How to Create an Awesome Email Marketing Calendar
A well-planned email marketing calendar is a proven time saving and stress reducing tool for any type of marketing campaigns. It can help you manage all the intricate communication activities, as well as keep you organized, informed and stay on track to reach your target.
Email marketing messages generally fall into one of two major categories:
Time-based promotional campaign
Non-promotional email communication
Time-based promotions contain time-sensitive (with specific starting and ending dates and times) offer, and encourage the audience to take an explicit action, such as purchasing a discounted item.
For example, if you are running a chocolate candy promotion for Valentine’s Day, you should plan on sending a short three-part email series to your mailing list. The timeline might look like this:
February 1st: Announcement of a special Valentine’s Day sale.
February 8th: Reminder of your sale and the product feature.
February 13th: Last chance to take part in your Valentine’s Day sale!
Before you start, you should refer to your marketing roadmap and timeline to ensure coherence across all elements of the grand marketing strategy.
Here are the 8 steps to create an awesome email marketing calendar:
Use your email marketing plan as your guide.
Start with a blank 12-month calendar and chart the selling cycle and seasonality of the products and or services that you offer.
Identify special dates and upcoming opportunities to further engage your audience such as major holidays, special causes, national observances, sales and promotions.
Determine resource availability and capability for the tasks.
Select a software or a tool that caters the needs today and easily scales in the future.
Plug in the start and end dates of each emailing effort.
Set time-based reminders and notifications as necessary.
Review the email marketing calendar with your team before moving it forward.
Tools and Resources:
There are many free or paid resources for creating a calendar that can be integrated with email and other productivity software such as Google Calendar, Constant Contact and MailChimp. These calendars allow you to set recurring tasks and automate reminders for regular email distributions.
A spreadsheet is another way to set up a calendar. Spreadsheets offer ease of use and flexibility, but you will lose functionality of feature-rich online calendar platform.
Whatever the tool you choose, you need to able to update entries, keep track of milestones and record results. An email marketing calendar isn't just for planning future marketing efforts, it is a record of your past efforts, allowing you to measure email marketing effectiveness, so you may improve.
Lastly, some helpful tips to consider:
Plan out your calendar year in advance
Allow flexibility when creating your calendar
Explore new tools and platforms
Use a template and adapt it to fit your specific needs
Review the schedule regularly
Make adjustments and edit the dates based on email marketing performance
"Quality over quantity – Emails may best cost efficient but it’s no excuse to not produce quality content to give to a targeted audience." ~ Benjamin Murray