How to Build Your Email Marketing Calendar Template for 2024

Build Your Email Marketing Calendar Template

An email marketing calendar template is a tool that helps you strategically run your email marketing calendar. It allows you to organize and schedule your email marketing campaigns, share them across teams, and customize them to fit your needs.

While an email marketing calendar helps you manage campaigns, a calendar template hosts your recurring campaign goals and works as a guide for all your calendar activities. 

Let’s learn about email marketing calendars, how you can create and use their templates, and what their benefits are.



What is an Email Marketing Calendar?

An email marketing calendar is a tool that helps you plan, organize, schedule, and track the metrics of your email campaigns. Such a calendar holds your email strategies and ideas in a single location, giving you a bird’s eye view of your email marketing activities. 

Having a calendar in place reduces stress by giving you a clear understanding of what you want to accomplish and when. There are more benefits to using a calendar in email marketing related to planning, organization, communication, and ultimately — results. 


Benefits of Using an Email Marketing Calendar 

Putting an email marketing calendar together helps you send timely and relevant content to your audience

Here are more reasons for you to jump on the time-planning bandwagon:

  • Improved planning: A calendar allows you to plan ahead and align your email marketing goals across all marketing channels, product launches, and seasonal events. It helps you allocate duties to each of your team members and manage your team’s time and resources.
  • Better organization: You can organize email campaigns, strategies, and notes, create content, allocate resources, and coordinate with other departments.
  • Consistent communication: A predictable email schedule allows you to focus on key aspects of customer satisfaction and retention, increasing your customer loyalty. Sending consistent email campaigns on important days ensures your brand is top of mind for your audience.
  • Improves adaptability: A calendar makes it easier to adapt to unforeseen business circumstances. It’s flexible; you can edit your campaign schedules or alter the dates to suit your changing needs.
  • Better customer engagement: Personalized and timely email campaigns help engage your customers. Happy customers are more likely to open your emails and make purchases or recommend your products to other people.

An email marketing calendar supports team coordination and ensures you don’t send out emails from different teams simultaneously. But to effectively utilize this tool, you must first know how to create and use email calendar templates.


What is an Email Marketing Calendar Template?

Calendar templates are predesigned frameworks that hold your marketing activities. They usually help you see a visual representation of your strategy and timeline and help teams coordinate tasks. 

You can create as many templates for your email marketing calendar or stick to a single template. A single template saves time and effort and allows you to customize calendar elements to fit your changing needs. 

We review how to use the master template below, but let us first show you how to create an email calendar and use a calendar template so you can modify your own.


Steps to Building an Email Marketing Calendar and Using Templates

Your email marketing calendar should be user-friendly and well-organized. Work with these steps as a guide to build yours:


1. Select the Right Tool

You can build your calendar and also create templates in Google Sheets, Trello, Asana, or other project management tools. Many project management platforms have built-in features that help you manage tasks and track progress without manual effort.

2. Define the Calendar Structure 

Choose a time frame for your calendar template: weekly, monthly, bi-monthly, or yearly. This will help you add holiday campaigns and topical events to your email marketing strategy. Highlight important sections for each time frame, such as the content, the marketing channels, and the target audience.

When you work with calendar templates, choose a structure, dedicate columns, and add critical information about your email campaigns.

3. Choose a Format and Tool

Depending on your marketing goals, you can choose to build your email calendar in Microsoft Excel or in another software, such as Google Sheets. A dedicated project management tool supports an overview of your marketing plan and allows easier sharing. Plus, you can choose between publishing and planning modes to view your upcoming campaigns and track metrics for the published pieces.

Campaign Refinery makes it easy to track your calendar progress and measure performance from a sleek interface. You can also add team members, assign tasks, and build powerful reports for your marketing plan. 


4. Set up Calendar Entries

Your calendar must inform the viewer about the type of content, dates, elements, purpose of the campaign, and the marketing channel. You can set up the following entries or columns for a detailed view:

AspectColumn entry 
DateMention specific dates and days of the week
Campaign nameA descriptive name for each campaign
Audience segmentMention which email list will receive the email blasts
Campaign goalWhat do you intend to achieve with each campaign – more sales, conversions, or brand awareness?
Email typeWill it be a newsletter, a promotional email, or event updates? 
Content themeThe central team or topic related to each campaign
Subject line Write down the subject lines you’ll use for each campaign
Key metricsMention which email metrics will you track: open rate, click-through rate, unsubscribes, conversions, etc
Responsible team member Assign tasks to team members for planning and executing campaigns
StatusMention the status of the campaign, such as: planning in progress, in review, or closed
Asset location linkProvide a link to all the campaign assets 
Different calendar entries 

You may also use formulas to calculate email metrics, create drop-down menus for user segments, or use conditional formatting to highlight certain elements in your email campaigns.


5. Use a Color Coding System

When all your calendar columns look similar, it can be frustrating to find the information you need. To make it simpler, use a color coding system to highlight different columns. For example, yellow for newsletter campaigns and green for promotional campaigns.


6. Test and Iterate

Test the template for ease of use and if it satisfies your team requirements. Also, you can assign an email owner for each template for improved efficiency and management. 


7. Documentation

When sharing across teams, mention a small description about the template and how to use it in the documentation section.


8. Regularly Update

As you prepare for new campaign types, add them to the template for better productivity and efficiency.

9. Backup Your Data

Technical errors are common when working with large amounts of data, and you don’t want to lose your marketing materials. Hence, back up your template on the cloud or your computer. If you’re using an ESP, you don’t have to worry about it since your data is stored securely on their servers.


Integrate Your Email Marketing Calendar 

Integrating your email calendar is another vital step to streamlining your workflow, allowing you to collaborate across teams, and save time. For example, if you opt for using Google Sheets, you can integrate your email calendar with the following tools:

TaskThings to do Examples
Collaborative tool Select a platform for consistent communication with your teamGoogle Workspace, Trello, Slack, Asana, Monday, Airtable, etc.
Set up a shared document Create a custom calendar view and add interactive featuresAppSheet
Copy or import your calendar template Use a calendar builder to create custom entries and schedule tasks
Or copy your template to a new sheet and modify it
Calendar Builder 
Provide access to Your TemplateAllow link sharing or transfer your template to a team platformVia email invites, links, or adding team members to the platform
Integrate with ESPsConnect it to an email marketing platform for added flexibilityCampaign Refinery will help you view and adapt your calendars easily!
Tools to integrate your email marketing calendar

Provide access to all stakeholders involved in your email marketing activities, and for the final step — connect your calendar to the sales team, so they’re ready to deal with customer queries. 

To build a successful calendar, you must implement calendar templates that has all the features you need. Let’s see how to use one.


How to Use Email Marketing Calendar Template 

With an email calendar template, you can get creative and encourage other teams to make their own, strengthening your teamwork and communication.

Use your calendar template for the following purposes:

  • Streamline your email workflow: If you have a large team, build your calendar template as a guide for your team members. You can also assign specific dates and deadlines for each activity so your team knows the entire plan. 
  • Share across teams: Structure your calendar template for easier sharing across teams to ensure you don’t lose track of themes and updates. Different marketing teams, including social media, advertising, and content, can use the shared template to create a cohesive marketing calendar.
  • Focus on specific email campaigns: Build a specific email calendar template for each category. For example, you can create a template for seasonal events and product launches for better alignment. Additionally, it gives your customers a special treat when they receive differently-themed emails at different times.
  • Organize and plan your email campaigns: With a calendar template, you can create visually appealing and easy-to-consume information for your teams. This way, you can plan your campaigns weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly to get the most out of your email marketing. 

When you integrate your email calendar template with other marketing tools, you can view all customer data from a single source. From there, you will be able to contact customers based on their position in the email sales funnel. 

Depending on the type of email campaign you will use, you will need a different type of email calendar template. Let’s see what are the most common ones. 


What Types of Calendar Templates Should You Use For Your Email Campaigns? 

The type of email calendar template depends on your campaign goals and audience types. 

But as a general rule, you can use the following templates:

  • Grid layout calendar: A spreadsheet calendar is a simple way to create and add marketing elements such as dates, time, campaign themes, etc. This type of calendar template is helpful for segmented email campaigns with large amounts of data.
  • Marketing calendar template: If you use more than one marketing channel, integrate this type of template with your other marketing channels and calendars. It can help you maintain consistency and alignment across all platforms.
  • Event-based template: Use this template to plan and promote your event, whether it’s a one-day event or a series of events. You can highlight important dates and plan your campaigns around them.
  • Product launch calendar template: If your emails revolve around product launches, this template can help you create a consistent and attractive schedule. You may also add announcements and other relevant content.
  • Automated email calendar template: If you rely on automated emails, this template will help you keep note of triggers and automation for your marketing campaigns.
  • Responsive calendar template: If your plans constantly change, use a responsive template to adjust and track your schedule. This type is useful for newsletters and promotions since you can easily edit the content.

Whatever calendar template type you choose, you can build them in Google Sheets or MS Excel. Or if you have bigger requirements, use email marketing software to build one.

If you find organizing different calendar templates for each campaign challenging, we have a solution for you — a master template.


Organize All Your Email Campaigns With a Single Email Marketing Calendar Template

Use a ‘master template’ to plan your email campaigns and create content for targeted email lists. 

With a master calendar template, you’ll be able to:

  • Save lots of time building calendars,
  • Create similarly-themed calendars for all campaigns you will send in the future,
  • Provide easier access to your team members.

Plus, with a one-stop calendar template, you can move around campaign elements without disturbing the entire structure. 

Having a structured calendar template helps reduce errors and focus on what’s more important: your audience and their needs. However, creating and keeping track of email calendar templates can be a daunting task without a scheduling application. We tell you about the different software and how to choose one.


What to Look For in an Email Calendar Template Software?

The purpose of calendar template software is to provide simplified tools and processes for effortless collaboration. Aside from providing a shared space, they also help you build customizable templates.

Always look for these preliminary features in your calendar software.

  • Visibility: Choose software with various permission levels to let different users view the content. 
  • How customizable it is: Most calendar template software comes with customizable tasks and dashboards, allowing you to switch between views and add more details.
  • Integrations: If you use extra tools such as Google Sheets, Slack, or Zoom, your marketing calendar template software must integrate with them.
  • Price: Pick a free or a right-priced software based on your marketing goals and team size. Most free tools provide access to all features but in limited quantities. For example, if you’re a team of ten members, free software will be accessible to only two people. 
  • Visual representation: A visual representation such as timeline views or calendar grids can give you a comprehensive view from a single page. Plus, it’s aesthetic and makes it easier to consume data.
  • Automation: The best marketing calendars use automation to make your work easier for repetitive tasks. Look closely for this feature since it saves your time, reduces errors, and simplifies the whole process.

There are certainly other features, such as analytics and reporting, data security, mobile accessibility, and notifications, to look out for. Campaign Refinery provides clients with a simple overview of all their campaigns and calendars, making it effortless to work through huge amounts of data. Clients also have access to a rich campaign library to produce different types of email campaigns. Chek out what we can do for you.

Let’s move to the commonly used software to create your email marketing calendar template. The below software allows you to create basic calendar templates, however, you may want to use a dedicated calendar software for advanced features and tools. 


Email Marketing Calendar Templates – Examples

We’ll show you the best email calendar templates you can use for your marketing campaigns. You can customize and start to build your calendars with them or use them as a reference to build your own.

  1. Email Marketing Calendar: Example 1

Our first calendar template example is extensive — use it if you’re looking to record every aspect; from goals to tracking email metrics. This template has everything laid out and is particularly effective for collaboration across teams.

Google Sheets Calendar Template by Hubspot 
Google Sheets Calendar Template by Hubspot 

                    

  1.  Email Calendar Template 2

If you’re looking for a simplified version of a calendar template, then use the SmartSheets Calendar Template. Its simple and intuitive design allows you to add manual and automated tasks.

Source: Smartsheets Calendar Template
  1. Google Calendar

With its easy-to-use interface and collaborative features, Google Calendar is best suited for adding tasks, appointments, and events. This web-based calendar also supports different time zones, multi-calendar views, and keyword searches.

To build your email marketing calendar template in Google Workspace, do the following:

  • Create a new calendar,
  • Add integrations,
  • Add email campaign details such as send dates, times, and audience segmentation.
  • Create a notification alert for each campaign,
  • Provide calendar access to your team.
Google Calendar Daily View

Google Calendar might not be a typical email calendar tool, but you can use it to create simple schedules and include important tasks.

Whatever platform you choose, it’s crucial to maintain consistency with them. How? We answer the basic questions below.


Why is Consistency Important For Email Marketing Calendars? 

Many email marketers think it’s enough just to set up email calendars and forget about them. In reality, you need to continuously create content, manage lists, track metrics, and keep an eye on deliverability.

Sometimes, even when you have a great email calendar, you may backslide in deliverability. Email deliverability and sender reputation are crucial aspects of email marketing — if your emails don’t reach your recipients’ inboxes, you can’t expect to build a strong relationship with them. 

Most customers leave because your emails are either too frequent or not frequent enough. In this scenario, they may become unqualified leads, and you’ll have to warm them up again. Most marketers lose 22.5% of their email list size every year because of inconsistency and the recipients changing their email addresses. 

To make up for these lost contacts, it’s critical to build your lead magnets in a way that’ll keep your subscribers engaged. Sign up for our Lead Magnet Multiplier Course to uncover strategies and get more subscribers to open your lead magnets and ultimately buy from you. 

Email marketing calendars are highly efficient if you use them the right way. That’s why we care whether our clients maintain schedules and high deliverability rates through best practices. In short, an email calendar is important for marketing consistency, and you must closely monitor it to ensure your campaigns stay relevant. 

If you want to know more about how to build your email marketing calendar and use it to grow your business, here’s how you can do it.


Do More With The Campaign Refinery Dashboard

An email marketing calendar might look like a simple tool, but it binds your strategies and keeps your marketing assets in sync. To do more with your calendar, you need a dashboard with easy viewing and powerful tracking tools. 

This is where we can help you with — a clever set of tools that let you send broadcasts, add contacts to follow-up sequences, and smart nurture campaigns to increase your email marketing performance. What’s more, you can also send quick broadcasts with easy tagging and audience selection. 

Whether you’re looking to manage your email calendars or send broadcasts, we help you do it on autopilot with the highest security standards and best results on the market today! 

Apply to become a Campaign Refinery user now! See you on the other side.

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