Goal Setting For Your Marketing
No matter what time of the year it is, it’s always a good time to review and reset your goals. When it comes to marketing, I like to consider the start of the year as being in the starting blocks and the ideal time to set the goal for the year. The challenge is to stick to the plan to reach that goal. That is why all plans need constant viewing, reviewing and changing if necessary.
A goal will only be achieved if it has a few simple principles applied. Firstly, it has to be achievable and therefore specific. A vague goal of making more money is not really a goal – what is the measure? More money from what point or what date? More money from where? You see how it is not specific? But if you say “you want to increase your online sales by 10%” then that is specific and should be achievable if you have a plan and stick to it.
That goal also needs to have a time constraint applied. When do you want to achieve that goal by? End of each month or by AGM or end of the year?
In your marketing, it is no different. Setting goals makes it easier to measure the results of your different marketing activities, and also provides the focus and motivation you need to stick with them.
In respect to your marketing goals, it should be broken down into different sources. Your social media goals will be different to your website and different to your email marketing.
Your social media goal should be about growing your followers through either competitions, paid campaigns or making more points of contact available on other marketing sources i.e. is the icon for social media on your website in a clearly visible position? Is it a one click task? Does your email signature have a link to your best social media source?
Your website goals can be measured through Google Analytics or other source of measuring. Alternatively, you may receive a monthly report from your webmaster that shows the traffic source.
Email marketing goals can be measured by the reports within the program. Your first goal should be to grow the list. Do all your existing clients receive your newsletter yet? Do an audit and ensure they are not being forgotten. Has every potential client been given the opportunity to sign up for the newsletter to keep informed or opportunities for ‘mail only’ special offers? Do they truly have a compelling reason to sign up? Make sure they know the value or the benefits they can receive. What would they expect? Maybe have a free offer just for signing up i.e. E-book valued at $xx
Signup forms can also be added to your Facebook page as another entry point by way of an app added to your page, same with a ‘contact me’ on your Facebook page. Check out my signup form on Facebook.
IMPROVING THE OPEN RATES ON EMAILS
Your open rates on any email campaign is one of the best metrics for measuring the effectiveness of your efforts. Open rates let you know how many people who received your emails were actually interested and taking the step to read the content you sent. The more opened emails you have, the more opportunities you’ll have to drive business results. Average open rates will vary from each industry with some averages under 10% but most hovering around 20% unless your are religious and they can achieve a whopping 30%.
One of the best ways to increase your opening rate is to ensure the content is newsworthy every time, and my suggestion is for forget about being a sales person and think about being a problem solver. That will achieve a far better response than blatantly asking for the sale. Nobody enjoys that. When you focus on their needs, not only will they thank you for it, but the sales will follow. If you have no news, then question if you need to send out any emails at all or perhaps consider changing your strategy.
Be consistent too by always having easy to recognise name and email address in every message – don’t keep changing your entire template. They look forward to emails from you and your business, so stick with it. You also want their inbox to recognise you so it doesn’t become lost in the junk mail.
Subject lines on your message are so important. Does ‘October Newsletter’ make you compelled to open? Absolutely no! But if I said ‘money saving ideas you don’t need to spend a cent to find’, that would be more compelling. Or perhaps your message subject line is ‘exclusive offer to dramatically increase your sales’ or ‘look what the opposition are doing now’. You get the picture – it has the WIIFM aspect. It’s all about the benefits and none of the sales fluff. I have a long list of subject lines that will make a difference if you are lost in this area.
The value of the reporting section of your email marketing program cannot be underestimated. It is important to know who opened the email but even more importantly, what did they click on? You may receive a ‘click map’ or it may be like a spreadsheet. Either way, your click through rates show you how many subscribers are engaging with your content and taking a desired action by clicking on the links. Getting more people to engage with your emails could mean more traffic to your website or blog, might mean more attendees to your next seminar or more people accepting your ‘free offer’.
If people aren’t engaging with your emails, it may be because they aren’t connecting with the content you send out. Take some time to look through your click reports to see which links are getting the most attention. This is a great way to see what your readers are most interested in. You can also create separate email lists for people who click on a particular link and follow up with a more targeted email.
MEASURING THOSE GOALS
Think about the goal of your email before you create it. Sometimes the goal is a direct response to drive sales, generate reservations or to bring more people into your store. The goal will be focused on long-term plans to generate more business, generate further awareness, improve loyalty or gain more referrals. With that in mind, you will make smarter decisions about the type of content within your emails.
You’ll also want to think about how you’ll measure the results of your campaign beyond the inbox. For example, if you’re including a coupon in your email to generate sales, you’ll want to make sure you can track how many coupons have been redeemed. You also want to pay attention to how many of the people who redeemed the offer are existing customers, and which are new to your business. There are numerous tools around that can assist with this type of tracking or your CRM program may incorporate one for such things.
When you start with small and achievable goals in mind, then those small things can grow and improve on into the months ahead.