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Creating an Email Marketing Strategy and Content Calendar

Updated: May 2, 2023
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Would you build a new house without an architectural drawing? How about driving across the country without a GPS? There are some things in life that require thorough planning. And just like building a strong foundation for your house or knowing which highway takes you to California… your marketing needs a defined email marketing strategy and content calendar that steers your company towards its goals.

Define Your Goals

At Email Broadcast, we start out by understanding your company’s goals. This is the best way to determine how the rest of your email marketing strategy and content plan will unfold. We find out what your company’s objectives are and the timeframe you need to accomplish them. 

Defining your goals means getting as specific as possible. What do you want to accomplish?

  • Get 10,000 more subscribers?
  • Increase sales by 12%?
  • Boost user engagement by 25%?

Gathering this information up front paves the way for how we’ll structure the content you produce and the timing of its delivery.

Who’s Your Customer, and What Do They Want?

Understanding your customers’ wants and needs is the foundation of any email marketing strategy and content calendar. Why? Knowing the customer is the top mission of the most successful companies. Without that knowledge, you’re just throwing anything at the wall and hoping some of it sticks.

To get a better understanding of your customers needs, wants, interests, and behaviors, we help you break down the ins and outs of who your customer is by asking relevant questions. 

  • What problem(s) are you solving for the customer?
  • How often do they buy your product(s) or service(s)?
  • What’s their relationship to your brand? 

By understanding what drives your customers, we help you create a strategy around specific content that is most relevant and appealing to them.

Who Are You Anyway?

When companies brand themselves well, you know who they are without needing to see a logo. Think Apple: Back in 2007, this company wasn’t even on the map. Today, they dominate as the world’s most popular and recognizable brand. We only need to see its font flash across the screen to know exactly who the company is and what it’s selling. Apple knows exactly who it is and how to get us to buy its products (like over 1.5 billion of us have already done!). The brand is warm and empathetic yet artfully demands attention with its simplistic design.  Pro tip: We help you understand exactly why your customer needs what you’re selling.

Defining Your Brand Voice

At Email Broadcast, we get deep into the weeds of our clients’ minds to help develop the true personality of their company. By analyzing the answers to a series of questions, our clients unlock a deeper awareness and understanding of who they are and what their customers see. Here’s the exercise we give to our clients. Write down the answers to the questions and see what details emerge. That’s the stuff that makes your brand real and connectable.

  • Is your brand… warm or detached, normal or quirky, corporate or casual, conversational or formal, spontaneous or thoughtful, modern or traditional, chatty or to-the-point, exclusive or accessible to all, funny or serious, laid-back or lively, humble or confident?
  • What kind of funny are you? No humor, dry and sarcastic, childlike, flirty, high energy, sexy, zany, or clever?
  • Who are you to your clients? A friend, best friend, mentor, service provider, product, necessary evil, luxury, guilty pleasure, everyday necessity, expectation, or trusted confidant?
  • How do you greet them? “Hey,” “Hello,” “Dear,” “Yo,” or “Greetings”? First name or Mr./Mrs.?

Defining your brand provides an identity and a sense of consistency for your customers. It’s also been shown to increase your company’s revenue. We help your company stand out with a clear and unique brand and voice.  Pro tip: The easier your brand is to connect with, the easier it is to create loyalty and sales.

Take a Look at Your Competition

After we’ve determined what your email marketing goals are, gained a better understanding of your customers needs, and taken a hard look at your company’s personality and brand voice, it’s time to see what your competitors are doing.  Researching your competitors helps identify trends in the industry and potential opportunities for growth. Don’t be afraid to get creative. We’ll look at their email content, signup forms, landing pages, and even the types of emails they’re sending. Armed with this knowledge, we can start to develop your unique strategy for success.

Create a Content Calendar

This is where the rubber meets the proverbial road. A content calendar is the process of organizing and detailing your email marketing campaigns to reflect your overall email marketing strategy. First, we go back to your strategic plan because it’s imperative to integrate your objectives and your target customer. Then, we break down these goals into a strategic campaign schedule that drives content and, ultimately, achieves your goals.

Creating Content That Connects

The reason why email marketing is still considered one of the most important ways to drive sales and engagement is because it gives everyone the opportunity to deliver engaging content. This opportunity not only puts your brand directly in front of your target audience but also gives you the opportunity to become an authority in the area of your customers’ specific needs. (Cue the money machine.)

But, this isn’t the time to get overconfident. In order to produce content that matters to your audience, you have to know what good content is. 

At Email Broadcast, we go with the philosophy of give, give, ask. This means we provide valuable content that helps customers solve a problem or gives them meaningful information that makes their lives better more often than trying to sell them products or services. If you constantly send emails that only ask for a sale, you can expect lower engagement, a loss of interest, and—ultimately—a loss of sales. 

Pro tip: Give your customers two times more value-added content than a sales ask. 

Here are some great examples of value-added content to structure within your calendar.

    • Seasonal. Holidays, time of the year. For example, a solar power client of ours knows when the fire season is in their area and sends out a video on how to keep your solar panel clean and working most efficiently.
    • Value-add. This is the bread and butter of your email marketing strategy. Remember our give, give, ask philosophy? Knowing your customer means knowing what they need and giving it to them at the right time. From how-tos and best tips to webinars and free offerings… value-added content isn’t a sales ask, it’s about making your customers’ lives easier. And, hopefully, making your company the expert among your target audience. One good example is how a wellness client provided support to two distinctly different audiences through their email marketing campaigns.
    • Sales. Make your customer the hero by solving their problems with your products or services. Once you’re providing content that matters to your customer, a sales email won’t feel like a sales ask. It will feel like a natural fit and purchase. 

We combine your goals with an email marketing strategy and content calendar that substantially helps you figure out who, where, and how often you want to send out content. Pushing out organized content in a strategic way with a clear purpose helps you achieve, and hopefully surpass, your goals.

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Seven Coffee Roasters

"Email Broadcast did a great job optimizing many of our blog posts.  The optimization process increased our site traffic by over 10% immediately. 

We've been with Email Broadcast for about 3 months now and the investment has been worth it.  We will be looking to add more services from them in the future. 

Meeting with Email Broadcast is always professional, friendly, and productive.  They are great at keeping everyone on task and moving forward, especially me."

Sean
President
Seven Coffee Roasters

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