In The Trenches

Are You Dysmetric?

Published on December 11, 2014 Back to blog
Woman Pulling Hair out from Dysmetric

Several weeks ago, after sending out one of my blog posts via email, I got a response from a “professional marketer” telling me that I should add a call to action to my emails to increase my response rate. The truth is that most professional marketers would agree with him. I completely disagree.

I’m a firm believer in measurement, but I also believe that metrics can cause some really smart people to do crazy things. So, I’ve decided to coin a new term:

Dysmetric <Dis-met-rik>: An illness caused by an unhealthy obsession with metrics, resulting in poor decisions and negative impact.

Not sure if you suffer from this disease? Well, here are some of the symptoms to watch for:

1. You “measure” more than you “do”
I’ve seen businesses spend thousands of hours and millions of dollars measuring everything that can possibly be measured, even though 99% (OK, maybe 80%) of the metrics are useless. Focus on the metrics that matter and move forward. (Also known as “Analysis Paralysis”)

2. You include a “special offer” in every communication
The more you try to sell, the less people will listen. An obsession with response rates can potentially turn people off. (So, probably not a good idea – unless that’s what you’re going for.)

3. You don’t give anything away until someone gives you something
While forcing “registration” may improve your registration rate, it’s also a great way to turn people away before they even get a taste of what you can offer. Help them out a bit and, if they like what they see, they’ll take the next step when they’re ready. Otherwise, a bad taste can last a while (especially when it’s a first impression).

4. You optimize for the .1%
Emails, banner ads and other online communications typically get very low response rates (1% is great for a banner ad). And, of those that click, the majority leave the site right away (clicking was likely an accident). So, in the quest to increase response by .1% don’t forget about the other 99%. Most people aren’t ready to act at the exact time you want them to. Make sure they remember you when they’re ready.

5. You check results by the minute
It can be fun to check results and watch how people respond in real time. (I can be guilty of this, myself). But, most often, the minute-by-minute analysis doesn’t do you much good – and wastes valuable time. Let the data breathe, and analyze it when it’s ready for analysis. It will make for a much more productive day.

If you or someone you know may be dysmetric, I hope this helps. The first step to recovery is acceptance.

Jeff Freedman
CEO/Managing Partner
Small Army | Finn Partners