1. Email Marketing

Vanity vs actionable metrics: how they work together

When it comes to understanding which type of email content works best for your business, metrics are the best way to make decisions that move your strategy forward. But these metrics aren’t created equal, which is why understanding the difference between vanity and actionable metrics, and how to use them together, is crucial. 

What are vanity metrics?

Vanity metrics provide you with surface-level insight, but they don’t go deep enough to provide you with the bigger picture of what’s happening. They also don’t contribute to your long-term strategic goals.

You don’t want to rely on vague metrics which don’t mean anything tangible, because you miss out on valuable opportunities to grow your subscriber engagement and conversions. Some vanity metrics you need to be mindful of include:

  • Delivery rate: You need to know if emails were sent successfully or not. A low delivery rate could be a sign that something needs to change. But a high delivery rate doesn’t necessarily mean that those emails were opened or engaged with.
  • Open rate: Seeing a high open rate figure is encouraging and validating after the hard work that goes into crafting a newsletter, but you need to know that your readers are taking the time to engage with your emails.
  • Total subscribers: A large email list is promising, but if those subscribers aren’t taking the actions you want them to take, it means nothing to your business growth. A better metric would be engaged subscribers or list growth which shows people are joining the list faster than those unsubscribing. 

What are actionable metrics?

Actionable metrics are insights which connect with your business objectives, KPIs and long-term business goals. Unlike vanity metrics, they back up your strategy and help you make informed decisions. 

Key actionable metrics you need to consider include:

  • Conversions: From engagement with a call to action to downloading an ebook, conversions are important to your business and are what you need to be monitoring. Conversions aren’t necessarily sales – it depends on your strategy and the steps you want your customers to take along the sales funnel.
  • Sharing rate: If a subscriber chooses to share your email newsletter with someone else, it shows that they found real value in what you created and that’s great news for your business. It also shows you the potential of relevant email campaigns for increasing referrals and growing your audience.
  • Clickthrough rate: Clickthrough rate shows you that those links and clickable images you include in your emails are being engaged with, and it’s a great indicator that your content was interesting enough to explore further by your readers, which is exactly what you want. 

Email marketing is an effective way to keep your audience engaged and grow your business, but you need the data to back up your strategy. Don’t let vanity metrics throw you off course – combining them with actionable metrics will ensure you’re on your way to long-term success. 

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