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How to Set and Measure Goals for Your Next Marketing Campaign

June 18, 2015

Was your most recent direct mail campaign a success? While many marketers and business owners understand the ins and outs of direct mail, a large number make a common mistake: failing to establish goals for their campaign before launching it. 

Clear, measurable goals can be the difference between launching a successful direct mail campaign that you can optimize and expand in the future, and a campaign that, despite generating a profit, gives you little to no actionable information. 

Discover the importance of setting measurable, objective goals for your direct mail campaign before you start. We’ll also share a simple goal setting framework that you can use to set effective goals for your next campaign.


Why should you set goals?

What would a campaign have to achieve for you to consider it a success? When you first get started with direct mail marketing, it can be difficult to know what success really is. 

Is success earning back all of the money you spent on your campaign? It success any type of profit? Or is success generating valuable data and insights that you can use in future campaigns? 

Without clear goals, it’s impossible to know whether or not a campaign is successful and worth optimizing further. Because of this, it’s essential that you establish a clear goal – whether it’s a sales target or data collection – for each and every campaign.


What makes a goal effective? 

Not all goals are equally valuable. The best goals are easy to measure – for example, “Generate at least $5,000 in revenue directly attributable to this direct mail campaign– and are quantifiable.

The best goals are also specific. A goal such as “Increase brand awareness among our target customers” is specific, but not actionable. “Achieve a 10% increase in customer awareness, as measured by a poll of our target audience,” is specific and actionable.

In simple terms, a great goal should be something that you can measure and work to improve. If your campaign achieves its goals but gives you no actionable data to use for optimization, its goals aren’t actionable and measurable.


Using the SMART system to create effective goals 

One of the best goal setting systems is the SMART system – a system that builds off of Peter Drucker’s management by objectives concept. To become a SMART goal, a goal needs to meet five specific criteria: 

·      It needs to be specific

·      It needs to be measurable

·      It needs to be achievable

·      It needs to be realistic

·      It needs to be time-related

Do your marketing goals meet these five criteria? Below is an example of a SMART goal that’s directly related to most direct marketing campaigns: 

“In order to be a success, our campaign must generate $10,000 in sales of our product from recipients within our target audience and within four weeks of receipt.” 

This goal provides a specific target audience, outlines a measurable standard for it to be considered a success, focuses on an achievable target, provides a realistic and possible goal, and specifies a point in time at which success is determined. 

It’s specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-related. By using the SMART goal setting system, you can establish similar goals for your direct mail campaigns and use them to track success or failure.


Are your direct marketing goals SMART?

The SMART goal setting system isn’t the only framework for establishing goals, but it’s one of the simplest and most effective. Are your marketing goals SMART, or are they in need of improvement before you launch your next campaign?