How to Plan Your Email Marketing Like a Rockstar [TEMPLATE DOWNLOAD]
Track Email Campaigns with this FREE Monthly Excel Worksheet
Planning email campaigns and tracking results so your team can quickly audit, identify patterns, and find opportunities for improvement or to boost your subscriber engagement is a challenging task for any email marketer. In this post, we’ll walk you through the steps to plan each of your email campaigns. At the bottom, you can download our free email planning template.
Our email campaign planning template contains 28 columns of data that are organized into 3 sections:
- Email Details
- Social Share
- A/B Testing
Let’s review each type of data you can track in the Excel spreadsheet below.
Tracking Your Email Campaign Information
Send Date: What calendar date do you plan to send the campaign?
Day of the Week: Which day of the week will it be sent- Sunday through Saturday? Later, you’ll be able to sort these
Campaign Type: What is the topic of your Email Campaign? For example, will you be sending a newsletter, an event promotion, a blog post, breaking news, or a sharing a content offer?
Subject Line: How will you entice viewers and convince them to open your email in under 70 characters? Use personalization or merge fields whenever possible.
List Segment: Who is the target audience?
Suppression List(s): Are there any segments or lists you would like to exclude? An example of a suppression list could be if you are promoting an event in a specific geographic area that only a portion of your list would attend – you can exclude those that wouldn’t be able to make your event due to distance.
Content/Description: Prepare a general brief of the email topic and content.
Graphic Treatment: What mobile-friendly media will you include?
Offer: What is the offer you are providing your readers?
CTA: What is the exact call-to-action or button text?
From Name: Who will be sending this email on behalf of your organization? It should be a name that is recognizable by your recipients for better open rates.
Signer: Who is signing the closing on behalf of your organization?
Landing Page: What web URL are you driving recipients to when they click through?
Wrapper: If you use multiple HTML wrappers or templates in your email program, indicate which wrapper you used here to ensure the proper branding.
Track Your Email Marketing Goals & Metrics
Strategic Alignment: How does this email align with the overall strategic objectives for your organization?
Goal Type/Metric: What measurable result do you hope to accomplish? Don’t add a numeric value here – it will go in the next column. Some examples of a goal type are sign ups, downloads, leads, registrations, click-throughs, and shares.
Goal: What is the numeric value for the goal? For example, if you selected sign ups in the previous column, how many sign ups do you hope to achieve?
Goal Results: What were the actual results that you achieved? For example: 20
Note: by using only numeric values in the Goal and Goal Results cells, you will be able to easily analyze and calculate monthly results at the end of the month.
Financial Goal: If there is a target income to be received for your campaign, what is it? For example, if you are asking for donations to your fundraising campaign, how much do you hope to earn? This should be written in a dollar amount.
Actual ROI: How much income did you actually generate? This should be written in a dollar amount.
Note: Again, by using only monetary values in the Financial Goal and Actual ROI cells, you will be able to easily compare and calculate monthly results at the end of the month.
Plan Social Media Sharing for Your Email
Sharing and supporting your campaign across your social channels is a great way to increase content exposure, attract new followers, and grow your email lists. For each of the social networks that you will be using to share your email content, outline how the content will differ. For example, if the goal is to get recipients to post your graphic shareable from your email on their Twitter profile, then you can put the TweetThis link in the Twitter cell. You may also have a different Facebook share request for your recipients of the same campaign. Perhaps, you want them to share your landing page on their Facebook profile, you can indicate that here. Alternatively, if you simply plan to post your email campaign on your various social profiles, you can specify the copy changes (keeping in mind character restrictions) for each here.
Plan & Track A/B Testing for Email Campaigns
A/B testing allows email marketers to compare two versions of a campaign and test which will perform better with their target audience. Sample emails are distributed to users at random, and then analyzed to determine which performs better based on your goals. This allows you to ask specific questions about changes to your email’s content, layout, subject line, color scheme, or any other element you may be interested in.
Test Name: What is the name/overview of the A/B test?
Test Results: Which variant had the best results?
Customize the Excel Template for Your Organization
We included the most common details that email marketers track for their campaigns, but every organization is different and may have a need to track more or less information. If any of the columns don’t apply to your email marketing campaign, you can hide them.
Before you begin entering details, duplicate the first worksheet 11 times to create a separate sheet for each month of the year. To duplicate the worksheet, right-click on the tab titled, “TYPE MONTH & YEAR” and select Move or Copy…
Once you’ve created a tab for each month of the year (or for the rest of this calendar year), you should name them appropriately.
If you’d like to track your email metrics as well in this template, such as open rate, unsubscribes or click through rates, you can add those new columns after the last column (AB).
Wrap-Up: Planning & Tracking Your Email Marketing Campaigns
Download our free Email Planning Excel Template to easily track the details for all of your monthly email campaigns in one file. What challenges does your team face in planning and tracking email marketing campaigns and results?