How To Set Goals For Your Email Marketing Program

What are your short term and long term email marketing goals?

Create a plan and write down your goals to gain more from your efforts.

Short Term Goals

Increase Email Open Rates

Look to improve your open rates by a certain percentage this year.

Open rates are improved by a number of variables. Your subject line, from name and email preview text can be the difference between someone seeing your email or deleting it before opening.

Spend some time this year testing your subject lines by running A/B tests.

Is your from name your business name? Make sure it’s set to something your subscribers will recognize without thinking twice. The from field is not a place to be clever or to use your personal name unless you use it throughout your branding.

When you send also has a big impact on open rates. Test out a few different days and times to increase your chances of your message being seen.

Improve Email Engagement

Your click-through rates show how engaged your subscribers are with your email. But keep in mind if you don’t include many links in your campaigns it can be more difficult to track engagement.

For example, if you’re sending a series of education emails, you may want to ask your subscribers to respond directly with any questions they have on the material. Or at the end of the series you could ask them what they thought of the series and if they have any feedback for you.

Track Email Sales

Do you know how many sales came from your email campaigns? Tracking the results of your efforts is the first step in reaching your sales goals with email marketing.

Use email specific coupon codes to start so you clearly understand the monetary results of your email efforts.

Depending on the email service provider you choose there are a number of ways to track the journey your customer takes from your email campaign to your website. Google Analytics is the easiest choice as you may already have an account for your website and many email service providers have this functionality built-in. When activated you’ll be able to see your email campaigns as a source of traffic in your reporting.

Clicktale and eCommerce360 are tools you can take advantage of as a MailChimp user quite easily, along with others.

What are your email sales goals this year?

Sign up New, Quality Subscribers

Increasing the size of your email list is an excellent goal to have, but bear in mind you should be after quality subscribers, not just anyone.

How many new subscribers do you hope to sign-up this year? How will you plan to achieve this new goal?

  • Review your website sign-up forms. How can you make it easier for someone to subscribe? Is your form too much work to fill-out? Is it visible enough?
  • Review your website content. Do your subscribers know what they’ll be getting in exchange for their email address? Can you offer something more valuable to encourage them to sign-up?
  • Invite subscribers through other channels such as social media (add a link to your bio, a pinned Tweet on Twitter and a sign-up button on Facebook), in-person, your and business email signature.

Long Term Goals

Brand Recognition

Building a successful brand starts with putting yourself in front of your audience as often as you can, appropriately.

Every email you send doesn’t need to directly make you a buck. Consistency in your marketing efforts has great long term effects such as brand recognition.

How to Make Your Brand Recognizable

  • Show up on a regular basis This will keep you in the back of your customer’s mind. If they aren’t ready to purchase from you now, they might be in a few months.
  • Style guide Sending out emails that have a similar look and feel each time is important in making your brand recognizable. Use the same typography, color palette, tone and writing style every time to give your readers a way to describe you and remember you before your competition.
  • Exceed expectations Do more than you promised. The more valuable you are to your subscribers, the longer they’ll stay on your list and the more opportunities you’ll have to become their vendor of choice.

Learn More About Your Audience

Email marketing has one of the highest returns on investment for one reason. It’s the closest form of marketing, other than having a direct conversation, you can achieve. They’ve told you they want to engage with you so take the opportunity to get to know them better. Just like you would if you were having a one-on-one conversation.

How to Learn About Your Audience With Email

  • Use links The links your reader chooses to click on means they have some interest in what the topic is about. Use this information to plan future campaigns.
  • Encourage conversation The easiest way to do this is to allow responses directly to the email. Surveys are ok, but you’ll receive a more candid response when you aren’t giving away possible answers or making it feel like a test.
  • Extend discussion publicly Begin a conversation in an email and post the same topic on social media allowing it to be seen and interacted with by a wider audience.
  • Preference center Ask your subscribers to update their email preferences. Each time you do this you could add a new question. The key is to encourage them after they are already on your list. The more you ask for upfront, the less likely they’ll be to sign-up in the first place.

When you’ve learned something about a group of your subscribers make sure to keep track of your new findings. You can then use the new data to segment your mailings more effectively. Doing so will give you the opportunity to exceed your subscriber expectations by giving them content they find valuable.

What would you like to learn about your audience this year? Add it to your list of goals and create small projects to follow through.

Sarah Shuda
Sarah Shuda
Designer. Mom. Wife. Loves Gilmore Girls, healthy living, and long walks in the country.