Content map1. Tools for Email Marketing Calendar2. Deciding Your Email Quota3. Setting Your Goals4. Planning Your Events5. Planning for promotion6. Product for Product Launch7. Planning Your General Emails8. Choosing Your Audience9. Planning Your Email Flows10. Email Marketing Calendar Template
When it comes to building and executing a successful email marketing strategy, it's all about consistency and planning. That's why your email marketing calendar is one of the most important tools for your marketing team to stay organized, plan ahead, and execute effectively.
What Makes A Great Email Marketing Calendar?
The purpose of an email marketing calendar is to give you a birds eye view on your email marketing strategy. It helps you make sure that you're sending an appropriate number of campaigns each month at the right time, and that they are aligned with your overall company marketing calendars.
A great email marketing calendar will help you:
Align your email strategy with your marketing calendar & marketing goals
Plan your email content ahead of time & ensure your team can hit deadlines to create each email
Schedule your email send dates, times and customer segmentation
Review previous months to analyze & improve your email performance
Strategize to ensure that you have a good balance of promotional emails, product launch emails, general email campaigns, and email flows
In order to accomplish those needs, it's important to have a great email marketing calendar template that allows you to see all of that critical information easily. You don't want to get caught up in the details and miss the big picture... but you also don't want to only see the high-level and miss the details!
With a great email marketing calendar, you'll be able to see the following information in a quick glance:
Calendar View: A calendar view of each email marketing campaign being sent each month, along with the send day & times
Important Events: The important events or key dates of the month, such as holidays, product launch days, and promotion days
Summary Of Emails: How many emails each month are dedicated towards general email campaigns, flows, promotional emails, and product launches
High-Level Strategy: A high-level overview of each email including the type of content that will be included in it and the goals of the email
PRO TIP: Aim to map out your email marketing calendar at least 30-45 days in advance!Not sure where to start? This guide will teach you everything you need to know about planning an email marketing calendar to grow your ecommerce business.
Tools To Build Your Email Marketing Calendar
Download our Email Marketing Calendar Template to easily build your email marketing calendar on Google Sheets.
Our free email marketing calendar template includes:
• A calendar view to see your email marketing calendar at a glance
• Automatically calculates the number of promotional emails, product launch emails, general email, and email flows you'll be building each month
Alternatively, with Backbone's Email Calendar Builder you can:
• Get full visibility on your email marketing strategy with our calendar view where you'll be able to see all the campaigns you have planned
• Get a custom recommended monthly calendar built for your business
• See all the key events each month, such as promotions and product launches, and your email marketing strategy for each
• See the number of campaigns, flows, promotions, and product launch emails you'll be sending each month
• See a high-level summary of the email content
• See the layout of each email & access the email template
Building An Automated Email Marketing Strategy To Retain Customers
• Quota: Decide how many emails you want to send this month
• Goals: Decide on any email marketing goals or objectives you have for this month
• Events: Write down key events for the month, which are important dates that you will be running larger marketing campaigns for, such as holidays, promotions and/or product launches
• Promotion Planning: If you have a promotion running this month, decide how many emails you want to send for it, the send days/times & the email content
• Product Launch Planning: If you have a product launch happening this month, decide how many emails you want to send for it, the send days/times & the email content
• General Email Campaigns: Decide whether you'll have any recurring newsletters & decide on the email topics for each of the campaigns, the send days/times & the email content
• Target Audience: Decide on the target audience you want to send each of your email marketing campaigns to
• Flows: Plan the automated email flows you want to build each month
Keep reading to learn more about each of the 6 steps!
Step #1: Deciding Your Email Quota
First, you'll need to decide on your email quota. Your email quota refers to how many emails you'll be sending out each month. Typically an email quota includes both email campaigns you will be sending out, and new email flows you will be building for the month.
Deciding your email quota not only allows you to plan an email marketing calendar that is aligned with your email marketing strategy, but also ensures that your team can plan ahead to know how many emails they will need to create each month.
Therefore, an appropriate email quota will depend both on your team's capacity & resources, as well as your business & marketing needs.
An appropriate email quota will:
• Be feasible for your marketing team to execute on, meaning they will be able to plan for & create all of the email content
• Send a good frequency of campaigns consistently to your list which is typically based on the size of your email list. Smaller lists typically need fewer emails than larger email lists.
• Allow you to regularly build email flows, meaning you are consistently building or optimizing automated flow emails each month
• Allow you to promote promotions or product launches, meaning you have enough emails to push these events frequently and generate sales
Here's a handy table to decide the number of campaign emails and flow emails to set for your email quota each month:
Step #2: Setting Your Goals
Great email marketers plan an email marketing calendar that drives revenue for your e-commerce business, engages with your target audience, and helps hit company goals.
Here are a few examples of common email marketing objectives that you can plan your email marketing calendar to help your business achieve:
• Convert more email subscribers into customers
• Increase average order value
• Generate more repeat purchases
• Generate more awareness for a specific product or collection
• Increase open rates
• Increase click rates
• Increase purchase rates
Step #3: Planning Your Events
A great email marketing calendar should be aligned with the bigger company-wide marketing calendar for your business.
This means you'll need to schedule in the dates for the big events you'll have this month that you want to send email campaigns for.
• Promotions: These are discounts or special offers for your products. An example of this is a 20% off sitewide Spring Sale running from May 2 - May 5, where customers can save 20% on all the products on your store.
• Major Holidays: These are notable holidays that you want to send special email marketing campaigns for or even offer a promotion. Examples of this include Mother's Day, Father's Day or 4th of July.
• Product Launch: This is announcing the launch of a new product, collection or even multiple products that you are adding to your store.
• Special Holidays: These are niche holidays, unique for your brand that you want to send special email marketing campaigns for. Examples of this include National Pet Day or Giving Tuesday
Enter these dates into your calendar first to guide when you'll want to send emails. Don't worry about deciding on the number of emails for each event or even the content of the emails yet, you'll plan that in the next few steps.
Tip: You may have some months without any events, or some months with only one or two types. That's okay!
Step #4: Planning For A Promotion
For each of the promotions you have planned for the month, you'll need to decide how many emails you want to send to promote the offer & the content for each campaign.
When you're planning your email campaigns for a promotion, here are some must-have types of email campaigns:
1. Promotion Announcement:
At least one email announcing the launch of the promotion, sent in the morning of the start date of the promotion.
This email content should be simple and focus on generating excitement for the offer
2. Promotion Last Chance:
You should have at least one email announcing the upcoming end of the promotion, sent in the morning of the end date of the promotion.
This email content should be simple and focus generating urgency for people to shop before the sale ends
3. Promotion Reminders
You should aim to have an email every 1-3 days during the promotion to remind customers of the promotion to generate additional sales.
The content for these emails should remind shoppers of the sale, recommend products to purchase, and address any hesitation people may have.
Promotional Email Examples
Step #5: Planning For A Product Launch
For each of the product launches you have planned for the month, you'll need to decide how many emails you want to send to promote the new product(s) & the content for each campaign.
When you're planning your email campaigns for a product launch, here are some must-have types of email campaigns:
1. Product Launch Announcement:
At least one email announcing the launch of the new product(s), sent in the morning of the launch dateThis email content should be simple and focus on generating excitement for this new product.
2. New Product Reminders
Have 1-3 additional email promoting the new product more over the next 1-3 weeks.This email content should educate customers more on the product & why they should buy it
Product Launch Email Examples
Step #6: Planning Your General Emails
Once you have a plan for each of your promotions and product launches, you'll want to plan your email calendar for your general emails, which include emails such as:
• Special Holiday: These are campaigns run for special holidays where you may want to have a different promotional strategy, such as Mother's Day Gift Guide or Tips For National Pet Week
• Product/Collection Highlights: These are emails highlighting products or collections, typically with more education, such as Collagen Supplement Product Highlight or Floral Collection Spotlight
• Product Roundups: These are emails featuring multiple products, such as a Spring Best Sellers email or Favorite Customer Products For Acne email
• Content Emails: These are emails with tips, recipes, or roundups of blogs, such as Step-By-Step Guide To Clear Skin or Recipe Roundup For Christmas Dinner
Weekly Newsletter: These are weekly emails, typically sent at the same time each week with a similar layout that shares updates about your company or shares topics to engage your audience
You'll want to schedule these general emails in the gaps of your email calendar where there aren't any major events. Consistency is important when it comes to emailing your subscribers so aim to have a consistent number of emails each week.
Here's an example of what your email campaign calendar might look like once you're done planning.
Step #7: Choosing Your Audience
Once you've planned what emails you'll be sending for the month, you'll need to decide who you want to send those emails to. This is referred to as your campaign targeting strategy because it refers to which parts of your email list you'll be targeting for each email.
When you're just getting started, you may be able to send to your full list of email subscribers each time. However, as you grow your e-commerce brand and your email list gets bigger, this can cause people to unsubscribe for your list or create deliverability issues, causing emails to go to spam.
The more emails you send, the more you'll need to leverage customer segmentation to target specific audiences on your email list, such as engaged email subscribers (ie. people on your email list who have opened or clicked an email in the last 90 days) or even specific types of customers (eg. customers who have made a purchase in the last 90 days).
A good rule of thumb is:
• Send to a larger audience for promotional emails, product launch emails and major events (ie. anyone who has opened or clicked an email in the last 6 months).
• Send to more engaged audiences for general emails (ie. anyone who has opened or clicked an email in the last 30-120 days)
Step #8: Planning Your Email Flows
Email Marketing Calendar Template
Ready to start planning your email marketing calendar?
Use our free Email Marketing Calendar Template to easily collaborate with your marketing team on your email marketing efforts, get a quick glance at your email schedule, and see your most important dates.
Our free email marketing calendar template includes:
• A calendar view to see your email marketing calendar at a glance
• Automatically calculates the number of promotional emails, product launch emails, general emails, and email flows you'll be building each month
Want to take your email marketing to the next level? With Backbone's Email Marketing Calendar Builder, you can:
• Get your custom-build email marketing calendar. With Backbone's proprietary algorithms, you'll get personalized recommendations from our database of 10,000+ campaign ideas, suggestions on the emails for a promotion or product launch, and recommended send dates for each email. All done for you.
• Plan ahead. Say goodbye to reactively sending out emails last minute. You'll be able to get auto-generated email marketing calendars months in advance. Plus, they'll automatically adjust if you make any changes to your marketing calendar.
• See your email marketing plan at a glance. See all of your emails, promotions, product launches, and email flows you'll be creating each month. So you can make sure they're aligned with the rest of your marketing plan, and easily make adjustments.