5 Underrated Marketing KPIs You Should Be Tracking

If you’re a well rounded marketer, you’ll know by now that good copy isn’t the be-all end-all of a successful campaign. It’s not visuals either. While those things matter, numbers are what make the difference between a roaring campaign and weak results.

And there’s no better way to stay on track than measuring KPIs (Key Performance Indicators). However, measuring the ROI of an online campaign, the Conversion Rate of a landing page or the COCA (Cost of Customer Acquisition) are pretty well known best practices, so I won’t get into the more well-known KPIs out there.

Rather, in this article I’ll talk about some underrated marketing KPIs. These are indicators that could shed a bright light on what your marketing department can do better, but that aren’t themselves in the spotlight as often.

Underrated Marketing KPIs

Reading this piece, it’s important to remember that you should never abandon the basic KPIs keeping your business on track. It’s crucial to still measure things like:

  • Engagement, reach and shares on social media
  • Cart abandonment rate and churn for ecommerce stores
  • Conversion rate and bounce rate for landing pages

And a lot of other classic KPIs. However, if your marketing department seems to always run into hurdles, or if you just want to take your advertising efforts to the next level, you can consider some of these other KPIs.


Frequency is the average number of times an ad will be presented to the reached population.

Seth Godin makes extraordinary points on frequency. Basically, the frequency at which your potential customers acknowledge your brand determines whether or not they trust your brand.

That’s a key point. Frequency doesn’t necessarily imply a sale, but it implies trust in your brand. If Godin’s numbers are to be trusted, it takes 27 active acknowledgments of your brand for a consumer to start seeing you as a trusted actor in your market.

Again, notice I did say acknowledgements, not interactions. Your ads may just blow past someone, which is not an acknowledgement.

This means Frequency is a bit harder to calculate than your average KPI, which could explain its lack in popularity. By definition, Frequency is Impressions divided by Reach, so you can use that formula to calculate it.
But if you really want to tap into the knowledge Frequency can provide, try to find ways to measure the acknowledgement of your message. You can use a mix of CTR and bounce rate to figure this out.

Customer Lifetime Value

Acquiring new customers can be even 5 times more expensive than upselling to existing customers, or even just retaining existing customers. That’s why it’s important to focus on boosting your bottom line and making sure happy customers become recurring customers.

Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) is a good way to gain some insight into that matter. CLV is the total amount of money a customer is expected to spend on your business throughout their life, and it’s easy to calculate: the average value of a purchase x the number of purchases you expect someone to make in a year x the average length of customer relationships in years. 

Of course, it might be hard to get the right numbers all the time, especially if your business is at the beginning. Whenever in doubt, default to average numbers in your market or niche.

But for an example, let’s say you sell mountain bikes. An average mountain bike enthusiast will spend $1000 on a mountain bike each 2.5 years, for a period of 15 years. Multiply all of that and the resulting CLV is $37,500.

Knowing the CLV for your average customer, as well as other, more profitable segments of your target audience lets you make key business decisions, such as how much you should spend on acquiring a new similar customer, or what products customers with the highest CLV want.

Backlinks Count

If you’re an SEO I know what you’re thinking – this is not an underrated KPI. I understand why it might seem that way, but I want to underline that in my experience, a lot of marketing professionals with only a basic understanding of SEO will underestimate the value of backlinks.

When it comes to SEO, most people with a different background will focus on content output, copywriting or traffic, and they’ll lose track of one of the most important SEO metrics. Backlinks can make or break any SEO campaign, so keeping an eye on that count is extremely valuable to measure whether you’re setting your blog for success or not.

Moreover, it’s not just about the total backlink count of a site. That’s still an insightful metric, but a better indicator of future success is looking at the backlink count of a particular page, and comparing it to your SERP competition. It’s especially important to keep an eye on this metric if you outsource SEO services, but make sure you also balance it with looking at the backlink profile you’re getting. A lot of backlinks from untrusted sources can actually harm your site’s organic performance.


The ROAS (Return on Ad Spend) is different from the ROI, and is a very important metric when you spend money on PPC campaigns. While most people will track their advertising campaigns by measuring conversion rate, the ROAS can be more insightful at times.

The ROAS measures the profit each dollar spent on advertising outputs, and to find it out just divide the revenue from an ad campaign by the cost of that ad campaign. You can use this indicator to understand if you can scale your investment in ads and see similar results.

Email Delivery Rate

We all know about open rate, unsubscribe rate or CTR for email links. However, a way in which your email marketing efforts could be lagging behind is the actual delivery rate. If you have anything less than 90%, there’s a problem in the way you either collect email addresses, or there’s a problem with your email marketing tool.

To measure this metric, go to your email marketing software, access the analytics dashboard and it should be displayed around there. If you just get a prompt every time an email gets delivered successfully, you can subtract that number from the total amount of emails sent and calculate the EDR manually.

Marketing KPIs can be a gold mine of helpful information if used right. Understand what your efforts are targeted towards and do your best to measure that. Lastly, I’d appreciate it if you could drop a comment and let me know what you think is an underrated marketing KPI.