If you’re here, it’s likely you know that email marketing is the number one way for service-based entrepreneurs to nurture their followers into paying clients.

One of the biggest things I’ve heard from entrepreneurs who are frustrated with marketing their business online is that they’re “not getting results”.

So I ask them, “What do you mean by ‘results’?” A lot of times, they stumble to answer the question. The biggest reason why is because they haven’t clearly defined what results they’re looking to get. More followers? More leads? More views?

In order to be effective with email marketing, you need to define what results you’re looking for. And furthermore, you need to set very specific goals so you can clearly know when you’ve achieved those results or not. “500 more email subscribers” is much more achievable than “more email subscribers”.

In this blog post, I’ll be discussing the 3 easy steps you can take to set email marketing goals and then what you need to do after reading this post. There’s a freebie for you at the end that will help you take action!


1) What is your goal with email marketing?

Alright, let’s look at the very first thing I mentioned. What does “results” mean to you? What is your overarching goal with your email marketing? No need to set a number to it at this point. You can be somewhat general.

For some, their goal is to build their list of ideal clients. Others may be looking to nurture their followers into becoming raving fans. Or another goal could be they’re looking to increase the number of sales they get through email marketing.

What is your overarching goal?

Remember that there is no one online marketing tactic that can do it all (get you visible, build your following, convert them into paying clients), so make sure you also zoom out a little further and see how your email marketing even fits into your marketing and your business.

Let’s say your goal is to increase your number of sales through email marketing. Zoom out and note how many subscribers you currently have. Do you have a strategy in place to build your list?

Continuing with this example: you have 100 subscribers. That’s a very limited number of people you’re selling to. Depending on your specific goal with your email marketing (we’ll get to that in a moment) and with your business overall, you’re pretty limited in the results you can get.

If this example is something that sounds familiar to you, I recommend refocusing your goal to being growing your email list of ideal clients. I am stressing ideal clients because subscribers who aren’t your ideal clients will most likely not buy from you, either because your services don’t solve a pain they have or your messaging doesn’t resonate with them.

Look at the big picture and then define your big picture goal.


2) Look at your current numbers

Now that you have that big picture goal, it’s time to look at what you have in terms of statistics. The reason we’re doing this now is because the step that comes after this is setting a very specific, numbers-focused goal. But before we do that, we need to know where we’re starting from.

These are common email marketing statistics that most of you will need to pay attention to:

  • Current number of subscribers
  • Rate of new subscribers added every day, week, month
  • How often you send out emails
  • Open rates (how often your emails are opened)
  • Click rates (how often links are clicked in your emails)

Now ask yourself which of these stats are relevant to your goal and how relevant they are.

I say “how relevant” because if we’re being honest, every one of these statistics are very important to the success of your online marketing strategy. But let’s talk about which are the most relevant to the goal you just defined.

Rate of new subscribers added is very relevant to those focusing on building their list, but not as relevant as click rates for those who are looking to get more sales through email.

Note your current numbers. You’ll be referring back to these when you evaluate how you’re doing.


3) Set a S.M.A.R.T. goal

Time to set a S.M.A.R.T. goal!

What is a S.M.A.R.T. goal? It’s a very specific, quantitative goal. This is how you’ll know whether or not you’ve achieved your goal. Numbers speak volumes over feelings when it comes to marketing and business.

  • S stands for “specific”
  • M stands for “measurable”
  • A stands for “achievable” (sometimes also attainable, action-oriented, etc)
  • R stands for “relevant”
  • T stands for “time-bound”

Here’s an example (I work really well with examples, hence all the examples in this post!)

Overarching goal: I want to grow my number of email subscribers.

S.M.A.R.T. goal: By the end of the year, I want to have added 200 more subscribers to my list.

  • Specific? Yes.
  • Measurable? Yes. The number you’re measuring is 200 subscribers.
  • Achievable? If you’ve been growing your list at a rate of 2 subscribers per week and there are 5 more weeks in the year, that means you’ll need to increase your rate from 2 per week to 40 per week. If you have the time to ramp up your efforts significantly, then yes, this is achievable.
  • Relevant? Yes.
  • Time-bound? Yes. You’re aiming to reach this goal by January 1st, 2017.

What is your overarching goal? Now define your S.M.A.R.T. goal.


I went through a lot in this post and honestly, it wasn’t all sexy. But in order to grow your business online, you have to take the non-sexy with the sexy.

These are 3 easy steps to setting email marketing goals:

  1. Define your overarching goal
  2. Look at your numbers
  3. Set a S.M.A.R.T. goal

It’s easy, but it takes time and effort.

What now?

Now you know how to set your goals, but the work doesn’t stop there. Your next steps are to plan out the exact actions you’ll take in order to reach that goal. If you need help with this, go on over to our Facebook group and tell us what your goal is and what ideas you have to reach that goal.

Don’t forget to regularly review the results you’re getting and adjust your actions so you can get even better results!