How to Set and Achieve Smart Email Marketing Goals


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Anyone could talk about setting email marketing goals all day but how many actually get it right? There’s more to setting goals than just mastering the usual “SMART” acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable/Attainable, Realistic/Relevant, and Time-bound. While this can be a guide for you to create goals, not everyone gets it right in context, especially when it comes to email marketing. You need to set goals that are not only good on paper but are also in line with your email marketing strategy in the short and long run. 

Why You Should Set Smart Goals

If you are familiar with setting SMART goals, you probably would have mastered setting a goal like “Improve the click-through-rate by 50% in 3 months” instead of “improve productivity”. And while this is beautiful and what is recommended everywhere, remember that anyone can pull out numbers on paper. The real question is WHY are you setting these goals? What do you intend to achieve by targeting a specific number? 

Anyone who is into marketing or any form of business understands what it means to set goals. However, when it comes to email marketing, it’s a little bit different. Setting email marketing goals helps you to effectively map out your destination and the processes that lead you there. 

The email marketing field can be quite enormous and if your goals are not streamlined to the needs of your business, you might end up missing the point of productive marketing. 

According to a study by CoSchedule, goal-setters in marketing are 377% more successful than their peers.

email marketing goals; statistics on goal setters in email marketing.
Source: CoSchedule

More than just setting goals like every other person, you also want to ensure that you are making progress. Setting goals that measure metrics is one way to do that. This also helps you plan your daily marketing tasks such that you constantly work towards one major goal as you measure your progress. 

How to Set Smart Email Marketing Goals

1. Know Your Audience

The first step to set an effective goal is knowing your target audience. Who is this email marketing strategy for and why would they need it? Understand the overall goal of the campaign by looking into the set of people you will be selling to. Do your market research and create an audience persona. This persona is fictional but will represent who you are selling to. This helps you narrow your focus to one person and create specific goals with the end goal of winning the person over. Subsequently, this fictional character represents your entire target audience and you eventually get to target numerous of them. 

For a more robust experience, you can have different categories of audiences. Most email marketing platforms, like MailDrip, give you the opportunity to segment your email list. For each campaign, you get to choose the segment to target and you can have different goals for each campaign

2. Choose Your Metrics

After identifying your target audience, you would need to identify the key performance indicators (KPIs) for each of your marketing goals. This simply refers to the metric that you can use to measure your progress. Key metrics to consider tracking in email marketing includes:

  • Open rate
  • Click-through rate
  • Conversion rate
  • Number of unsubscribes
  • List growth rate
  • Bounce rate

These metrics are generally important but the one you choose to target per time can depend on your overall campaign goal or specific email goal. This will also tell you what your subscribers are interested in and what to improve on over time. For example, if a campaign has a high open rate but a low click-through rate, you might want to consider how to encourage more clicks. 

3. Create a Smart Goal

Now that you know your audience and the metrics to track, you can now come up with a smart goal.

For example, your ideal smart goal can be something like:

“We will improve our open rate by 5% from January to March 2022 by building our email list from our main target audience and creating catchy titles to encourage more email open rates”. 

You could also have something like:

“We’ll reduce unsubscribe rates from an average of 6% monthly to at most 2% by reviewing campaigns that attract the most unsubscribes and improving email content to retain subscribers”.

This is how to come up with a goal that is Specific, Measurable, Achievable/Attainable, Realistic/Relevant, and Time-bound. You can further expand these goals to detail how you intend to go about everything but a good summary of your goal should look like the examples above.

4. Track Your Metrics

Creating a smart goal doesn’t end with just creating one. You need to track the goals you have created by measuring the metrics through your email analytics.

While there are third-party apps to help you track your goals, you can still take advantage of the analytics in your email marketing dashboard. In an earlier post, we shared key things to consider when choosing an email marketing tool. One of these key things includes having access to email analytics.

So, while you choose a platform to execute your email marketing strategies, ensure it meets the mark for proper email analytics. Look out for the metrics you will be willing to track based on your goals and how the marketing tool helps you track them. 

Bottom Line

It is one thing to set a goal and it is another to achieve the set goal. This is why it is never a good idea to just run off with random tips from the internet and come up with what you would consider a smart goal.

However, you can take it a step further and create a proper strategy around it. This is beyond setting a goal, such that a simple goal can have a concrete plan around how to execute it. And this is where your marketing strategy comes in. We have extensively covered everything you need to know about email marketing strategy. But beyond that, you need a template to work with and the team at MailDrip has got you covered on that. 

By filling out the form below, you can have access to our extensive template for your email marketing goals. We look forward to seeing you do the most in the marketing field by understanding how to set and achieve your goals. 

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