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By Sean Tinney March 15, 2023
Imagine this – It’s yet another manic Monday when suddenly, you remember your weekly newsletter should go out today. Since it totally fell off your radar, you cancel your morning meetings to whip together an email that may not be your best work, but gets the job done.
A few hours later, you finally send a subpar email to your subscribers. Now, you’re faced with the task of catching up on your work for the day.
Sending emails at a regular cadence to your subscribers isn’t always easy. Creating the content and designing it takes time and energy, and if you’re a busy entrepreneur, it’s not uncommon for it to fall by the wayside.
If you plan ahead, however, you’ll find it gets easier to create emails that engage subscribers.
What is an email marketing calendar?
An email marketing calendar is a tool used to plan and schedule your email campaigns.
It provides an overview of all your upcoming email campaigns, including the dates they will be sent, the content that will be included, and any other relevant information.
An email marketing calendar can be created using Google Sheets or Excel, a digital calendar, or a specialized email marketing tool.
Why do you need an email marketing calendar?
Your email marketing calendar is an essential tool that helps you stay organized, plan strategically, and achieve your marketing goals.
- Keeps you organized: By having all your email campaigns planned and scheduled in advance, you can stay organized and avoid last-minute rush and stress.
- Ensures consistency: A well-planned calendar helps ensure that your campaigns are sent out consistently, which is important for building trust with your audience.
- Helps you avoid sending too many or too few emails: By planning your campaigns in advance, you can ensure that you’re not overwhelming your subscribers with too many emails, or neglecting them by sending too few.
- Enables you to plan around important dates and events: By including important dates and events in your email marketing calendar, such as holidays or product launches, you can plan your campaigns around them and take advantage of the opportunities they offer.
- Helps track your progress: By tracking your email campaigns in your calendar, you can see at a glance what you’ve sent, what’s coming up, and how your campaigns are performing.
Email marketing calendar template
Marketing calendars are a great tool to help manage the planning of your email marketing campaigns. If you don’t have one handy, no problem. We’ve got you covered with our free downloadable email marketing calendar template! This tool will help you plan and schedule your campaigns in advance, ensuring that you stay organized, consistent, and on track to achieve your marketing goals.
To download and use the email/newsletter marketing calendar template in Google Sheets, simply click on the link below, select “Make a copy” to create your own editable version, and start customizing it to fit your needs.
If you prefer to use Excel instead, once you copy it as a Google Sheet, go to file, download, select Microsoft Excel.
Now that you’ve downloaded your calendar, let’s get into how to use it and the important elements that should be included in your email calendar.
How do you use an email marketing calendar?
If you can, it’s recommended that you build out 6 months of your email schedule. So, let’s start with the goal of planning 6 months worth of email marketing content.
When you begin thinking about what content to include in your plan it helps to start with any recurring messages you send to subscribers, such as a weekly newsletter or blog updates. Here’s a quick checklist of other things to consider:
- Upcoming promotions
- Product or service updates
- Holidays. Email engagement is typically lower on holidays and the Fridays before holiday weekends. Additionally, consider how you can tie your email content or promotions around the holidays.
- Information or assets needed for your emails (e.g., images, promotion details, etc.)
Once you’ve planned out the details of your upcoming emails, add them to your calendar. Be mindful of the days you’re scheduling emails to go out to your subscribers. If you want to send an email promoting a holiday sale, for example, make sure it’s timely.
Sections needed for email marketing calendar entries
There are several key elements to consider for your email marketing calendar, by considering these elements, you can create a comprehensive and effective email marketing calendar that meets your business goals.
Here are the main elements you need to have in your calendar:
- Send date. When do you plan on sending this email to subscribers? (Keep in mind that your content calendar will be fluid, so you can change various details and move emails around if needed.)
- Type of email: This is where you will add information regarding the general purpose of the email. Is it promotional, a blog update or a newsletter?
- Audience: Who should be receiving this email? Your entire list, or a specific segment of subscribers?
- Email content: Small description on what your email is about, the reason for sending.
- Owner: Who on your team is responsible for creating the email content and sending it to subscribers?
When you’re done, your calendar should look something like this:
Start planning your email calendar
Now that your email content calendar is created, you can start working on your emails. And don’t forget to enjoy the wonders of a well-planned email strategy.
If you already use a calendar for your emails, I’d love to hear how it’s improving your productivity!