Create An Email Marketing Strategy Plan

How To Create An Email Marketing Strategy Plan

Do you have an email marketing strategy plan or do you write your emails with no planning? If that's the case, then you want to find out how we plan our email campaigns quarter by quarter based on the offers we are promoting to various categories of people AND on the financial goals we set for our business. 

Ready to see your email marketing take off? 


(0:09) Want to make your sales from your email marketing? Grab our Click Tricks.
(4:27) Why do you need an email marketing strategy plan.
(5:52) The importance of a quarterly planning meeting.
(8:43) The three types of people you want to promote to.
(10:00) Why run different promotions to different types of people?
(11:34) What does 'promotion planning' mean to you?
(16:01) Why 'surround the market'.
(16:47) Link your promotion planning to your financial goals.
(17:56) Want to find out more?
(18:55) Subject line of the week.

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Why do you need an email marketing strategy plan? 

We're always looking at ways to speed up how much time we spend on email marketing because even though email is the highest-earning sales activity you could ever do in your business, you still want to do it more efficiently and in less time, so you can focus on the other things you enjoy doing.

This is where having an email marketing strategy plan comes in. Because you don't want to just sit down and write an email without having thought about it in advance. If you do that, you'll end up spending way too long thinking about it.

Instead, you want to make sure you separate the activities of thinking and doing. You need to do these two things at different times because these activities use different skills and (in the physiological sense) they use different parts of your brain. Planning and thinking strategically are different from being in ‘doing mode'. And you may feel like you're great at winging it – that you're good at improvising and being flexible. But when you do that, you're slowing yourself down. 

The importance of a quarterly planning meeting

Email marketing is one of the main pillars when it comes to the marketing activities in your business, and it should always direct people to the same one thing you're promoting across all your channels

The way to make this happen is by having a quarterly promotion planning meeting. We suggest you host this in a different place than where you normally work, if you can. If it's just you, it could simply be a different desk or area of the house. Or if you have a VA or a small team (a social media person, someone running your operations, someone in charge of your customer service, etc.), this is a meeting with all the people in these roles. And once you have all the skillsets represented in the room, you go ahead and plan the promotions you’re going to run across all channels in the next quarter.

The way we do this is by opening our calendar (we use the project management tool Asana) and looking at the next quarter. The first thing we do is note down anything we absolutely can or cannot do. For example, you may be away for a number of days. Or maybe you're running an event on a certain date, so jot those dates down.

The three types of people you want to promote to

Once you have all those dates, you look at promotions that you need to run for three different types of people

  1. The people who haven't bought your core offer yet. Our core offer is our membership The League, so every quarter we run promotions to ultimately get people to buy our membership. They may not be direct promotions. In fact, they might slightly side-step our membership, but ultimately selling it is the goal. 
  2. Past members of The League. These are people who used to be in our membership but have left. So we want to sell them something different, such as an upsell.  
  3. Existing customers of our core offer. We obviously don’t promote The League to people who are already in it. But we do have other products that can help our members, so that’s what we offer them. This not only further helps our members, but it increases our business profits too. 

Why run different promotions for different types of people?

The reason why you run different types of promotions for these categories of people is that you want to sell slightly differently to each of them. For us, it comes down to a combination of bandwidth and interest.

In our business, we tend to run one big promotion using some sort of campaign every 6-8 weeks. And in order to decide which one to run, we look at what we can sell to a particular group of people that is relevant, timely, interesting, and deliverable. Plus, we want it to be fun for us as well.

That's how we figure out what type of promotion we want to run. Is it going to be a challenge, a webinar, a summit, or a flash sale, for example? What are we going to do to make the promotion happen? Once that decision is made, it’s easy to follow through because, just like our members, we simply access the campaigns we have inside The League. It's as simple as logging in, finding the document we want, making a copy of it, and filling in all the details. 

The Top 10 Books To 'Power Up' Your Email Marketing

10 book recommendations that will improve all areas of your email marketing (including some underground treasures that we stumbled upon which have been game-changing for us).

What does ‘promotion planning' mean to you? 

The key here (and something we definitely never do) is asking ourselves what we're going to email out day after day. Because that's the wrong way to go about it. Everything you do (the emails your send and your social media) needs to inform the purpose of the promotion you’re currently running.

Should you run a campaign every week? Not necessarily. We don’t – we run campaigns every 6-8 weeks. But the campaigns are there for you to grab whenever you need them.

Promotion planning to us means that every quarter (about 6 weeks before the end of any quarter), we sit down with key members of the team and look at what we’re going to promote for the following quarter to each of the three categories of people we identified. 

Promotion planning isn't just about paid offers – you can promote free products too, like a free class, for example. Always start from the date of the event and reverse engineer the promotion to make it happen. If you've decided what you're promoting in advance, writing the emails becomes super easy. You simply plan all the pieces of content you're going to create and send them out during the weeks or days leading up to the deadline, launch, or go-live date.

Lead times for your promotions

We might run teaser campaigns as long as three weeks in advance, when we start talking about an offer on social media, for example. And then two weeks before the launch, we start sending out emails. We sometimes offer a 24-hour bonus for the people who buy within the first 24 hours or the cart opening to create some excitement and urgency.

Then we plan out each part of the campaign to make sure the emails are aligned – they all promote the fact that the cart is opening and the product is going on sale. At the same time, we'll have content going out on our social media channels too because all our content points in the same direction. And it's all reverse-engineered from the day of the launch because we've planned it in advance. This is important because it gets you the biggest impact you can possibly get from a promotion. 

Why ‘surround the market'? 

The tip we gave you to talk about the same promotion in your emails and on your social media is crucial. We call this, surrounding the market. What it means is that you want to give every single person in your audience the chance to hear about your promotion. You don't want them to miss out on what you're selling!

And you'll see this happen all the time. It definitely happens to us. We do a launch, and after the cart is closed, someone will always get in touch to say they didn't know about the offer. Meanwhile, we'd shared it everywhere! And yet, people still miss it. So you want to minimise the chances of your audience missing your launch by surrounding them with content about it. Put it on all your channels! 

Link your promotion planning to your financial goals

Quality planning in advance gives you confidence and a lot of concrete knowledge of what’s coming up in the next quarter. And that means you’re never second-guessing yourself, and worrying about what to do, or whether you have a chance of hitting your goals in a particular quarter or year. Because ultimately this is all predicated by deciding it all in advance.

You decide how much you want to turn over (i.e. you set your financial goals) and then use them to inform what promotions you're going to run in order to hit those numbers. In other words, you'll know how many clients you need at a certain price point in order to hit your goals by promoting your offers to the categories of people we talked about. It's about knowing what products you're going to sell at particular price points. 

Want to find out more? 

If you want to find out more about planning out 90 days’ worth of content in one afternoon, go check out the episode How To Plan 3 Months Of Email Content In An Afternoon

And if you want access to the same campaigns we use in our business so you can follow the same process we use and speed the whole thing up, go and check out The League. As well as easy-to-grab campaigns, we have all the training and personal coaching to help you nurture email marketing in your particular business. 


Make More Sales with our cutting-edge Psychology-Based Email Marketing Programme

  • Psychology-based email marketing.
  • 45+ Email Campaigns.
  • Video Campaign Workshops.
  • Growing Library of Video Trainings.

Subject line of the week

This week’s subject line is “Why this email is late”. This subject line was quite literal in the sense that we were sending this email quite late in the day. The story in the email was about how Rob's day had gone completely off plan, and that’s why his email was late. It’s almost a guilty admission wrapped up in what might seem like an excuse. And that’s probably why it generated interest and had a high click-through rate. Try it out!

Useful Episode Resources

Related episodes

7 Essential Email Campaigns Examples For Your Business.

Template For Email Marketing Campaigns.

How To Nail Your Affiliate Email Promotions – Getting Hyped With Ryan Phillips.

FREE list of the top 10 books to improve your email marketing

If you want to write better emails, come up with better content, and move your readers to click and buy, here's how. We put together this list of our Top 10 most highly recommended books that will improve all areas of your email marketing (including some underground treasures that we happened upon, which have been game-changing for us). Grab your FREE list here

Join our FREE Facebook group

If you want to chat about how you can maximise the value of your email list and make more money from every subscriber, we can help! We know your business is different, so come and hang out in our FREE Facebook group, the Email Marketing Show Community for Course Creators and Coaches. We share a lot of training and resources, and you can talk about what you're up to.

Try ResponseSuite for $1

This week's episode is sponsored by ResponseSuite.com, the survey quiz and application form tool that we created specifically for small businesses like you to integrate with your marketing systems to segment your subscribers and make more sales. Try it out for 14 days for just $1.

Join The League Membership

Not sick of us yet? Every day we hang out in our amazing community of Email Marketing Heroes. We share all of our training and campaigns and a whole bunch of other stuff. If you're looking to learn how to use psychology-driven marketing to level up your email campaigns, come and check out The League Membership. It's the number one place to hang out and grow your email marketing. Best news yet? You can apply everything we talk about in this show.

Subscribe and review The Email Marketing Show podcast

Thanks so much for tuning into the podcast! If you enjoyed this episode (all about how to create an email marketing strategy plan for your business) and love the show, we'd really appreciate you subscribing and leaving us a review of the show on your favourite podcast player.

Not only does it let us know you're out there listening, but your feedback helps us to keep creating the most useful episodes so more awesome people like you can discover the podcast. 

And please do tell us! If you don't spend time on email marketing, what do you really fill your working days with? We'd love to know! 

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