email marketing goals

How to Set Up Smart Goals for Your Email Marketing and Measure Them

Posted on Posted in Email

Email marketing goals are meaningful to your business growth


Without smart email marketing goals, you run the risk of missing the mark on the true benefits of email marketing as a marketing tool. If you are an email marketer or you run email marketing for your company or for clients, it’s important to start any project with specific goals that can be measured.

If you’ve ever embarked on any type of marketing initiative, you’ll know that it’s important to know what it is that you want to accomplish. Whether it’s more clicks, more traffic, lower bounce rates, or more sales – goals are what allows you to streamline what you mostly trying to get out of a single initiative. With email marketing, S.M.A.R.T. goals are extremely important but often forgotten.

S.M.A.R.T goals stands for Specific Measurable Actionable Realistic and Timebound goals.


A specific goal in email marketing means that you will be tackle one exact thing, whether it be subscriber growth or lower bounce rates or fewer spam complaints. Regardless of what it is that you choose to tackle, you will be setting up tactics that specifically address the core problem at hand. So instead of saying you want to improve email performance, you will set up an email marketing goal that will aim to increase subscriber list growth.


A measurable goal means that you will give it a value. So let’s take that phrase above, “increase subscriber list growth” and apply a numeric value to it. We want to increase subscriber list growth, but by how much? By 20 subscribers? By 20%? By 200? Whatever that number is, giving your goal a value allows you to keep a running tab on whether you getting close to meeting that goal.


An actionable email marketing goal is set up so that you can take action on it and so that you can improve performance. If the goal doesn’t set you up to improve the performance or change a certain behavior or fix a problem, then there’s no point to that goal. A non-actionable goal example would be “increase the number of email lists.” While increasing the number of email lists that you have may be important, that’s a strategy and much less defined as a single goal that you can measure against performance.


A realistic goal is more often overlooked than not. Whether you’re on the side of goals should be ambitious so that you can aim high or if you’re on the side of keeping your goals attainable, there is a fine line that can be drawn where a goal becomes unrealistic and non-sensical. Everyone’s business is different, so what’s realistic for one company might not be realistic for yours. For instance, a 300% growth in the number of subscribers might be realistic for a company that is just starting out and only has 10 subscribers. However, for a mature company that’s tapering off, a 300% growth might be unrealistic, especially if it’s tapped most of its market share.  A realistic goal is not too grandiose that it’s unattainable and it’s not obscure and impossible.


Timebound is one of the most important parts of your S.M.A.R.T. email marketing goals. No matter what, make sure you are giving yourself a time to accomplish this goal. You want to be able to measure up your goal against a particular time-frame. Going back to our example, increase subscriber list growth by 300%, but now the question is, by when? For example. increase subscriber list growth by 300% in Q3. Or increase the open rate amongst Gmail users to 20% by end of year.

Whatever it is that you’re trying to tackle, make sure that you are selecting one area to tackle within this goal, and addressing them with tactics that are designed to improve your metrics.

A few examples of email marketing goals

Selecting the email marketing goals that you’d like to accomplish is up to you and your business objectives. However, it’s important to note, that throughout the course of your business you might find yourself needing to tacking different goals during different stages of your business. For example, a new company will be focused on list growth while an established and mature company may be focusing on spam complain reduction.

Below are a few examples of email marketing goals. Remember with any of these, add the necessary elements that make them S.M.A.R.T. email marketing marketing goals

The metrics that match

As with any goal, you need to measure them in order to know whether you’ve reached them or not. While there are many metrics that you can look at when it comes to analyzing your email marketing data, it’s important to focus on only the ones that help to guide you in determining whether your tactics are working to help you reach your specific email marketing goal. Below are a few metrics that you can measure when it comes to email marketing.

Email marketing goals

Optimize, rinse and repeat

As you begin setting up and designing tactics for your email marketing goals, you should begin to see results. Your job going forward is to continue optimizing for improvements.

Email marketing is an important channel for your entire marketing ecosystem, so be sure to make sure you’re setting up goals that you’d like to hit.

Analyze your email and it’s performance and health often. Be sure to optimize and improve where improvements are needed, and always make sure you’re at all times emailing a very engaged list. Maintaining a healthy and strong email marketing strategy will ensure that you continue to meet your email marketing goals and increase performance for your overall business.

Would you like an audit of your email marketing health? Email us today to request your in-depth email audit.

email marketing goals

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