The Essential Guide to SMART Planning: Part Two

Within this second part of our essential guide to SMART Planning which is a part of our Marketer’s Challenges Series we cover all the final steps needed to create an outstanding email strategy.

We wanted to make this two-part guide as interactive as possible to help you overcome your challenges, so we’ve included downloadable worksheets where you can map out your strategy using the information within this guide.

Download the Worksheet to get started.

Continuing SMART Planning

A – Achievable: Is it achievable?

Document the dependencies required for the objective / goal to be achievable.

You need to consider how other factors could influence the success of you being able to achieve your objective.

On the achievable section of the objective planning, you now need to detail who will own the delivery.

Who is going to own certain aspects / tasks.

R- Realistic: How realistic will that be?

Make a note of any challenges you think you might have too and consider other challenges you might have.

Ask yourself who will be responsible for the delivery of the objective and its tasks.

Should you accept or set an objective that states:

“Increase of 30% in email sales” when you know email lists have been declining every month?

Will a “30% increase in email clicks” really increase sales?

Who will be responsible and available to deliver the tasks involved?

Look at the objective’s relevancy to the business.

Reality Check

  • Is the time and effort realistic?     
  • Will it be worth it?       
  • Are you the right person to own this objective?

Another question to ask yourself is if the business are expecting revenue growth of 10% in the next 12 months, can you really achieve that when your list is deteriorating by 20%?

Complete the relevancy of the goal to the business and your role.

Next: We’ll set a deadline to achieving our goal / objective

T- Timed: The time frame of your objectives

Part of measuring the success of a goal is setting a deadline to measure it, you need a target and an end date to reach it.

Time frames can also heavily influence whether the goal is achievable and realistic. Be honest to yourself!

Customer Lifecycle Audit

Now map out your current activities and the activities you need to action to meet your objectives, be this acquisition, growth and/or retention.

Customer Lifecycle

 Impact Effort Matrix

Before we set our time frames, we need to make sure we review all other tasks too, this is an easy way to see what you should do and when, and whether you should be doing it at all!

Once you have your tasks and goals written out – spend time prioritising them.

  • What are your quick wins?
  • What are your biggest priorities feeding back to your goals?

Don’t be afraid to drop something if it doesn’t align to the goal!

Effort Matrix

Completing your Impact Effort Matrix

We’ve given you a template of the Impact Effort Matrix, plot your most common regular tasks along with new key goals.

Feel free to start jotting down some other tasks.

Complete the Time Based section of the goal planning.

Example: Plot your SMART Objectives into a Quarterly plan.

Here is an example of quarterly mapping exercise:


You now know your objectives.

What we have covered so far:

  • You’ve clearly defined our goals.
  • You know how to measure our goal and set KPIs. 
  • You’ve outline how it can be achieved.
  • You’re confident the goal is relevant.
  • You’ve identified our priorities and set a deadline to achieving our goal.

SMART Planning Tactics

You’ve now got your strategy on how to SMART plan in place, so let’s look at the different tactics you can implement within this to make it a success. 


Using Popovers on your website to capture new email subscribers can increase your signup rate by over 100%!

This will then allow you to maximise your lead generation efforts by creating a one on one conversation through email which can be achieved by launching a welcome series of emails after they have subscribed.

Making your Popovers time based on session duration ensures the customer experience is not interrupted. 

Now let’s take a look at the different types of popovers you can deploy on your website.

Exit Intent

Exit Intent Popovers will be triggered when the visitors cursor moves over the navigation bar which shows an intent to leave your website.

This type of popover is ideal to capture the visitors email address, giving them a reason to stay on your website. Here are a few examples of how this type of Popover can stop the visitor from leaving:

  • Offer an incentive to purchase.
  • Give the customer a way to save the offer or item in their basket for later.

Exit Intent

The information gathered from these exit intent Popovers will also give you a good insight into which pages your customers are most exiting from i.e. your home page, cart, book a demo page, giving you a chance to improve the experience on these pages, to help increase conversions.

Personalised offers

A great way to help increase your conversions when planning your campaigns is to introduce a personalised offer. When introducing offers, the most effective way to do this is to make them personalised based on the individual or segment of customers/prospects you are targeting.

Take into account key personal data such as:

  • Lead source
  • Products viewed
  • Time spent on website

Personalised offers

77% of shoppers say discounts can influence where they shop, and 48% say they can speed up the decision-making process.


Countdown timers 

Using countdown timers help increase urgency of purchases, here are some examples you can put in place:

  • Countdown to sale ending.
  • Countdown to next day delivery.
  • Countdown to product expiry. 

Countdown timers can increase conversions by 300%!

Tool tips/Nudges

If you have forms to fill out or complex checkouts (B2B/Travel) or a potentially ageing audience help smooth the process through with tool-tips and nudges.

If someone is loitering on a page because of a difficult form, give them hints and tips or ask them to call in.

If someone is in the process of purchasing let them know how long left you have for the purchase to take place. Make it EASY and CLEAR.

Product recommendations 

Product recommendations can really help increase revenues, as when a customer or prospects are at their most engaged within the buying cycle, recommending a product alongside the products they are browsing or have in their basket can significantly increase the chances of purchasing these additional products or services.

Here are a few examples of ways your can display recommended products:

  • Showing the customer popular products.
  • Showing products related to products they are viewing.
  • Showing the customer items they have previously viewed.

Up to 31% of total eCommerce websites revenue can be attributed to Personalised Product Recommendations!

Amazon attribute 35% of all of its revenue to crossselling!

Looking for inspiration, what are your most popular products? What are your trending products?

Abandon Basket & Browser Recovery

Introducing basket and browser abandonment email triggers will help you regain potentially lost revenue. This is where an email is triggered which will include the contents of the visitors abandoned basket or items they have viewed once they have left your website without making a purchase.

Here are some statistics to demonstrate the importance of incorporating basket and browser abandonment triggers into your email strategy:

  • 65% of shoppers abandon checkout forms. 
  • 88% of shoppers never even reach the cart.
  • Cart Abandonment tools see an average 6% increase in conversion rate.

Emails must be sent in real-time because 90% of the leads go cold within one hour, so ensure your basket and browser abandonment emails are sent within this timeframe.

Review Campaigns

Reviews are more powerful than ever before, social proof goes a long way in helping increase your conversions, so ensure these are part of your email/marketing strategy.

People trust online reviews nearly as much as a personal recommendations.

Maximising touchpoints regarding their experience and gaining those reviews to help social proof further services, such as reviews next to products, or at the checkout, or at vital points of conversion.

Social proof campaigns help with both retention and acquisition.

Feefo reported a 10% increase in click throughs from Google with organic reviews.

One of our customers saw an increase in abandoned basket conversions of 38% by using reviews.

If reviews can increase your conversion rates by X then start taking full advantage of your existing customers.

Incentivise reviews of products to not only drive repeat purchase but increase your overall revenue uplift!

SMART Dynamic Retention Tactics

Here are some ideas and tactics to include in your customer retention and conversion strategies.

SMART Dynamic Retention Tactics

Personalised Homepages/Banners 

A study on Marketing website Moz reported that introducing personalised homepage banners had the following effects:

  • 1.5% increase in engagement.
  • 113% increase in conversions to Solutions page.
  • 117% increase in conversions on “Test it Out” CTA to start account creation process.

They had 26 homepage variations!

What do you think would help a returning customer to your site?

Loyalty Scheme

Consumers with an emotional connection to a brand have a 306% higher lifetime value, stay with a brand for an average of 5.1 years vs. 3.4 years, and will recommend brands at a much higher rate (71% vs. 45%).

52.3% of customers will join a loyalty or VIP program.

Nearly 80% of consumers said it took at least three purchases for them to consider themselves loyal and 37% said they weren’t loyal until they had made at least five purchases.


SMART Email Tactics

There are a wide range of email tactics that you can implement to help meet your SMART objectives, you’ll see a range of these in the image below and we’ll then expand on some of these areas, giving you insight and examples into why and how to implement these email tactics.

SMART Email Tactics

Persona Examples 

When creating your SMART strategy and email tactics you should also map out your customer personas, this will give a great insight into their buying behaviour and the offers and tactics you can use to gain the most engagement and customer loyalty. 

Persona Examples

Persona Lifecycles

Welcome emails 

Welcome emails are an essential part of your subscribers email lifecycle and to make an impactful first impression. Here are some statistics to prove how effective Welcome emails can be:

  • Welcome emails generate between 50-60% open rates. 
  • Welcome emails are 50% – 86% more effective than email newsletters. 
  • Subscribers who receive a Welcome email show 33% more engagement with the brand. 
  • Despite these numbers, just 57.7% of brands send Welcome emails to their newly subscribed users. 

Welcome emails


Below is a great example of Non monetary incentives – building brand engagement, reinforcing their brand, who they are, their passion and pride. 

  • They us social proof to eliminate any doubt for buying with reviews and feedback. 
  • They then drop back in our inbox just confirming what a great company they are.
  • Address Major Objection – Day 1 – In the form: “Most people think X, but if they only knew Y, then Z”
  • Provide Case Study/Social Proof – Day 2 – Show them what life will be like after they have become a customer.
  • Offer Help – Day 3 – Overcome obstacles. Ask them to reply with the biggest obstacle they are facing. “Stuck? Need some help?”
  • Strong Call To Action – Day 4 – Final call email with a strong call to action focus, “Book a consultation today” or “Purchase X product/Holiday Today”

Newsletters & Promotions

Your Newsletters are an essential part of your marketing to help continuously engage with your subscribers and to ensure a consistent tone of your brand. Your newsletters and promotions should reinforce your customer lifecycle. 

You need to ensure your Newsletter has:

  • Everything aligned. 
  • Use of your brand voice, is your newsletter empowering or creating excitement? 
  • Brand building and engagement elements.

Ad hoc newsletters can create new opportunities and new life cycles by themselves.

Competitions & Surveys 

Competitions and Surveys are also the ideal way to gain further information from your subscribers to help with segmentation further and build layers onto your subscriber lifecycle journey, giving you the chance to gain more engagement and the opportunity to learn more about recipients.

Within your Competitions and Surveys ensure that you outline WIIFM? (What’s in it for me?), everyone needs a reason to do something. 

Your incentive doesn’t always have to be money, just remember WIIFM. Make it easy, entering needs to be pain free and the time for entering or filling in needs to be considered.

Make it an exchange for something that could help you know more about them and know your audience – is the prize what they really want?

Replenishment Campaigns  

Replenishment email campaigns allow you to set specific time periods to automatically trigger an email based on the product or service that the customer has purchased. This will remind them in good time to order again. Include an incentive or up or cross sell your customers to help drive conversions and increase revenues.

A great example of this is one of our Pure360 customers currently converts at 33% on their replenishment email campaigns!

Replenishment emails have an average open-rate of 50-60% and an average click-rate of 40-50%. In other words, they are a golden opportunity for your brand to generate recurring revenue.


We hope you have found this guide useful in order to create your SMART Planning strategy, here is a quick roundup of the areas we covered.

Be Specific about your objectives, document all the tasks that you need to complete and have this inline with your company’s ‘Why’. 

Make sure your objectives are Measurable, set clear KPIs in order to track the performance of your campaigns, ensure these objectives are Achievable, and that your objectives are Realistic. Don’t be too tough on yourself, think of your first set of SMART Objectives as a learning curve, which you can continuously work on to enhance moving forwards. Importantly make sure that your objectives are Time based, put deadlines and key milestones where you can track your continued success and have an end date to work towards, where you review your current results and successes.

We have also covered a wide range of tactics you can introduce to help you achieve your objectives which have included ways to increase your subscriber lists by using Popovers and other email capture methods on your website. 

Create urgency through personalised offers, countdown timers and social proof. Drive new sales and increase conversions through product recommendations, abandon basket and browser recovery tactics. 

Once you have the tactics in place we then looked at the ways in which you can enhance your subscribers lifecycle journey from introducing a welcome email series, nurturing campaigns and the types of content that can be used. We also covered ways to keep your subscribers engaged and to continue buying from you including cross and upselling opportunities alongside product recommendations.  

We hope you found this guide and worksheet useful in order to structure, plan and execute your SMART objectives.

Our experts are on hand to help discuss any requirements you have in order to plan out and implement your SMART objectives. We also offer a fully managed service where we can plan, implement and manage your email strategy, taking the pressure away from you and your team, letting our experts work with you to help drive new sales and increase customer retention and loyalty. Contact us today for a free consultation.

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