developing your email marketing calendar
Staying organized is one key to success and it’s no different with email marketing. A well-organized email marketing calendar assures you that your marketing messages are clearly defined and that you’ll never miss another mailing. So what makes a good email marketing calendar?
Review Before Proceeding
Before diving into this year’s strategy, let’s review last year. Were your goals met, what worked and what didn’t? Take note of the successes with the possibility of a repeat this year. Keep in mind those mailings must be rewritten and made relevant to this year’s audience and goals.
Also review what your competition did last year. Any ideas work for you? If you’re not receiving those emails then you’re missing out on valuable information on what the competition is doing to grow their business.
To Infinity…..and Beyond!
How far in advance do you plan out? With no concrete rules in existence, the minimum is six months although I suggest one full year. Looking any further is a bad idea as your company and strategy will probably change over that time. Planning a full year ahead provides a balanced overview that allows you to take into account the seasons and special events. Adjustments can be made based on experiences from earlier mailings and assists with understanding your costs and will help distribute your budget accordingly.
The Right Message
A fully developed calendar paints a clear picture to see if all the individual messages collectively convey the brand properly and align with your overall intended marketing strategy. This allows for adjustment and is why planning out 6-12 months in advance is strategically important.
What’s the Frequency, Kenneth?
The calendar also helps you understand your email frequency. How often are the emails going to be sent? How many messages are you able to create? Remember, if you do a weekly emails that’s 52 mailings per year. Stay away from boring or annoying your customers with a high frequency however you need balance so they don’t forget you – and you want to be there once they’ve ready to make that purchase.
High, Low, High, Low It’s Off To Work We Go
Know the industry as well as your high and low revenue periods and mark them on the calendar. Study what sales were generated off of each mailing and make a note as well. You may want to increase the email frequency and change the type of messages according to the sales period.
3, 2, 1.. Blast Off!
Be sure to add new product launches as well. It’s always a good idea to tease the new products in proceeding emails to generate excitement. Ensure your email marketing is tied in with the general marketing campaign so the messages are synced across all channels.
Mom Always Told Me To Share
Whatever format the calendar is developed in make sure it’s easily sharable within your organization. Make sure others can leave notes and that it prints easily and won’t need to be reformatted.
Although there’s a lot more details that can be said about developing an email marketing calendar, this provides a nice broad overview. Does your calendar have these aspects?
Photo courtesy of David Castillo Dominici, Free Digital Photos