Do missed or overlooked marketing metrics keep you up at night? They should.

With so many marketers placing value on vanity metrics it’s a wonder any of us look past fan counts to measure how we’re really doing online.

Today, I’ll peel back the curtain and show you a few overlooked marketing metrics that will help you stay steady, stay sane and help show success with your digital marketing efforts.


Let’s look at the three main digital places where there are often overlooked marketing metrics:

  1. Content (website or blog)
  2. Email
  3. Social Media

Overlooked Marketing Metrics For Content

1) Retention Rates or Returning Visitors

Friend and cohort Mark Schaefer says, your Alpha Audience is the bedrock of your business.

That idea brings me to the 1st overlooked metric when marketing with content: retention rates. Meaning, how many readers keep coming back to your blog/content?

You can easily use Google Analytics by:

  • Under ‘Behavior’ choosing ‘Content Drilldown’
  • Choosing your blog URL as the page path
  • Identifying new versus returning visitors each month

Here’s an example of our February stats:


  • Out of 3,527 total web visitors in February, 1,477 or 41% visited our blog
  • 944 (64%) were new
  • 533 (36%) were returning

Look at these numbers month over month, year over year (we have increased slightly from 32% returning last year).

Are your returning visitors growing? Shrinking? Staying stagnant?

Understanding this metric is one way to determine how your Alpha Audience is developing (or not).

2) Engaged Readers

While “time spent” is not an overlooked marketing metric and mentioned often, it’s not necessarily the best way to track the engagement level of your readers.

Instead, use Google Analytics to set up two event tracking goals for:

  1. Readers: Find out who is reading by setting up an event tracking metric for how far a reader scrolls. Let’s pretend 150 pixels is the magic number, so every reader who hits it will be classified as a reader of your blog.
  2. Finishers: You can use the same process to set your scroll point to the average length of your blog posts. This will tell you how many people are finishing your posts.

And if using Google Analytics isn’t your bag, try scrolling map tools like CrazyEgg or HotJar.

Overlooked Marketing Metrics For Email

1) Traffic Drivers

While most of us look long and hard at open and click-through rates, few of us pay much attention to web traffic and what links are driving your readers back to your website or blog.

Again, I recommend using UTM Tracking Goals in Google Analytics.

These codes allow you to track which links in your emails are sending traffic to your desired location (web, blog, landing page, etc.).

We also use automation triggers in ConvertKit, which allow us to track specific links within the platform (I can also add UTM tracking as well).


These automation triggers allow us to do things like:

  • Stop sending a pitch sequence to someone once they make a purchase.
  • Send a down-sell email only to the most interested buyers.
  • Subscribe someone to a new email sequence with just a single click.
  • Send an upsell sequence after a purchase is made.

But they also allow us to tag users based on clicks for segmenting — which allows us to understand which email content is least/most engaging, drives the least/most traffic, results in the least/most sales, etc.

2) Sales or Average Value of an Email Address

If you’re selling ANYTHING with your email marketing, you must make sure this overlooked marketing metric becomes one of your most-used metrics.

Bottom line: without measuring this data you’ll have no way to know whether your campaigns are working or not.

And if your marketing manager doesn’t know if your email sales are working or not … weeeeell … yikes.

Using your email data, look at these two numbers:

  • Total revenue generated from email marketing for the year (you can also look at month-over-month)
  • Average list size (# of subscribers) during that period
  • Divide your total revenue by the # of subscribers for the time period (example: 35,000 / 3,000 = 11.66 average revenue per email address)

By paying close attention to the amount of revenue resulting from each email, you’ll learn which types of emails are best for sales.

You can also turn to good ‘ole Google Analytics to create a destination goal to help track sales and conversions.

Overlooked Marketing Metrics For Social Media

1) Traffic Drivers

Much like email, understanding which social media channels are your traffic drivers can help marketers choose which platforms to invest more time on.

To see this data in Google Analytics, go to:

  • Acquisition
  • All Traffic > Channels and choose ‘Social’

Here’s a peek at our social stats for February:


While Twitter is our #1 traffic driver, it’s important to note that Facebook has:

  1. A lower bounce rate than all other channels
  2. A higher “pages per session” count than all other channels, and
  3. The highest average session duration with almost 4 minutes!

Based on these month-over-month and year-over-year stats, we know that typically Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn are where we should spend the majority of our social marketing time.

Furthermore, when running specific campaigns on social — whether organically or with ads — we use UTM tracking to better understand which of our social visits turned into conversions.

2) Clicks

Yes, we’ve all heard it: fan counts are terrible marketing metrics (used alone).

And while they aren’t terrible, likes, retweets and impressions are a bit fluffy as well.

Why not focus on how many clicks your social media posts are receiving?

We’ve talked about click audits in depth before and the major way they can help you create a better-targeted content mix.

Looking for a “how to” on getting click data? Read the above-linked post!

Measure The Right Metrics

No one can definitively tell you which metrics you should or shouldn’t measure — that all depends on your business goals.

However, by choosing to hunt for data that’s more analytical, you can better know where you’ve been, where you’re going, and what’s next.

What overlooked marketing metrics have you added to the radar lately? Let me know about them in the comments section below!