The Email Marketing Calendar Template You Need to Get Organized

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The Best Email Calendar Template You Need to Manage Marketing Newsletters 70

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The Best Email Marketing Calendar Template You Need to Manage Marketing Newsletters

You know how hard it is to keep your email marketing schedule organized.

Right now, you’re operating under the assumption that something is going to go wrong because your email workflow is (to put it bluntly) a mess.

But, it doesn’t have to be. Using an email marketing calendar will help you:

  • Keep track of every email in a campaign.
  • Organize your email lists.
  • Meet your deadlines.
  • Find the content that’s associated with specific emails.
  • And more.

So keep reading, and download your email marketing calendar template to go from managing a chaotic mess to sending emails stress-free.

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Download Your Email Marketing Calendar Template …

Make it easy on yourself and download your free email marketing calendar template. This easy-to-use Excel spreadsheet will give you and your email marketing team the bird’s eye view you need to keep every email campaign you send organized.

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... Or Plan and Execute ALL Your Newsletters With CoSchedule

With Email Marketing from CoSchedule, you can:

  • Seamlessly integrate with your *favorite* email marketing platform. You already have a kick-a$$ email platform you know and love, so why give it up? With Email Marketing, you can easily connect your preferred email platform to CoSchedule with just a couple clicks.
  • Write click-worthy email subject lines...every time. With Email Marketing, you can use CoSchedule’s *exclusive* Email Subject Line Tester to optimize and perfect every subject line to drive more opens, more clicks, and more conversions.
  • Get full visibility into your ENTIRE marketing strategy. Say “buh-bye” to disjointed marketing content (and constantly jumping from screen to screen). With Email Marketing, it’s easy to see how your email campaigns relate to the rest of your marketing strategy and quickly make adjustments if necessary.

With Email Marketing, you can easily connect your preferred email platform:

  • MailChimp
  • Campaign Monitor
  • Constant Contact
  • ActiveCampaign

See how it works here. Or, if you're ready to try it yourself, snag a free trial or schedule a demo.

Why Is Email Marketing Important For Your Business?

Is email marketing really worth the effort?

It is.

For B2B marketers, email is considered the third most influential source of information, and 77% of B2C customers prefer to get permission-based promotional messages via email.

Email allows you to connect with your audience, and with the addition of email automation tools, you can create personalized content that reaches their inboxes at the right time for them.

Not to mention, email allows you to keep your organization at the forefront of your customers’ minds. Why? Because we’re in our email inboxes in all the time. In North America alone, 44% of people check their inbox at least one to three times in a day. Your audience will see your messages whenever they log in.

If your emails are timed correctly, you can also guide your audience members through your marketing funnel and convince them to convert.

A few more reasons why email marketing should be a part of your overall marketing strategy:

  • Guaranteed delivery: Your audience has opted in to hear messages from you, use that.
  • Drives more conversions: Emails drive 6x as many conversions than a single tweet. Your audience is ready to hear about your product instead of casually scrolling through a feed.
  • More ROI: Email generates a $38 for every $1 spent.

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The 15 Elements You Can Organize On Your Email Marketing Calendar

As you work on your email campaigns, here are the 15 elements that you should keep track of in your calendar.

Element One: Determine Who Owns Each Email Campaign

The first thing you need to identify in your email marketing calendar is who owns each campaign.

This person is the point man for every aspect of a campaign and ensures it goes off without a hitch.

The primary duties of this role will be:

  • Getting angles to your email copywriters.
  • Proofing content.
  • Working with designers to create email layout, graphics, and video.
  • Determining which lists to send the email to.
  • Working with other marketing team leads to determine the goals of this campaign.
  • Giving the email one more look before hitting the send button.

The owners of each project should be recorded in your email marketing calendar:

Who Owns Each Campaign?

Element Two: Determine Email Topics and Themes

Before you begin planning your campaign, you need to decide what topics your emails will cover. Are you launching a new product or promoting an upcoming webinar? Or are you hoping to provide new subscribers with helpful introduction content?

Work with your team to decide the topic each email of your campaign will cover. Some common themes are:

  • A new product launch
  • An upcoming webinar
  • A weekly newsletter (topics will change week to week)
  • The new content you’ve written
  • New functionality for your existing product
  • An upcoming sale or event

Element Three: Keep Up With The Status Of Each Campaign

Your email marketing calendar should show the status of each of your email marketing campaigns. That way you, as a manager, can see what’s coming up, what’s staged and ready to send, and what your team is working on next.

Break down the status of your campaign into three sections:

  • New: This is a new campaign that has recently been added to your calendar. No one on your email marketing team has touched this campaign yet.
  • In progress: Your email team is working on content, graphics, and more for this email. Once they are complete, they will move on to the project owner for final review.
  • Complete: At this point, the email has been designed, the subject lines are written, and the project owner is confident that this email is ready to be sent to the identified list.

Update the status of each of your campaigns regularly (at least weekly) in your template:

Update Campaign Status

Element Four: Identify The Email Types That You’ll Send To Your Subscribers

Next, you need to identify what types of emails you want to send to your list. There are many different types of email that a marketing team can send but the most common are:

Helpful Emails

  • These are emails that provide your subscribers with helpful information that shows them how to solve potential problems they are facing.
  • These emails can be anything from newsletters to an email pitching a specific piece of content.
  • Helpful emails are usually placed at the beginning of your campaigns.

Pitch Emails

  • These emails position your product as the best solution for the problems your audience is facing.
  • They mention your product directly and focus on the benefits of using your product over another.
  • At this point in your campaign, you want to show your readers that you understand their pain and know how to help them.

Follow Up Emails

  • Follow up emails help remind your customers that you offer the best solution to their problem and that they should buy from you.
  • These come to your audience a few days after your last pitch email.
  • They act as gentle reminders that the solution to their problem is right at their fingertips.

Identify which emails you’re sending on your calendar:

Update Email Plan on Your Calendar

Element Five: Define The Number Of Emails That Will Be Sent For This Campaign

You’ll also need to identify the number of emails that need to be created for each campaign.

But that number can be hard to figure out.

How many emails are too many? What’s the borderline between spamming your audience and sending them just the right amount of content?

At CoSchedule, we’ve found that the following email promotional schedule works well when you’re promoting a single piece of content:

The Best Email Publishing Schedule For One Piece of Content

But what if you’re doing more than just a single piece of content? What if you’re promoting a product launch? Here’s your email publishing schedule for that, too:

The Best Email Publishing Schedule For a Product Launch

What about a webinar email promo template?

Best Email Publishing Schedule for a Webinar

If you decide to send out a newsletter, try sending on at least once a month or weekly if you can manage to create enough content.

If you’re going for one a week or one a month, send your newsletters on Wednesdays as that is considered the best day to send emails.

The Best Email Publishing Schedule For a Newsletter

Record each email you want to send on your calendar:

Record Email Delivery Dates

Element Six: Account For Email Campaign Seasonality (As Needed)

Identify which season this campaign is associated with.

You could stick to the standard four, or you can also include seasonal events like holiday shopping season, etc.

Why would you want to determine your seasons so far in advance?

That’s the beauty of using an email marketing calendar; you can plan everything. By planning ahead, you can show your team when they can expect to be working on a larger number of emails and adjust their workload to accommodate them.

For example, for a business-to-consumer retail store, it may make sense for your organization to send a lot more email during the holiday season in November and December than in March.

So you could have your team working on those November emails earlier in the year (or during their downtime in March) to ensure they won’t be so stressed by the time your holiday campaigns roll out.

Element Seven: Define The Marketing Persona You’re Targeting With Each Campaign

If your company works with multiple marketing personas who are you trying to speak to in this campaign.

As a refresher:

Your marketing persona is a document that details your target audience’s who, what, when, where, and why, in addition to understanding general demographics information such as gender, job title, job function, business size, team size, needs, pain points, and challenges.

If your team doesn’t have a marketing persona to work with yet, you can create your own. Start by answering the following questions:

  • Who are our current best customers?
  • What do our best customers all have in common?
  • What problem are they experiencing?
  • How did they get to the point where they were ready to search for a solution to their problem instead of trying to fix it themselves?
  • Why did they go with our product over another?

Once you start to see certain qualities overlap, you can format them into your marketing persona statement. This statement can be created with the following template:

The target audience of [your organization] is looking for a solution to [problem]. We have found that our audience is more likely to experience that problem if they are [demographic], [demographic], and [demographic].

Identify your persona, and record it on your calendar:

Element Eight: Identify The Email Segment You Are Sending This Campaign To

Your email calendar should also contain information about which list you are sending this campaign to.

For example, you could have a campaign that goes to everyone on your list, or you could say this campaign should only go to people who attended your last webinar.

However, if you don’t have an email list to send your content to, you won’t get very far.

Plus, you don’t want to blast your emails to every person on your list because not all of your subscribers are in the same phase of your marketing funnel.

For example, if you have a customer who is just learning about your product, they don’t need to see an email that encourages them to buy right this second.

So how can you do all of this? First, you need to build your list. Try a few of the following tactics and see which ones your audience responds to:

  1. Add CTA’s to your website.
  2. Provide them with something of value that they can download in exchange for their email address.
  3. Publish content on other sites and encourage readers to learn more by joining your email list.

Growing your email list is all about getting creative. The more value you can provide to your subscribers the better.

Once you’ve built your email list, you can segment it out based on actions subscribers have taken on your site.

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. This type of action is possible with many email automation providers like Autopilot, Marketo, and Hubspot.

This segmenting process allows you to get specific and send targeted messages at the right time to the right subscribers. The right message at the right time can help increase your conversions if it’s done correctly.

There are many different ways you can segment your list, in fact, Hubspot has 30 of them listed to help you get started.

You can also help your email marketing team out by investing in automation tools like Autopilot which allow you to create journeys and trigger emails based on actions they take on your site.

Image from Autopilot

Once you have decided which segments your campaign needs to be sent to, identify those segments in your calendar template:

Element Nine: Consider Your Email Suppression List

Once you identify who you are sending your emails to, you may need to determine who you are not sending your emails to.

Maybe there is a group in your email list that needs to see a different message than the one you’ve planned for this campaign.

Remember when you took all that time to segment your email marketing list? Now you can decide who doesn’t need to see specific emails you want to send.

Add excluded segments to your calendar template:

Element Ten: Clarify The Goal Of Your Email Campaign

What goal do you want your email campaign to accomplish? Are you trying to sell more of a particular product or are you trying to build awareness for your brand?

Setting goals touches every single part of your marketing including your emails. These goals help define the purpose of you sending your email in the first place.

Each goal that you create for your email campaigns should be S.M.A.R.T or:

How to Set SMART Goals

Creating goals doesn’t have to be complicated. Since you know the topics of each of your campaigns, your goals should come naturally.

For example, if you’re launching a new product, your goal could be to reach X amount of sales within one week. If you’re promoting a webinar, your goal will revolve around increasing your signups.

Use the following template to format each of your goals and record them on your calendar:

By {insert day, month, year}, the {insert your organization’s name} marketing team will reach {insert number} {insert metric} every {insert time frame}.

Element Eleven: Write Your Email Subject Lines

Subject lines can be a bit of a pain to write.

What makes a good subject line? Should you include emojis in your subject lines? What language should you add in your subject lines to help increase open rates?

CoSchedule just made it easy to write great subject lines with the introduction of the Email Subject Line Tester.

Like the Headline Analyzer, simply write your subject line and plug it into the tester:

Hit Score My Subject Line, and the tester will show you ways to improve your subject line:

Include at least two subject lines for your A/B test and record them on your calendar.

Element Twelve: Record The A/B Test Results Of Your Subject Lines

After you have sent your campaign, identify which of the two subject lines you created, won the A/B test.

Email providers like MailChimp and Campaign Monitor allow you to A/B test your subject lines within the platform.

How does A/B testing work? Your emails will be sent out to your list of chucks with one subject line in one set and the other subject line in another set.

Based on how each subject line performs, your email platform will take the winning subject line and send it out to the rest of your list.

Element Thirteen: Determine The Dates And Times Each Email Will Be Sent

What date and time is each email being sent out on? This is an essential element to establish in your email marketing calendar because it allows your marketing team to determine when they need to start working on an email to make sure that it gets done on time.

First, let’s cover the best time to send your emails. According to ten studies the best times to send your emails are:

Best Times to Send Email

While the best days to send email are:

Best Days to Send Email

Now that’s not to say that these are the times and days to send your emails on. You’ll need to experiment and see which days and times your audience prefers or is the most active. Try the following times and dates to start:

Test Your Emails For The Best Days and Time to Send

Once you have the days and times determined for each of your emails sends you can work backward to determine when your team needs to start working on the campaign to get it done on time.

For example, let’s say your email publishing workflow looks something like this:

  • Email campaign owner chooses campaign topics and number of sends: 1 Day
  • Copywriters write emails: 2 Days
  • Copywriters edit emails: 1 Day
  • Campaign owner approves emails: 1 Day
  • Designers create images and videos: 3 Days
  • Designers edit images and videos: 1 Day
  • Images and videos are approved by campaign owner: 1 Day
  • Copy and graphics are added to email platform: 1 Day
  • Email lists are chosen: 1 Day
  • Email is ready for publish: 1 Day

In this case, your email marketing team would need to work on a campaign at least 13 days before it begins. You may even add extra buffer days in case the work gets off course.

Your Working Email Calendar

Equipped with that information, you can select publish dates and times that maximize each email you send. Record your publish date times on your calendar.

Element Fourteen: Create The Content You’re Sending In Each Email

What stories and content are you sending in each email that you create? You’ve got your topics down and the goals you want to accomplish, now you need to create the content that helps you achieve them.

Writing content for email is a lot like writing for the web. You want to be concise and clear as your audience has a short attention span.

However, there is one more factor to consider. According to Email Monday, 61% of all email opens are happening on a mobile device.

Which means you need to keep your message short and easy to read. No one wants to scroll through pages of text on their phone.

At CoSchedule we write our emails one sentence at a time:

Writing great email content also involves things like:

  1. Focusing on creating a great subject line.
  2. Adding alt-text to images and graphics.
  3. Keep one CTA and place it above the fold.

Here’s a list of 20 more best practices to think about when crafting content for your emails.

Once your copywriters have everything drafted and proofed, put everything into a Google doc and add the link to your calendar.

Element Fifteen: Include Links To Graphics And Videos That Need To Be In Each Email

One of the last elements to record in your calendar are links to graphics and videos that have been created for each email in your campaign.

This is important for your entire email marketing team because they need to be able to access which images and videos are associated with which email. If everything is in one folder, you run the risk of the wrong image being sent to the wrong email.

Each image and video should be linked to in your calendar, so it is easily accessible by the campaign owner.

How To Do It All In CoSchedule

You could keep your email marketing calendar in a spreadsheet template.

But after a while, it’s going to get overwhelming….and fast. Your spreadsheet doesn’t communicate with your email marketing tool and more likely than not you’re going to end up with multiple copies floating around. That spreadsheet also doesn’t help you with that email workflow you defined earlier. And what about team collaboration!?

Cut the madness and switch to using CoSchedule and the new Email Marketing functionality. Here’s how it works.

Step 1: Find your Integrations settings. Then, find Mailchimp (or other email service provider), and click Enable.

Step 2: Select a date on your calendar, and click Email Marketing.

Step 3: Next, select MailChimp or another ESP.

Now, you can create your email content in your ESP. A couple notes:

  • MailChimp users can edit and sync send days and times directly in CoSchedule once email content has been created.
  • Emails created in all other ESPs will sync on your CoSchedule calendar, but dates and times must be edited directly in the ESP.

Start Using Your Email Marketing Calendar To Get Organized

Now you have the tools you need to get your email marketing calendar back on track. With this template and your CoSchedule marketing calendar, you’ll be unstoppable.

See how CoSchedule can help organize all the other aspects of your marketing and more.

Does your team have their way of organizing your email marketing calendar? Share it with us in the comments.

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