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A woman in a yellow top is standing in front of a whiteboard, marker pen poised over a sticky note. The board is covered in sticky notes as she plans her email marketing calendar.

Crafting a Year-Round Email Marketing Calendar

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Let’s face it, email marketing can feel like a chore if you’re doing it on the fly. But having a year-round email marketing calendar can make your life a lot easier.

And it’s not as complicated as it sounds, especially if you sync it up with your social media and other content plans.

This post will walk you through how to create an email marketing calendar that keeps you organised, consistent, and ahead of the game.

Why You Need a Year-Round Email Marketing Calendar

Imagine not having to scramble for ideas every time you need to send an email. You don’t have to imagine, do you? This is you every time, and it’s what makes creating that email a pain in your butt!

A well-planned calendar means you have a steady stream of content ready to go, making creating that email smoother and more effective.

It’s all about consistency – keeping your brand in front of your audience regularly without the last-minute stress.

Plus, it helps you coordinate your email campaigns with your other marketing activities, creating a cohesive strategy that amplifies your message.

More engagement, better planning, and a lot less hassle!

Here are some key benefits:

Helps With Consistency: Regular emails help keep your audience engaged. Consistency builds trust and keeps your brand fresh in their minds.

Enhances Planning: With a calendar, you can plan your content in advance. This reduces the stress of coming up with ideas at the last minute.

Improves Coordination: Integrating your email marketing with other marketing efforts like social media and blog posts ensures a unified message. The same thing in different places means your audience will see it.

Saves Time: By having a schedule, you can batch your email creation, making the process more efficient. Less time thinking, more time doing.

Increases Engagement: Timely and relevant emails are more likely to be opened and read, leading to better engagement and results.

Steps to Create Your Email Marketing Calendar

Creating an email marketing calendar involves a few key steps:

1. Identify Your Goals

What do you want to achieve with your emails?

More sales, higher engagement, or maybe promoting new services? Clear goals will guide your content and scheduling decisions.

Think about both short-term and long-term goals.

Short-term goals might include promoting an upcoming event or a special sale, while long-term goals could focus on building a loyal customer base or increasing brand awareness.

Short-Term Goals: Promote a sale, announce a new product, and drive traffic to a blog post.

Long-Term Goals: Build customer loyalty, enhance brand awareness, and nurture leads.

2. Know Your Audience

Who are you emailing? Understand their needs, interests, and pain points. This ensures your messages are relevant and valuable. Create buyer personas if you haven’t already. These personas help you segment your audience and tailor your messages effectively.

Demographics: Age, sex, location, occupation.

Interests: What are their hobbies, what do they read, what social media platforms do they use?

Pain Points: What problems do they face that your product or service can solve?

3. Plan Content Themes

Think about monthly or seasonal themes that align with your business. For instance, a graphic designer will focus on different aspects of design, industry trends, tips and showcasing their work. They can be tied in with the months of the year. These themes help keep your content fresh and relevant. I love doing this with sticky notes. Read this post to see how!

January: New Year, New Brand – Tips for refreshing your brand’s visual identity for the new year. Discuss the importance of updating logos, colour schemes, and other brand elements.July: Design for Social Media – Tips for creating eye-catching social media graphics. Share templates or design inspiration for different platforms.
February: Love Your Design – Case studies of successful design projects and client testimonials. Highlight the value of good design in building strong client relationships.August: Back to Business – Preparing marketing materials for the busy autumn season. Highlight the importance of having updated brochures, business cards, and other promotional items.
March: Spring Clean Your Website – Advice on updating and cleaning up website design. Include a checklist for ensuring websites are user-friendly and visually appealing.September: Website Redesign Tips – Best practices for a website redesign. Include before-and-after examples of website projects you’ve worked on.
April: Design Trends to Watch – An overview of the latest design trends this year. Discuss how businesses can incorporate these trends into their marketing materials.October: Spooky Good Designs – Fun, Halloween-themed design tips and tricks. Showcase creative design projects with a spooky twist.
May: The Power of Colour – Educational content on colour theory and how different colours can impact branding and consumer perception. Offer a free colour palette guide.November: Seasonal Campaigns – Preparing for seasonal marketing campaigns. Provide tips on designing holiday marketing materials, from Christmas to New Year promotions.
June: Mid-Year Brand Audit – Encourage businesses to review their brand’s performance so far. Provide tips on conducting a brand audit and making necessary design adjustments.December: Year in Review – A recap of your year in design. Highlight major projects, milestones, and achievements. Offer a sneak peek at what’s coming in the new year.

Each month, your emails can include a mix of tips, case studies, client testimonials, and examples of your work related to the monthly theme.

This not only keeps your audience engaged but also positions you as an expert in your field, encouraging potential clients to reach out for your services.

Minal’s Tip: Don’t make a separte email marketing calendar. Pull all your marketing activities into one place. I use Notion, but there are lots of other tools.

4. Set a Schedule

Decide how often to send your emails – weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly. Jot down key dates like holidays and sales events to ensure timely communications.

Consider your audience’s preferences and behaviours when setting your schedule. Some might prefer weekly updates, while others might find monthly emails sufficient.

Weekly Emails: Ideal for active engagement and frequent updates.

Bi-Weekly Emails: Good for maintaining regular contact without overwhelming your audience.

Monthly Email: Best for roundups and summaries.

5. Coordinate with Other Marketing Efforts

Sync your emails with your social media posts, blog updates, and other content. This creates a unified strategy that strengthens your brand’s voice. For example, if you’re launching a new product, your email campaign should align with your social media teasers and blog announcements.

Social Media: Share snippets of your email content on your social media platforms to drive traffic to your full email or website.

Blog Posts: Use your emails to highlight new blog posts and drive traffic to your site.

Events: Promote events through coordinated email and social media campaigns.

Minal’s Tip: If you use Constant Contact, its Campaign Builder will do a lot of the heavy lifting for you!

Best Practices for Effective Email Marketing

To get the most out of your email marketing, keep these best practices in mind:

Personalisation and Segmentation

Tailor your emails to different segments (buckets) of your audience based on their behaviours and interests. Personalised emails are more engaging and can result in higher open and click-through rates. Use your email marketing tool to segment your list based on various criteria such as past purchases, engagement level, or demographic information. Want to know more? Read this post.

Use Names

Address your subscribers by their first name. Seriously. I can’t tell you the number of emails I get that don’t do this when I know they have my name. Plus, it makes for a friendly opener!

Relevant Content

Send content that matches their interests or past behaviours. People will unsubscribe if you don’t. That means you can’t talk to them anymore. Some will even mark your emails as spam. Get enough of those reports and your emails will be blocked.

Craft Compelling Subject Lines

Your subject line is your first impression – make it count. Keep it intriguing and relevant to encourage opens. A good subject line should be short, clear, and compelling.

Be Specific: Clearly convey the benefit or value of opening the email.

Use Numbers: Lists and numbers can make your subject line more attractive.

Add Urgency: Create a sense of urgency to encourage immediate action.

Need more help with subect lines? Grab this free cheat sheet!

Mobile Responsiveness

Many people read emails on their phones, so ensure your emails look great on any device. A mobile-friendly email is easy to read and navigate on a small screen.

Single-Column Layout: Use a single-column layout for better readability.

Large Fonts: Use larger fonts to ensure readability on small screens.

Clickable Buttons: Make call-to-action buttons large and easy to tap.

Use Analytics

Track your email performance. Look at open rates, click-through rates, and conversions to see what’s working and adjust your strategy accordingly. Analytics can help you understand what types of content resonate most with your audience and which times and days yield the highest engagement. Read this post for more analytics goodness.

Open Rates: Measure the percentage of recipients who open your emails. This is a sound indicator you’re sending at a good time for your list.

Click-Through Rates: Track how many recipients click on links within your emails. This helps you understand the content your readers like.

Conversion Rates: Monitor how many recipients complete a desired action (e.g., buying something, or signing up for an event). This tells you the overall success of your email.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Avoid these pitfalls to keep your email marketing on track:

Inconsistent Sending: Stick to your schedule. Inconsistent emails can confuse your audience and hurt engagement. Your audience expects regular communication, and failing to deliver can lead to low engagement for you. Once you’ve got your calendar, it will be a piece of cake!

Ignoring Data: Use your analytics. For the people in the back – use your analytics! They provide valuable insights that help improve your campaigns. Ignoring these insights means missing opportunities to make things better… meaning more sales for you.

Lack of Segmentation: Not all your subscribers are the same. Segment your list to deliver more targeted and relevant messages. Sending generic emails to your entire list can lead to lower engagement rates.

Overloading Emails: Keep your emails focused. Too much information can overwhelm readers and dilute your message. Focus on one main message per email and make your call to action clear and prominent.

Tools and Resources

Constant Contact is a great tool to help you manage your email marketing. It has everything you need to create, send, and track your campaigns. (Oh, and if you buy through that link, you’ll get 10% off monthly!)

For designing eye-catching graphics, Canva is a fantastic resource.

And since you’ve read this far… Canva and Constant Contact integrate! Once you’ve created your design, you can send it straight to your Constant Contact account. Watch this video to see how.

And don’t forget to use analytics tools to measure your email performance and understand your audience better.

Constant Contact: Easy-to-use email marketing platform with templates, automation, and analytics.

Canva: Design tool for creating professional graphics without needing a graphic designer.

Google Analytics: Track your website traffic and see how your email campaigns generate visits and conversions.

Conclusion

Creating a year-round email marketing calendar might seem daunting at first, but with a clear plan and some consistency, it becomes more manageable. And you know what? When you’ve done it once, it gets easier.

Follow the steps and best practices I’ve outlined, and you’ll see the benefits in no time. If you need personalised support, my coaching service has your back. Together, we can create a winning email marketing strategy tailored to your business needs.

By setting clear goals, understanding your audience, planning your content, and using the right tools, you’ll be able to maintain a consistent and effective email marketing strategy all year round. Don’t let the fear of the unknown hold you back. Start planning today, and watch your engagement and business grow.

Want to know more about how coaching works? Book some time with me!


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