How to Set Email Marketing Goals

How to set email marketing goals

Are you new to email marketing? Maybe you want to make your email marketing better.

If you don’t do it already, you really need to start setting measurable and attainable goals. After all, when you have clear objectives and targets to aim for, it will make it easier to stay motivated and execute a game plan that helps you get the list growth, engagement rates and business results you’re looking for.

So let’s get on and show you how to set email marketing goals.

What are goals?

Goals are goals. Metrics are metrics. They aren’t the same thing.

Metrics can be used to measure the success of goals and increasing or decreasing a metric can be one of your goals.

For example, one of your goals may be to increase open rates. Open rates are a metric that can be measured.

We then measure the metric and match the results we’re seeing against our goal.

So how do you set the right goals?

You should be setting SMART goals.

SMART stands for:


When setting a goal, be specific about what it is that you want to accomplish. This isn’t defining how you’re going to achieve the goal, but it should include answers to the following questions.

Who needs to be involved to achieve the goal? If it’s just you, use the word “I”.


How are you going to measure the goal so that you know if you’ve achieved the desired outcome? This makes a goal more tangible because it provides a way to measure progress. Be specific. Use a percentage increase or number increase. For example, increase by 10% or increase to 1,000.


Your goal is supposed to motivate and inspire you. Not discourage you. Make sure that, to a reasonable person in your situation, the outcomes can be met with the resources available in the defined time frame.


Your goal needs to be relevant to your business and align with your business goals. For example, if the goal is to increase the number of subscribers, then you must have another goal to convert those subscribers into buyers.


Don’t be vague. Be specific. For example, increase the number of subscribers by 10% by the end of the year. Financial year? Calendar year? What do you class as the end of the year? Use a date. Increase the number of subscribers by 10% by December 31, 2021 is clear to anyone. Using a specific date creates a sense of urgency.

For example, if your goal is to increase open rates, you can try to influence people to open your email, but you can’t force them to.

It’s good to focus on one goal at the time. This way, it will be much easier for you to test how effective your efforts are.

The email marketing goals you should consider

Improve email open rates

Open rates are a key measurement for determining the effectiveness of your email marketing campaign. Open rates can vary significantly across different industries. A global average is somewhere between 15 and 20%. You should be looking at the average for your industry to see exactly where you sit now and the target you should be aiming for.

To improve your open rate, you should start working your:

  • Subject line to boost intrigue and urgency
  • Include personalisation such as first name and emojis.
  • “From” field to feel like a personal conversation
  • Preview text to explain the email contents
  • List health

The secret this metric is to focus on the trend data instead on the results for each campaign. If you’re tracking open rates over time,

Remember, the more people you have on your list who actually want to hear from you, the better your open and click-through rates will be.

Increase email engagement

My favourite metric is click through rate. Click through rate is calculated by diving the number of people who selected a call to action by the number of people who opened the email.

It’s THE metric that shows how many readers are engaging with your content by taking the action you want them to take.

Getting more people to engage with your emails could mean more traffic to your website or blog, more registrants for your next event, or a greater number of people acting on an offer you send out.

Improving your click-through rate can help build relationships with website visitors, subscribers, and longtime customers, creating an opportunity to bring in more business.

Here are a few ways to improve your click-through rates.

Always emails that are relevant and contain information that is valuable to your reader.

Use segmentation to send messages that are tailored to your reader. Segment them into like-minded groups and send relevant, targeted messages tailored to their specific needs and interests.

If your emails are crafted for a broader audience, consider segmenting your subscribers and sending them targeted content to help capture their attention. Doing so can help increase engagement and improve your relationship with them.

Include a clear call-to-action.

Every email you send to subscribers should include a single call-to-action (CTA) that stands out and visually pops — whether it’s downloading an ebook, reading a blog post or scheduling a free consultation.

Improve business results

Ultimately, your emails need to be achieving something tangible for your business. Open rates, click through rates don’t directly achieve business goals. The do, however, contribute to those goals.

Email marketing goals that relate to a business goals could include increasing sales, getting prospects to book an appointment, getting more people through your doors. What’s important here is the ability to measure those business goals and linking your email marketing to those business goals.

You could do this by having clear calls-to-action. “Book an appointment today”, “Here’s 10% off when you visit our store”.

Retain customers and turn them into brand advocates

Email marketing isn’t just about attracting new customers. It’s a powerful tool for continuing to engage with existing customers long after they’ve purchased from you.

It’s harder to attract new customers than it is to promote your services to  so customer retention is an important, efficient, and cost effective strategy cial to the success of any business. Emails have the unique ability to build relationships with past customers, prompting them to purchase from you again in the future.

To boost engagement among your existing customers, here are some tactics to consider:

Send exclusive content and targeted offers. Offers such as exclusive sales and discounts, courses, ebooks and other content based on their interests. Not only does this encourage customers to make another purchase, but it also demonstrates your vested interest in their relationship with your business.

To be effective, you should be segmenting customers in this way can help you send targeted content to people who want it most.

Consider sending emails based on past email engagement (if they clicked a link for a specific product, they may be interested in more content related to that topic), interests or geographical location.

Feature user-generated content and customer testimonials.

Highlighting customers by sharing feedback or social posts about their experiences with your brand can go a long way in showing them you value their support.

This also incentivizes other customers to follow suit and share their own experiences, in the hopes of getting recognition from your business.

Want a fun way to encourage customer feedback? Turning it into a social contest and offer a prize to a randomly selected individual!

Decrease the Unsubscribes Number

Not only do you want to increase the number of people on your email list, but you also want to prevent them from leaving you. To make it happen, you can improve the quality of your content, send messages less/more frequently and create appropriate segments of your contacts so everybody gets the type of email they hope for.

Build Brand Awareness

This is a tricky one for email marketing. Some people look at a goal like this and think it’s difficult to measure.

I disagree.

Where this goal fits is in conjunction with your wider marketing efforts.

Let’s look at how.

You may have social media posts, advertising, or other promotions where the goal is to send more visitors to your website.

On your website are lead magnets where people can exchange their email address for an ebook. Now they’re on your list, a welcome series delivers the resource, tells your brand story, introduces the key players in our buseinss. You letting your reader know more about your business.

Upselling, Converting and Moving Your Customers Down the Sales Funnel

Even in the classic brick-and-mortar businesses, you can use email marketing to successfully maximise revenue from the leads and customers you already acquired. You can do so by upselling your services or helping your qualified leads move down your sales funnel. Depending on the goal you’re after, your metrics will vary.

Driving Traffic to Your Website

Email marketing is easily one of the most effective ways to boost traffic to your website. Remember, people on your email list have agreed to hear from you. When you release a new product or publish a new blog post, sending an email to your readers is the easiest and most effective way to encourage them to learn more.

Gathering Feedback

There’s no better way to get reviews, referrals, and testimonials than by directly asking the people who have purchased from you. Some people will gladly share their opinion. All you need to do is to reach out to them.

Automating the process makes it even easier.

Start small

Look for small things you can improve on. Building your subscriber numbers could organically increase sales. Improving open rates could build brand awareness and, as a result, increase sales.

Don’t try to set too many goals at once. You may not get any of them right.

Wrap up

And there you have it – 9 actionable email marketing goals that you can start working on today.

Here’s the last trick. Setting goals isn’t enough. You need to follow through with them.

Commit to some of these goals to get started.

Need help or want feedback on your email marketing goals?

Head over to the Atomic Education Facebook page and join the conversation.


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