Strategy and consistency are the epitome of a successful email marketing campaign. Without these,  your digital marketing strategy will fall short in reach, engagement, and, most probably, sales.

Truth be told, a great idea will unfortunately only take you so far. It’s fundamental that you know how to properly plan out your email marketing calendar so that you can fully explore your campaign’s potential to its fullest.

For that, you must consider things such as relevant dates, content organization, a schedule for publications and submissions, etc. Simultaneously, having a marketing calendar in place will ultimately also improve your team’s efficiency and overall communication (and as we know, time is money).

Email Marketing Calendar Template Source

Over 90% of the Internet users use email related tools regularly. 61% of your audience is logging into their emails and checking for new messages on a daily basis. It’s no doubt that email marketing is a powerful revenue stream for companies.

That is, if you do it right.

Don’t worry if your email editorial calendar is looking a little empty right now. By the time you’re done with this guide, you’ll have a clear vision of what you want to achieve and a flowing calendar that is ready to transform your email campaigns.

In this post, you’ll understand why you should be optimizing your email marketing, what to include in your email marketing calendar, and how to properly optimize it for success.

Let’s get started!

WHY YOU SHOULD BE OPTIMIZING YOUR EMAIL MARKETING CALENDAR TODAY

Email marketing is an advertising strategy that involves sending emails to your target customers. It steadily remains one of the best ways to turn prospects into buyers, while transforming one-off customers into engaged and loyal buyers.

Email Marketing Calendar example – Source

So your main email marketing priority should be planning ahead and so you can work effectively. With 47% of email marketers saying email is among the most effective tactics for creating content, achieving leads, this strategy remains one of the top ways of getting directly in front of your users’ faces without being intrusive.

A powerful email marketing calendar will help you:

  • Plan ahead and produce finer work
  • Keep your email marketing team in the loop.
  • Revise your schedule so that you can take advantage of rising opportunities.
  • Avoid having holidays and special dates from sneaking up on you.
  • Gain greater control of your goals

A marketing calendar is also an effective way for your entire team members to see any upcoming projects at their own pace, its status, who’s responsible for what, and what projects are effectively ready for launch.

For such reasons, having a strategized email marketing calendar in place is a vital step before kicking off any project.

An email calendar allows you to collect creative content topics, design ideas, and strategize your weekly newsletter consistently. Additionally, calendars are great for mapping events over a long period, as you can use them as a guiding light that drives you to a higher ROI.

Yep, you’ve read it right: sending out personalized emails consistently can significantly increase your revenue. According to Campaign Monitor, consumers spend 138% more as a result of email marketing, when compared to consumers who don’t receive email offers.

Some Major Benefits of Email Marketing for Businesses:

  • Higher ROI
  • Audience segmentation (which allows you to use different techniques on each customer)
  • Money and time savings
  • Stronger, ongoing relationships with customers
  • Increased sales
  • A strong following of subscribers

Email marketing lands you ahead of competitors, as it brings your product to new markets and client bases and builds strong customer-brand relationships. Additionally, you can adopt a wide range of loyalty-building activities, including offering special deals, sending fortnightly newsletters, and sending promotional (yet creative) emails.

EMAIL MARKETING CALENDAR OPTIMIZATION TIPS

Employing the right strategies for your email marketing service can incur many positive results and bring in long-term returns.

To name a few things, by having a strong marketing calendar in place, your business will benefit from:

  • More relevant, impactful content that resonates with your audience
  • Better targeted and personalized messages
  • Enhanced productivity of your marketing and sales teams
  • Defined timelines which limits delays and optimizes your schedule
  • Repurposing of cross-channel content

So now that we’ve effectively covered the importance of having a strategy behind your email marketing calendar, let’s go over some tips on how to effectively optimize your content strategy.

 #1. Determining email cadence

Did you know that the frequency on which you send out your emails directly impacts its engagement rate?

So when you create an email marketing calendar plan, it’s important to make sure you send emails to your list regularly. If you’re wondering what is the magic number to send out, studies have shown that between 3 to 5 times a week is the most frequent send-out amount by marketing professionals.

This doesn’t necessarily mean you should do the same. The key takeaway here is consistency in sending emails and finding a schedule for your broadcast emails that works for you. Not only will this guide you towards what needs to be done, but it will set expectations for your subscribers.

You can allow your customers to decide the email cadence – Source 

And I can’t stress enough how predictability (a steady cadence) in this case is of ultimate importance. In short, email cadence is the combination of how often you email, which day of the week, and what time of the day to send the email to make the best impact.

Your cadence could be:

  • Weekly
  • Fortnightly
  • Monthly
  • On an as-is basis (meaning whenever you have something to share)

But why is predictability so important, you might be wondering?

Great question!

Email predictability streamlines building your email content calendar and gives your new subscribers (and old ones) peace of mind. A predictable calendar tells your customer base and marketing team what to expect (and when to expect it).

Also, when and how often you mail will affect your open rate and click-through rate (CTR). Send too many emails, your audience might get annoyed. Send too few, and they might end up forgetting about you (no bueno).

#2. Plan out email themes and seasonality

It’s also important to identify the significant dates throughout the year to associate which season each campaign topic or theme should be associated with. Be sure to annotate all the important dates in your marketing calendar, so you don’t miss any.

There is no need to use premium email service providers. You can also use Google Sheets to create a calendar – Source

When thinking about seasonal content, the sky’s the limit. Focus on the main four (winter, autumn, spring, and summer), or go crazy with smaller seasonal events (such as holiday shopping season, mother’s day, cat day, book day…).

And that’s precisely the beauty of using an email marketing calendar. You can plan an entire year before it ever starts. Take advantage of your blank calendar and start marking these dates, indicating that you’ll need exclusive content for these moments, including the subject line for each.

Pro-tip: Combine your email marketing calendar strategy to align with your social media calendar during seasonal campaigns to make the best of both worlds and strengthen your overall marketing.

As an example, a B2C retail brand might want to send more emails during the holiday season in November and December rather than in March.

Want a little extra tip for efficiency?

Your team can work on these November emails earlier in the year — or during their downtime in March. This will help ensure they won’t be overwhelmed by the time the holiday campaigns roll out.

#3. Identifying email list segmentation in line with campaign specificity 

Don’t be fooled, though. Email marketing calendar optimization isn’t exclusively about the timing, but also about the receivers. Not everyone who signed up for your email list is interested in the same subject. (It would be too easy that way).

Have you ever stopped to consider what email lists you are targeting?

Segmenting your subscriber list can make it or break it for any email marketing campaign. It makes sense. This seamlessly ensures you’re sending highly targeted and personalized content to your leads.

Email segmentation divides your buyer persona into smaller groups based who boast similar:

  • Traits
  • Demographics
  • Behaviors

This list segmentation allows you to create a marketing plan with more relevant content. The more valuable your email content is, the more likely your audience will continue to engage with it.

Take the clothing brand Johnny Cupcakes, for example which benefited from a 123% jump in conversions thanks to list segmentation. The brand broke their email campaigns into two conversion-based segments and directly profited from the boost in each campaign. To get specific, Johnny Cupcakes had a 42% increase in clickthrough rates and 141% growth in revenue for all their email campaigns.

By the way, Mailchimp is a powerful free email marketing tool and a very popular email service provider. Still, there are other paid alternatives that are even more powerful for your campaigns. You can save email templates, test email subject lines, create a calendar template, among many other cool features.

Email marketing segmentation strategiesSource

For example, when a subscriber visits a specific product page, add that person into a specific segment for subscribers who are interested in that product.

#4. Define the objectives to be achieved

So far, so dandy. But to properly set up a marketing calendar, you also need to think about what goals you ultimately want to accomplish. Setting goals in place gives you a clear sense of direction and what are the steps needed to achieve that result.

Also, your goals will directly influence the type of content you’ll be sending out and the frequency of each submission. In short, defining your email marketing campaigns’ goals serves to guide your marketing calendar schedule.

If you’ve followed tip #3 in this article, you now have different lists of subscribers to receive your messages. If yes, you could further consider the creation of segmented goals for your segmented audience.

So yes, goal-setting is a crucial part of a successful email marketing strategy. A tip to get you started is to create SMART goals for your email campaigns. The SMART model helps you identify what to achieve, plan your strategy, and measure your success.

SMART goals – Source

#5. Monitor your results

Last, but certainly not least, you should optimize your email calendar because it allows you to monitor how successful (or not) a campaign is. And knowing what works and not also gives you room to make strategic modifications for improvements.

If you closely monitor your results using email marketing tools, you can also more easily identify the need to increase, or perhaps even decrease, the frequency of your emails.

You can continuously improve your actions. For this, access your metrics to ensure your email campaigns perform well. You’ll need to track important email metrics like your CTR, conversions, email open rate, and link engagement rate.  These metrics will help you improve everything from your subject line to your images to your copywriting.

The good news? Most email service providers include A/B testing and analytics, so explore what your marketing platform offers and configure your settings.

Organization and smart planning will help you reach your goals accurately and more efficiently.

BOOST YOUR MARKETING EFFORTS WITH EMAIL MARKETING CALENDARS

Although email marketing is one of the older channels in the digital marketing space, it’s still alive and well. With 3.9 billion users worldwide, being one of the best ways to form relationships with existing clients and reach new, potential ones.

An email campaign is cost-effective, easy-to-use, and delivers a seductively higher ROI, making it one of the best marketing tools for businesses looking to stretch their advertising bucks. It’s a handy,  actionable tool to reach your marketing goals in a determined period of time.

It remains an underlying resource for those who want to distinguish themselves from competitors. That’s because, with organization and planning, you can pursue your goals with a clear vision and better investment of your available resources.

Having a strategized content marketing calendar is like having a roadmap that seamlessly guides all the marketing activities across an organization. It streamlines communication, keeping stakeholders organized and accountable to each task at hand.

An organized email marketing calendar template will help you create high-performing emails (and subject lines that actually get opened). Tag your clientele well and your emails can even run on autopilot.

How We Optimize Our Email Marketing Calendar

Author’s Bio

Mark Quadros is a SaaS content marketer that helps brands create and distribute rad content.  On a similar note, Mark loves content and contributes to several authoritative blogs. Connect with him via LinkedIN or twitter.

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