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New Metrics, Data Points for Digital Business

Posted on 2.03.2013

The new year not only brings new technologies and trends to the 'Net, but also new ways to measure success.

Although search and social are most likely the biggest drivers of traffic to your digital properties, you also need to measure the achievements of other marketing initiatives, such as email and online advertising campaigns. Read below to learn about metrics that will help your enterprise measure its digital success in 2013:

Email Marketing

Inbox Placement Rate – Email marketers should monitor the inbox placement rate in order to measure the effectiveness of their campaigns. This metric can be used to determine the percentage of sent messages that were successfully delivered to the inbox, which can help marketers better measure the open rate of their campaigns. If this metric isn’t taken into consideration, open rates can be altered by messages that never made it to a user's inbox. 

Net-Read Rate – Typically email marketers need their subscribers to have images enabled in order for the open rate to be tracked accurately. That said, Net-Read Rate does not require subscribers to have images turned on (or for them to click on 'display all images'), and simply accounts for read messages.

Forward Rates – This metric should gain steam in 2013, as it gives marketers a rate of how engaging their messages are. In fact, marketers should use this metric to measure their current campaigns against previous campaigns, and then optimize the content and/or subject line for better performance.

Online Advertising

Active View/Active GRP – Google introduced Brand Activate back in April, which is a new way for marketers to measure their online advertising campaigns. The Brand Activate initiative brought two new metrics – Active View and Active GRP. According to a Google blog post, Active View counts all viewed impressions, which is defined as a display ad that is at least 50 percent viewable on the screen for at least one second. Conversely, Active GRP measures the reach and frequency of a campaign in real-time, which allows advertisers to quickly make adjustments if needed.

Reach – Typically, click-through-rate (CTR) is the metric that online marketers pay attention to the most, however, they should also consider audience reach. Reach, which is defined as the total number of people exposed to an ad, is important because exposure tends to impact other metrics, such as traffic or conversions.

Lift in Site Visits – As previously mentioned, CTR is not the be-all, end-all metric. In fact, simply exposing people to an ad can be enough to increase site traffic and conversions (even if they did not click on the ad). This is why it is important for marketers to measure the traffic levels of a site before an advertising campaign is launched and compare it to the traffic levels during the period of when a campaign is active. This will help marketers more accurately measure the ROI of a specific campaign.


Player Load Times – Monitoring this metric is of upmost importance, because a slow-loading video player can lead to many underperforming metrics, including play rate.

Play-Through Rate – To gain some insights about how engaging the content of a video is, marketers should monitor the play-through rate. This metric tells marketers how long audience members watched a specific video, which can also help marketers optimize future video content.

Content Detail – Marketers can use this tactic to track which type of video performs the best. For example, marketers can compare the performance of short videos against long videos to see which format better engages audiences, or they can measure the performance of a tutorial compared to an interview. Moreover, marketers can get very granular with this metric, and even compare the performance of videos with a male speaker compared to a female speaker.

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