How To Coordinate New Email Marketing Plans & Campaigns

ByWhitney Deterding


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Email marketing has proven to be so rewarding and effective that experts estimate that it will grow from 7.5 billion in 2020 to potentially generate $17.9 billion in revenue by 2022.

You won't be able to reap these rewards by just collecting email addresses and drowning them in messages. You need to be intentional in creating a winning email marketing plan to drive the results you want.

But how can you determine if your new idea for an email marketing campaign fits into your existing email marketing strategy?

This guide will deep dive into how you can seamlessly coordinate your new email marketing campaigns into your current email marketing strategy.

Table of contents

What is an email marketing plan?

An email marketing plan is an overarching strategy or intent that guides your email campaigns. It outlines what you hope to achieve, why you want to hit this milestone, the tactics you will use and steps you will take to implement a new campaign, as well as how you will measure performance.

By creating a plan for your email marketing, you are taking the guesswork out of it and moving forward with a stronger understanding of where you are headed and the route you're going to take to get there.

What should be included in your email marketing plan?

The following ingredients must be featured in your email marketing plan to set you up for success:

  • Your goals - You must know why you're sending every email, the message you want to pass across, how you hope your audience will respond, and the outcome you want to produce.

  • Success metrics - How you are going to measure campaign results to see if your tactics are working or if they need to be adjusted.

  • Target audience - Identify who you want to reach with your emails. Learn about their likes, aspirations, behaviors, preferences, pain points, buying habits, and more.

  • Objectives for each email ‐ Remember that email marketing is a tactic and just one aspect of your overall marketing strategy. It should directly tie into your larger marketing efforts.


Benefits of an email marketing plan

Here are some of the advantages of having a concrete plan for your email marketing campaigns:

  • Proven to work - Email marketing provides an ROI of $41.28 for small businesses and $59.44 for large businesses for every $1.35 spent, making it the most profitable marketing channel.

  • Avoid sending emails to the wrong people ‐ When you have a plan you can target the right people with the right message at the right time and build fruitful relationships with them.

  • Create a reliable, predictable email marketing schedule/cadence ‐ Without planning, you would spend a lot of money and time wondering what type of messages to send and when to send them out and how often you should send them.

  • Eliminate the risk of sending too many emails to the same people - Following the schedule you've established in your plan will prevent you from annoying your subscribers with excessive emails and hurting your sender's reputation.


What is an email marketing campaign?

An email marketing campaign is a series of emails that are sent out to multiple people over a given period with one goal in mind. The goal or call-to-action can be to get recipients to make a purchase, sign up for an event, download a report, or learn about a product.


Good email campaigns align with your email marketing plan and provide value for both your brand and your audience using relevant, focused, and personalized content.

Here are some common types of email campaigns that your business can use to reach and engage customers:


The purpose of newsletter emails is to inform your subscribers about products, services, and what your company has been up to lately. Newsletters help you stay at the forefront of recipients' minds.

Here's a newsletter email example that Penguin Random House uses to showcase employees and share their book recommendations with subscribers.


Source: Penguin Random House via Digital Marketers World

Longreads sends out a weekly newsletter to update subscribers on the top 5 stories/essays its editors read during the week.


Source: Longreads

Check out this newsletter example that Fashion Magazine uses to share interesting and relevant content from their blog.


Source: Fashion Magazine via Campaign Monitor

Related guide: How to Create a Newsletter — A Step-by-step Guide

Acquisition emails

Think of this email campaign as lead nurturing emails for those that have opted into your email list but aren’t yet a customer. The purpose of sending them is to provide recipients with valuable content to drive them through the funnel and turn them into loyal customers.

Here's an example of Asana using this type of email campaign to promote a relevant blog post.


Source: Asana via SendPulse

Take a look at this acquisition email sent by Socialinsider to invite recipients to save a seat for their upcoming webinar.


Source: Socialinsider via SendPulse

In this example, Sprout Social sent emails to leads to inform them about a new feature and offer them a free trial extension.


Source: Sprout Social via Hubspot

Transactional emails

Transactional emails are automated messages that are sent because a contact took or didn't take a specific action. They include messages like order confirmations, password resets, and account notifications.

For example, Udemy sends this transactional email with details about the customer's order after their purchase is completed.


Source: Udemy via Moosend

Another great example is this email that automatically goes out when Spotify users attempt to change their passwords.


Source: Spotify via Mailersend

This simple shipping notification email from Tatcha is also a good example of transactional campaigns.


Source: Tatcha via Mailersend

Resource guide: Transactional Email: Use Cases, Tools, And Best Practices

Behavioral emails

These campaigns feature targeted, personalized emails that are automatically sent to your customers because of their interactions with your business or the brand activities they've shown interest in in the past. Behavior-triggered emails include onboarding emails, reminder emails, surveys/feedback emails, etc.

Here's an example of a behavioral email that Kate Spade uses to re-engage people who have abandoned their shopping carts.


Source: Kate Spade via Sendinblue

This behavioral email from Questline Digital was triggered to encourage recipients who opened a previous email about an upcoming webinar but failed to register to complete the action.


Source: Questline

When customers signed up but didn't install Kissmetrics' tracking code on their site, they received this behavioral email from the company.


Source: Kissmetrics via Email Vendor Selection

How to create an email marketing plan

Follow these steps to create an email marketing plan that gets results:

  1. Identify how email fits into your overall marketing strategy - Start by thinking about where your company is at, where you want it to go, and how email marketing can get you there. Knowing how email marketing will contribute to your business's growth will help your email initiatives and other promotional efforts function coherently.

  2. Review high-level goals - You might want to use email to increase engagement, drive website traffic, promote products or services, or get more customers to buy something. Make sure the goals you want to accomplish are S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Relevant, and Timebound.)

  3. Determine audiences you can connect with via email - Not every member of your target buyer personas is going to prefer email communication. Likewise, not everyone on your email list will be the right audience for a particular campaign. You need to figure out who exactly you will be sending your emails to maximize impact.

  4. Determine opportunities for email marketing campaigns - An email marketing opportunity is an excuse for reaching out to your subscribers. For instance, if you roll out a new feature or publish a new blog post, that's an opportunity to send out messages to tell people about them.

Check out this email marketing strategy template.

How to create an email marketing calendar

It's important to create a calendar that outlines the design, content, audience, and schedule you will use when sending out your email campaigns so you don't fall behind or run out of motivation or email marketing ideas. Or even worse, end up sending subpar emails in a panicked hurry.

Having an email marketing calendar will help you:

  • Avoid sending too many emails to the same people.

  • Create and share quality content at the right time.

  • Get inspiration for campaigns around key dates—holiday promotions, anniversaries, upcoming events, etc.

  • Pre-plan campaigns alongside recurring email sends. This includes determining how newsletters, promos, announcements, etc. fit together in your strategy. And whether anything needs to be paused/adjusted.

  • Ensure your whole team is kept in the loop.

Bonus: If your email marketing calendar is a part of your existing Marketing Calendar, you can also understand how your email marketing fits into your other marketing efforts.


If you are ready to optimize your email creation process, here's how to go about building an email marketing calendar.

  1. Identify the type of calendar you’ll use - You can opt for an existing calendar template that only requires you to fill in your details or create a template from scratch. Alternatively, you can create a simple calendar using Google Docs and Spreadsheet or invest in marketing calendar software.

  2. Add your recurring email sends to your calendar - Outline when and how often you plan to send your regular periodic emails like daily/weekly newsletters, monthly announcements, etc.

  3. Add your planned campaigns & single-send emails - Allot specific days and times for pushing out specific campaigns as well as emails that are only intended to be sent once or stand-alone messages that are not part of an email series. Don't forget to make note of who will be responsible for writing each email copy, creating graphics, segmenting lists, etc.

  4. Add upcoming events & other triggers for campaigns to your calendar for better visibility/easier planning - Start by making a list of important events/holidays to your company, industry, and customer base then add them to your calendar. You can search online for new holidays relevant to your industry as potential inspiration for campaigns/emails.

How to create & execute a new email marketing campaign

Email campaigns are one of the most powerful tools that your business can use to build strong relationships with your audience, nurture leads into customers, and drum up more conversions. But your email marketing ROI will depend on how well you plan your campaigns before hitting send.

Follow these steps to create an email marketing campaign that delivers impressive returns.

1. Set goals & success metrics (KPIs)

Your goals have to be specific and measurable. It's not enough to say you want to boost your email open rates, you have to specify what that means to you.

If you get 10 more people to open your emails, would you be satisfied? Or would you feel better about a 25% increase in open rates within the next six months?

Use concrete figures and timelines to express what you hope to achieve, then decide on the metrics you will use to measure results. Some common email metrics that you can tie to your goals include:

  • Open rates

  • Forwards

  • Bounce rate

  • Conversion rates

  • Unsubscribes

  • Click-through rates

  • Spam complaints

  • Best performing links

  • Revenue per email

2. Do target audience research

Email marketing is like dating. The more you know about the other person, the better you can understand, what they like or don't like, what they're passionate about, why they do the things they do, and how to be a great partner to them.

To dig deep into who your target personas are, consider surveying your current customers, researching their buying behaviors and habits, and paying attention to what they say about your brand and products online.

You can also analyze your competitors, review your social media community engagement, and talk to your sales and customer support teams to learn more about their dealings with your audience.

3. Review email results from past sends

If you've already done some email marketing in the past, you can probably learn a thing or two from those efforts no matter how uncoordinated the campaigns were.

Auditing the results of past campaigns can help you pinpoint where things went wrong and which tactics knocked the ball out of the park. So you can avoid the same pitfalls or keep building on what works.

4. Create list segmentation

Segmenting your email list is key to ensuring that your subscribers are targeted with messages that are highly relevant to them. That's how you get more of them to open your emails, click through, and take action.

You can segment your subscribers into lists according to their demographic, psychographic, geographic, and behavioral information, and send your campaign to the audience segments that will derive value from it.

List segmentation is as much about choosing who to send to as it is about determining who you don't want to send to. The latter is known as audience exclusions.

For example, if you have automated experiences going, you may want to consider excluding subscribers in active experiences from specific campaigns to avoid oversending to a specific contact.

When selecting exclusions, you want to think about which campaign or journey is most important and factor that in.

5. Determine the number of emails included in campaign

Think about how many emails you want to feature in your campaign and how long the campaign will last. You want the number of planned emails for a campaign to fall in that sweet spot where it's sufficient to pass across your message and provide a wealth of value without getting on the recipient's nerves.

6. Determine send dates/times for emails

Setting a time and date for when you want each email in the campaign to go out can help you avoid procrastination and ensure you have the email content ready before the deadline.

You will want to do some research and experiment to find out the best times to send your emails based on industry benchmarks, your past marketing reports, and audience preferences.

Don't forget to compare the dates and times you select against your existing email marketing efforts in your calendars to make sure there are no overlaps.

7. Draft your email marketing campaign content

It's time to create the content you want to share in the first set of emails for your new campaign. Every email draft must include:

  • Subject line - Keep it punchy and short. Aim for about 8-9 words or 30-40 characters. Incorporate humor or try to evoke curiosity or emotions to compel people to open. You can use email subject line testers to rate and optimize your subject lines.


  • Preview text - This is the blurb that's displayed below the subject line to provide more context and entice viewers to click. The best practice for writing preview text is to incorporate personalization, emojis, calls-to-action, FOMO, and incentives, and limit it to 30-90 characters.


  • Content/copy - Make it provides value to your subscribers and speaks to their interests. Keep it clear, concise, and readable. Don't forget to sprinkle relevant, high-quality visuals throughout the piece.


  • Strong CTA - Use first person, action-oriented language. Try not to use more than 5 words and don't wait till the end of your email to add your CTA. Place multiple versions of it with different phrasings at different positions.


8. Launch your campaign

Once your draft is ready, the only thing that's left to do is kick off your campaign by sending out the first email and sticking to the schedule for all the rest.

You might not hit all your campaign goals the first time around, but don't let that keep you down. The more you practice, the more effective your campaigns will get.

9. Measure your results

The work isn't over just because your campaign is live. You still need to keep an eye on how it's performing and make tweaks where necessary to improve performance.

Use the success metrics you outlined in step 1 to determine how well your campaign is doing and whether you're progressing towards your goals.

Key Takeaways on Email Marketing Plans

How can I determine if my email marketing plan is successful or not?

  • Review the specific goals you initially set for the email campaign.

  • Determine if you hit your goal numbers or not.

  • Compare present results against past-performing emails. Some KPIs to review may include:

  • Open rate

  • Click-through rate

  • Bounce rate

  • Conversion Rate

  • Forwards/Shares

  • Spam complaints

Does email marketing still work in 2023?

Yes. Email marketing is still one of the most profitable marketing channels giving you an ROI of about $42 for every $1 spent.

What is the best time to send an email?

That depends on who you ask. There's no hard and fast rule when it comes to the ideal time or day for sending emails. What you can do is perform tests to find out what works for your audience and follow recommended guidelines on the best time to send emails based on your industry.

Should I create an email marketing calendar?

Yes. Creating an email marketing calendar helps you visualize your entire email sending strategy for single-send emails, newsletters, promotions, & other campaigns.

By adding them to your calendar, you will avoid sending too many emails & can focus on sending the right emails, to the right people, at the right times.

What should you do next?

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