The Definitive Guide to Business

Gwyneth Paltrow is addicted to data — here's how she measures success

Gwyneth Paltrow attends a Goop pop-up store in 2014.
Getty Images

Gwyneth Paltrow shot to fame after starring in the 1998 movie "Shakespeare in Love." She's now a three-time author and entrepreneur running her newsletter and e-commerce business, Goop.

And while she says she still has a creative, rebellious spirit, the Academy Award-winning actress has turned into something of a data nerd.

"I have always slightly been wrestling with this punk rock asshole kid inside me who wants to buck tradition," Paltrow writes in a LinkedIn blog post. "The punk rock kid in me is essential to my decision making, but she needs to be tamed and she definitely needs to think before she speaks."

Today, Paltrow sees success as having a healthy gross margin, a percentage that shows how much money you make on items sold.

"I always look at gross margins because that is sort of the big number," she says in a video interview on LinkedIn. "And our number is very good because of skin care and everything."

She also checks her Shopify e-commerce dashboard multiple times a day, every day, and keeps a careful eye on her CTOR rate, or click to open rate, on the Goop newsletter.

"I want to know, how engaged is everybody? What are they clicking on?" Paltrow says in the video.

Goop started as a personal newsletter that Paltrow sent from her kitchen in 2008. Today, there are 1 million subscribers to the Goop lifestyle newsletter and customers can find clothes and accessories, discover wellness resources, or buy her skin-care line on the e-commerce platform.

She has raised $20 million in venture capital to grow the business, so now Paltrow has investors to keep happy and is looking at the percentage of readers that become shoppers. "We have a lot of data there to mine," says Paltrow.

When asked if she is addicted to the data, she laughs a bit and agrees, "I am addicted."