content: Blog Post
  • Open: 17.90%
  • Analysis: Have you ever discovered a gold mine? Probably not, but it sure would be nice to do so. This subject line combines a high-value proposition with intriguing but vague details. Open up!

2. Thank You!

  • Content: $1 Trial Offer
  • Open: 17.99%
  • Analysis: This is a subject line that works so well we sneak it into our mails every year and it never fails to disappoint. People love recognition, and acknowledgment of what they’ve done (if you swipe just one subject line, make it this one).

1. 23 bizarre products selling online

  • Content: Blog Post
  • Open: 18.71%
  • Analysis: This was one of our experiments for 2015, seeing how some lighter, less actionable content would fare, and the fact that subject line took our top slot shows that this strategy works. This subject promises a fun twist on studying just how crazy ecommerce can be. And lists with odd numbers always catch the eye.

Those may be the cream of the crop, but with 134 million emails out the door, we saw a few other good ones, too. Here are the next 90 subject lines that had the highest open rates and a breakdown of the elements that compose them:

  • Think like a Facebook ad pro… – Self-Interest | Curiosity
  • 29 Landing Page Reviews (Plus…) – Self-Interest | Curiosity
  • Get your Facebook advertising plan – Offer
  • How to Build an Unstoppable Business (2nd Edition) – Story
  • The 3-step Content Marketing plan – Self-Interest
  • [SWIPE] 10 Best Customer Survey Questions – Offer
  • This is embarrassing but… – Curiosity
  • Facebook Ad Case Study [listen to Part 3] – Self-Interest
  • … this failed miserably – Humanity | Curiosity
  • How to get paid [Literally] – Self-Interest
  • Still doing it the old way? – Curiosity
  • Sales ⬆︎, Refunds ⬇︎, Retention ⬆︎ – Self-Interest | Curiosity
  • How Emily Faith got 76,974 YouTube views in 10 days… – Story
  • Facebook Video Ads | The Ultimate Guide – Offer | Self-Interest
  • Avoiding the “Facebook ban hammer” – News | Curiosity
  • How to sell tickets to live events – Self-Interest
  • Don’t buy this from Amazon! – Curiosity
  • Finally! Facebook releases… – Curiosity | News
  • Split Test This, Not That – Self-Interest
  • My Gift to you… – Curiosity | Offer
  • New tool changes webinars forever… – News
  • The PERFECT traffic platform? – Curiosity | Self-Interest
  • I’m closing it down! – Urgency/Scarcity
  • Join me in congratulating… – Story | Curiosity
  • Inverted Web Analytics? – Curiosity
  • The ideal length of everything online – Curiosity
  • The PERFECT Facebook Ad – Self-Interest | Curiosity
  • BIG news from YouTube – News | Curiosity
  • This critique gets uncomfortable at times – Curiosity
  • [Leads] Scaling from 50 to 5,000+ – Self-Interest
  • Rice, gasoline and website traffic? – Curiosity
  • The AdWords Remarketing “Easy Button” – Self-Interest | Curiosity
  • Private Invite – Self-Interest | Curiosity
  • Big Celebrity Announcement – News
  • [SWIPE] Our best email copy – Offer
  • Answers to the Facebook Pixel Madness – Self-Interest
  • 2 killer blog post templates – Offer | Curiosity
  • WANTED: Professional Content Marketers – Curiosity
  • Read this before clicking “Send” – Self-Interest
  • Can’t Buy FB Traffic? – Curiosity
  • This has nothing to do with marketing… – Curiosity
  • Meet me at ICON (and save $300)… – Offer
  • [TEMPLATE] Cold email anyone and get a response – Offer
  • [Podcast] Frank Kern on Paid Traffic – Story
  • Traffic for the eCommerce biz – Self-Interest
  • “I just want the recordings…” – Curiosity
  • Twitter Traffic (In an hour a day) – Self-Interest
  • Paid traffic not converting? Download this… – Offer
  • MAJOR announcement! (big changes at DM) – News | Curiosity
  • Become a “Customer Acquisition Specialist” – Self-Interest
  • 3 proven FB campaigns to run today… – Offer
  • 2 BRAND-NEW certifications launched today – News | Curiosity
  • Start with this funnel – Self-Interest
  • I was wrong… – Humanity
  • Use THIS to become an Authority (in ANY market)… – Self-Interest | Offer
  • $100 or $100.00? (It makes a difference) – Curiosity
  • Blog posts that sell (A complete guide) – Offer
  • I LOVE this little tool! – Curiosity
  • T&C 2016 closing soon? – Urgency/Scarcity
  • Limited-time open enrollment… – Curiosity
  • ①⓪① ways to boost email open rates – Self-Interest
  • New DigitalMarketer Training Center – News | Curiosity
  • Conversion vs. Content – Curiosity
  • 21 landing page mistakes – Self-Interest | Curiosity
  • Facebook’s New Lead Ads (What you need to know) – News | Self-Interest
  • Copy and paste these 72 headlines [Last Chance] – Offer
  • How to hire a content marketer – Self-Interest
  • Get your first 1,000 blog subscribers – Self-Interest
  • Stop writing NEW blog posts. Here’s why… – Curiosity
  • [TEST RESULTS] 2,689 leads from “On Site Retargeting” – Self-Interest | Curiosity
  • A visit to Facebook (Here’s what we learned) – Story | Curiosity
  • My 2016 business plan… – Offer | Curiosity
  • 5,219% ROI from new traffic source – Self-Interest | Curiosity
  • The Remarketing Grid – Curiosity
  • [Case Study] Numbers don’t lie – Story | Curiosity
  • Score your landing page – Self-Interest
  • Create the perfect marketing calendar – Offer
  • Reach 6,372,857 people with zero ad spend – Self-Interest | Curiosity
  • A 15.2% lift (but we were shocked) – Curiosity
  • My favorite automation tools – Self-Interest
  • A very direct (and some might even say, “RUDE”) email – Curiosity
  • [CASE STUDY] AZ shoe store 20X’d sales by sending what? – Story | Social Proof
  • Download This Social Media Swipe File (PDF) – Offer
  • Turn ice cold prospects into buyers – Self-Interest | Curiosity
  • My favorite business model – Curiosity
  • The Ultimate Course on Paid Traffic – Self-Interest | Offer
  • My new book! (and a big mistake) – Story | Humanity
  • Double sales (Get the formula) – Self-Interest
  • Dirt cheap Facebook leads – Self-Interest
  • ⬆︎ Social media traffic (Your 6-step plan) – Self-Interest

Now it’s your turn — Post in DM Engage or tweet us with #101!

(NOTE: Want a plan for truly effortless automated email marketing? Check out DigitalMarketer’s Email Marketing Mastery — on sale for 90% off! Generate at least 200% more sales and conversions from the list you already have… even if it’s tiny! Learn more now and take advantage of this sale!)

DigitalMarketer Email Marketing Mastery Certificate 90% off for a limited time

Should you test that?

Now that you have our best subject lines of the year, you should be ready to up your own game and start sending some emails.

We’re going to give you just a little bit more information to help you get an extra bump…Here are our three top performing email split tests of 2015.

1. Highlighting a Pain in the Subject Line

Open rate can lie about performance.

That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t look at the metric because you definitely should. It’s one of your top four email metrics to watch, along with click through rate, unsubscribe rate, and earnings per click (EPC).

But here’s a great split test that shows why you can judge a campaign by a single metric.

We ran this subject line split test in March of this year. These were the two subject lines.


The “Little _______ = big sales [QUIZ]” beat out the other one, but the results weren’t significant. So at first glance, the test was a wash. However, on closer examination, the subject line “This is why your prospects aren’t buying” actually had more clicks.

A LOT more.

We saw a statistically significant lift of 18% in click-throughs for the second subject line. The reason? The other headline pre-qualified openers by highlighting a pain they were feeling in their business.

That’s one of the risks with curiosity headlines – they drive more opens but people don’t know what they are getting into when they open. So for more complex or expensive offers, direct and pain-based subject lines can produce better results. Don’t overdo it on the doom and gloom though; a little bit of negativity goes a long way and too much can turn subscribers off your emails.

2. Use CSS Buttons in your email

Setting yourself up for mobile wins has never been more important, as more and more people are using their mobile devices to read email, browse the web and make purchases.

Because of this trend, we decided to experiment with CSS buttons during our Black Friday promotion. We tested emails using buttons for the CTA against emails using just text hyperlinks, which had been our standard practice.

Here’s a glance at what each one looked like:



We figured the button would win, but we had no idea how incredible the results would be. The email with buttons had a 22% higher click through rate, no small feat and definitely a sign that this test was a winner.

But that’s not the mind-blowing part of the results.

We also compared the performance and found that the earnings per click, the amount of money we made for every person who clicked through the email, was 38% higher for the email with CSS buttons.

3. Use Unicode Symbols to Highlight Emails

We’ve said it before, but we’ll say it again — using Unicode symbols in your subject line is a great way to generate a bump in opens.

These symbols are the little pictures that show up in your inbox, including ☼, ★, ☂, and ①. Since Unicode symbols are coded in computer systems like alphabet characters and numbers, they can be displayed on multiple browsers and devices.

Across all kinds of topics and subject lines, we’ve found that Unicode symbols produce a consistent 8% bump in email opens. So these can be a great way to squeeze everything you can out of a big promotion or help push visitors to a particularly strong blog post.


You can grab a swipe file of some of the best Unicode symbols here.


Don’t stop there!

Check Out Our 101 Best Email Subject Lines of 2014 (…and our 10 worst!)

We start with our top ten email subject lines for 2014…

10. [WEEKEND ONLY] Get this NOW before it’s gone…

  • Product: AuthorityROI
  • Product Type: Course/Information Product
  • Open Rate: 9.49%
  • Analysis: This is a great example of a flash sale subject line. It combines the urgency of limited availability with an element of mystery. Keep in mind that these work best in very small doses.

9. The Facebook Slap is coming…

  • Product: Twitter Ads EP
  • Product Type: Execution Plan
  • Open Rate: 9.51%
  • Analysis: Personally, just rereading this subject line has me digging through my email archives. It combines the curiosity and news elements, and speaks to a penalty the entire digital marketing industry will want to avoid.

8. Steal these email templates…

  • Product: Email Templates
  • Product Type: The Machine
  • Open Rate: 9.53%
  • Analysis: This one is simple and direct, and makes a clear offer. The phrase “templates” works particularly well with Digital Marketer’s email list.

7. Your 7-figure plan goes bye-bye at midnight…

  • Product: AuthorityROI
  • Product Type: Course/Information Product
  • Open Rate: 9.64%
  • Analysis: Are you willing to wave goodbye to 7 figures? Most people aren’t – this is another great example of curiosity and urgency working in tandem to raise that open rate!

6. Is this the hottest career in marketing?

  • Product: eCommerce EP
  • Product Type: Execution Plan
  • Open Rate: 9.77%
  • Analysis: This one is all about curiosity. Using questions in your subject line is a great way to open a loop that your audience will want to close by checking out the email’s contents.

5. A Native Ad in 60 Minutes or Less

  • Product: Blog Post
  • Product Type: Lead Magnet
  • Open Rate: 9.78%
  • Analysis: Quantifying how long it will take a subscriber to realize some benefit in the subject line is great – it feels manageable and promises results, making even inactive members of your list curious. This offer feels bite-sized and achievable.

4. 212 blog post ideas

  • Product: Blog Post
  • Product Type: Lead Magnet
  • Open Rate: 9.94%
  • Analysis: Another great offer example – it communicates the email’s value in just four words.

3. Check out my new “man cave” [PICS]

  • Product: eCommerce EP
  • Product Type: Execution Plan
  • Open Rate: 10.24%
  • Analysis: This is a fun blend of curiosity and humanity – it directly addresses some value Ryan got, a sweet new “man cave,” in the subject. Not only does this spark interest, but it reminds readers about the human connection that brought them to DM in the first place.

2. [URGENT] You’ve got ONE DAY to watch this…

  • Product: AuthorityROI
  • Product Type: Course/Information Product
  • Open Rate: 10.79%
  • Analysis: Once again, curiosity and urgency team up to create a compelling subject line. If you are careful about using these sparingly, you’ll find that they just work.

1. How (and why) to calculate Average Customer Value

  • Product: Blog
  • Product Type: Blog Post
  • Open Rate: 10.91%
  • Analysis: Our number one email subject line, this blends all of the good stuff. It gives you a metric that can improve you business, inspires curiosity about why this number matters, and offers to help you figure out how to calculate it.

(NOTE: Want a plan for truly effortless automated email marketing? Check out DigitalMarketer’s Email Marketing Mastery — on sale for 90% off! Generate at least 200% more sales and conversions from the list you already have… even if it’s tiny! Learn more now and take advantage of this sale!)

DigitalMarketer Email Marketing Mastery Certificate 90% off for a limited time

Here are the next 90 emails with the highest engagement and what elements they used:

  • [FINAL CHANCE] 7-figure blueprint gone tonight… – Curiosity | Urgency
  • How to write a promotional email – Self-Interest
  • Steal our best subject lines – Offer | Self-Interest
  • Weird traffic test… – Curiosity
  • How to craft a guarantee that sells – Self-Interest | Story
  • [SECOND CHANCE] This weekend only… – Curiosity | Urgency
  • The Machine is coming… – Curiosity
  • It’s landing page magic… – Curiosity | Self-Interest
  • [NEW POST] How To Build an Email Marketing Machine – Self-Interest | Story
  • THIS disappears at midnight! – Curiosity | Urgency
  • A simple sales copy formula – Self-Interest
  • Gold In Your Mailbox – Curiosity
  • [RESULTS] My Facebook Case Study – Curiosity | Story
  • This is working on Facebook right now – Self-Interest | Story
  • Two Words: Cheap Traffic! – Curiosity | Self-Interest
  • [FLASH SALE] 51% off sale ends tonight… – Curiosity | Urgency
  • I made you a video… – Curiosity
  • How to write bullets that sell… – Self-Interest
  • Facebook is cracking down… HARD! – Curiosity | News
  • Thank You! – Humanity
  • [Case Study] Copy & paste this $10 million business… – Curiosity | Self-Interest
  • Swipe my Email Game-Plan (PDF) – Offer | Self-Interest
  • [FREE PDF] Ultimate Email Marketing Game-Plan – Offer | Self-Interest
  • The 10-Minute Bloggers Editorial Plan – Self-Interest
  • What are you doing this weekend? – Curiosity
  • 212 Blog Post Ideas (PDF) – Offer | Self-Interest
  • Is email marketing dead? – Curiosity
  • C’mon – everybody’s waiting for you… – Curiosity | Urgency
  • I LOVE this amazing little tool! – Curiosity | Self-Interest
  • 3-Part Followup Series [Download] – Curiosity | Offer
  • A quick YouTube hack – Self-Interest
  • Find writers for your blog – Self-Interest
  • Facebook Ad Targeting Options [A Complete Guide] – Offer | Self-Interest
  • [NEW FORMULA] Cheap, Targeted Facebook Traffic – Self-Interest
  • 4 emails with stellar click-through rates – Curiosity | Self-Interest
  • Step up your video marketing game – Self-Interest
  • Want to look at our email stats? – Curiosity | Self-Interest
  • Native Ad Hacks? – Curiosity
  • 198% ROI on Twitter Ads – Self-Interest | Story
  • [URGENT] About today’s traffic training… – Urgency
  • Do NOT sell on Amazon without this $10 tool… – Curiosity | Self-Interest
  • How to Stop Ho-Hum Marketing – Curiosity
  • Would You Do THIS For Money? – Curiosity
  • 2 huge mobile marketing opportunities – Self-Interest | Curiosity
  • Twitter is the new… Facebook?! – Curiosity | News
  • [PART 2] See how I got $0.10 email optins… – Self-Interest | Story
  • My business model… on a napkin? – Curiosity | Story
  • We beat up this landing page – Curiosity
  • [Gone Sunday] Your traffic training replay is available.. – Urgency
  • Don’t make these 7 AdWords mistakes – Self-Interest | Curiosity
  • My Gift to you– Offer | Curiosity
  • Zero to 30K Page Views in 11 Weeks – Story | Self-Interest
  • This sucks, you lose… – Curiosity
  • Should you follow your passion? – Curiosity | Story
  • Low Conversion Rate? Fix These 6 Elements. – Self-Interest | Story
  • Are you missing one of these FIVE steps? – Curiosity
  • Copy and paste these 72 headlines [Last Chance] – Offer | Self-Interest
  • How to craft a winning 3-part followup series – Self-Interest
  • 32 split testing ideas – Self-Interest
  • Less _______ = More Sales [SURVEY] – Curiosity
  • [Template] Create engaging Facebook images – Offer | Self-Interest
  • No blog comments? – Curiosity
  • Download this Social Media Swipe File (PDF) – Offer | Self-Interest
  • Presenting: “Funnel 2.0” – Curiosity
  • 321% higher conversions using THIS… – Curiosity | Story
  • This guy makes 6 figures per month? – Social Proof | Curiosity
  • Amazon app cherry-picks hottest products for you… – Self-Interest | Curiosity
  • Unlimited penny traffic… – Curiosity | Self-Interest
  • My Twitter Ads Cheat Sheet – Self-Interest
  • Still haven’t launched your funnel? – Curiosity
  • Our top Facebook ad campaigns – Curiosity
  • “Borrow” all my checklists… – Offer | Curiosity
  • SEO is dying (a slow and painful death) – News | Curiosity
  • This is rated aaarrrgh! (details inside) – Curiosity
  • Does your marketing smell funny? – Curiosity
  • Do you HATE money? – Curiosity
  • (time sensitive) Last night’s Funnel training… – Urgency
  • [Case Study] $188,674 from a dead list – Social Proof | Self-Interest
  • [ONLY $7] My “cheap traffic” plan – Self-Interest
  • Get More Email Newsletter Clicks – Self-Interest
  • Reduce shopping cart abandonment – Self-Interest
  • Create opt-in pages that convert like crazy – Self-Interest
  • My Facebook retargeting plan – Self-Interest
  • This gets my highest recommendation – Curiosity
  • Better than Facebook? – Curiosity
  • 28,507 leads in 45 days – Self-Interest | Social Proof
  • A slick mobile lead gen funnel – Self-Interest
  • The Machine is LIVE… here’s your link – Curiosity
  • Pounce on these shifts in digital marketing – Curiosity | Self-Interest
  • Uncomplicate your analytics – Self-Interest
  • I do THIS for traffic… – Curiosity

But don’t do this…

We’re also sharing our top 10 worst emails of 2014 and picking them apart to find why exactly they didn’t work.

Our Top 10 Worst Emails

For these, we looked at emails with the highest unsubscribe to open ratio. Not only did these miss the mark, they drove our audience away! We’re going to work backward, starting with the 10th most unpopular email.

10. [85% Discount GONE] Blog launch “checklist on steroids” price increasing…  

  • Promotion: Blog Launch EP
  • Promotion Type: Execution Plan
  • Unsubscribes / Opens: 1.78%
  • Analysis: This subject line is trying to do too much at once. The framing of the price increase is presented as both a disappearing discount and a price increase. While these mean the same thing, it can be a little confusing and makes the subject line too long. Sticking with short, sweet, and clear is best.

9. Last chance to be a whale

  • Promotion: The Whale Method
  • Promotion Type: Course/Information Product
  • Unsubscribes / Opens: 1.90%
  • Analysis: This curiosity subject line is cute, but it’s a little too cute. We’ve found that trying to be too clever or funny with subject lines often hurts an email’s performance. This varies by industry, but for educational authorities, it tends to hurt performance.

8. 321% higher conversions using THIS

  • Promotion: Video Sales Letter Formula
  • Promotion Type: Course/Information Product
  • Unsubscribes / Opens: 1.93%
  • Analysis: This subject line isn’t terrible – it combines curiosity with self-interest and makes an exciting promise. So I looked at the body as well. A key issue was that the body was even more blind than the subject line – the promise got lost in the open.

7. uh oh

  • Promotion: Napkin Project
  • Promotion Type: Course/Information Product
  • Unsubscribes / Opens: 2.01%
  • Analysis: This is a great example of a curiosity subject line that completely misses the mark. It’s too vague and sets a negative tone. Be very careful when using curiosity subject lines, especially when you don’t mix them with other elements.

6. 3-Part Followup Series [Download]

  • Promotion: Native Ads Academy
  • Promotion Type: Course/Information Product
  • Unsubscribes / Opens: 2.09%
  • Analysis: One of the big issues with this email was that it didn’t explain exactly what kind of follow-up series was being offered. By not giving the audience enough information, those who opened it and weren’t interested in an email follow-up series were turned off.

5. Free traffic SUCKS!

  • Promotion: Whale Method
  • Promotion Type: Course/Information Product
  • Unsubscribes / Opens: 2.21%
  • Analysis: This subject line strikes a negative tone right off the bat. While that can be very effective way to get opens, it also sets audience members up to feel frustrated. When you go negative, it’s important to really focus on putting a positive spin in the email body.

4. 43% discount GONE at midnight

  • Promotion: Video Sales Letter Formula
  • Promotion Type: Course/Information Product
  • Unsubscribes / Opens: 2.46%
  • Analysis: This subject line isn’t particularly bad on its own – it combines curiosity and urgency, which is often very effective. However, the subject line is nearly identical to the one sent the day before. Using the same elements in a subject line two days in a row can make your emails seem stale and leave your audience bored. And bored audiences become unengaged very quickly.

3. This sucks, you lose

  • Promotion: Whale Method
  • Promotion Type: Course/Information Product
  • Unsubscribes / Opens: 2.67%
  • Analysis: Another example of a negative curiosity-based subject line. It has a similar issue to the other one – it didn’t spin the tone of the communication enough and left readers with a bad taste in their mouth, leading to a high unsubscribe rate.

2. [GONE TONIGHT] Native Ads training OVER at MIDNIGHT

  • Promotion: Native Ads Academy
  • Promotion Type: Course/Information Product
  • Unsubscribes / Opens: 2.94%
  • Analysis: This subject line is a little too urgent – overdoing capitalization in the subject line can feel like shouting. And no one wants their email inbox to yell at them. Capitalization is a great way to draw attention but works best in small doses.

1. C’mon – everybody’s waiting for you

  • Promotion: Native Ads Academy
  • Promotion Type: Course/Information
  • Unsubscribes / Opens: 3.05%
  • Analysis: This email actually had one of our top 100 email subject lines, but it’s a great example of the double-edged sword of curiosity hooks. The email went to audience members not already planning to attend a webinar. This subject line puts some pressure on the reader which, for those clearly not interested in the webinar, is an, unfortunately, effective way to drive them off your email list.

RELATED: Generate more sales by sending fewer emails with our Ultimate Email Marketing Gameplan.


Still here? Great!

We’re sharing our 101 Best Email Subject Lines of 2013 below!

In 2013, our best email subject lines were all made up of one of the 8 all-important elements we outlined at the top of this post…

Perhaps more importantly — NONE of our best email subject lines were:

  • Cute
  • Clever

OK… almost none of our best are cute or clever.  Every once in a great while a cute or clever subject line will work… most of the time they will get low open rates.

For the most part it pays to be direct and clear.

OK… let’s take a look at our top email subject lines.

We begin with the 10th best email subject line…

10.  Breaking News…

  • Product: Black Friday Webinar
  • Product Type:  Webinar
  • Open Rate: 7.6%
  • Analysis:  This subject line promises that the reader will find something timely and unknown if they open up.

9.  Facebook traffic is dead?

  • Product: Facebook Ad Power
  • Product Type: Course/Information Product
  • Open Rate: 7.6%
  • Analysis:  This subject line creates plays on a reader’s self-interest — particularly those that are using or are considering using Facebook for business.

8.  Everybody’s waiting for you…

  • Product: Funnel Webinar
  • Product Type: Webinar
  • Open Rate: 7.7%
  • Analysis:  This is a clever way to use urgency in an email subject line.  This email was sent a couple of minutes after we started the webinar it was promoting.

7.  Kindle bestseller in 4 days?

  • Product: Facebook Ad Power
  • Product Type: Course/Information Product
  • Open Rate: 7.8%
  • Analysis:  This subject line promises a benefit in a short amount of time — a good example of a self-interest subject line.

6.  Watch live? From anywhere?

  • Product: Traffic & Conversion Summit (Event)
  • Product Type: Event
  • Open Rate: 8.0%
  • Analysis:  This subject line creates curiosity.  It creates the following question in the reader’s mind: “Watch what from anywhere?”

5.  Facebook closing down?

  • Product: Facebook Ad Power
  • Product Type: Course/Information Product
  • Open Rate: 8.0%
  • Analysis:  This is a curiosity subject line that implies that something of self-interest to the reader might be going away.

4.  I feel kinda sorry for you…

  • Product: Facebook Ad Power
  • Product Type: Course/Information Product
  • Open Rate: 8.2%
  • Analysis:  This subject line plays on the reader’s ego and creates curiosity.

3.  How to scale your business

  • Product: The Amazing Selling Machine
  • Product Type: Course/Information Product
  • Open Rate: 9.5%
  • Analysis:  This is a clear and direct self-interest subject-line.

2 .  Good news for people who love bad news…

  • Product: Traffic & Conversion Summit (Event)
  • Product Type: Event
  • Open Rate: 9.6%
  • Analysis:  This one creates curiosity through a cute and clever use of word play.

 1.  Can’t Make The Trip?

  • Product: Traffic & Conversion Summit (Event)
  • Product Type: Event
  • Open Rate: 9.8%
  • Analysis:  This curiosity subject line asks a question

Ok… that’s the Top 10.  But there’s more… here are the next 90 email subject lines that enjoyed the highest open rates.

  • Your funnel is broken… – Self Interest
  • [New Video] 1,000,000 customers in 11 months? We have proof. – News | Self-Interest
  • Need my help? – Self Interest | Curiosity
  • Ahhh, San Diego! Spanish for… – Curiosity
  • I LOVE this little Facebook tool! – Self Interest
  • [URGENT] Emergency Gmail Webinar Tomorrow, 7/24! Urgency | News
  • The Story of “The Vagabonds” – Story | Curiosity
  • My favorite market research tool – Self Interest
  • Get your business funded in 2014 [Case Study] – News | Self-Interest
  • Copy & paste this $10 million business… – Self Interest
  • (time sensitive) Last night’s Funnel training… – Urgency
  • The Ultimate Facebook “Cheat Sheet” – Self Interest
  • Create your own digital magazine (no iPhone/iPad required) – Self-Interest
  • Will this KILL your business in 2014? – Curiosity | News | Self-Interest
  • Questions about War Room? – Self Interest
  • [TONIGHT] My proven funnel system revealed… Urgency |Self-Interestt
  • [Last Chance] Create the perfect funnel… – Urgency | Self-Interest
  • [PROOF] How to get 10 cent email leads from Facebook… – Self Interest
  • [Free Book] The $10 million discovery (limited) – Self Interest | News | Scarcity
  • Boost your email clickthroughs by 200% – Self Interest
  • No more discounts on T&C! – Self Interest | Scarcity
  • Facebook sucks – Curiosity
  • [FLASH SALE] This is how we get traffic from Amazon – Urgency | Self-Interest
  • [Open NOW] The Digital Publishing Blueprint is LIVE! – News | Self-Interest
  • The Perfect Webinar Funnel – Self Interest
  • Tim Ferriss says “Hi” – Social Proof
  • Pulling FBAdpower DOWN… – Scarcity
  • LAST CHANCE for Livestreaming… – Urgency
  • New site and new sales in 3 days or less?! – Self Interest
  • 1 cent CLICKS?! (open up)… – Self Interest | Curiosity
  • I hope they’re not mad… – Curiosity
  • [Closing Tomorrow] Don’t get shut out… again! – Urgency
  • Good News… Your 1st sale in 3 days… – Self Interest
  • How I get dirt-cheap, high-quality traffic… – Self Interest
  • [FINAL PLAYING] Emergency Gmail Webinar! Urgency | News
  • Will 2014 be better than 2013? – Curiosity | News
  • T&C CLOSING! Only 61 spots left! – Scarcity
  • Facebook “panic” is great news for you… – News | Self-Interest
  • [CLOSING TONIGHT] T&C tickets GONE tonight… – Scarcity
  • [JUST RELEASED] More T&C Tickets Available… – News | Urgency
  • Software cherry-picks the hottest leads for you… – Self-Interest
  • Free 68 page book Interview With A Mega-Bestseller – Self-Interest
  • [FLASH SALE] Get targeted FB leads for dirt cheap… – Urgency | Self-Interest
  • [Finally] Get this Proven Digital Marketing Blueprint – Self Interest | News
  • 85% sale ends today – Urgency
  • You an Amazon Bestseller? – Self-Interest
  • Last chance – T&C Closing at Midnight TONIGHT! – Urgency
  • Important letter for you – Curiosity
  • [NEWS] EmailWorld 2013 Sept. 24th and 25th in San Diego, CA – News
  • Announced 306% increase in FB traffic? – News | Self-Interest
  • Facebook OWNS Google… – Curiosity
  • [Almost Gone] New T&C Tickets going fast… – Scarcity
  • [IMPORTANT] Gmail Webinar TODAY! – Urgency
  • Only open if your business will do at least 7-figures this year… – Curiosity | Self-Interest
  • Apple Newsstand training is CLOSING – Urgency
  • FW: Did you miss this yesterday? – Curiosity
  • Merry Christmas to You! – Humanity
  • Can I help you build your sales funnel? – Self Interest
  • “Panda” update for Facebook? – Curiosity | News
  • Press Releases More Powerful Than Ever? – News | Curiosity
  • Last chance for Apple Newsstand training [FREE RESOURCE] – Urgency | Self-Interest
  • Interact with the industry’s brightest minds at the QuickSprout Forum – Self-Interest
  • You on Facebook? – Curiosity
  • Turn Ideas into Million-Dollar Products – Self-Interest
  • 100,000 unique visitors PER MONTH… – Self-Interest
  • The “Mystery Man” Behind 500 Product Launches… – Curiosity | News
  • This 1 “weird trick” is worth the trip – Curiosity | Self-Interest
  • Arrested for printing money? – Curiosity | News
  • Can we meet in San Diego? – Curiosity | Self-Interest
  • Bad news and good news… – Curiosity | News
  • T&C is selling out! Only 32 seats left! – Scarcity
  • Ex-construction worker earns $309/day with… – Story | News
  • This Free book changed my business… – Curiosity | Self-Interest
  • The free books are all gone… – Curiosity | Scarcity
  • [NEWS] 5th Annual Traffic & Conversion Summit OPEN – News
  • [80% Discount] Game-changing software… – Self-Interest
  • Content idea generator [Free Resource 1 of 3] – Self-Interest
  • [RESULTS] My Facebook Case Study – Self-Interest | News
  • THIS Increased Conversions 24%?!? – Self-Interest | News
  • FINAL NOTICE: Only 11 seats left! – Scarcity
  • Only 187 free copies of Frank’s book left… – Scarcity
  • No list & NO partners = sales in 3 days?! – Self-Interest | Curiosity
  • Your “On Demand” bootcamp replay… – Self-Interest
  • Happy Thanksgiving! – Humanity
  • How I “busted-up” Google’s monopoly… – Curiosity | News
  • [SPOOKY NOTICE] 82% off T&C Tickets (CLOSING 24 hours) – Urgency
  • Your DEADline is tonight! 82% off dies at midnight… – Urgency
  • If I had to start all over again… – Story
  • Wanna pick an $80 Million brain… – Curiosity |Self-Interestt
  • [REVEALED] Turn Likes into email subscribers fast… – News | Self-Interest

RELATED: Generate more sales by sending fewer emails with our Ultimate Email Marketing Gameplan.


(NOTE: Want a plan for truly effortless automated email marketing? Check out DigitalMarketer’s Email Marketing Mastery — on sale for 90% off! Generate at least 200% more sales and conversions from the list you already have… even if it’s tiny! Learn more now and take advantage of this sale!)

DigitalMarketer Email Marketing Mastery Certificate 90% off for a limited time

The post [PDF Download] DigitalMarketer’s 101 Best Email Subject Lines of 2016 (…and 5 free tools you can use to amplify your email marketing!) appeared first on DigitalMarketer.

The Only 4 Email Marketing Metrics That Matter

If I gave you $1 to spend in your business, where would it go?

Your first instinct might be to invest in Facebook ads, or maybe to sock it away and save for the latest marketing software.

But the highest return on investment (ROI) might come from a surprising source: your email marketing.

The Data & Marketing Association said that in 2015, for each $1 spent on email marketing, companies made $38 in return.

That’s a 3,800% ROI!

If you want to achieve this result (and who wouldn’t?), you need to figure out if your emails and campaigns are ACTUALLY driving business-building results.

To do that, you need to pay attention to four email marketing metrics. Yes, just four. 🙂

These email metrics are UNIVERSAL and will help you measure the success of your emails so you can create effective email marketing campaigns no matter…

  • … your email list size (whether it’s a fledgling or a full-grown eagle)
  • … your type of business (from ecommerce to brick-and-mortar)
  • … the email platform you use (from MailChimp to Maropost)

Today, I’m sharing…

  • … the only four email metrics you need to track («but you must track them for every email you send)
  • … how to use the metrics to track the two categories of emails («they couldn’t be more different)
  • … and – most importantly – how to figure out if your email performance is good or bad («so you can actually improve your email marketing!)

Let’s get right to it!

What You MUST Track for Every Email

So why only four metrics?

Each of these metrics corresponds with a specific, high-leverage part of your email.

"Open rate describes how well your subject line encourages your email list to actually take the time to read your email." ~John GrimshawIf performance dips, reviewing which of these numbers changed can help you understand EXACTLY what happened and HOW to fix it.

The four metrics are…

  1. Deliverability
  2. Open rate
  3. Click-through rate
  4. Disengagement rate

Let’s dig into each of these and go over what they are and how you’ll use them in your own email marketing.

Email Marketing Metric You Must Track #1: Deliverability

First off, we have Deliverability, also known as delivery rate, which is calculated by dividing Delivered Emails by Sent Emails.

Email Deliverability = Delivered Emails divided by Sent EmailsDeliverability tells you what percentage of emails sent actually make it to the inbox. In other words, it clues you into how likely people are to GET your email.

In general, deliverability gives you a sense of how well your emails pass the “spam test” for Email Service Providers (ESPs) like Gmail and Yahoo.

If your emails don’t use flagged words and are well received by your audience, your deliverability should be quite high. A healthy deliverability percentage should be in the upper 90th percentile.

Be sure to pay attention to emails with low deliverability. This is a great way to identify language that ESPs don’t like, such as…

  • No Investment Needed
  • Zero Risk
  • No Money Down

(RELATED: [Download] The 8-Step Email Deliverability Checklist to Generate More Conversions, Revenue, and Customer Engagement)

The next metric is one most people are familiar with…

Email Marketing Metric You Must Track #2: Open Rate

Your email’s Open Rate tells you how likely people are to READ your email and is determined by dividing Unique Opens by Received Emails. Email Open Rate = Unique Opens divided Received Emails

This measures the frequency with which your emails are opened, and thus read.

Open rate is one of the easiest metrics to affect, making it a well-known metric that is a frequent blog topic, including for us.

Open rate describes how well your subject line encourages your email list to actually take the time to read your email.

Since you’ve got roughly 30 characters to catch someone’s eye with a subject line, punchy copy can be the difference between 700 and 7,000 people reading your email.

(RELATED: [PDF Download] DigitalMarketer’s 101 Best Email Subject Lines of 2016 (…and 5 free tools you can use to amplify your email marketing!))

You should use open rate as a barometer of how well your messaging resonates with your target audience. "Use open rate as a barometer of how well your message resonates with your target audience."

The third metric is arguably the most crucial because it most closely correlates with sales…

Email Marketing Metric You Must Track #3: Click-Through Rate

Click-through Rate tells you how likely your audience is to ENGAGE with your email, which means it indicates the likelihood that someone will click on a link within your email.

The formula to calculate click-through rate is the number of Unique Clicks divided by the number of Unique Opens.

Email Click-Through Rate = Unique Clicks divided by Unique OpensClick-through rate is so important because it measures whether or not people are actually taking the desired actions with your emails.

Clicks in an email are what drive…

  • Visits
  • Engagement
  • And ultimately… sales

A low click-through rate usually indicates that your email copy is falling flat and is a sign of a weak or unclear call-to-action (CTA).

An easy fix to improve click-through rate is to avoid over-selling your products or services through email and instead focus on getting people to click your link.

The email body’s only job is to sell the click.

Trying to sell your product in there as well means you’ll come up with subpar performance every time.

(RELATED: 4 Emotional Triggers that Increase Email Click-Through Rate)

The last metric is one almost no one thinks about but may give you the most insight into how your email list feels about you and your email strategy.

Email Marketing Metric You Must Track #4: Disengagement Rate

Disengagement Rate tells you how likely people are to HATE your email.

Email Disengagement Rate = Complaints plus Unsubscribes divided by Unique OpensThis can be computed by adding Spam Complaints to Unsubscribes and dividing the sum by Unique Opens.

Your emails will always drive some people away – you can’t please everyone and trying to will leave your business stuck in neutral.

However, you do need to make sure that the vast majority of readers on your list like what you have to say.

That’s why you want to make sure you keep an eye on your disengagement.

With disengagement rate, you can pinpoint messaging that doesn’t work, and cut that out of your toolbox.

You absolutely must keep your average disengagement rate below 0.15% for your emails, or you’ll start to see your deliverability drop.

You’ve got your four metrics, as well as the basic uses for each of them! Now that you know what you should be tracking, let’s talk about how to actually make that happen.

How to Track Email Performance (and the Two Categories of Email)

Not all emails you send are the same – and the distinction is key when it comes to measuring our four metrics.

There are two different categories of email, but this distinction has nothing to do with the content of the emails. Instead, these categories describe how emails are delivered to customers.

The two categories are broadcast emails and automated emails.

Let’s start with…

Email Category #1: Broadcast Emails

Broadcast emails are manually set up, scheduled, and sent out of your email marketing software to many people at once.

These are mass communication emails, closer to a piece of mail you get from your favorite clothing store with a 20% off coupon, like this one from Old Navy with the subject line, “SNAGGED IT: $12 SHORTS”:

Old Navy broadcast email example

And from a metrics perspective, broadcast emails are easy to evaluate; since all the emails are sent at the same time, data about these emails is reported in aggregate.

Here’s an example of a broadcast email report we would get out of our email client, Maropost.

Broadcast email report from Maropost

You can see three of our four metrics are automatically generated…

  1. Deliverability
  2. Open rate
  3. Click-through rate

And while the platform doesn’t actively provide Disengagement rate, it can be easily calculated from the formula provided earlier.

Next is…

Email Category #2: Automated Emails

Automated emails, on the other hand, act more like a personal letter.

They are customized to the individual recipient, usually containing more details about a customer and their interests.

These emails are sent out based on actions customers have taken – they can be triggered to send when customers do things like…

  • Fill out a form
  • Purchase a product
  • Visit a certain webpage

Here’s an example of an automated email from Paragon Apparel with the subject line, “Did you see something you liked?” after visiting one of their product pages:

Paragon Apparel automated email example

While the higher personalization means these emails typically perform better than broadcasts, they are also more difficult to track and evaluate because data isn’t always automatically aggregated for these and reporting is provided at a contact level.

Here’s an example of what I mean:

Automated email report example

This granular reporting makes it hard to see the big picture and evaluate performance because you have to compare hundreds or thousands of individual reports.

But you need to track BOTH of these kinds of emails if you want to level up your email marketing.

To level up your email marketing, you MUST track it…

Tracking Email Performance with Metrics

We’ve covered why tracking broadcast emails is actually quite easy, meaning your only job with broadcasts is to put the metrics into your email marketing data warehouse (more on this later).

But tracking automated emails, or broadcast emails without proper reporting, is much trickier.

Since tracking isn’t happening within the platform, we have to look to other solutions to get our answers…

If you want fast and easy tracking and don’t mind spending a little money, there are two great solutions from which to choose.

Both Litmus and Email on Acid provide aggregated, in-depth analytics for all your emails. To get started, simply add an HTML snippet to your email template…

Add an HTML snippet to your email template

Email on Acid is the more robust of the two options, with click tracking included in the service.

Unfortunately, neither piece of software reports on deliverability, but even so, these are the fastest and easiest way to get the bulk of your analysis up and running.

If you’re using a lean startup model and don’t want to shell out the money for these platforms, there is a free workaround you can set up using Google Analytics and Bitly, two free tools.

You can use event tracking in Google Analytics to report on email opens, meaning you’ll have your email performance data right there alongside your website information.

This great article from Dyn walks through how to set this tracking up step-by-step.

To track clicks, we’ll turn to Bitly, friend of social media managers everywhere because of its ability to shorten links.

Of course, email marketers can use it to track link clicks as well as shorten links.

Create a Bitly for every link you include in your email – the Bitly platform walks you through how to do this when you sign up for your free account.

Create a Bitly for every link you include in your email

By doing this, you’ll be able to compare total clicks, as tracked in Bitly, to total opens, as tracked in Google Analytics, giving you click-through rate.

And you can compare opens to emails sent, which should be easy to pull out of any email platform.

Deliverability and disengagement won’t be possible, but you’ll have WAY MORE insight than most with this information.

Now that you know how to track all the information, we need to discuss how you’re going to store all of it, and how this will help you avoid a mistake many marketers make…

(NOTE: Want a plan for truly effortless automated email marketing? Check out DigitalMarketer’s Email Marketing Mastery — on sale for 90% off! Generate at least 200% more sales and conversions from the list you already have… even if it’s tiny! Learn more now and take advantage of this sale!)

DigitalMarketer Email Marketing Mastery Certificate 90% off for a limited time

Why You Absolutely, Positively MUST Own Your Own Email Marketing Data

When your email platform provides all of the metrics for analysis in a neat package, it’s easy to conclude that all your work is done – just check individual email metrics and move on to the next thing.

"To build a sustainable, long-term email strategy, you need to take any data you get in your business and hold it yourself." ~John GrimshawThis is a HUGE trap (that many people fall into) when it comes to email marketing because it feels efficient at the time.

To build a sustainable, long-term email strategy, you need to take any data you get in your business and hold it yourself.

There are two key reasons this is critical.

1. Being Prepared for Migrations

The first is that platforms come and go.

Your business will grow and its needs will change over time, meaning that a migration is almost assuredly in your future. Storing data externally makes it easy to be prepared when the time comes.

Take us for example…

Since 2011, DigitalMarketer has leveraged FOUR different email platforms.

If I wanted to compare a campaign we ran in 2011 or 2012 to one we ran today, or just see what the year-over-year trend in open rate was, I’d be out of luck without our platform-agnostic historical data.

2. Turning Your Email Marketing Metrics into Decision-Making Tools

Keeping all your information in one place, ideally one that lends itself to data modeling, helps you turn your data into a decision-making tool.

A simple chart looking at dates and deliverability can help you track how we’ll you’re maintaining compliance over time and whether or not you need to adjust your messaging.

The other important reason is that having a unified place where all this data lives makes it much easier to analyze and evaluate big chunks of data. You can track trends over time, by category or content of email.

Clearly, it’s important to have somewhere you can track these four metrics and the emails they represent that…

  • isn’t tied to any one platform…
  • and can be used to explore your data to find trends and opportunities…

…but that doesn’t mean it has to be complicated, as we’ll talk about next.

Storing Email Marketing Metrics Can Be Simpler than You Think

The fancy term for this external storage is a “data warehouse,” but it can be as simple and low-tech as a spreadsheet.

Here’s what the data warehouse DigitalMarketer uses looks like:

DigitalMarketer email data warehouse

You can grab a copy of the tracking sheet DigitalMarketer uses here.

Just visit that link, then click File > Make a Copy, and you’ll have one you can edit added to your Google Drive!

Click File > Make a Copy, and you’ll have a email warehouse you can edit added to your Google Drive

This sheet will make it EASY to track BOTH broadcast and automated emails and get you started with your very own data warehouse.

Tracking broadcast emails is self-explanatory – you just plug the performance for each individual email into each row.

For automated emails, you’ll want to add an update to the sheet every time you get 100 new clicks on each email. That way, you’ll have enough data to give you representative performance metrics.

Now that you know your metrics and your tracking and organizing them, there’s one step left.

What Does Success Look Like? How to Benchmark Your Performance

Figuring out how your emails stack up can be very tricky.

The biggest question I get from people about their email marketing metrics is, “How do I know if my results are good or bad?” Followed by, “What kind of performance do you see at DigitalMarketer?

Unfortunately, that’s not too useful.

Looking at…

  • different markets
  • different products
  • different email lists

…won’t help YOU decide how YOU’RE doing.

You need to look closer to home.

Thankfully, there are two great resources to help you define what success looks like.

Benchmarking Your Performance by Keeping an Eye on Your Peers

The first resource is other people in your industry.

If you’re a law firm, knowing how email marketing generally performs for other businesses offering legal services will give you a great benchmark for what success should look like.

This data will be more FAR MORE useful than the law firm comparing itself to a clothing store.

The same goes for all industries – if you know the general habits of people in your audience, you can evaluate your results.

So, how do you go about this? "If you know the general habits of people in your audience, you can evaluate your results."

Luckily, Mailchimp has created the best resource ever for taking a peek into your peers’ email marketing metrics.

This resource provides averaged email performance data for 46 different industries, ranging from Arts and Artists all the way to Vitamin supplements.

And because Mailchimp sends over 10 billion emails a month, the information is extremely representative of behavior patterns.

Here’s a look at some of that data:

Mailchimp email marketing metrics

The other resource you should use to evaluate your performance is your own data

Benchmarking Your Performance by Looking to the Past

Looking at past performance is one of the best ways to get a sense of where your email marketing program is at the moment.

To turn your historical data into something usable, you need to compile it.

This can be done pretty easily – generate averages for your four-metrics looking at the past…

  • six months
  • year
  • and three years

…to see what direction performance is trending and to come up with benchmarks to compare current performance to.

"The only way to start improving it is to understand where you are at the moment."Whether or not your email marketing is where you want it to be today, the only way to start improving it is to understand where you are at the moment.

Leveraging these two different sets of data will give you reasonable expectations and help you understand how your email marketing shapes up.

In addition to the details on how to improve individual metrics, making your audience more or less specific is the next best way to improve performance.

To beat your baseline, try experimenting with a smaller list, targeted by topics you know they’re interested in.

And experimenting with the email’s subject line and body copy is a great way to boost performance.

(RELATED: [Swipe] Digital Marketer’s Best Email Body Copy)

Focus on improving one metric at a time – that way you can figure out what’s causing the lift.

What’s next, you might ask?


Prove, then Automate

Now that you’ve got the basics of tracking and using your email marketing metrics, you can take it one step further by leveraging your broadcast emails to improve your automated emails.

Once you have a good sense of what exceptional performance looks like, you can cherry-pick your best broadcast emails and turn them into automated emails.

That way, every time you send a broadcast, you’re also working in your email marketing laboratory – testing and improving your campaigns!

And by keeping a close eye on these four metrics, you can figure out how to create and maintain effective email marketing campaigns.

(NOTE: Want a plan for truly effortless automated email marketing? Check out DigitalMarketer’s Email Marketing Mastery — on sale for 90% off! Generate at least 200% more sales and conversions from the list you already have… even if it’s tiny! Learn more now and take advantage of this sale!)

Email Marketing Mastery Certificate 90% off for a limited time

The post The Only 4 Email Marketing Metrics That Matter appeared first on DigitalMarketer.

How to Optimize Your Facebook Page for Product Sales

Do you want to sell on Facebook? Wondering how to increase product sales without investing in Facebook ads? In this article, you’ll discover how to organically optimize your Facebook page for more sales. #1: Choose the Right Facebook Page Type and Category Every business is different, and how you optimize your Facebook page for sales […]

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– Your Guide to the Social Media Jungle

What Facebook’s New Group Features Means For Community Managers

Big news for Facebook Groups!

Facebook is fulfilling the commitment it made earlier this year to focus efforts on building true communities on its platform.

Mark Zuckerberg: Building Global Community

Along with expanding their own internal community teams, the social media goliath also kicked off its first-ever Facebook Communities Summit, gathering hundreds of Facebook Group admins from across the globe to discuss ideas and features that would make Facebook Groups, well… easier to manage.

And that’s when a HUGE announcement was made!

Key community management features will soon be gracing our beloved Facebook Groups, including:

  • Group Insights
  • Member Request Filtering
  • Removed Member Clean-Up
    Scheduled Posts
  • Group-To-Group Linking (this is the one I am most excited about, and I’ll tell you why in a moment!)

So, what do these new Facebook Group features mean for community managers?

Let’s talk about it with real life examples and some sweet images (thanks to Facebook and TechCrunch!)…

Group Insights

From Facebook:

Group Insights: Group admins have told us consistently that having a better understanding of what’s going on in their groups would help them make decisions on how to best support their members. Now, with Group Insights, they’ll be able to see real-time metrics around growth, engagement, and membership—such as the number of posts and times that members are most engaged.

This. Is. The. COOLEST.

Until now, community managers of Facebook Groups had to either rely on vanity metrics — like the total number of members — or invest in third-party analytic platforms to get any insight into who participated in their community and how often they did so.

I’m so happy to see that Facebook is making an effort to help community managers measure what IS important — like participation and activity.

A word of caution here—it looks like the initial version of Group Insights include some vanity metrics when it comes to community growth:

Community Metrics Insights

Community managers shouldn’t measure growth by a total number of members or a total number of new members — real community growth is a result of member activity, so for the moment, it looks like there is still some work to come in the growth metrics department.

This feature does mean that community managers can potentially stop investing in third-party tools and rely on Facebook to do what it does best – provide valuable data to make the best decisions.

Up until now, Facebook only provided insights for Pages as a way to understand how people were engaging, performance metrics, and help provide better ad targeting.

Community Metrics Insights
Which begs the question… What’s Facebook’s end goal here? Perhaps a way to better understand your community in order to… dare I say it… advertise?

As Mari Smith noted in her insights into this feature, “This could be the first step in monetizing groups. We’ll see.”

Member Request Filtering

From Facebook:

Membership request filtering: We also hear from admins that admitting new members is one of the most time-consuming things they do. So, we added a way for them to sort and filter membership requests on common categories like gender and location, and then accept or decline all at once.

Membership Request Filtering

If you manage a Group, you are acutely familiar with the pain it takes to go through a long list of member requests every day.

Facebook Group Features

It’s time-consuming, it feels like busy-work, and… it’s boring. I’m bored now just thinking about it.

Facebook’s new member filtering feature will be a welcome reprise for communities who focus on catering to specific demographics or locations.

And BATCH. ACCEPTS. Be still my beating heart.

This means community managers can spend their time actually building up their communities through content and strategy instead of spending hours (yes, hours) going through membership requests one-by-one.

From the bottom of my heart: thank you, Facebook.

Removed Member Clean-up

From Facebook:

Removed member clean-up: To help keep their communities safe from bad actors, group admins can now remove a person and the content they’ve created within the group, including posts, comments, and other people added to the group, in one step.

Removed Member Clean Up

Fellow Facebook Group moderators, I can hear you toasting champagne glasses from here. Cheers!

Every community manager has had to deal with a toxic member at one point or another. Trolls. Spammers. Straight up assholes.

If you’ve ever had to remove said person (and their hateful remarks) from your group, you know how painful it is to go back and make sure the poison from every wayward comment and post is removed from sight.

Ain’t nobody got time for that.

Now in one fell swoop, that jerkface—and all their awful contributions to your community—can be wiped off the face of the planet.

Oh, happy day!

Why is this important for community strategy? Ever heard of the phrase, “Monkey see, monkey do?” 

Humans are imitators; we learn by repeating the actions of others who have gone before us. We naturally mimic behavior that we see… especially in tribes that are linked to our personal identities.

It gets a little complicated from there, but the main takeaway here is that bad behavior can easily create more bad behavior in communities. Our brains are just wired for it (good news though—good behavior works the same way!).

By removing toxic comments and posts, community managers are looking to educate their groups on the proper way to behave — it’s often less a matter of “policing” and more to do with removing barriers to valuable conversations.

The new member clean-up feature will go far in helping community managers keep their communities moving forward; a thriving, happy family that doesn’t have room for the haters.

Scheduled Posts

From Facebook:

Scheduled posts: Group admins and moderators can create and conveniently schedule posts on a specific day and time.

Scheduled Posts

Um, yes, please.

Creating engaging, consistent community content is a cornerstone to helping community members connect with one another.

For example, in our DigitalMarketer Engage Facebook group, we create a #OneWeekOneThing post every Monday so our community members can keep each other accountable on big goals…

DigitalMarketer Engage One Week One Thing

On Friday’s there’s the #CelebrateTheWin post so our members can celebrate their achievements…

DigitalMarketer Engage Celebrate the Win Post

Not to mention our members-only weekly webinar announcements…

DigitalMarketer Weekly Webinar Announcement

And monthly content like #HotSeat!

DigitalMarketer #HotSeat

Community managers understand the power of consistent community-building content… having the ability to schedule these posts is a HUGE time-saver!

That time can be spent actually participating in community conversations instead of creating them.

Group-to-Group Linking

From Facebook:

Group-to-group linking: We’re beginning to test group-to-group linking, which allows group admins to recommend similar or related groups to their members. This is just the beginning of ways that we’re helping bring communities and sub-communities closer together.

Group To Group Linking


Why, you might ask, am I so excited about this particular feature, given all the greatness that was just announced?

Two words: Social Density.

OK, four more words…

It’s too damn high.

If you’re not in the know on community management lingo, social density refers to the amount of conversation that can happen in a set space.

For example, let’s say you take five people…

…and put them in the Kauffman Stadium (go Royals!)

That stadium would feel super empty, right?

But let’s take those same five people and put them in a filing room…


Now we have the opposite problem — it’s way too cramped!

The same concept applies to conversations in online communities—if your social density is too low, not enough activity is happening to keep new members interested in participating.

If it’s too high, there are so many different conversations happening that it’s impossible to keep up. Large Facebook Groups (like the DM Engage community) suffers from a very high social density.

With nearly 10,000 members, there is such an overload of new conversations and active discussions that it’s difficult for new members to plug in and for active members to find where they can best contribute.

It’s a problem that stunts community growth.

Other community platforms, like forums, address high social density by creating subtopics, like Reddit famously does here:


This keeps different discussion topics in their own dedicated area, so conversations don’t get cluttered.

Until now, creating subgroups or subtopics was an impossibility on the Facebook platform. Community managers who struggled with high social density had to do their best to organize content on their own.

The new group linking feature could be a solution for organizing subtopics of communities by groups conversation topics into their own groups — without alienating the community as a whole.

All in all, each of these new features is exciting for community managers. It’s so encouraging that Facebook is now viewing Facebook Groups as a tool for truly bringing people together — and helping community professionals do their jobs better!

Has your Facebook Group been access to these new tools yet? We want to hear about it!

The post What Facebook’s New Group Features Means For Community Managers appeared first on DigitalMarketer.

Facebook Ads and Metrics: New Research for Marketers

Wondering if Facebook is still a relevant platform for marketing? Interested in how your colleagues and peers will use Facebook in the coming year? In this article, you’ll discover new insights that show where Facebook marketers are focusing their attention and how you can best take advantage of ads on the platform. #1: Facebook Advertising Spend […]

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– Your Guide to the Social Media Jungle

Episode 102: Facebook’s Offline Events: The New Way to Track the Untrackable

This is big! The rollout of Facebook offline events is giving marketers the ability to track what the Facebook pixel can’t: sales that happen in your physical store or over the phone after people see or engage with your Facebook ad.

From local businesses to online companies, any business can use and benefit from Facebook offline events, no matter your budget. Join the experts and special guest Scott Desgrosseilliers, founder of Wicked Reports, as they explain how you can use Facebook offline events to your advantage, as well as the caveat you need to be aware of.


  • Who should use Facebook offline events and how it can have a profound impact on your business.
  • What data may conflict and where to proceed with caution so you can make informed decisions about your Facebook ads.
  • Scott’s #1 metric you should be tracking that will help you understand what creates a new lead for your business.
  • Listen till the end of the episode for a “Ryan Rant” on the problem with direct response and what you can do about it.


Facebook Offline Events: What This Means for Marketers
Wicked Podcast

Thanks so much for joining us this week. Have some feedback you’d like to share? Leave us a review on iTunes!

The post Episode 102: Facebook’s Offline Events: The New Way to Track the Untrackable appeared first on DigitalMarketer.

11 Effective Ways to Use Facebook Ads

Do you need to use Facebook ads more effectively? Have you considered narrowing the goal for each of your ads? In this article, you’ll discover 11 examples of results-oriented Facebook ads you can use as models for your own business. #1: Remarket to Potential Customers Who Abandon Carts This Bluehost ad gets Facebook advertising right […]

This post 11 Effective Ways to Use Facebook Ads first appeared on .
– Your Guide to the Social Media Jungle

Marketing Your Business on Facebook: How to Choose Between Profiles, Pages, and Groups

Want to start marketing your business on Facebook? Wondering how to choose the best Facebook channels for your business? Understanding the basic features and functionality of Facebook personal profiles, business pages, and groups can help you develop an effective business identity. In this article, you’ll discover the options open to business owners on Facebook and […]

This post Marketing Your Business on Facebook: How to Choose Between Profiles, Pages, and Groups first appeared on .
– Your Guide to the Social Media Jungle