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Starting a Content Marketing Calendar: Why You Need One

Reading Time: 6 minutes

If you’ve ever stared at your computer screen and wondered what to write in an email to your subscribers—you need a content marketing calendar.

A content calendar is an internal system that maps out your content. This includes what you’re going to send, when you’ll send it, and to which segments of your audience. 

Naturally, sending more emails results in more sales and revenue. It makes sense that implementing a system that allows you to email regularly and automatically is essential.

When you create a content calendar, you’ll have peace of mind that comes from knowing you’ll never run out of ideas. 

It also means you’ll keep up engagement with your audience. You can vary the number of emails that different audience segments receive—everyone hears from you as much or as little as they’d like to.

In this article, we’re going to show you how to create a content calendar and how to use it to refine your email marketing.

How to Create a Content Calendar

Creating a calendar begins with your story. This isn’t your biography or what you did at the weekend—it’s messaging related to your brand. 

If you start small, such as one email a week, you’ll need four sentences about your business for a month’s worth of content. One example campaign could look like this:

  • First Week: New releases in your store, or items that are back in stock
  • Second Week: Founder’s favorites, top picks, bestsellers
  • Third Week: Your big sale—this can be followed up with a reminder later in the week to recipients that didn’t purchase from the first email
  • Fourth Week: Promote items that you have too much inventory of

The sky’s the limit on what you use. We’ve discussed campaign ideas in the past, but to get you started you could consider: 

  • Tips on caring for your items
  • Seasonal trends
  • The company’s birthday
  • User-generated content
  • Reviews
  • What’s in the news

Once you’ve chosen your topics, add them to a simple spreadsheet. This will be your resource for keeping track of what to send and when to send it. 

The best part is you can repeat the same topics each month, so you don’t have to worry about coming up with new stories all the time.

Using a Content Calendar to Identify How Often to Send Emails

Once you’ve decided on the content for each email, it’s time to decide how often to send them. This can seem daunting if you’re just starting out but the good news is that there’s a simple method for optimizing your send frequency. 

This is a process of trial and error, so don’t worry about trying to find the best day to send an email—it will vary from one audience to the next.

Begin with a small number of messages, such as one email a week or perhaps even one every two weeks. Stick with this frequency for a few weeks and then look at your click rate to get your baseline statistics.

Now that you have the baseline click rates, add one additional email a week. So if you were sending one email a week, you’ll now send two. If you were sending one email every two weeks then you can move to one every week. 

Again, stick with this volume for a few weeks, and then look at your click rate.

If it has dropped significantly, that’s a sign that your audience isn’t interested in receiving so many emails from you. In this case, revert back to your previous frequency and monitor the stats again. 

If sending more emails didn’t result in lower click rates, repeat the above process of adding one more email into your weekly schedule.

Keep doing this until you reach the point where your click rate declines—then you’ll know you’ve found the sweet spot.

This data-driven approach will ensure that you’re emailing your audience the perfect amount to have the most benefit to your store’s revenue.

Boost Sales with VIP Emails

Not all subscribers will respond in the same way. Some will open every email that you send, others will open one occasionally, and others will open some but not all.

There’s no way to please each person while using one master recipient list. If you send fewer emails, those subscribers who open every email will lose out—and you’ll lose sales. 

If you send more emails, you may annoy the subscribers who only open them occasionally.

So how do you optimize the number of emails being sent, without losing revenue or annoying your subscribers? The answer is with audience segmentation.

Let’s start with your VIP customers—the recipients that engage with most or all of your emails. For these people, you can send them even more and mention this fact to them with a message like “This is a special VIP-only discount.” 

These recipients could see exclusive offers, such as sneak-peeks to an upcoming product launch. Telling them that they’re in the small group of people receiving the email helps to build loyalty and encourages them to keep opening all of your emails.

For the recipients who only engage with some of your emails, you’ll want to take the opposite approach and send them fewer messages. They want to hear from you so won’t unsubscribe, but they don’t necessarily want to hear from you each week. 

For them, you’ll want to look at your individual emails and ask if it’s necessary for everyone to receive them. This group probably won’t need to be told there’s a new blog post, but they would want to know about a sale.

However, it’s worth remembering that these low-engaging recipients may never engage with your emails or store them again. This is when it can be beneficial if they unsubscribe—and not just for list cleaning reasons.

Omnisend has two built-in features to help you send the right amount of emails to each contact. The first is suggested segments, which help you get started quickly.

Suggested Segments

With these segments, you can send tailored messages to specific groups. For example, the groups that are most engaged or high-value are likely to respond well to product messages. 

The people that have been identified as likely to churn may respond better to a different type of message—one that’s designed to renew their interest in your company.

The second feature is a customer breakdown. Omnisend analyzes your store’s data and then automatically organizes your customers into groups. These include recent customers, loyalists, and people who need nurturing.

Customer Breakdown

These features give you the tools to send specific messages. For example, they can be based on their behavior, which can result in more sales and higher revenue. 

Sending the same message to every person and hoping they like it is a fruitless endeavor. Omnisend’s features allow you to send tailored messages that appeal to recipients on a less general basis. 

By doing this, fewer active subscribers can be converted into new customers. Likewise, existing customers can become loyalists who receive VIP offers.

The emails that each segment receives are still all governed by your content marketing calendar, so creating new segments doesn’t have to mean increasing complexity.

Going Beyond the Content Calendar

A content marketing calendar is designed to make your life easier. It should help you know what to send, who to send it to, and when. 

However, it’s possible to feel trapped by the calendar—only sending what’s on it and missing out on other opportunities that present themselves.

It’s not possible to predict everything in advance, so it’s important to maintain a flexible approach to your content. 

Sometimes big news events are relevant to your products, and an email can be created around them. Similarly, if your store receives some press coverage, you should share that with your subscribers even though it’s not on your calendar.

There are various reasons to email your subscribers with a spontaneous message. Ask yourself if they’re likely to be interested and if so, send it. The click rates and performance stats will tell you if it was well-received and whether or not to send similar messages in the future.

Wrap Up

A content marketing calendar will enable you to send regular emails to your subscribers and make sure you never run out of things to say. 

It can also help you send the right amount to the right people, as well as send specific messages to different audience segments, both of which can boost your store’s sales and revenue.

Combining a calendar with segmentation can enhance your email marketing further, maximizing your store’s revenue automatically.

Get started with Omnisend for free today and see what a difference it can make to your sales.

Tom Simpkins
Article by
Tom Simpkins

A proud member of the Omnisend team, Tom is a Content Marketing Manager with years of content, SEO, and marketing experience. When not at work, Tom is mixing up cocktails, cooking up a storm, or simply being a massive nerd with comics, books, and games.