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82,930 examples of how numbers lie (well, not really…)

When I go to the gym, I use an app called Strong to track all my sets over time.

The Strong app is probably the single best non-social media app I ever discovered, and if’n you’re into lifting, it gets my highest recommendation.


The Strong app doesn’t get everything perfect.

For example, today was leg day at the gym.

I did 8 total sets of leg presses, and 110 total reps ranging from 568 lbs on the low end, and 658 lbs on the high end. I also squatted 4 sets of 4 reps with the lowest set being 375 lbs and the highest set being 455 lbs.

Plus, I deadlifted 9 sets of 260 lbs 3 times. Among a few other accessory lifts.

Well, one of the thangs the Strong app does is after completing your workout, it adds up all your sets and reps and weight to give you a total weight lifted.

When I finished today, that “total weight lifted” metric clocked in at 82,930 lbs. One of my all-time highest “pushed weights” stats.

But here’s the thing…

I didn’t PR on any single lift at ANY rep range.

I wasn’t especially tired or sore after working out — I’ve done workouts where I lifted less total weight but felt it in my muscles waayyyyy more.

And, for today’s workout to rank in my “toughest” workouts ever is laughable. It wasn’t even top 5 or top 10 (partly because my legs are the strongest part of my body and can handle more weight, but partly because leg presses, for example, overinflate the “total weight lifted” metric to unheard of degrees).

For comparison’s sake, my typical workouts clock in at 20-35,000 lbs of total weight lifted.

But what I did today is more than double my average!

And you know what?

(Mayhap you can see where this is going…)

It reminded me of brands who over inflate the value of vanity metrics—like this “total weight lifted” metric—in their emails. When I say vanity metrics I am, of course, referring to any metric that doesn't directly result in more revenue, whether it be open rates, click rates, unsubscribe rates, or heck, even deliverability rates.

Sure, each of these metrics have some value… kinda.

But most brands base their entire email strategy around vanity metrics that simply do not matter in the grand scheme of the growth of your biz.

And it can cause you to make foolish mistakes:

For example, if I were to base my entire lifting strategy around the “total weight lifted” vanity metric, then I would exclusively squat, leg press, and do other types of lift where I can really tack on 45 lb plates. And I would also avoid doing any kind of body weight exercises (like push ups or lunges), ab exercises, yoga (which I’ve been doing more of recently and my joints love it—quick side note: if’n you want a fan-fkn-tastic yoga program designed specifically for men, reply to this email and I’ll let you in on my secret), or any other exercise that exist in a higher rep range, as higher rep ranges mean lower weight per rep.


I would also injure myself more often—which would completely deprive myself of gains. I like lifting in lower rep ranges (1-8 reps per set) because I can handle it, and I’m best at it. But I struggle lifting in the 20+ rep range, yet, working in the 20+ rep range would make a more tangible difference to my physique and overall health.

Short story long:

If I followed vanity metrics with my lifting strategy, I’d find myself injured with massive legs and a tiny upper body.

Many such cases of brands doing this with their email strategy.

That’s the bad news.

The good news?

You’re one reply away from working with a stone cold email killer who understands that the revenue you generate from your email strategy trumps every other metric under the sun.

Wanna see if we’re a good fit? Hit reply, and we’ll set up a quick call.


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