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Measuring Engagements

Lesson 16 from: Effective E-mail and Newsletter Marketing

Jeff Goins

Measuring Engagements

Lesson 16 from: Effective E-mail and Newsletter Marketing

Jeff Goins

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Lesson Info

16. Measuring Engagements

Lesson Info

Measuring Engagements

Before we jump into metrics, I just want tio highlight and celebrate some of you who have gotten started and eric, I want to call on you if it's ok because you were up late last night's doing the homework can you talk a little bit about what you did? Oh yeah so you know, previously I've really had no content on my website and to get to sign up for the newsletter it was just email you know, erica never thoughtful and I didn't feel great about that but that was just what I had at that point so yesterday I signed up for male chimp I got that on my side bar I'm looking forward to putting that more places and sprucing it up a bit, but I have the form there um and then I just started brainstorming and iterating on exactly what living in ever thoughtful life is, which is sort of going to be embodying my blawg um and it was really great, you know, I thought about the butt glue sitting down and just even if I was discourages, you know, writing um and like I said, it went through a few generatio...

ns but it's just so exciting tio have these tools and to start implementing them and to just get to work and that procrastinate and I just this course has really opened my eyes to dream bigger and give me the confidence to move forward, so thank you. Yeah, I love that things. I think that this is so much more powerful than what happens up here. I mean, the content without up application is worthless. And so what I love is hearing from you guys who have started to take action, and you guys who are watching at home or work wherever you might be, and you're doing it, that is inspiring to me. And so as the rest of the day goes on, and as you start applying this stuff and seeing results like erica, npr have have seen, and we're going to talk to some of the other sessions later, I want to hear from you guys. I mean, I'd love for you guys to be sharing with us and also with each other in the chat rooms about what are you seeing? How are how are you starting to build your list? What's working what's, not working, and I'd love for us as a community to support each other, and erica is, you know, is leading the way she she got to work last night. I pulled up her block this morning, which has ever thoughtful dot com and she's she's already advanced way farther than when she came in here yesterday, when it was just a website with a little logo and that was it now you've got an email list you've got a place where people can go so those of you are watching please support erica and get on her list ever thoughtful dot com I'm sure she's going toe have incredible content to share and I look forward tio receiving it myself so thank you erica so we're going to talk about metrics and as I mentioned yesterday case you forgot I'm a writer and we writers tend to not be that good at numbers at least speaking for myself I know that's true I had a friend in college who was an english and math double major and I don't know how he did that but he did and he means there are no electives there are no credits that like cross over there and so he did not have much free time on so most people don't do that I certainly don't do that and so if if you're like me you're more of an artist you're creative person numbers don't come naturally to you then this session is for you because what we're going to talk about is a down to earth way too measure the things that matter and what I want to warn you with is this idea that you don't need to measure anything that is that is the wrong path to go down and I think artistic types creative types on I'm certainly of that ilk we think like, it doesn't matter, I just need to create stuff on don't really need to worry about those metrics and numbers, because that kind of just confuses me anyway. I just need to create my art. The problem is you never know what's working when you're doing that, and you never know what's really connecting with people and and as I just shared, you know, content without application is basically worthless, at least in the context of what we're talking about here we're sharing a message because we want to make an impact on our audience. We wantto change something in the world, we want to help people improve their lives or build their businesses or have better marriages or learn howto rila kayak better or improve the music situation at their church. All of you here have a cause have something that you want to do that's going toe make the world a better place. I believe that I know you believe that, and so you need to care about metrics, even if, like me, you don't really care about them. You have to as I've tried to do, discipline yourself to measure the things that matter now what you don't need to do is you don't need to have lots of measurements and metrics that don't mean anything, as peter drucker says, what gets measured gets done and so this is why we want to measure things because what we measure I's going to effect where we invest our time, and so that also means we don't want to measure things that are going to be actionable. So if if I don't care about my open right, if I don't find a paying attention to that and knowing how many people are opening my e mails doesn't affect anything about how I write them, then that might not be a metric to evaluate. So we're going to go through some key metrics that I think are worth paying attention to, and we're going to talk tio, my friend on marketing expert tim girl who's going to talk about why you need a system, what you know, how to go deeper with those metrics and even how to use male chimp and other email marketing services to measure the things that are ultimately going to get you to your goal and and so I just want to impress upon you that, quote, what gets measured, it gets done so we do want to measure things because we want to get stuff done or as little avatar jeff says. You can't measure everything and that's not what we want to do. I don't want to just throw a bunch of numbers at you. I want to keep this simple because that's, how I work and that's how I run my business and build my audience is simply I don't have a ton of numbers that I'm paying attention to because I wouldn't take action on those, but I am measuring the things that matter to me, and I think you need to do the same. So first thing you want to measure first metric don't pay attention to with your email list is obviously subscribers. This is an important metric and not just people that air subscribing. You want to pay attention to a few key numbers in that group of subscribers. First one to look at your current subscriber count. So this is, I think, where people tend to stop, you know, how many subscribers do you have got five, subscribers, or with you guys? They say you have thousands of subscribers, but that in and of itself is not one hundred percent relevant because how active is that list? How old are those subscribers of those air? Some questions that you know you want to ask, so you think you need to be looking at your subscriber count, how many current subscribers you have? Right now but you also want to look at your subscription rate so how many people are subscribing per day per week and per month? I think those are some good milestones to look at and really you want to look at those in relationship tio any activity that you're doing so he didn't blawg this week or you didn't send out a newsletter this week then looking at your subscription right? You know this week might be helpful but if you haven't done anything to kind of drum up some activity around your list then there may be no reason for that number to change so often you want to measure things after there's been activity but I would start with daily weekly and monthly just you know as a check in points for how you're doing eso current subscription count subscription rate how quickly people are subscribing but those two things in and of themselves aren't enough the third number we want to look at under this subscribers metric is your un subscribes so for example if you have one hundred, subscribers every day which is a great subscription rate but one hundred ten around subscribing every day then your list is not growing it's shrinking you're getting a lot of people on the list and you may have thousands of people on your list but over time it's shrinking and so those three numbers together will give you a sense of how healthy your list growth is going how many people are on the list that's just sort of our benchmark and I often hear people say oh I don't have enough for I don't have many people that's not what matters here I don't want you to measure how many people you've got on your list as if that's the end all be all for many of you you're just starting so it's just a baseline what I want to know is if it's growing and really if it's growing it's good because if it's growing then you're doing something right there getting people involved and if you are getting people on your list even if it's one person a day one personal week one person a month um you could make that number go up you can increase that conversion you can create better bait or you can drive more traffic that's going to make that number increase but until you're getting people to sign up then you're doing something wrong then something is broken maybe people don't know about you maybe there's not an interesting enough incentive there's not enough content on your website something's broken but most people once they get set up and they've got something of value to offer they've got a subscriber count they know what their subscription rate is and they see how many people are on subscribing and those three numbers are great to measure and evaluate on a regular basis so when I'm what I'm looking at my list growth, I'm looking at where it's at and I'm looking at kind of where I wanted to be, you know? So if I want to have two hundred thousand subscribers in a year, I'm just I'm trying to do math and I'm looking at my subscription rate, if I'm getting one hundred, subscribers a day, how much time is it going to take to get to two hundred thousand? And it is my on that trajectory? Or do I need to drum up some more activity to increase that subscription rates so that I get to my number faster? There's no magic number it's great to have goals, but the essential thing is that it's growing that you're moving up, not down, and if if I'm getting a lot of unsubscribed that I need to consider whether or not my content is relevant, maybe it's too frequents or maybe I am promising my audience something that I'm not delivering on, you know? So if if I'm getting a lot of people signed up in, a lot of people are un subscribing, I'm sending too many e mails, the content isn't relevant, or I'm setting them up for an expectation and then disappointing that, and I might wantto go to my list and say, hey, is everything okay? Do you have any feedback for me? That's a great example we talked about this yesterday had engaged with your audience call them to action that's a great opportunity the call your audience to action and say hey, would you tell me how I'm doing? You know it's a real simple tell me how this is going is this working for you so those people that might be on the verge of unsubscribe ing you can you can save those we don't know to ask those questions unless we're paying attention to these numbers how many people are on the list, how quickly how how much is the list growing and by how much and how quickly and then whose unsubscribe ing and with some email services like mel jim, they will even give you the reason why they unsubscribed there's an opportunity where they said I'm getting too much email I just don't want it any more I never asked to be on this list and so if you after you've gotten someone subscribes and you will it's just part of the game we've all unsubscribed from email lists and it wasn't because we always hated the person or business organization s o you know we have to acknowledge that that's going to happen, but that information gives you a clue about what you're doing that's working and maybe what's not working so that you can improve upon it again what gets measured gets done, and so we're measuring these things so that we can affect our activity, eh? So that we can improve what we're doing is that makes sense, that's the first metric is subscribers and it's actually three numbers that you're looking at on evaluating on a on a regular basis, a minimum of monthly basis. When you're first getting started, he would be good to watch, not with like craziness because, you know, like, you got one more subscriber and I'm going crazy, I know that that can feel defeating sometimes, but you're watching that initially just to see that people are signing up and you are moving in a positive direction if they're not, you want to quickly correct that within the first few days and few weeks, otherwise you're going to waste a month and he's going to sign up for your newsletter and you wasted all this time waiting for something to happen, so we measure those things early on and frequently so that we can quickly adjust as we're starting to grow our newsletter. The second metric to look at is your open right now I want to talk a little bit about this because there's a lot of hype put around open rates and there's a lot of misunderstanding about what this means and how reliable this is as a metric so unopened right all that means and almost every email marketing service uses it is it's how what percentage of people that received your message opened it right we all know how to open an email you goto gmail or go to your outlook or apple male and you click open and you open that message right? So they're telling you how many people are opening your message and hopefully reading it and so this is a good indication of one how many messages are actually getting into people's inboxes how attractive you're subject line is that's actually getting it opened and it's also letting you know whether or not maybe if you have a low open right that might mean that you're winding up in people's spam filters because you've written a spam e subject line or something we'll talk a little bit more about that in the next segment about list health about howto stay out of spam filters how to stay in people's in boxes but the open right gives you an indication of how many people your act actually reaching however this is not a very reliable metric so I don't put a lot of stock into it the reason why is lots of people have lots of different ways of reading email so for example when you read on your phone he read on a downloadable you know desktop application like apple mail or outlook certain email services don't count those as opens so the most reliable way to know if somebody's open your email is if they're going to a web browser, they're going to, you know, yahoo or gmail, and they're opening it up and that registers as unopened. But if you're downloading your email and you're reading it off line, there's lots of question about how reliable open rates are and they've gotten better over time, but it's still not, you know, at the time of this recording, it's still not the most reliable metric, and so I don't want you put a lot of stock into it for two reasons. One, because of that research that's been done, there's there's, not it's, not a substantial mataric courts, not the most substantial metric and too just you know that aside, the research aside, who cares if people are opening your email if they're not reading it and not taking action? And that's that's, the really important part is not how many people are opening my messages, because that in and of itself isn't enough. We're trying to call people action. We're trying to train our readers to do things so that eventually we can hopefully sell them something or lead them to making a change in their life that is going to make a difference, and so just reading my newsletter is not enough. And this is similar to that newspaper that arrives in my driveway every week where who cares if it lands in my driveway if I'm not opening it and reading it and who cares if I open and look at it and don't do anything with the content? You know, we're trying to create content we're trying to build a list of followers so that that they're going to take action, they're going to make a change, you're going to do something different, you can't build a business around how much foot traffic you have if nobody's checking out and we don't want to just open the doors and say we got this many people to look at our store to look at our billboard, we want this to convert and so that's why an open right isn't the best metric to look at its somethingto look at I do pay attention to it I don't put a ton of stock into it I pay attention to it as a relative metric, meaning I don't care what the number is, I care whether it's going up or down. So for example, if I write a certain headline and you know I write to different headlines right and one week I have a sixty eight percent open right and that means this many thousands of people open it, I don't care what that number is, I don't one hundred percent believe that that's how many people opened it because of some of the unreliability of that? What I care about is that percentage relative to the next week when I send something with a different subject line, or maybe I'm trying to create a little bit more urgency, and I'm trying to be a little bit more personal, and then I'm going to if that's got a seventy percent open rate or a forty percent open right, then I understand that something is different. And so it's. Not so much about the hard fixed number about this is how many people are reading it. It's more about relative to week over week newsletter after newsletter for your open right? Yeah, erica, any sort of general guidance on days of weak or times sent out for your email that open rates are higher in general. Yeah, there are tien of studies on this about when the best time to send an email is and you can google it, and you will see that the best time to send an email it's early in the morning or late in the morning, we're early in the afternoon or definitely between three p m and seven or absolutely at like eight, nine p m after the kids have gone to bed, or probably like midnight, uh yeah, there are some studies that are done there worth checking out, but nobody can agree on the best time no, but an email so what I tell people to do is try some different times and find out what the best time for you to send email is and then evaluate your open right and then you click through rate based on those times and then stick with it. So really the best time to open it to send an email to get it opened is probably a time that's convenient for most of your readers, and that really depends on time zones and then a time that's predictable. So the best time to send an email is the time that you said you were going to send it, especially going to be a newsletter. And so if you promise your subscribers that every week this is going to be in your inbox by ten a m on sunday morning, then they're going to expect that because you promised it. So think about this less as the perfect time to deliver a newspaper. Certainly, you know, there are times the day they're inconvenient for, you know, something to get delivered to your house, but the best time for anything to arrive at my house is the time that the center said it was going to come because that's what I'm going to be expecting it so we can take all of the science he research stuff out of it and just bring it down to a very human level you're going to make a promise to your reader I'm going to send you a message and I'm gonna guarantee that it's going to arrive around this time you don't have to do that immediately, but at some point it might be a good idea to either explicitly say it's going to be in your inbox every day by seven a m or you just do it and they come to expect it and I will tell you I've never put that out there and said this is going to be in your inbox by this time every day, but I just started doing that I realized that for me sending out e mails first thing in the morning was good for my readers because basically at landed in their in box and they can read it right before they went to work as soon as they got to work. Most people who check email are checking it at work. You know, a lot of studies agree on that most people are reading email at work or they're they're they're checking it you know at some point throughout the day but my intention is to be in their in box first thing in the morning so that they can eat either read it as soon as they get up or they have time throughout the day to read it now I'm always experimenting with things, especially if I have strong calls the action sending something in the middle of the day and just see how it goes so there are opportunities to experiment, but in terms of regularly delivering content, I've started to stick to an early morning sending time, and when I miss that people let me know they go hey, that I missed this so they'll come to expect what you train them to expect, and so this really is about making a promise and then just delivering on it and the best time to send an email is when people are expecting it and are able to open it by the way, I do want to mention something again I want to make clear this is not a male chimp endorsed event, but they do this cool thing where if you are writing a newsletter and your scheduling it ahead of time, you can schedule it to arrive in somebody's inbox at seven a, m or whatever time in that time zone. So if you so if you think the best time for this preached people's inboxes is at this time of day, wherever they are in the world, then you could do that, the catch is you have to schedule it at least twenty four hours in advance that's called time warp andi think that's an advanced feature on male chimp? I'm not sure if it's available in the free version on and other email services might offer that as well, but that's kind of a cool feature where you can arrive at the same time all over the world in people's inboxes kind of a cool thing. Yeah, here, you have to have their zip code also or wherever, because that em dead feature yesterday we just had that's a good question. No, it doesn't require that you ask for their zip codes, they just know I don't know how it knows that months. Creepy what's that yeah, I need, I don't know that's a good question that drove their I t probably yeah, yeah, it's above my pay grade so that's about open rates, what I focus on what I care about what I want you to care about more than open rates is click through rates. This is a reliable metric, because regardless of what kind of software you're using to read your email, whether it's on your phone or on your desktop, or on the browser, when you click something it's very easy to measure, and this is what we care about this is why some bloggers don't send out their whole block post to the readers, because who knows how many people are actually reading that? How you know, how reliable is that open right? So they'll send a little summary and then they'll have a link it's a go here to read, you know, the rest of the article when I really want people to take action on something, or if I'm you know, selling something, I'm sending a short or, you know, fairly short email with a call action, go here and it's a link, and I'm measuring how many people I can get to that landing page, because I know that that landing page is going to convert people. We'll talk about that in the final segment about selling, but click through rates are very important because it tells you that your audience is active, that when you call them to action, they're going to respond, and we want to do that, especially when it comes to leading to selling stuff, because if five an audience that reads my stuff, but I don't know if they were going to click this link or go do this thing, I don't, I don't really know how engaged they are, and I don't know what to expect if I were to build a product or have some sort of offer, how they would respond, and so it's very important to have some sort of benchmark before you move into selling anything that you know, how active and engaged your audiences when you say click this or go here do this they do it and so we talked about calls to action yesterday a great called action is including a you know, go here so not just a reply hear or think about this but some sort of called action that you can measure you mentioned yesterday jessica that you're having some calls the action but you weren't really able to measure them in a great way tio have some way to measure the calls action how responsive people are doing eyes to, you know have a link that they click and then to look at the click through rate and see you know how many people are clicking it so when it comes to click through rate, they're actually a few questions that you want to ask the first is what are they clicking so typically in an email newsletter you might have more than one or two or a few links. So is this just a random link where you're linking to a friend? Is this a link to your web site? Eyes it a link to a product? Is it a link to a book that you just read what air they clink clicking and is it you know what's the anchor text look like anchor text is when you embed a girl you know www dot whatever into something like click here so the one nobody clicks that piece of text it turns into and takes him to a website that's called anchor text so when you're experimenting with different ways to drive action you could experiment with I'm just going to use the girl you know and when people click that obviously we know that this takes me to a web site and then I might experience with different calls to action go here check this out you know different kinds of uh anchor text that's going tio help me understand what words what catchphrases move my audience to click something where in the email is it this is important we've talked before about on your website how you want to keep things above the fold the same things turn an email if you the point of animals to get somebody to click this link it's good to mention that very first the email or towards the beginning so for example when I sent an email to my list this morning saying hey I'm going to be incredible I've again today I wrote a short little to line you know paragraph and I said hey this is day two of my credit live class and I linked creative live class to the landing page for this class and then I went and talked about it and then at the end I linked to it again that's the third question why are they clicking it are they clicking because you asked him to do it? Are they clicking it because it's the first thing that they see are they clicking because its ups and everybody reads the ps why are they clicking it and what can you tell about why they're clicking and I mean some of this is guesswork but some of the ways that you can increase those click throughs are by asking them I know I know it sounds silly but when you ask you you often get mohr responses another way to increase click throughs eyes to not be spammy and what I mean by that is not just to be spam in a way that's going to like push your readers where they go oh that's that makes me feel gross but to say things like click here get this free thing now bye bye bye the reason we don't want to do that is because those phrases especially when they're associated with anchor texan there's a link behind them well sometimes land you in spam filters and we talk more about that in keeping your list healthy so you don't want to be super spammy and the language that you're using and there's some phrases to avoid that we'll talk about in the following section on then lastly this is very important to talk about this in the newsletter you want tio link more than once so you want to link it the beginning of possible then maybe you know somewhere in the body or in the ps it doesn't have to be excessive if you have too many links in a newsletter that can get you caught in a spam filter as well but having one or two having more than one is a good idea usually at the beginning and then maybe depending on the length of the newsletter it can be in the middle if it makes sense on then definitely at the end what you don't want is you don't want somebody you have to scroll back up to click this link and that's why I love using the ps hey by the way in case you missed that will often do is all embed the lincoln two piece of anger text at the beginning talk about whatever it is I'm teaching this class here we're going to learn on dh then you know I hope you can join and then p s um just just in case you missed it the link for this and I'll use the earl the link for this is www dot whatever and I'll make sure that that is clickable a swell that people go ok I definitely want to click that and that really increase increases your click throughs so what are the metrics that we want to pay attention to let's let's review you tell me what we just talked about what are the metrics that we really want to look at tio keep our list growing keep it healthy prescribed account great subscribers what else? Rate subscriber, right? Yeah click through click through rate yet I'm subscribe on subscribes open open right good yeah so uh like I said, what gets measured gets done your activity is linked to the things that you're measuring and as I said, I am a writer and I'm not the you know, the most metrics savvy guy, which is why we're goingto bring tim on and talked to him a little bit about it and dig a little bit deeper into how tio how to really build a system around metrics it's one thing to know how are you know, like, what do you need to measure it's? Another thing to actually do it? And I talked to lots of people, lots of communicators, lots of entrepreneurs, business owners, photographers, people who have an email newsletter, less people will have a blawg they've got these numbers, they've got this dashboard but they're not doing anything with it that you know, we talked a little bit about the numbers that you should pay attention to, but what then? No, I actually do with them and how do I take action and how do I continue to measure these things and respond to them in a way that is consistent and this has been a struggle of mine, which is why I want to bring tim on now and ask him some questions so that we can really drill down into this topic of metrics. And then afterwards, we can talk a little bit about what that might mean for you.

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

13 Subject Lines
Keynote Part 1
Keynote Part 2
Workbook Part 1
Workbook Part 2
You Are a Writer
MailChimp Tutorial Bonus Video
Bonus Video Table of Contents

Ratings and Reviews

a Creativelive Student

I really enjoyed this course. Jeff did and does a great job. Very nice flow and interaction with participants and questions, great content, relaxed yet authoritative. Jeff has a nice presence and his humility makes him easy to receive from. I was equally impressed with the general flow through the program. You could tell Jeff was well prepared, comfortable and believed in what he shared. I also want to give kudos to the CL team for being top shelf hosts and creating an environment conducive to this type of learning program. A great big thank you to the hosts, the team, Jeff, and the chat room facilitators! WELL DONE!! Kurt Poole

William Emmons

This is a wonderful course and enjoyed it very much. Covers so much material in an interesting and easy to understand way. Great for both the person just starting out and a great review for those more experienced. Definitely cover the A-Z of getting started and maintaining your mailings. Love the resources they talk about and recommend for getting started. Loved the interaction with the live inhouse group and also on the chat room. Great response. To sum it up in a few words.... RICH AND FULFILLING! Thanks to Jeff and CreativeLIVE for a job well done. William Emmons @

Jemma Pollari

I love Jeff's teaching style and applicable information and this course was no exception. For me, the set-up information was longer and more detailed than necessary, as I already have a list set up. The "effective" part of the course was much more useful at my level. I was able to get some good strategies to implement for my email marketing. This is definitely a great course to go with if you have no idea where to start with on email marketing because of the focus on getting set up from absolutely nothing. If you are looking for a more extensive pathway to success reaching beyond simply starting the email list and getting it going, I would recommend Jeff's course on here "Starving to successful: how to become a full-time writer." Even though the name talks about being a writer it's excellent info for anyone in the content creation space. Ryan Deiss' "Launch a profitable digital marketing plan" (also on CreativeLive) is another one I'd recommend as an excellent follow-on to more advanced concepts from this course.

Student Work