How to Set Smart Goals for Your Fintech Referral Marketing Campaign (With Examples)

Posted by Kevin Yun | Mar 16, 2022

FinTech businesses have been on the rise, as more and more people are turning to technology for their financial needs.

To stay ahead of the curve, FinTech companies are turning to different marketing strategies, including referral marketing. The key to creating effective and efficient referral marketing campaigns is having a good marketing plan.

One of the most critical parts of any good marketing plan are goals. Goals are present in all aspects of business and life, providing businesses with a sense of purpose, focus, direction, and clarity.

In this post, we will be discussing how FinTech businesses can set SMART goals for their referral marketing campaigns. We'll also provide examples of achievable goals that FinTechs can use as a starting point.

Let's begin!

What Are Smart Goals and Why Are They Important?

The term SMART defines a set of essential traits every goal should have to ensure it is as powerful as it can be and is able to push you forward with a clear direction and purpose.

A SMART goal is a goal that is "Specific," "Measurable," "Achievable," "Relevant", and "Time-bound." Setting SMART objectives allows you to assess exactly what you're striving for.

Setting SMART objectives helps you evaluate how effectively you're progressing toward your goal by analyzing which activities to take to get there.

The Who, the When, and the Where

SMART goals have been around for a while. The SMART acronym was first penned down in Spokane, Washington, in November 1981. George T. Doran, a consultant and former Director of Corporate Planning for Washington Water Power Company, published a study titled "There's a S.M.A.R.T. Way to Write Management's Goals and Objectives." In the study, Doran asserted that writing down objectives was a waste of time if they were not SMART.

Today, more than 40 years later, SMART goal-setting is used for much more than setting management goals for corporate plans. People from all walks of life use them to set:

  • life goals,
  • educational goals,
  • goals for weight loss or weight gain, 
  • and pretty much anything else you can think of

The Need to Set Smart Goals in Referral Marketing

One important use case of SMART goals is in marketing. No matter what marketing strategies it entails, every marketing plan needs a set of clear goals, including referral marketing programs .

Referral marketing campaigns can be successful for FinTech businesses, but only if they are well-planned and goal-oriented. SMART goals are essential for referral marketing because they help focus and guide the campaign. Knowing what you are working toward can be difficult without specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound goals.

The lack of well-defined goals also makes it hard to define when you can expect to get to where you want to be, or even whether or not you effectively achieve your objectives.

If you want a sneak peek at what a SMART goal for a FinTech referral program looks like, here are two simple examples:

  • Generating 50 new referrals in the next two months.
  • Increasing referral email click-through rates by 25% within the next month.

In the following sections of this post, we'll explore how FinTech businesses can set SMART goals like these for their referral marketing campaigns to help push them forward, focusing on what is important. We'll also provide more examples at the end of the post and break down what makes them SMART.

Request a demo of GrowSurf

Set up your referral marketing program with software that lowers your customer acquisition cost and saves you gobs of time.

How to Write Smart Goals

Writing SMART goals isn't hard. You need to start by defining what is most important to you and your business at the moment and prioritize the things that need to get done first.

After that, it comes down to asking yourself and your team a set of key questions that the final written goal should answer positively. You can usually start with some form of a general goal you may already have in mind and then work your way through each letter or trait to tweak it accordingly. By the time you reach the letter T, you're sure to have a SMART goal on your hands.

After you craft your first couple of SMART goals, it'll become much easier to write the next. After a while, you'll notice that you're even setting SMART goals for your daily activities.

Let's see what a FinTech business could include in their SMART campaign goals to help guide them along the path to success:

S for Specific

To be effective, every goal you set must be clear and specific because this will help you define the strategies and tactics needed to achieve them. Vague goals will only cause confusion and a lack of motivation.

Don't shoot for something like "increase referral program engagement." That is not specific. Referral program engagement could mean several things, including customer acquisition, customer retention, click-through rates, or any number of other metrics. By setting a detailed goal that specifies what you want to achieve with the campaign, it will be much easier to determine how you can improve your results.

How to Make Your Goals Specific

A key to setting specific goals is to start by answering the five "W" questions when framing your objective: Who, what, where, when, and why.

  • Who is involved in achieving your goal?
  • What exactly do you want to achieve?
  • Where will your goal be achieved?
  • When do you want this goal to be accomplished?
  • Why is this goal important?

Having clarity in these questions will let you define a more specific goal, and it will also help you with some of the other traits we'll discuss further down the post.


Not Specific Specific
Get better at referral marketing. Increase the number of clients acquired through referral marketing.
Become a known brand within the FinTech space. Become one of the top-5 FinTech companies in the United States.

M for Measurable

A goal must be measurable so you can know whether or not you've achieved it. In other words, it should be possible to establish some form of scale that will allow you to see and track the progress you're making while working toward your goal.

Measurable goals also let you set milestones along the way. For example, if you set a goal of reaching 100,000 monthly visitors to your website (which is measurable), you can set milestones for every 20,000 new visitors you manage to get.

Milestones are similar to breaking your big goal into smaller ones. They help you know how far you’ve come along the way and allow you to assess whether or not you’re making good progress. By checking how long it takes you to reach each milestone, you can also establish a more accurate expectation of when you’ll achieve each goal, which will help you decide if you should stay your course of change direction to get back on track.

How to Make Your Goals Measurable

As with setting specific goals, a measurable goal should answer questions like:

  • How much?
  • How many?
  • How fast? 

The best way to make goals measurable is by using metrics and key performance indicators or KPIs that are relevant to your business for gauging success. In the case of referral programs, regardless of the industry, some examples of metrics you can use to establish measurable goals are:

  • Number of Active Users Sharing Invites
  • Referral Page Hits
  • Recipient Click-through Rate
  • Recipient Conversion Rate
  • Churn Rate For Referrals ( Inactive Users)
  • Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) Of Referrals
  • Customer Life Time Value
  • Loyal Customer Value
  • Customer Retention Rate (via Referrals)
  • Invitees Per Referer
  • Clicks Per Invite
  • Net Promoter Score
  • Viral coefficient or K- factor


Not Measurable Measurable
Increase the number of clients acquired through referral marketing. Increase our Viral Coefficient or k-factor from 0.15 to 0.5 while increasing the number of unique inviting users by 10% every month.
Become one of the top-5 FinTech companies in the United States. Reach one of the top-5 positions in the FinTech industry by market share.

A for Achievable

The only way you can accomplish your goal is by making it achievable. This means that you can't set a goal of achieving something that has no chance of happening. It also means the steps to achieving it are within reach, not impossible or ridiculous. For example, it doesn't make sense to set a goal of reaching a 100% click-through rate on your referral emails since not one single company has ever accomplished that. It is completely unrealistic.

On the other hand, setting realistic or achievable goals doesn't mean making them exceedingly conservative otherwise, your goals won't get you anywhere. You want to set goals that feel slightly out of reach, but not too much.

How to Make Your Goals Achievable

To make your goals achievable, it's important to be clear on how you will accomplish them. Ask yourself if you have the know-how and the resources needed to pursue that goal. If you don't and the goal seems out of reach, think of what skills, tools or steps you need to take to get there.

It's also smart to research what other successful companies in your space have accomplished. For example, you can spy on other FinTech companies to see what they are doing in terms of referral marketing and use that as a benchmark to gauge your metrics. That'll give you an idea of what to aim for.

In summary:

  • Define a strategy to reach your goal
  • Research how others in your industry are performing
  • Define an objective that is slightly beyond your reach but not too much


Probably Not Achievable Achievable
Reaching 100% of 5-star reviews on Trustpilot Reaching more than 95% of 5-star reviews on Trustpilot
Increasing the referral campaign’s invitation conversion rate to 100%. Increasing the referral campaign’s invitation conversion rate to more than 10%.

R for Relevant

This is all about ensuring that the goals you set actually improve your FinTech company the way you expect. Relevant goals are those that align with your general business objectives. In other words, they are important to your business.

Companies sometimes fail when setting objectives because they don't get anything important once they achieve them. This is common when setting marketing goals because some people tend to craft marketing goals for the sake of their marketing campaigns instead of for the sake of the business.

How to Make Your Goals Relevant

To check whether a goal for your referral marketing campaign is relevant, you need to ask yourself some key questions such as:

  • How does achieving this goal fit into my overall business goal?
  • Is this goal worthwhile?
  • Is it worth the investment?
  • Is now the right moment to pursue this goal?
  • What immediate benefit would this goal provide you if I managed to achieve it today?


Irrelevant Relevant
Becoming leaders in FinTech referral marketing. Growing the company's revenue through referral marketing.
Double our referral marketing budget to increase rewards for successful referrals. Increase the number of successful referrals.

T for Time-bound

Every objective must be set in a specific time frame to provide a feeling of urgency that will propel you forward, keep you focused, and help you prioritize to achieve it. This time frame has to be long enough so that you're able to accomplish your goal but short enough that you push yourself to accomplish it.

How to Make Your Goals Time-Bound

You can base your time frame on research or your experience. For example, if you've been working on improving your number of active users sharing invites for a while, you may already have an idea of how fast that number grows, which can help you predict how long it should take you to reach your goal. This is yet another reason why your goals need to be measurable. Otherwise, it will be impossible to establish a timeline for achieving them.


Not Time-bound Time-bound
Increasing the referral campaign's invitation conversion rate to more than 10%. Increasing the referral campaign's invitation conversion rate to more than 10% by the end of Q3.
Increase our Viral Coefficient or k-factor from 0.15 to 0.5 while increasing the number of unique, inviting users by 10% every month. Increase our Viral Coefficient or k-factor from 0.15 to 0.5 while increasing the number of unique, inviting users by 10% every month in the following 10 months.

A Breakdown of Two Smart Referral Marketing Goal Examples for Fintechs

#1 Broad Goal: Acquiring New Clients

SMART Goal: We will acquire 50 new clients for our FinTech company through referrals within the next two months.

The Breakdown:

This goal is specific because it clearly defines what you want to get (new clients). It is measurable because it establishes how many new clients you expect to get (50). It is achievable because, after all, it shouldn't be too hard to get 50 new successful referrals provided you have enough active users. It is also relevant because getting successful referrals means getting more business. Finally, it is time-bound because it is set in a two-month timeframe.

#2 Broad Goal: Improving Your Referral Program’s Performance

SMART Goal: We will increase responses to our referral emails by 50% by the end of the year.

The Breakdown:

This goal refers to increasing responses to referral emails, which is highly specific. Those email responses can be counted, and the goal specifies how much the number should increase; therefore, it is measurable. There are many ways to increase the number of responses, including improving the email copy and increasing the total number of referral emails sent, so it's reasonably achievable. All else being equal, increasing responses can potentially increase revenue down the line, so it's relevant to any FinTech business. Finally, it also specifies how long it should take to achieve, making this goal time-bound.

The Bottom Line

In this post, we've detailed how you can set SMART goals for your FinTech referral campaign by following a few simple guidelines. By making sure that each goal is specific and measurable, you'll know at all times whether it has been achieved or not. Making goals time-bound means establishing time-frames for these goals, so they feel urgent enough to push you forward but long enough to accomplish them before the deadline.

Finally, ensuring the relevance of all objectives and that they are aligned with your other FinTech business-related goals will help you know if pursuing these goals makes any sense at all. If you do this right from the start, you'll have a better shot at making your business grow through referral marketing.

Request a demo of GrowSurf

Set up your referral marketing program with software that lowers your customer acquisition cost and saves you gobs of time.

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