DigitalMarketer’s 21 Best Digital Marketing Articles of 2016

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January 10,2017 by
Matt Douglas

Another year has come and gone and the people have spoken…

In this post, we’ve pulled together the 21 most popular articles on the DigitalMarketer blog in 2016.

Yep… this is the stuff you can’t miss out on.

Coming in #1 (by far) is…

1. Customer Value Optimization: How to Build an Unstoppable Business [2nd Edition]

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On January 20th, 2014, Ryan Deiss published (in great detail) the system he used to build ALL of his businesses. Since publishing the system (called Customer Value Optimization or CVO) that post has been…

  • read by 221,080 people
  • shared almost 37,000 times (36,800 to be exact) on various social networks and…
  • has received 535 comments

On August 20th, 2015, Ryan released the 2nd edition of this article with expanded information on…

  • Product/Market Fit (<<< Understand why people buy… and why they don’t.)
  • Acquiring leads and customers with Lead Magnets and Tripwire offers.
  • Maximizing immediate profit so you can pay more than your competition to acquire customers, scale your campaigns or just pocket more cash.

RELATED TRAINING: Conversion Funnel Mastery: Get Access to our Proprietary Customer Getting Strategy and Get Certified As A Customer Value Optimization Specialist.

 

2. [PDF Download] Digital Marketer’s 101 Best Email Subject Lines of 2016 (…and 5 free tools to amplify your email marketing!)

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In 2015, we sent 134 million emails — and that was just from the DigitalMarketer brand. For the 3rd year in a row, we released our free PDF (no opt-in required) swipe file with all the top subject lines and our 3 best email split tests…

…and it was downloaded by 210,784 people.

Every high performing email subject line we sent had at least one of eight characteristics we identified. You’ll learn what those winning characteristics are in the post, too.

It gets better.

What you’ll actually find in this article is 404 killer subject lines to download because we just released our goodies for 2016 and rounded up the previous downloads for 2013, 2014, and 2015 all in one place.

Make sure you grab all three downloads before you send your next email—and the three email marketing tricks we learned in 2015 from split testing thousands of emails.

RELATED TRAINING: Email Marketing Mastery: Get our Step-By-Step Plan for Using Advanced Email Marketing Strategies to Massively Monetize Any Email List and Get Certified as an Email Marketing Specialist.

 

3. 9 Lead Magnet Ideas and Examples (And ONE That Generated 35,859 Subscribers in 60 Days for Digital Marketer…)

We like to think we know a thing or two about generating leads, which is why we were thrilled to roll out the 2nd edition of one of our most popular post in June 2016!

Plus, you’ll get the 8-Point Lead Magnet Success Checklist to print out and put your Lead Magnet through the paces with before launching to your audience.

We’ll show you what makes a great Lead Magnet, and what so many have done wrong before.

RELATED TRAINING: Conversion Funnel Mastery: Get Access to our Proprietary Customer Getting Strategy and Get Certified As A Customer Value Optimization Specialist.

 

4. [Download] The Complete Guide to Facebook Advertising Targeting Options [2nd Edition]

In mid-2014, we released one of our most popular Facebook advertising articles called…

The Complete Guide to Facebook Ad Targeting.

This resource was used by more than 25,000 people to find their ideal customer on Facebook and put an offer in front of them using Facebook ads.

In March 2016, we released the 2nd Edition of this resource.

Here’s what’s new:

  • The downloadable Facebook Ad Checklist you’ll use to organize your ad targeting research
  • The “But No One Else Would” trick that allows you to drill down into your market and reach people who will actually buy (and cut the rest)
  • A walkthrough of the exact process our traffic manager uses to conduct targeting research (« This can be applied to any market)
  • 4 new resources for market targeting research (3 of these 4 resources cost nothing)

RELATED TRAINING: Paid Traffic Mastery: Get Our PROVEN Plan For Guaranteed Traffic and a System for Acquiring New Customers. Plus Get Certified As a Customer Acquisition Specialist.

 

5. The Ultimate List of Blog Post Ideas [2nd Edition]

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In May of 2014, we released our list of 212 blog post ideas.

Since that date, this resource has helped 94,525 bloggers defeat the dreaded “blank screen.”

Almost a year later, we updated and released the 2nd edition of our Ultimate List of Blog Post Ideas to include…

  • 232 blog post ideas  (you’ll love the Content Aggregator and Embed Reactor posts)
  • 5 short instructional videos (showing you how to create some of our best blog post types)
  • Updated screenshots and links to example articles (so you’ll know exactly how to put them together yourself)

… PLUS, we added a handy lightning bolt icon that denotes posts that can be put together extremely quickly!

RELATED TRAINING: Content Marketing Mastery: Get our Step-By-Step Plan For Turning Content Into Free, Organic Traffic and Get Certified as a Content Marketing Specialist.

 

6. 6 Trending Digital Marketing Skills to Put on a Resume

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Skills like…

  • Content Marketing
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Media Buying/Traffic Acquisition

…are in demand.

Employers are looking for people that get this digital marketing “stuff.”

In this post, visited by 57,566 people, we’ll give you

  • Job Description
  • Potential salary
  • Job titles

…and personality attributes you need to acquire the six hottest skills in the industry.

If you want to future proof your career — you’ll want to read this guide to the six indispensable digital marketing skills.

RELATED TRAINING: Looking to sharpen your skills in these hot job markets? Learn more about our DigitalMarketer mastery trainings and become indispensable.

 

7. The Ultimate Guide To Ecommerce Email Marketing (Online Retailers, This One’s For You…)

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Are you an online retailer?  

If so, this massive 4-Part ecommerce email marketing guide is for you.

In this roadmap, you’ll learn to create…

  • The characteristics of the perfect eCommerce email (Look out for the section on the “Pre-Header” — we’ve made big gains in Open Rate from employing this)
  • Where you should spend the VAST majority of your time testing your email marketing
  • The right software to use to send emails and build exit-intent pop-ups on your site

We’ve also got loads of examples from online retailers doing email marketing right — and examples of those doing it wrong. Such as…

  1. Indoctrination emails — Did you know that welcome emails get 4X the opens and 5X the clicks of a typical promotional email? You need a solid welcome email!
  2. Lead Nurture emails — Learn how eCommerce pros use content to keep the list “warm.”
  3. Promotional emails — You’ve indoctrinated and nurtured them, it’s time to ask for the order.

This post is filled with examples and analysis you can swipe and put to work in your ecommerce email.

You’ll see killer emails from…

  • Bonobos
  • Jet.com
  • Harry’s
  • Michaels
  • Art.com

…just to name a few.

You’ll also learn how to structure…

  • Transactional Email/Receipts — Transactional emails have extremely high open rates. Are you giving your customers an opportunity to buy more in your transactional email? Look for examples you can swipe from Athleta, Dollar Shave Club, and Etsy.
  • Cart Abandonment Email — 67% of online shopping carts are abandoned leaving as much as 4 trillion (<< that’s not a typo) dollars on the table. You’ll find a 3-Part email series you can employ and examples from Fab, FifthThree, and Doggyloot).

Plus, you’ll find more than a dozen manual and “triggered” campaigns you can set up to increase engagement and sales.

If you’re selling physical products online (or you’re thinking about it), you need this guide.

To round it out, you’ll get case studies from three of the best in physical product email

  • Envelopes.com — This cart abandonment strategy gets more than double the typical improvement of cart abandonment email campaigns.
  • Bonobos — Learn to send fewer emails (stop carpet bombing your list!) and generate more sales.
  • Amazon.com — See how this digital retailing giant generates billions in sales by focusing on personalization.

This is the granddaddy (or grandmommy?) of all email marketing articles for online retailers.

RELATED TRAINING: Ecommerce Marketing Mastery: Learn Exactly How to Make More Sales & Profit From Your Ecommerce Store.

 

8. Ecommerce + Paid Traffic: How Ezra Firestone Turned $434,256.72 into $1,422,500.15 in 30 Days Using Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Google and Shopify

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In case you missed it, these are the numbers in this case study on the DigitalMarketer blog…

  • Total Ad Spend: $434,256.72
  • Total Revenue Generated: $1,422,500.15
  • Total Initial Profit Before Ad Spend: $810,825.08
  • Total Initial Profit After Ad Spend: $376,568.36

Ezra Firestone will teach you…

  • The three issues you must overcome to generate consistent visibility for your ecommerce business (and how to overcome them).
  • “The Big Four” traffic sources your ecommerce business should be leveraging.
  • The one sales funnel that has worked for every ecommerce business and every market Ezra has ever tried.

This funnel (Ezra calls it the Dipsy Doodle and The Don Daliber) looks like this…

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You’ll see every page of this funnel along with the follow-up emails that accompany this 7 figure funnel.

RELATED TRAINING: Ecommerce Marketing Mastery: Get our Step-By-Step Plan to Make More Sales & Profit From Your Ecommerce Store.

 

9. The Ultimate Guide to Facebook Video Ads

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In June 2015, we published the first edition of The Ultimate Guide to Facebook Video Ads, and it’s been a hit ever since…

In June 2016 we rolled out a brand new second edition from Keith Krance of Dominate Web Media and co-host on the Perpetual Traffic podcast.

Here’s what’s new:

  • The 3 Stages of a Facebook Video Ad ( « What you do in the first 10 seconds are critical. Keith gives three examples of how to get people to take action.)
  • 5 steps Keith’s team uses every time they launch a new Facebook video ad — leading to Video View custom audiences for 5¢ per person.
  • 7 examples of different Facebook video ad styles that crushed it, so you can, too.

If you’re thinking of dabbling in Facebook video ads, this 2nd edition is a must read.

RELATED TRAINING: Paid Traffic Mastery: Get Our PROVEN Plan For Guaranteed Traffic and a System for Acquiring New Customers. Plus Get Certified As a Customer Acquisition Specialist.

 

10. [DOWNLOAD] The 15-Point Landing Page Audit

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If you or your organization are sending traffic to landing pages, you need to download this Landing Page Audit (no opt-in required)…

It’s a tool you’ll use to grade landing pages (yours or a competitor’s) and determine the elements that are hitting the mark or failing at every turn.

You’ll rank a landing page on 15 “grading elements” and score each factor on a scale of 1 to 4. In the end, you’ll have a final score and a list of action items that can improve the post.

Here’s how to put this audit tool to work:

  • Email Marketers – You should definitely direct your traffic to a solid landing page, and the better the landing page, the better your email campaign.
  • All PPC Marketers – We all know how important a well-crafted landing page is for our PPC campaigns. Use this audit to squeeze even more revenue!
  • Business Owners and ManagersLanding pages are easier to create than ever and it’s likely yours could use a tweak. See how your campaigns stack up or evaluate how your team creates their landing pages!
  • Agency Owners and FreelancersAudit the landing pages of your clients so you can help them improve their campaign conversion rates.

RELATED TRAINING: Conversion Rate Optimization Mastery: Get a crash course in other valuable optimization methods that “move the needle” and Get Certified as an Optimization Testing Specialist.

 

11. Facebook Flex Targeting: Now You Can Have Your Cake AND-OR Eat It Too

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When Facebook released this brand spanking new feature in November 2015 we were like a kid in a candy store over here at Digital Marketer headquarters.  

Facebook finally released “AND-OR” capability as an ad targeting option.

This. Is. Huge.  

It’s called Facebook Flex Targeting and Molly Pittman will show you everything you need to know about it.

This new feature makes Facebook’s targeting capabilities MUCH more powerful. And, as we all know — it’s ALL about the targeting.

RELATED TRAINING: Paid Traffic Mastery: Get Our PROVEN Plan For Guaranteed Traffic and a System for Acquiring New Customers. Plus Get Certified As a Customer Acquisition Specialist.

 

12. Facebook’s New Conversion Pixel: Pain-Free Migration & Set Up

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This new Facebook advertising pixel is the greatest advancement we’ve seen from Facebook since they rolled out their ad platform.

But this new and improved pixel has led to a lot of confusion. We’ve got you covered in this article on the blog.

In this post, you’ll learn:

  • How Facebook’s new pixel compares to the old pixel, and why Facebook is making this change (Hint: It will prove hugely beneficial to advertisers in the long run).
  • The basics, plus a 30,000-foot-view of the new pixel: Learn and master the foundational concepts: the “base code,” events, and custom conversions.
  • When to use which type of conversion tracking to ensure Facebook is getting the maximum amount of optimization “juice” to boost your campaigns’ performance.

Plus… you’ll get the complete migration game plan.

Learn to migrate from the old conversion pixels to the new pixel without causing catastrophic damage to your ad account performance.

RELATED TRAINING: Paid Traffic Mastery: Get Our PROVEN Plan For Guaranteed Traffic and a System for Acquiring New Customers. Plus Get Certified As a Customer Acquisition Specialist.

 

13. The Ultimate Guide to Google Tag Manager

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Ir you’re new to Google Tag Manager, or a salty veteran, you need this 3-Part ultimate guide from DigitalMarketer’s resident Sensei Chris Mercer of Seriously Simple Marketing.

In Part 1, Mercer will teach you:

  • The “What” of Google Tag Manager (Think of GoogleTag Manager as a tracking dashboard made for marketers)
  • The “Why” of Google Tag Manager (Google TagManager gives you, as a marketer, a whole new level of tracking ability.)
  • The “How” of Google Tag Manager (We covered Tags, Triggers, and Variables)

In Part 2, we’ll dive a little deeper with…

  • Advanced use cases of variables.
  • How to use GTM and the “data layer” to report eCommerce transactions (sales) in Google Analytics.

And, finally, Part 3 will take you cliff diving through GoogleTag Manager:

  • How to set up and use customer dimensions.
  • How to track users across devices.

RELATED TRAINING: Analytics & Data Mastery: Get our Step-By-Step Plan for Building a Powerful Analytics Dashboard and Get Certified as an Analytics & Data Specialist.

 

14. [DOWNLOAD] Customer Avatar Worksheet: Finally, Get Clear on WHO You Are Selling To!

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The customer avatar is the Swiss Army Knife of marketing…

… and we’ve got a writeable PDF version of our Customer AvatarWorksheet (no opt-in required) waiting for you in this article.

The customer avatar informs your…

  • Content Marketing — What blog posts, videos, podcasts, Lead Magnets, etc. should you create to attract and convert your avatar?
  • Paid Traffic — Which ad platforms should you buy traffic from and what targeting options should you use?
  • Product Creation – What solutions is your avatar searching for?
  • Copywriting — How should you describe offers in your email marketing, ads and sales letters in a way that compels your avatar to buy?
  • Email Marketing — Which avatar should receive a specific email marketing campaign?

Honestly… there is no higher leverage activity than getting clear on WHO you are selling to.

RELATED TRAINING: Conversion Funnel Mastery: Get Access to our Proprietary Customer Getting Strategy and Get Certified As A Customer Value Optimization Specialist.

 

15. How to Use Facebook Advertising Pixels to Create High Converting Ad Campaigns

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Today, digital advertising is all about RETARGETING. It drives click costs down and conversions up. It doesn’t get better than that.

And retargeting is all about PIXELS — little pieces of code you drop on your web pages that “tag” your visitors and allow you to retarget.

But that’s not all a pixel can do.

Right now on the blog, Molly Pittman is sharing EXACTLY how to use pixels to optimize your Facebook advertising.

Trust me… you need to understand how these pixels work — it’s imperative to your traffic success.

RELATED TRAINING: Paid Traffic Mastery: Get Our PROVEN Plan For Guaranteed Traffic and a System for Acquiring New Customers. Plus Get Certified As a Customer Acquisition Specialist.

 

16. How to Build an Email Marketing Machine

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There were 33,358 people that got in on the exact email marketing system Ryan Deiss deploys across all his businesses in 2015.

It’s the system (called “The Machine”) that changed his life and it can change yours.

You’ll learn the five stages of email marketing:

  1. Indoctrinate
  2. Engage
  3. Ascend
  4. Segment
  5. Reengage/Win Back

You’ll be amazed when you become aware of the “5 Stages” — and the variety of verticals that can benefit from “The Machine.”

You’ll see examples from:

  • Information Marketing
  • Professional Services
  • Ecommerce
  • Apps and SAAS
  • Retail
  • Hotel and Restaurant

…and more!

Chances are, you can’t afford to not be one the thousands that’ll get in on this post in 2016.

RELATED TRAINING: Email Marketing Mastery: Get our Step-By-Step Plan for Using Advanced Email Marketing Strategies to Massively Monetize Any Email List and Get Certified as an Email Marketing Specialist.

 

17. How To Architect The Perfect Conversion Funnel For Your Business

Trying to figure out which conversion funnel to build?

DigitalMarketer’s President Richard Lindner was back in July 2015 with the ultimate GIFT for you.

It’s a shortcut.

Simply answer the 3 questions Richard poses in this article and you’ll know how to move forward acquiring leads and converting them into customers.

Seriously… you’ll wish you had this shortcut 10 years ago.

Read this article at least twice and pay very close attention to the section titled “3 Types of Conversion Funnels” — This information could change your life.

RELATED TRAINING: Conversion Funnel Mastery: Get Access to our Proprietary Customer Getting Strategy and Get Certified As A Customer Value Optimization Specialist.

 

18. 7 Lessons Learned from 440 Facebook Ad Campaigns in One Year

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We ran over 9,000 Facebook ads in 2015.

You can swipe our seven best from the year on the DigitalMarketer blog—along with our seven best from 2016 as we just released those for the year!

Each of these seven ads either generated…

  • Sales (One whopper was 3,858% ROI positive)
  • Leads (72,033 leads from the first campaign we’ll show you)
  • Retargeting audiences (Almost as good as an email list, we like building retargeting lists)

We’ll be the first to admit it — some of our ad campaigns flopped this year.  

These didn’t.   

Check out our seven best ads of 2015, along with our seven best of 2014, and 2016.

RELATED TRAINING: Paid Traffic Mastery: Get Our PROVEN Plan For Guaranteed Traffic and a System for Acquiring New Customers. Plus Get Certified As a Customer Acquisition Specialist.

 

19. The Ad Grid: How to Build Traffic Campaigns that Convert Higher and Scale Faster

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The process laid out in this blog post from Molly Pittman is three years in the making.

The Ad Grid is DigitalMarketer’s process for organizing and systemizing our paid traffic strategy. It takes the guesswork out of creating an ad campaign.

It’s a 7-Step process that dramatically increases the odds of creating a paid traffic campaign that is an absolute home run.

You’ll see an entire ad campaign built from scratch using the Ad Grid so you’ll understand exactly how to put this system to work in your traffic campaigns.

RELATED TRAINING: Paid Traffic Mastery: Get Our PROVEN Plan For Guaranteed Traffic and a System for Acquiring New Customers. Plus Get Certified As a Customer Acquisition Specialist.

 

20. How To Build A Marketing Dream Team For Your Brand (Even If You Aren’t A Marketer)

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Did you know, according to Yahoo! Finance, the earning potential of a professional digital marketer is $209,755?

Heck… the average entry level salary for a digital marketer with experience is north of 70K per year.

Now we’re showing you the 4-step process we use to bring in new marketing talent… (HINT: We aren’t looking for experienced marketers)

…that immediately contribute to the marketing of the business… (You’ll see our onboarding process)

…at a reasonable salary.

Whether you’re thinking of hiring your 1st marketing team member or your 101st, you need to read this guide.

RELATED TRAINING: Looking to sharpen your skills in these hot job markets? Learn more about our DigitalMarketer mastery trainings and become indispensable.

 

21. How Ezra Firestone Generated $41,254.34 in Ecommerce Sales From $775.50 in Pinterest Ad Spend

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Just how much potential does Pinterest have as an ad platform? Get this:

Ezra’s Pinterest traffic spends 3x more time on-site than his Facebook traffic, and it converts 5 times better.

He hasn’t even turned on retargeting yet, people.

Read the blog post now to see how he does it.

It sounds crazy… (…it is crazy)

But, it’s true.

Pinterest’s new ad platform presents us with a huge opportunity—especially if you work in ecommerce.

Pinterest is absolutely perfect for ecommerce sites for multiple reasons:

  • Average user’s household income is over $100,000
  • It’s the #1 fastest-growing social media site
  • Lets you target by both keywords and demographics

Finally, let’s not forget what Pinterest fundamentally is. It’s a platform where people with disposable income go to make lists of the things they want to buy.

In this blog post, you’ll learn why Ezra was so stoked to hear about Pinterest’s new ad platform…

…why he chose not to use a lead-generation funnel on Pinterest (and what kind of funnel he used instead)…

…three “Pro Tips” you can use to dramatically improve your organic reach on Pinterest

…and more.

RELATED TRAINING: Ecommerce Marketing Mastery: Get our Step-By-Step Plan to Make More Sales & Profit From Your Ecommerce Store.

That’s a wrap for our best content on the blog for 2016… here’s to an even better content-filled 2017!

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Matt Douglas

About Matt Douglas

Matt Douglas is the Copy Editor at DigitalMarketer. Growing up in Pennsylvania, he traded in Northeast winters for Texas sun. He is a graduate of Ithaca College, earning a degree in Integrated Marketing Communications. Connect with Matt on Twitter or LinkedIn.

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