SMART Goals: How to plan email campaigns that drive sales? [#90daybullybreakdown]

If you’re ready to dive in, download the Campaign Goal Setting Freebie I made you!

Say it with me: “I cannot run a successful campaign without goals because setting goals helps measure results. What cannot be measured, cannot be categorized & quantified.”

I made a video that provides more insight into everything shared in this blog article to better help you apply these concepts, give it a quick watch:


The key to setting goals is understanding instances where goal setting is helpful for your campaigns. So, here’s a scenario where setting goals makes all the difference in campaign outcomes.

Scenario: Your email list is very engaged, and you want to run a campaign to maximize sales for a product restock. You want campaigns that are creative, clean, and make it easy for your readers to click and shop. You also want to increase clicks while maintaining an easy-to-follow format for mobile.

In this scenario, your goal is to maximize clicks and sales, so let’s review how this impacts design strategy. 

The easiest way to increase email clicks is to maximize the opportunities to click. This means that there must be opportunities to click in the header, the images, the call to actions in the body, product listings, and the campaigns footer. 

Putting options to click in multiple areas gives you ample opportunity to convince them to click at least one option provided.

Now, you don’t have to have Clickable links or buttons in each section, but if you hit most, you will make it easier for people to shop.

Here’s an example:

In this campaign, there’s a clickable header (#1, logo & menu), a hyperlinked image (#2), hyperlinked text in the body (#3), and a direct CTA with the button (#4). This layout makes sense with the goals we set to maximize clicks & offer accessibility. 

If we didn’t set this goal, a campaign with only one opportunity to click would’ve been sent, which wouldn’t have truly worked to support this goal.


When you start preparing to send email campaigns, you must set goals before crafting a campaign. Setting the proper goals tells you who you’re sending campaigns to, why, the ideal outcomes and the data that supports the goals you’re setting.

Setting goals is the easy part when you understand what goes into it, the order things need to be done and how to organize your research & materials. Let’s go through a simple step by step breakdown of how I would set goals for an email campaign.

If you find this as helpful as I’d hope, please drop a comment & let me know! 


To begin creating SMART goals for my campaign, I start with identifying:

  1. What the campaign is
  2. The campaign dates
  3. What I’m hoping to accomplish (the goal)

Next, I break down my goal according to the SMART method. Here I am trying to determine if my goal is specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely. 

If you want an interactive example of completing SMART Goals +Writing a strategy with tutorial videos & a FREE template download THIS!

Let’s briefly review what this means and why it’s important in email marketing.

The SMART Goal method

S = Specific

Having specific goals is important because vague goals are unhelpful and lead to frustration and confusion. 

Specific goals ensure anyone, including you, can come back to review your campaign notes later, understand the mission and feel empowered to proceed with the campaign.

  • Ex of specific goal: My ideal open rate within 90 days is 35%+.
  • Ex of vague goal: I want to have a high email open rate.

The Specific goal identifies what is considered a high open rate and a deadline to achieve it by. In comparison, the vague goal leaves all of this open for personal interpretation, leading to confusion and misaligned strategies within an organization.

M = Measurable

When goals are measurable, there’s data to be reviewed which determines where the campaign is in terms of success.

For email marketing, measurable goals could be:

  • Email open rates
  • Click rates
  • Bounce rates
  • Unsubscribe rates
  • Email list growth
  • Email campaign Engagement
  • Freebie downloads
  • Conversion Rates
  • Reply rates
  • Virtual event attendance if a nurture sequence is used

You do NOT need to measure everything on the list above to identify when a campaign is successful. The metric you measure depends on what your overall goal is, refer to the chart below to better understand what to measure based on the goal you set. 

The Goal

Metric to Measure

The Explanation

Grow Email List Email list growth rate or # freebie downloads. You can only measure if your email list is growing by reviewing the growth rate OR how many people downloaded your freebie.
Launch a product OR Drive product sales Conversion Rates A new product selling is only measurable by tracking the conversion rate directly from a campaign
Boost newsletter Engagement Email campaign engagement, Open rates, click rates & Reply rate.  Engagement is measured based on metrics that track how people respond to and interact with your email campaign.


A = Attainable 

This simply means can you meet your goal based on the resources you currently have. If not, this is where you create a plan to generate the additional resources you need.

Questions to ask yourself here:

  1. What resources do I have?
  2. Do my resources need to be organized? Are they easily accessible?
  3. Are these resources enough to meet my goal?
  4. What, if any, additional resources do I need?
  5. What is the monetary value of these additional resources?
  6. How would I go about getting additional resources?

After you organize a plan to acquire additional resources OR organize the resources you have, you’re ready to move to the next phase.

R = Relevant

Relevancy here means, does this matter to my audience and how do I know. Understanding this means you can easily identify topics they’ll love, call to actions that motivate them to take action and offers that they deem irresistible. 

Choosing things that are relevant to your audience also means you’ll naturally have a higher engagement rate, click rate AND conversion rate without overexerting yourself and exhausting your resources.

Questions to ask yourself here:

  1. Can you quantify the importance of them to your audience to ensure the content you’re sharing is reflective of their experience with your brand?
  2. How do you know this content matters to them?
  3. Have they requested this content from you?
  4. Have they interacted with similar content before?
  5. How will this become a consistent theme across all touch points to keep the discussion the same?

If you struggle to answer these questions, the topic is either irrelevant to your audience OR you haven’t done enough research on your audience to determine what is relevant to them.

T = Timely

Lastly, it’s time to set a deadline. If your goals do not have deadlines, they’re not goals. 


Deadlines are the cutoff period for collecting data, growing email lists, launching campaigns are more. Your deadlines could be any time period, but try not to stretch beyond 90 days so your campaigns don’t drag on without intervention and review as needed.

Even with 90 day deadlines, you should review your content and strategy every 7 days and collect and organize your data. 

This helps to avoid any issues with overlooked mistakes and gives you an opportunity to tweak things for the following week accordingly.

Now that you know how to create SMART goals for your email campaigns, it’s time to use these to create a full blow content strategy. I’ve created a FREE tutorial for you, fill out the form below to access it instantly.

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