How to make a competent content plan for email newsletters: a step-by-step guide

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A well-planned mailing will allow you to systematize your work, save time searching for new ideas and point out the shortcomings of the email campaign. A competent content plan, which shows the schedule of sending materials to the target audience, helps in this.

In this article, we will consider what a content plan consists of, why it is needed, and how to create it for email newsletters.

What is a content plan?

The term content plan can often be found in social networks, where it is used to manage a group or channel. Its main task is stable posting of material interesting to the audience. It usually includes composing a topic and text content, searching for images, and even choosing the optimal time to publish.

In newsletters, everything is the same, only instead of posts, there are letters. They are also thought through a certain topic, content and date of dispatch. Most often, the content plan is drawn up months in advance, and the structure is formed in a table or a special program.

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Why do you need a content plan?

If you want to communicate with the audience so that they are always with you and bring income, your choice is a content plan. It will help:

  • Define clear terms. This is very important for organizing an email campaign, all involved employees will know what time they need to hand in their work.
  • Divide the area of ​​responsibility. The team will understand who is behind what business. For example, Yevgeny is responsible for content, Dmytro for marketing, and Ksenia for design.
  • Save time. You will not have to invent new topics for newsletters every time, they will all be fixed in the content plan. You can always take something ready and immediately start working with it.
  • Make a report. You will be able to systematize the work of the email campaign – you will always be able to see at what stage the work is going. Reporting in the event will serve as a guarantor that it is moving according to plan.

A clear content plan will help you stick to your marketing strategy. Focusing on specific terms, you can assign work to specialists in advance and get good content for newsletters.

Read also

How to increase ROI in email marketing

How to create a chain of letters that will bring back the buyer

We create a content plan in 4 steps

Let’s move on to creating a content plan. To do this, we should go through several steps – determine the audience segment, think about the content, choose the time of sending and start the mailing.

Step 1: Segment the audience

Sending the same content to your entire audience is a bad idea. Even a small company can have different types of subscribers. For example, some prefer to buy goods for home comfort, others – for parties. The former, most likely, will never open letters for the latter, and vice versa.

The needs of the audience should always be taken into account – only in this case can you count on a high percentage of openings and clickability within the letter. You can segment your subscribers according to the following criteria:

  • Sex. An excellent example of such segmentation is a clothing store, where goods are divided into men’s and women’s.
  • Age. Depending on the age, you can offer different categories of products, for example, for an adult audience – household goods, for young people – trend items.
  • interests Offer your subscriber what he wants and you will surely earn his trust. For example, items for a beautiful interior can be offered to designers and art lovers, and derivative products to those who love an active lifestyle.
  • activity. In any field, customers are divided into active and less active: some regularly purchase goods or services, some do it occasionally. They can be determined by the frequency and amount of purchases.

Such criteria will be enough for you to compose a more accurate mailing. Depending on the business, the list can be supplemented, for example, when there is a wide range of products. Take a simple sports store – its audience is very large: someone likes winter recreation, someone is summer, and someone is a mother of a child who needs a suit for walks. And this is only a part of the audience, so three criteria cannot be dispensed with here. In this case, information about marital status, social status, cultural level, ability to pay, etc. may also be required.

Step 2: We think over the contents of the content plan

In order for your content plan to bring the proper result, it should be written in as much detail as possible. To do this, consider the segments of the target audience, their needs and the goals you are aiming for.

Here is a list of must-haves needed to create a content plan in any niche:

  • Topic and content. First of all, you should formulate a title and briefly describe what should be in each letter.
  • Target. Determine what benefit each letter brings. For example, if a newsletter is created for a promotional offer, then the letters are expected to increase sales and bring profit.
  • Heading. This will help you understand exactly what the letter should be. Here are some examples of popular headings for email newsletters: “New on the blog”, “Secrets of mastery”, “Surveys”, “Holiday sales” and so on.
  • Pains and needs of the target audience. Write them down for each letter when creating a content plan to take into account the texts of newsletters. In this way, you will be able to create letters that will be aimed at specific segments of the audience.
  • Letter type. It will help you decide on the format of the newsletter. These can be trigger, engaging, informational, helpful, or sales emails.
  • Advertising information In addition to everything, you can advertise the products of your company or partners. This information in the content plan will help authors and editors plan the structure and content of the letter taking into account advertising plans.

You can get a table like this:

An example of a content plan for email distribution

Step 3: Determine the frequency, time of departure and periodicity

No one can say exactly when to send newsletters. It usually depends on the audience and their location, because your subscribers may be located in different regions with a certain time zone. In most cases, morning or evening time is chosen – during this period, many users are most active, they go to mail at the beginning or end of the working day.

You should also take into account the day of the week, because not all subscribers visit the post office every day. Statistics show that the best day is Tuesday, followed by Thursday. At the same time, there is no ideal day, your audience can actively open letters on Sundays. Therefore, we recommend conducting test mailings – try to send letters to subscribers every day for a week. So you will see on which day the activity was the highest.

There is also no specific formula for sending frequency. However, there are statistical data: 35% of mailings from the B2B and B2C spheres are sent 2-3 times a month. To find the optimal sending frequency, we recommend testing everything. Start with one letter a week and gradually increase the number. At the same time, monitor important mailing indicators: openness, clickability, and others.

Step 4: Choose a service for sending the newsletter

All that remains is to choose a service that will help launch the newsletter according to the content plan you created. Such tools are easy to find, but many of them can be difficult to learn or charge too much to use. At first, this can only complicate the task, because it is better to test the content plan as soon as possible to evaluate its performance and understand whether any adjustments need to be made.

A good example is the email distribution service Cheapseder. Every user can try all the functionality on it for free: after registration, 100 letters will be available for mailing. And when the package runs out, it can be extended for a small fee – 70 rubles for a package of 5,000 letters. Along with this, you will get access to a block editor, an API and an email list validator that finds and removes invalid addresses.

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Conclusion

A properly prepared content plan will allow you to spend time effectively and achieve great success in any email campaign. We recommend regularly adjusting it, looking at the reaction of subscribers and testing different content – this is how you will arrive at the ideal content plan that will appeal to your audience. Good luck!

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