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Marketing 360® Blog

Vanity Marketing Metrics to Stop Measuring

There are so many digital marketing metrics you could be keeping track of.

You put time and money into getting your brand out there, and there are a ton of different channels you could choose from to do so. So, how do you know which channel to put your money toward, and how can you ensure that you’re investing in the most effective option for your specific needs? By measuring your results.

Just as there are an endless amount of options when it comes to how you get your name out there, there are also a variety of different marketing metrics you could be measuring. Each of these metrics takes time out of your day to measure, and unfortunately, not all of them give you valuable information about your digital marketing strategy and how it’s working for you.

There are some metrics that look great on paper but don’t actually give you any real information about your marketing efforts. These are called vanity metrics, and if you rely on them too much, not only will it prevent you from being able to recognize any issues or mistakes that could be hurting your efforts, but it will be a waste of your time and energy, which may be in short supply already.

5 Vanity Marketing Metrics That You Should Stop Measuring

#1. Email Open Rate

Email marketing is a tremendous way to get your name out there, and there are a ton of metrics that can help you gauge how effective your email marketing strategy is. However, one metric that could be a major waste of your time to monitor is your email open rate.

Take a moment and think about how many times you’ve opened emails that you haven’t even really looked at. Furthermore, the simple fact that you’ve opened an email doesn’t mean that you have any interest whatsoever in the content of the email, or that the email was effective.

Instead of focusing on how many people have opened your emails, look at how many people have clicked through the email to your website, how effective the content is in compelling people to act, and your unsubscribe rate to determine if your content is boring or unuseful to your readers.

#2. Social Media Followers

No one would ever tell you that having more followers will ever be a negative thing for your business, but it’s also important that you realize that the number of followers you have doesn’t necessarily reflect how successful your social media marketing strategy actually is. After all, your revenue doesn’t grow with the number of Facebook followers you have.

Another reason why social media followers aren’t an overly reliable metric to measure is that not all followers are organic. These days, too many businesses end up buying followers on social media. And, even if a business doesn’t directly buy followers, they can bribe people into following them with games, competitions, and other promotions.

When it comes to your social media followers, it’s more about quality than it is about quantity. It doesn’t matter much if you have thousands of followers if the majority of them scroll right past your posts and don’t engage with your content.

#3. Email Subscribers

Another vanity metric that you should stop measuring is the number of email subscribers you have. Just as having more social media followers doesn’t necessarily translate into more revenue for your business, having more email subscribers doesn’t necessarily mean that your email marketing efforts will be any more successful.

Part of the reason why email subscribers can be a misleading metric to follow is that businesses often have outdated lists. If 100 out of your 200 followers are outdated email addresses, can they really be counted? Furthermore, some businesses automatically sign customers up for email marketing when they make a purchase with them online, and if they haven’t signed up on their own, can you really count them as a subscriber?

When it comes to email marketing, you’ll be better off focusing on small, segmented email lists, which allow you to send targeted, more effective emails, rather than focusing on the number of subscribers you have alone.

#4. Traffic

Just like with all of the metrics I’ve discussed so far, it’s never a bad thing to have more people visit your site. In fact, driving traffic to your website is what many people consider to be the whole point of marketing in the first place. But, the reality is that, it really doesn’t matter how much traffic you get if none of it translates into conversions.

Social media marketing, content marketing, video marketing, and paid ads are all great digital marketing strategies to help you drive traffic to your website, but you want it to be quality traffic. After all, a new visitor to your website isn’t worth a whole lot if they immediately bounce or don’t end up converting.

The amount of traffic is an important thing to measure, but if you only look at how much traffic you’re driving, it won’t give you the kind of information you need to make the right decisions about where your marketing dollars should go. Measuring traffic only gives you a small piece of the whole story.

#5. Likes and Comments

If the number of social media followers you have isn’t an effective metric to measure, how can you measure your success on social media? Many businesses will focus on how many likes and comments their posts get in order to determine how successful they are, but these, too, can be misleading metrics when you don’t look at the whole picture.

Does it really matter if you posted something with hundreds of comments and thousands of likes if it doesn’t make any difference to your bottom line or send qualified traffic to your website? Unfortunately, popularity on social media doesn’t equal success, and instead of tracking how much attention your posts are getting online, track who is actually paying attention to it.

On social media, the number of shares is a much better metric to keep track of than the number of likes and comments a post gets.


There are a lot of different marketing metrics out there, but many of them are less straightforward than you might think. Stop wasting your time measuring metrics that don’t give you any real information, and start taking your online reputation seriously with Marketing 360®.