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How to schedule email marketing campaigns for this summer

Published by Daniel Bocardo on June 26, 2018

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We all know that during summer it is more challenging to keep working on our digital marketing strategy, not just because of the heat, but also because most of us will take some time off.

Therefore, if you are not cautious and take advantage of all the tools offered by digital marketing, such as email campaigns, you will miss out on many business opportunities this summer.

The problem is that many people are on vacation; they are spending money on travel, paying taxes, or are not concerned with buying. This, for many companies, is a real nightmare.

If you are a freelancer or run a small business, you will be tempted to stop working on your sales strategy for a few days (or weeks).

In any of these situations, my recommendation will be the same: “Organize your workload with time to automate tasks, as well as schedule messages for your most loyal users and customers.”

To help you with that task, in this article, I will give tips to continue capturing traffic and maintaining a relationship with your users, even if minimal.

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·  Why schedule your emails in the summer?

Abandoning your customers and subscribers is never a good option. There are many reasons why you shouldn’t take the easy route. Therefore, you should leave everything on schedule, and so, you can take a few days off. Let’s see what you can do.

  • Sending a newsletter during the summer is one of the most potent ways to build loyalty. If your customers realize that you have not forgotten them, they will trust you even more.
  • If you are investing in email marketing and lead acquisition through different strategies, you can extract the database and avoid wasting all the efforts of the previous months.
  • Continuing to attract web traffic through clicks on links sent by email, will help to lessen the impact (to a greater or lesser extent) of the reduction in the number of searches that affects the number of visitors during the summer.
  • Schedule email campaigns to send news about the coming months to enhance business opportunities when you return.

Even if you get little or no rest this summer, remember that when it is too hot, we generally lower our levels of productivity and inspiration. Leaving part of the content strategy already programmed will be vital to optimizing your work during these months.

And what would happen if, for example, you worked with tourism? Many professionals working in this industry take a break at another time of the year, but if you had to travel during the high season, you would have to automate many of the digital marketing actions that you perform manually.

Would you like some tips for planning your summer campaigns?

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· Tips for planning email marketing campaigns

The planning of email marketing actions that you intend to automate this summer goes through a natural search process, based on your competition’s strategy or your own campaign history.

If planning a strategic calendar at least three months in advance is essential, it is even more so when we expect to work less for a few weeks.

From my own experience and that of many of my clients, I know that starting a business is synonymous with never disconnecting 100%. So, let’s see how to optimize your email marketing strategy so that you can at least automate your email campaigns:

1) Subscribe to your competitors’ newsletter

As I explained, the first thing I recommend is to investigate. Research how your strongest competitors communicate with their users by email, subjects they use, types of content they share, when they usually send a newsletter, etc.

I’m not saying that you should follow all practices (even if intrusive), but why not analyze what they are doing well?

Of all the experiences in digital marketing, however uncomfortable, you will always get something positive. And if you don’t receive emails from your competitors, you can sign up voluntarily using a personal email address.

2) Analyze the statistics history of previous campaigns

Not only can your competitors offer inspiring ideas for your next summer email marketing campaign, but you can also learn from your own campaign history.

The good thing about using tools like Mailrelay is that they return the data needed to make decisions in the future; What were the most opened emails and those with the highest response rate? Which subject lines were the most popular?

If you have to plan several campaigns, you should create your newsletters based on the most recent results.

3) Create a content calendar for your emails

As if it were an editorial calendar for the blog, it would also be advisable to keep a schedule of all emails that you will schedule for the summer months (or period when you will not be able to manage your business as usual).

My opinion in these circumstances is that, at a minimum, you should plan and automate emails for the following purposes:

● Respond to requests and proposals for the next projects.

This way, you can respond to these requests when you return. If you have a store and can’t automate the logistical process, you could offer the option to pre-order for the next season.

● Welcome new subscribers.

The fact that you are idler during the summer doesn’t mean that you will not continue to receive subscribers to your database through the forms you have enabled. Ideally, you should always automate these emails.

● Inform when things will return to normal.

Even if you don’t stop your activity 100%, if, for example, you usually hold webinar events, in the summer, you will likely take a break from the more complex content. If you already have a community of followers, it would be vital to inform them when you will resume your normal activities.

4)  Segment your email list

You have undoubtedly heard many times about the importance of targeting audiences.

For example, in SEO, it is crucial to use keywords with clear search intent to focus the content on specific interests and convert visitors into customers.

However, this time we will not talk about interest segmentation but based on the relationship of your customers with your business.

In other words, if you plan to slow down this summer, be practical, and simplify your email marketing actions, listing your priorities.

You will have to send custom newsletters, or your subscribers will just ignore your email.

5) Scheduling your email campaigns

Planning your campaigns is vital, but especially when you will not be present to make necessary adjustments. The first step is to make sure you are sending the right campaign to the right customers. That means you should understand your sales funnel and what each subscriber should receive.

If you don’t want your customers to forget about you, scheduling campaigns during your vacation will be critical; you can send anything from welcome emails to information about the launch of a new product or service.

If you use a professional campaign management tool and have everything clear (strategically speaking), that last phase will not mean major headaches.

Just create different emails and schedule a delivery date for a specific segment of your database.

However, let me tell you a little more about my experience with Mailrelay, the tool with which many bloggers and marketing consultants schedule email campaigns for free.

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·  How to schedule your email marketing campaign with Mailrelay?

Given all the practical information you can find on this blog about the resources offered by Mailrelay, my intention with this article is not to talk only about the more technical aspects, but to share my experience and my personal point of view.

I would recommend this email marketing software mainly for three strategies:

1) Segmentation

In addition to segmenting your database by interests, from the information you get from your subscribers, for example, from a web form, to prioritize your most important campaigns for the summer, Mailrelay campaign statistics can give you much information.

If for instance, you want to create a segment based on users who clicked on the purchase link from your last email marketing campaign, you could follow these steps:

  1. Access the “Subscriber groups” section.
  2. Select the “Create” option.
  3. Create a new group, for example, “User with purchase intention in email X.
  4. Check the “Enable” and “Visible” options and click the “Save” button.
  5. Go to the “Subscribers”> “All” section.
  6. Select the option “Advanced filter.”
  7. Check “Event“, the option “Click“, “Filter type”, the option “Include” and “Newsletter” and select the email X.
  8. Click the “Search” button to show only filtered subscribers.
  9. Click the “Assign” button to add subscribers to the group you created in step 3.

2) How to schedule a newsletter

If we continue to review the previous case, you can schedule different emails during the summer, aimed only at the group of subscribers who showed a purchase intention (or to other groups depending on your strategy).

Regarding the use of Mailrelay, this is the simplest function because, to schedule a newsletter, you only need to click to send the message, and on the next screen, you will have an option to schedule the email for later.

The most complicated thing here can be establishing a schedule and frequency of campaigns. I will give you a practical example for the case I explained in the previous point:

● Email 1:

First campaign scheduled for the holiday period, in which we could simply remember or thank users for showing interest in the content or product offered X days ago (no more than a week ago).

● Email 2:

Between 3 and 7 days after the first campaign, we could leave an email scheduled for the same segment, offering relevant content that subscribers can consume from anywhere (if they are on vacation, they probably will not have time to read long emails). Avoid videos and long texts.

● Email 3:

Between 7 and 10 days before the return to normal, we could send a newsletter announcing the next content or commercial launch (with the special discount that only these loyal subscribers will receive).

● Email 4:

Optionally, if it were possible to have everything scheduled before the summer months, we could also automate the launch for the next season, offering a discount voucher or VIP content.

3) Automation

You can schedule your campaigns manually, when you want to send a newsletter to a subscriber groups, but you also have automated tools that you can use to facilitate your work, not only in the summer but also for the rest of the year:

● Newsletter RSS:

To find this tool, click on Newsletters -> RSS to newsletters (RSS feed). This feature is very useful to automate the sending of new entries posted on our blog to our subscribers. If you don’t post content during the summer, you can use this option for the other months of the year.

● Autoresponder:

On the Mailrelay panel, we also have the “Autoresponder” section, with advanced options for scheduling a newsletter. You could use this system, for example, to send a welcome newsletter (in the summer, you could create a personalized welcome email with information about when you are going back to work).

These are my recommendations for scheduling and sending a newsletter during the summer of 2018.

Do you already have an action plan programmed for your subscribers, or are you one of those who don’t take advantage of this season to establish ties with customers and potential customers? Tell us about your experience!

Translated by Micheli.

Daniel Bocardo

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