How to Set and Track Marketing Goals

By AdStation | October 11th, 2016 | Categories: Email Marketing
achieve goals

According to the Digital Marketing Association: Email marketing has a ROI of 3800% and 60% of marketers use conversion rates to evaluate emails effectiveness. Email marketing clearly is the most effective marketing tool in your arsenal. The only way to know if you’re doing it right is to track your efforts. The best practice towards any aim in life is to start with a good plan.

The aim of this article is to show you how to set the right goals for your email marketing. This article will teach you the proper methods for tracking your email marketing performance. You will set benchmarks for measuring its success. Mastering and managing your email marketing goals will help you with your email monetization. Let’s get started…

Goal Setting

1. Action Plan – What Do You Want Your Subscribers to Do?

The first question you need to ask yourself as an email marketer is: “Why am I sending this email?”

What does your email need to do? Do you need to create awareness about a new product? Are sales slumping? Do you need to announce a sale? Is revenue down? Is email monetization a factor? Do you need to bring your customer’s attention towards a benefit or feature of your product they may be unaware of?

Keep in mind, email messages can move and influence different subscribers in different ways. You can segment your email deliveries to reach different groups of subscribers, who all have different levels of awareness and needs. Different groups may need different messages.

Once you are clear on what the core purpose of sending your email is, you’ll be able to determine what your customers need to do. With those purposes in mind, you’ll craft your email message to achieve both goals.

Giving your subscribers clear direction helps them to take the desired action (s) you want them to take. You may want them to read a blog article or watch a video, which in turn, helps them understand more about your product or service. You may want them to like you on Facebook or give a tweet on Twitter. Perhaps you are announcing a three-day sale that only happens once a year.

Whatever action you wish for subscribers to take, your email content needs to focus on the main message. Make clear the main action you want your subscribers to take. Don’t clutter your message with sub-messages that lose focus. People have short attention spans these days. Keep it simple. Make your message clear and the action they need to take unmistakable.

Call-to-Action (CTA)

The call-to-action is the message or instructions for the main action you wish your viewer to take. The action must be clear. Use messaging which reinforces the benefit to the viewer. Use direct language that addresses the viewer.


Second-person: “Get your e-book now!” Or “Cut your heating bills.”

First-person: “Show me how!” Or “Help me save!”

Never let the messages on your buttons use default wording such as: “Submit,” or “Sign-up,” or “Click here.”

2. Who Plan – Who Is This Message Directed To?

As previously stated, different subscribers may need different messages. Before crafting your email, you need to know which group of subscribers your email is going to.

Sales Cycle

Using the AIDA (Attention, Interest, Desire, Action) phases of the sales cycle as an example, your customers may fall into one of these four groups. Therefore, you might segment your email list into four corresponding groups. As a result, you may need to craft four different email messages written specifically to target the needs and desires of each particular group. Each group will receive the email message that applies to its group.

A new subscriber may need some education to realize the depth of their problem and how your solution solves it. Someone who is actively seeking a solution only needs to learn to put their trust in you and your product as the best solution. Both of these two subscribers are at different ends of the spectrum. The messaging to motivate one customer type is going to be different from the messaging to motivate another.

There are some emails that apply to everyone on your list. Emails about sales, discounts or events will apply to all of your subscribers. This goes back to the “why” of your message. Knowing “why” you are sending the email tells you “who” you need to send it to.

List Segmenting

Segmenting your list ensures that both newbies and experts get messages that suit their experience or knowledge level. Otherwise, giving a newbie expert-level information will go right over their head. Conversely, giving an expert newbie information will bore them to death. Remember, beyond attracting subscribers, your mission is also to retain those you have.

Again, to get the “Who” part of sending emails done correctly, you need to segment your email list. Detailed instructions on Email Segmenting are beyond the scope of this article. But it is worth noting that you should employ methods that help segment different subscribers from the start. You do this by way of “how” and “where” they discover and sign up for your list.

3. Why Plan – Why Should Your Subscribers Care?

A primary goal of email marketing is to get your emails opened, read and acted on (clicked). For that to happen, the content of your email messages must be of high interest and high value to your subscribers. In short, they need to be receiving something they care about.

It’s All About Benefits

Humans need motivation. With any action, humans ask: “What’s In It for Me?” Simply put, people need a reason to care.

The best way to understand “what is in it” for your customers is to put yourself in their shoes. Ask yourself:

– What do they need help with?

– What problems do they have?

– What’s the best solution to their problems?

– How does my product or services help solve their problems?

– What information can I give them to help increase their knowledge about topics related to my niche, products or services?

– How will it make their life or job easier if they buy my products?

Knowing the answers to any of the previous concerns will help you craft your message. It will also help you decide what bonus offer you need to use to attract new sign-ups for your list or coax your subscribers into taking action.


A bonus offer is another way to say reward. People need enticement to take action and the best enticement is the reward. In email marketing, we call these “lead magnets” or “carrot content.” You can lead a horse to action with a carrot. Similarly, using carrot content can lead new prospects to become subscribers. It can motivate existing subscribers to take action.

Rewards are something you give away free to your customers. They can be: e-books, discounts, webinars, quick-reference lists, how-to guides, instructional videos, and many others. The most important consideration is – whatever the reward is – its perceived value must be high. For recognition in your business as a top professional and expert, the quality of your information has to reflect the value of your products and services. Giving away value speaks value and earns trust. Giving away junk only hurts customer opinion of you.

4. Success Plan – How Will You Measure Your Email Marketing Success?

When should you start measuring your email campaign's effectiveness? Begin after you have successfully completed the preceding steps (because you are that good). Once you deliver your expertly crafted emails, allow an appointed period of time to go by. This could be two days, a week or longer. It depends on the offer and the time in which your viewers normally respond.

For example, let’s assume you sent out an email for a sale that lasts until the end of the month. You may see opens right away. But you may not get clicks until the end of the month. Last-minute shoppers may wait until month’s end before they click and buy. You’ll need to judge when enough time has expired to go in and check your results.

There are several factors to consider besides opens and clicks. Opens and clicks are important. If the message isn’t received and opened, certain actions won’t be taken. In your plan to measure the success of your campaign, you need to consider all the goals, as well as, specific goals of each group segment (if you segmented your list into specific groups).

Email Marketing Success Checklist

A review of your email campaign may look something like this:

– How many emails were opened within each group?

– How many clicks by each group?

– After a user clicked the email, did they take the next action on the landing page? (I.e., downloaded an e-book, used a discount code, or made a purchase?). This is called the “second click” or the “click after the click.”

– Besides taking the desired action, how many users contacted you for more information or with questions?

– What feedback did you get, if any, about your offer, products or services?

– How many emails were undeliverable?

– How many users unsubscribed?

– Of the users who unsubscribed, how many in each particular segment?

You might use more metrics or measures of success in your own evaluation. Using the preceding as an example: let’s look at some additional factors you should consider in making a thorough evaluation. Besides considering only number counts, you need to further analyze what those numbers mean or suggest.

Deeper Analysis

Here’s an example…perhaps you had a good open rate and a good click-through rate to your landing page. However, once a particular group arrived at your landing page, they did not take action and download your e-book. The obvious question is: Why?

Here’s an example of how an e-book offer might go wrong:

Perhaps your email offered a download of an e-book titled: “How to keep your aquarium clean – always.” The e-book had an enticing title, but when they arrived at the landing page and read more information, fewer than expected downloaded the e-book. You would assume the copy on the page didn’t align with their expectations. Visitors thought the e-book was going to be about something different.

Perhaps you said something like: “In this e-book, you will learn…” and listed a few items in a bullet point list. Maybe the points you listed were simply too basic. Your visitors may have felt that they weren’t going to learn anything new.

Your task is similar to detective work. You have to examine the facts and look for clues. The facts are: your subscribers opened the email and they clicked the link to get to the e-book. That tells you they wanted the e-book based on the promise you made in your email content and e-book title. However, when they arrived at the landing page, the messaging there may them reconsider. Therefore, your conclusion is your email message was a success. Your landing page or perhaps even your e-book failed. The next step is to analyze which of those failed and why.

Final Considerations

If you want to improve the effectiveness of your email marketing you need to track its performance. You need to consider every element involved. Examine elements that go beyond the email itself. Consider the reward you are offering visitors and its benefit to them. Review the messaging on your landing pages or wherever it is you send visitors. Analyze each individual part and how those parts work together. A thorough review is the only way to identify what works or fails.