Step 1 – Make Them Smart
Making this a requirement for any goals that you set yourself has become a complete cliche, but it is still often ignored:
- For ‘specific’ read significant – achieving it has to clearly make a worthwhile difference to your business
- Measureable – whether you’ve achieved qualitative targets is often, but not always, subjective.
- Accepted – in most businesses, understanding of and agreement with your goals by a number of people (including employees, suppliers and even customers) can be critical to success or at least make success far more likely
- Reasonable – Make your goals challenging to boost the sense of achievement when you meet them but not so challenging that success is unlikely: There’s no great joy in progress if the actual target is missed
- Time-bound – to be honest a goal without a ‘by’ date isn’t worth making
Step 2 – Make it Measureable
Some email marketing related goals can be measured by the email marketing system itself – e.g. subscriber numbers, email open rates. But often, there is a more important goals in terms of actions external to the emails themselves, e.g. on your website: In such cases, it is important to ensure that the email triggered actions on your website are monitored separately from other website traffic. This can be done by linking your email marketing to your website analytics and ensuring that approrpaiet goals are set in the latter.
Step 3 – Plan Actions & Set Milestones
Goals don’t get met just because you want to. Carrying out a planned set of actions, each by specific dates, and having measureable target progress at a set of milestone dates is at the heart of a winning approach to goals.
Step 4 – Review and Modify
Following your original action plan, monitoring progress of it and progress towards your goal are not ends in themselves or sufficient. If a goal is demanding, implementation can slip and actions can fail to achieve as much progress as expected – the purpose of reviews is to reveal the need for modification of plans and remedial action to bring your business back on course to achieve its goals.