Vanity metrics are out-of-date and personalisation is key

In digital marketing, metrics are a key component to any campaign – or so the industry has always believed. And while it was right, things have developed significantly. From click-through rates to open rates, marketers meticulously track every data point, in the hope of gauging successful campaigns. Then they optimise strategies based on findings.

However, amidst all the statistics it’s crucial to be able to distinguish between what we in the trade call ‘vanity metrics’ versus detailed, actionable insights. This is where, as experts in digital marketing, including all there is to know about emails and performance, with Go Live Data, clients receive the best tailored analysis. This includes campaigns based on audience segmentation, ensuring recipients receive the best outcome possible and that efforts turn into worthy results for the business.

While metrics including open and click-through rates offer valuable insights into email performance, they only scratch the surface of what’s possible. The real power of email marketing lies in strategic segmentation and leveraging data to deliver the most personalised and targeted content to subscribers.

A challenge in today’s industry is the ongoing battle between internet service providers (ISPs), whose job it is to ensure email traffic is right for the person receiving it in, versus the email service providers (or ESPs) whose job it is to ensure the email content lands. With the added element of BOTS, the ESP’s job becomes even harder. This is therefore overcome through proper strategies and in-depth audience analysis which the email service provider is responsible for. With an average open rate of 25-30%, it’s imperative that audiences are properly targeted and of course, the right data is key to this.

Beyond vanity metrics

The term ‘vanity metrics’ is used to describe the fact that open and click-through rates provide only a snapshot of campaign performance at a surface level. While these measures offer some indication of engagement, they don’t provide the full picture. While they might look good, they don’t translate into sufficient business results.

For instance, a high open rate might seem impressive, but it doesn’t guarantee conversions or long-term customer relationships. Similarly, a high click-through rate doesn’t necessarily translate to meaningful interactions or sales. Relying solely on these metrics can lead marketers astray by focusing on quantity rather than quality.

Segmentation, on the other hand, allows marketers to divide their email list into smaller, more targeted groups based on specific criteria such as demographics, behaviour or preferences. By segmenting their audience, marketers can deliver tailored content that resonates with recipients on a personal level.

As an example, segmenting based on past purchase history allows retailers to send targeted product recommendations to customers who have previously bought similar items. Likewise, segmenting by geographic location enables businesses to send localised promotions or event invitations, which in turn will increase the relevance and engagement.


Marketers can craft hyper-personalised email campaigns that speak directly to the individual needs and interests. This goes beyond simply addressing people by their first name; it involves delivering content that is relevant, timely, and valuable based on the recipients’ unique characteristics and behaviour. By leveraging data such as purchase history, browsing activity, and demographic information, marketing will drive engagement and more importantly, conversions.

An e-commerce retailer can set up automated email sequences to welcome new subscribers, nurture leads, recover abandoned carts, and re-engage inactive customers. This sophisticated automation really streamlines the customer experience and maximises the impact of communications going out.

Of course, the data plays a crucial role in unlocking the full potential of the activity and without it, is pointless. Collecting and analysing data means gaining much deeper insights, so marketers can uncover the valuable patterns and correlations that they need.

Methods should be continuously tested and optimised by different variables such as subject lines, content, and send times, deciding what works best for a particular audience. That way, marketers can stay agile within the digital environment, but only with high quality data can this all work.


At Go Live Data, we pride ourselves on being innovators in the market, committed to helping the UK business market succeed by providing innovative data services and engagement campaigns that drive results. By leveraging our services, businesses can ensure they are using the most effective marketing techniques available and stay ahead of the competition.

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