Creating a content plan for email newsletters seems like a minute task, right up until you have an empty table in front of you that needs to be filled with interesting and selling email topics. Here’s how to simplify the process of creating a content plan and what types of emails to use.
Why You Need Planning and What the Components of a Strategy Are
If you send more than one newsletter a month, you already need to plan your email content. Even when your customers can be counted on your fingers and you know everyone’s pains and desires, you still need to know when and what to send.
Make a strategy that defines the goals of your email channel. Write it down separately from your other plans and strategies, which you will return to more than once to check the course.
To create an email marketing strategy for both an online casino New Zealand and a jewelry shop, you need to follow an algorithm.
First, define goals. Describe the specific goals you plan to achieve with email marketing, and break each goal down into objectives.
Then analyze your competitors. Study the site: what mechanics they use to enter the funnel, as well as what motivates you to sign up for the newsletter. How the subscription forms are designed → peek at ways to increase your own subscriber base.
Subscribe to a competitor’s newsletter, pay attention to:
- Types of emails.
- Frequency of sending.
- Tone of voice.
Analyze your competitors’ mistakes and strengths and use that information to develop your own strategy. For example, you may find out that your competitors don’t use email at all. This means that you can focus on this tool because you are not competing with other companies for subscriber attention in this channel. Therefore, you have a better chance of getting maximum loyalty and sales.
After that, describe your customer portrait. Make a composite image of your target audience. If you work in several market segments, you need to make a portrait for each of them. In the process, you’ll understand who brings you the most revenue. Focus on creating content specifically for that “ideal” customer. This doesn’t mean that you don’t need to sell to others, just that the focus of your marketing efforts should be on those who bring in the most revenue.
Your next step is to create a customer journey map. Walk the customer journey yourself and you’ll be able to understand what processes need to be improved to make it easier for people to move through the funnel.
Next, segment audiences. Categorize customers by LTV or other attributes. If you already do mailings, your service may have an RFM analysis feature. It will help to identify the most loyal customers and focus on working with them.
Determine the triggers. These are user actions and how exactly you need to respond to them.
You should also choose a mailing service. The platform shouldnt only cover the current needs of the company in email marketing but also provide more extensive functionality. After all, your business is growing, and it is quite obvious that after a while you will need new and advanced tools. And changing the platform is a problematic and costly process.
Setting up the analytics is the last step, which will help you to adjust your strategy. It is not only the open, click and delivery rates, clickability of the elements, bounces, and spam complaints that are important here. You need more in-depth analytics:
- Cohort analysis will show the effectiveness of retaining the attention of new subscribers and how engagement changes over time.
- RFM analysis will show which clients spent a lot and which ones didn’t buy at all, it helps to distinguish VIPs, regulars and those who should be reactivated.
- Contact base dynamics report by channels – if you use several channels in your strategy.
This data helps you to draw objective conclusions and understand if you are moving in the right direction and what you need to change in your email marketing strategy.
Components of an Email Marketing Content Plan
A content plan is a list of specific topics, types of emails, arranged according to the sending schedule. It can include textual content, technical details of the emails: pictures, videos, graphic design elements – each marketer defines additional components independently.
The plan shouldn’t be stuffed with all sorts of topics for every day, otherwise there is a risk of overloading subscribers and provoking unsubscribes. You might have a similar reaction to emails that do not contain any useful information, but simply take up your time. If you have nothing to say, it is better not to send a letter at all. In the content plan, there should always be a place for situational mailings.
Creating a content plan in Google spreadsheets is the easiest option. If there is more than one person involved in content creation, Trello, Platrum, or other similar tools are perfect. They will help you keep track of the stages of content preparation, assign responsibilities, and set deadlines.
Themes for the content plan are chosen in advance, so that you don’t have to think hard before creating each next email. They need to be arranged according to the logic of sending them, which is why we set up a schedule. For example, first we announce a promotion, and with the next letter we remind the subscriber about the validity of the offer. But you won’t be satisfied with promo actions only: subscribers get tired of the same kind of content very quickly. That’s why you have to include other kinds of letters in your content plan.
Informational – these are emails with useful content: free webinars, expert articles, case studies, digests, news. These newsletters are more liked by subscribers, they do not sell directly, but indirectly influence it. With such emails we build the trust of the audience and create the image of the company. Informative emails should be regular and predictable, such as a newsletter of useful tips every Tuesday. The subscriber will get used to receiving a batch of useful information from you once a week and will be waiting for it.
Promotional emails sell directly. These are all sorts of discounts, promotions, and sales. Get creative, use interesting dates, events, and holidays. Your newsletter service’s blog will probably have calendars of infomercials.
Special projects are created for a specific task. Most often, it’s attracting leads through collaboration with Influencers or cross-promotion with a company with which you can swap audiences. You can implement a special project with the help of gamification. For example, you place a lead magnet “Gifts from our friends” on the partner’s website, and to pick it up, you need to specify your email and spin the wheel of fortune. Next comes an email confirming the subscription, and next comes an email with the promised prize. So, the visitor is happy to win, and you can start a welcome series for new subscribers.