Do your Email Marketing Goals Need a Reality Check? Nicci Troiani I absolutely love when new Hatchbuckers come on and are super motivated to get their email marketing going. However, sometimes people shoot a little too high with their email marketing goals. Setting unrealistic goals will only ensure failure. When starting any new marketing process, you should aim for something realistic and hope that your numbers increase over time. Here are some of the unrealistic expectations that we hear, and what makes them unattainable. Expecting a 50% open rate with a cold list While a 50% open rate is definitely doable, it’s likely not going to happen for you at first, especially if your list doesn’t know you well. A 20% open rate is a pretty high, but more realistic number to shoot for. Keep in mind, as your list cleans itself out (by unsubscribe, bad emails and bounces), your numbers will get higher. Many people will see a 10% open rate when they first start sending. In fact, a 10-15% rate is pretty standard. Expecting the phone to start ringing off the hook You work hard to get your content perfect. In a perfect world, prospects would realize that and they would call you to say “that email is fantastic, I would love to do business with you!” However… not gonna happen! You will still need to monitor opens and clicks and determine when the right time is to make a sales call (unless you are online retail, in which case, your e-mails should have product and easy purchase links). Your e-mails are doing the job of warming the prospect up by introducing them to your industry and educating them on buying your products or services. If a prospect calls you or purchases because of an e-mail– that is a bonus. Expecting no unsubscribes Unsubscribes are going to happen, in fact you should be glad that they happen. This helps you to clean up your list and weed out prospects who really aren’t that interested. As you start adding more interested contacts to your list and keep marketing to those who are already opening and clicking through your e-mails, your rates will rise. By setting realistic goals, that you are sure you can reach will motivate you to optimize your emails and test various criteria to make sure you are hitting your goals. Diving into the world of email marketing can be overwhelming, so don’t set goals so high and make everything harder.