Reach for the stars, not for the benchmark

Benchmarks can help us make the right business decisions, however, far too often we say things like "we're above the industry average", when we should really be asking:
  • Did we return on our investment?
  • Have we achieved our campaign goals?
  • What can we improve?
Benchmarks help us protect our investments and set realistic, achievable goals. The truth is, performance against benchmarks means very little if we fail to meet our internal target.

With this in mind here are our top five tips to setting realistic email marketing targets:

Break your target down into individual goals. Try to quantify your goals wherever possible. This way you can quickly see where you are achieving and where you are not.

Break performance down into set areas. For example, you may break your email marketing performance down into; delivery, read, click-through and conversion rates. This will help you review performance against your goals.

Clearly identify the final action you want your readers to take? Should they reply to your email, fill in a form or buy a product? Once you know what you want them to do, calculate how many conversions you need to return on your investment.

Set your target and then review it against the required performance. If your target is to achieve sales revenue of £1000 and to do this you need to sell 100 units, ask yourself:

How many people will I need to convert from email to final action? 
If your website converts at a rate of 1 in 10 you will need to convert a minimum of 1,000 people from email to website.

Now ask yourself... Is this a realistic goal? 
Use past performance and benchmarks to help you decide if your target can be realistically achieved

Never limit your target to achieving one specific goal. If you're struggling to identify your goals try to break your target down into its component parts.

If your target is to achieve 100% growth in sales, then in order to achieve this your goals may be to
1) Increase your conversion rate by 50%
2) Raise the average order value by 100%
3) Increase website visitors by 10%.

These goals can then be monitored to ensure that your overall target is achieved.