I don’t know about you, but I’m big into making plans. I like to have an idea of what I’m doing as far in advance as I can (don’t even get me started on meal planning). This isn’t always possible when it comes to marketing – we need to be as reactive as we are proactive. However, having campaign ideas planned out into a marketing calendar can be hugely beneficial for when you plan your email content strategy.
Personally, I like to use Google Sheets to create my marketing calendar, so it’s always within easy reach when I need it. I have a column for each day, and the laid out below are the main rows I use.
I add in rows for different calendars, some of my clients change up their homepage content depending on what they’re offering that month so I will have a homepage row, or for product based clients who have collection launches, we will also have an SEO row to work on, or a blog row. Having all of these in one place helps to bring all of the marketing and strategy together.
These could be days like ‘international chocolate day’ or ‘hug a shed and take a selfie day’ (it’s real, look it up). I don’t always acknowledge these days, but it’s good to have for my own social media, as well as my clients. You can put these days in in advance, and there might be something there that relates to your email campaign that day.
As well as the international days – important dates could be campaign or content launches, blog post content that’s live on site, or anything important going on in your business – these will likely be your most important email campaigns.
Perhaps there are things I have planned in on social media that I can link to from my newsletter. The marketing we do should be omni-channel, so it’s important to keep them connected. I often refer to what I’ve been talking about on social in my newsletters to add a bit of a personal touch to my newsletters, and also to encourage people to follow me on social if they don’t already.
If you send your emails out on specific days, it’s good to have these planned out a month or so in advance, even if it’s just the titles. If you’re stuck for ideas, this is where the important dates / social message rows come in handy. They can give you prompts for your email content and make sure it’s relevant and consistent with the rest of your marketing.
It’s also a good idea once you’ve run the campaigns, to add in the email campaign stats to the document. This can help you plan for future campaigns by seeing what’s worked and what hasn’t worked in terms of open and click rates. So not only can your marketing calendar be amazing for your planning, but your analysis as well.
Having this plan can also help you to ensure you’re not sending out too many emails / not sending enough. The optimum number of emails each month is 2, but you can increase this if you have really great content or changing offers.
This is how I create and plan email campaigns for myself, and for my clients, and it helps me to stay focused and organised. Having this calendar makes it easier to visualise your entire marketing strategy, ensure consistence across all channels and plan your email content like a boss.