The email content that a business sends out can make or break a business. The emails that are sent to potential customers and existing customers can be the key element of ensuring that your business keeps thriving, therefore the content has to be brilliant. For those who are working on an email content calendar planning for 2020, knowing what worked, what didn’t work, and other elements of 2019 is key to making 2020 a successful year.
What Did You Learn?
It’s important to learn from your past mistakes, and move on from them. Every year, or even more often than that, you should be looking at what worked for your email campaigns, and what didn’t. Take this time to analyze which of your campaigns had the highest open rates and click rates. Did these emails have great subject lines and content? Did they contain videos or blog posts? Is your audience more active during certain times of the day or the week? Do they skip their inbox on Sundays? Look for patterns when you notice that certain emails are getting opened more often and clicked on more.
You should also check out your campaigns stats for unsubscribers. Are they unsubscribing on certain days of the week, or certain times of the day? Are they unsubscribing after opening a certain email? How long do they stay on your list for? It’s important to see what you can learn from all of this information and make tweaks to your upcoming campaigns.
You need to revisit what your data is telling you. Don’t just send out an auto follow campaign to run all year when you are not analyzing the results. This could be a waste of time, money and could lead your prospects to look elsewhere for the information they are seeking.
Best Practices for 2019
So, what worked in 2019 for email content? There were several ideas that have worked great for businesses in the past. Here are some of the highlights:
- Providing emails that were not lengthy…they were short and to the point
- A clear call to action in the email is a must, usually at the bottom of the email
- Utilizing GIFs in the email to make it visually more attractive
- Having a balance between text and images
- An enticing question in the email subject line to get people to get interested and want to read
What Didn’t Work in 2019
While there were tons of things that worked great in 2019, there were several ideas that were used that simply turned recipients off of the emails they were getting. This is exactly what everyone will want to avoid when doing their email content calendar planning for the upcoming year. Some of these aspects to remember NOT to do include:
– Providing lengthy emails that take a lot of time to read.
– Not ensuring that your email design is responsive! Too many people check emails on phones, tablets and other mobile devices instead of computers these days.
– Subject lines that demanded an action…people simply ignored this
– Using only text and no images…people are visual so play up to this
The Time and Day Matter!
Along with planning for great content, remember that when the time comes for email content calendar planning for this upcoming year, you have to pay attention to the time and day that these emails are being sent. The problem that many businesses have is that they feel as though sending emails on a Monday is a great choice. After all, it’s the start of a new week, maybe people are interested. However, studies have shown that this is not the case. Instead, it was found that the best day to email is on Tuesday, followed closely by Thursday and then Wednesday.
The best time to send an email really depends on the subject matter, and you need to use your own discretion for this. However, did you know that 50% of people check their email first thing in the morning while still in bed? That is why the coveted 6AM spot is one to consider. For those that believe this is too early, aim for 10 AM. In terms of the afternoon, 2 PM is considered a next time along with 8 PM at night.
Have you signed up to your competitors campaigns yet? Doing this, will give you some great insights into what your audience is being exposed to already. Maybe you can come up with some creative ideas or get inspired by looking at what your competitors are doing.
You could also check out their social media accounts to see what they are posting about and how much engagement they are getting on their posts. There may be certain posts that yield more reach and engagement than others. You can take ideas from this as well.
Of course you’ll need to spin these ideas into your own unique concepts. Make sure you instill your branding and offer something better than your competitors. Great quality content will make a huge difference.
Great Content Examples
There were several great email content examples from 2018 that can be referenced in 2019 so that any business can duplicate these types of results.
- Uber: They sent out super simple emails with their deals and promotions. The key to this is that these were simple emails. There was nothing flashy, they simply gave a small intro, the deal and very clear call to action for email recipients to follow. The idea of getting down to business and not wasting time is seen here, and it is one tactic that every business could easily duplicate.
- Mom and Dad Money: A simple website that really reached out to readers and got them involved with their get to know subscribers’ email. Once again, it was short and to the point, but what was seen here was the businesses desire to know what their readers wanted in an effort to provide this!
- Stitcher: This company made their emails super personal with sending users emails of recommendations based on what they like. This type of super personal email is something that people are going to read because it pertains to them, and it feels as though they are a person rather than a simple email address the company has.
From these three examples you are going to find that you can use these ideas for your own email content calendar planning. Also keep in mind, that people love the holiday emails, especially if you are using these to announce a new sale or product. Emails that are visual work really well during the holiday season.
Some other great campaign ideas include: product launches, press releases, new videos, new staff members, anniversaries, frequently asked questions, new blog posts and best of all, upcoming promotions, discounts and sales.
If you ever get stuck on campaign ideas, you can always ask our team for help. We’ve come up with some great ideas for November. Check them out here. We’ve also created a template for guidance below:
Draft Calendar Template
Let’s give you a sample draft calendar for reference:
Monday: Blog Post – FAQ about your products and services
Wednesday: Email Pitch Product #1
Friday: Weekend Product Promotion
Monday: Blog Post – 3 Myths about your products and services
Wednesday: Email Pitch Product #2
Friday: Follow Up Email Product #1 and #2
Monday: Blog Post – 4 Benefits to using your products and services
Wednesday: Helpful Post
Friday: Helpful Post
Monday: Blog Post – 3 Reasons why you should be using our services today
Wednesday: Follow Up Email Product #1 and #2
Friday: Monthly blogs wrap up email
Be Prepared Before Hitting Send
After reviewing these content calendar tips, we hope you are better prepared for next years email campaigns. Using email marketing isn’t something that you should be doing because your competitors are doing it. It’s something that you should learn more about, and implement into your marketing strategy today. Email marketing can have huge success rates and lead to more sales when done properly.
With these tips you can start your email content calendar planning now so that you are ready to dive into the New Year. However, remember that you will want to look at what has worked for you in the past, and plan accordingly moving forward so that you can get the most out of your campaigns.