Smart & Fast: Learning More with Campaign Milestones

Use smaller milestones during a campaign run to optimize, drive testing and improve campaign planning.



December 9, 2015


Establishing a set of performance milestones lets you see how efficiently your campaigns operate and build a framework for optimizing future campaigns.

What Type of Campaign Milestones Should You Use?

Each milestone should help you identify factors that contribute to overall success. The number should be something you can see easily and narrow enough that you can make some hypotheses about cause and effect. Start by setting a number that you want the campaign to reach. Then make note of when you hit it and how. I think it helps to start with a number that’s intuitive and use simple observation.

Here are some ideas:

  1. Acquiring X number new users via a specific channel or campaign
  2. Getting X number of clicks on ads
  3. Having a segment of returning visitors view a page X number of times
  4. Getting to X number of leads on a campaign landing page

Use Milestones to Make Performance Predictions

Note how quickly your campaign reaches your first milestone value. Then check the contributing factors related to the milestone. For example, you can look at how long it took you to hit 50 new users from Facebook Ads, then look at both how much and how quickly a placement or demographic contributed to the number.

example of FB placement performance chart

With those quick observations, you can extrapolate how long it will take to acquire the next 100 users. If you don’t like the pace, then you can use what you know to try speeding up the outcome. In this case, you might decide to remove right-rail ads because they aren’t converting to users. If you’re feeling bold, then make the changes right away or you can build your ideas into a test for next time.

Use Milestones to Refine Campaign Development

Having milestones also helps you develop a more nuanced campaign planning approach. You’ll learn to include more attributes and what settings work best to reach your goals. You’ll also get a better sense of what to check if performance isn’t lining up with expectations.

Going back to the Facebook Ads example, you might look at putting placements into separate campaigns. You could then run tests running a Desktop Newsfeed-only campaign versus an FB Right-rail-only campaign.

Big Gains Come From Small Improvements

You don’t find a lot silver bullets in marketing. That’s why it’s so important to test. Testing helps you make small, continuous improvements that lead to big gains over time. Setting milestones and observing how you reach them helps you do the same thing. You look at little goals to understand how to better reach the large ones.

You may also like…