Listen to Your Gut — But Trust Your Key Performance Indicators (KPI)

Are your business decisions based on gut instinct or real-world facts? Smart business people pay attention to their gut but verify it with a data-driven approach. Here’s how.

In the early years, business success depends on being able to see at first glance the difference between an idea that’s WOW and one that’s “meh.” That’s what gut instinct is all about.

But as a business matures, the greater opportunities may not lie in breakthrough ideas.  Small refinements can produce a measurable difference in response from prospects, new customers, and long-time fans. Those responses can generate gains in sales, marketing reach, and profitability.

That’s when a data-driven approach can benefit your business most. Your gut gets you to the five-yard line. KPIs help you score.

Data danger

There’s a dark side: data can overwhelm. You can get so hypnotized by the numbers that you risk missing the trends and opportunities they suggest.

So here are some recommendations to keep in mind as you mine the incredible wealth of analytical data available in your email marketing system.

1. Selecting criteria

Let’s start with the meaning of the term key performance indicators.

Definition: A KPI is a measurable value that represents the success of a particular business activity.

Does that mean every number is meaningful? No! Focus on KEY performance indicators. Otherwise, you can waste a lot of time improving vanity metrics without making a meaningful impact on your business.i


2. Profiling your business

Start by analyzing the characteristics of your business. Business models vary tremendously by industry. And you need to consider the current conditions of your business. Overall, specific business goals should dictate your approach. A structured profiling tool can point you in the right direction.

3. Measuring progress

Every business could use more sales. Higher profits. Lower costs. And those indicators are easy to measure. The problem is that they aren’t specific enough to be actionable. The opportunities are in the details.

4. Mapping opportunities

So analyze your sales cycle and figure out what indicators relate to each step in your process. Compare them to the norms in your industry. You may discover areas where simple improvements can yield vast gains.

5. Tailoring your approach

Maybe you’re not active enough in your email marketing, so engagement is low. Or maybe you don’t give your customers enough ways to benefit, so repeat sales are nonexistent. KPIs can uncover sweet spots where the right approach can save you time and increase your earnings fast.

6. Getting the facts

You may be in love with your email marketing strategies. Or you may think you’re way off base. Either way, don’t try to reinvent the wheel, at least not all at once. Before you start making changes, get a grip on the numbers and how they affect the health and growth of your business.

7. Informing your team

It’s unfair and unproductive to use KPIs as a surprise weapon for evaluating team members. Instead, give key employees access to relevant data to encourage collaboration, friendly competition, and a sense of accomplishment.

Educating your instincts

There’s double value in studying metrics. First, KPIs give you a way to verify what your gut instincts tell you to do, so know you’re on the right track. And second, KPI-tracking educates your gut instincts, so you make better decisions.

We hope we’ve inspired you to explore the numbers behind your business. If you’d like to learn more about using KPIs to build a better-performing business, download our free GetResponse Guide to Email Marketing KPIs.

GetResponse is a worldwide leader in email marketing and online campaign management, offering a suite of simple yet powerful solutions, scaled and customized for small and large companies. The platform includes responsive email design, landing pages, forms, autoresponders and advanced analytics — user-friendly tools that enable organizations to implement high-impact campaigns that drive ROI.

Image Source: Beth

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Hey, Im Joshua, the founder of CNA Finance. I enjoy following the trends in the market and finding the catalysts that are making the moves. If you want to get in contact with me, leave a comment below or email me at Please keep in mind that I am not an investment advisor and nor is CNA Finance. This is a news and information gathering outlet. We may work directly with some of the companies that we write about. If we have a business relationship with an issuer, we will mention that in the articles. We also have various affiliate relationships with advertisers and may be paid if you sign up for a service that you were referred to through our website.


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