The Problem with Vanity Metrics and Why Direct Mail Succeeds Macromark 2015-12-21 23:28:24 Our Blog

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The Problem with Vanity Metrics and Why Direct Mail Succeeds

Dec 21 | By:  Categories: Our Blog

American-style mailbox full with letters and miscellaneous mail, flag raised. Studio shot, isolated on white background, saved with clipping path

We’re living in the digital era, so marketers are turning to digital platforms as a means to draw attention to their client’s brand more and more. Businesses, however, are trying to evaluate the direct return from their digital marketing efforts and having issues quantifying vanity metrics such as likes, favorites, follows, or shares.

Though these metrics may make sense when it comes to basic engagement, they fail to capture true indicators of whether that specific action led to the increase in sales of a product. And with companies continuing to shell out funds to support these digital marketing efforts, their expectations of a direct return continue to grow, and in too many cases, the results fall short.

On the other hand, direct-mail marketing is able to create that distinct line from campaign to return. By nature, any direct mail campaign provides clear results of the effectiveness of the mailings. Be it with coupons, invitations, or any other sort of redemption system embedded in the mailing, businesses can track and assess the metrics of each campaign in detail.

Marketers Need to Change Perspective

To encourage direct mail is certainly not a slight on the importance of digital marketing. It would be wrong to understate how existing and emerging digital platforms have reshaped the marketing industry. There is certainly value in digital marketing; the question is how to properly determine that value.

Liz Miller, CMO Council’s senior vice president of marketing, best articulated the role of digital marketing when she said that digital marketing can be measured as part of the performance of a campaign but shouldn’t be used solely as an indicator for whether or not a campaign was successful. Other marketing media, like direct mail, are much better suited for accurate campaign measurements.

This shouldn’t be news to anyone already familiar with direct mail. Being able to precisely gauge the engagement of a campaign, and how that engagement has led to sales is one of the strong suits of direct-mail marketing. As digital marketing continues to grow, it must push to explore ways to improve the connection between vanity metrics and sales, or marketers must do better when assessing just how pertinent those vanity metrics are to revenue stemming from a campaign.

Macromark has been operating in direct-mail marketing for three decades. We understand the value of direct mail and how potent it can be in driving traffic and increasing revenue. Contact us for more information about our direct-mail services.


Yu, E., “APAC Marketers Must Move Away From Vanity Metrics,” Exchange Wire, December 16, 2015,

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David Klein

David Klein

David Klein is CEO and President of Macromark, Inc. David has a rich and deep background in direct response marketing. His experience comes from being a consultant and list broker with more than 25 years in the Industry; working with several hundred different clients in just about every industry, market or niche found in direct mail. David is a graduate of the University of Illinois with high honors advanced degree course work in Marketing Communications from Roosevelt University in Chicago. Part of Macromark’s vision is to help its clients succeed in their acquisition efforts for finding new customers regardless of the marketing channel or media used. Add me to your G+