When it comes to “frequency”, “content”, and other email marketing questions, there really is no standard. Several of the “experts” I follow email as often as twice a day. While others, I won’t hear from for a month or more. It’s entirely up to you – the business owner – to make the judgment calls on this one.

Now, having said that, I know there are still people who would just like to have a plan. So I’ve created a plan. A sort of content calendar to work as a guide in your email marketing efforts.

Please note that I am not making any claims or promises that this is the best plan of action for you. I will, however, say that if your current plan is nothing (because you’d still like someone to give you some guidance), then, by all means, use this. It’s not very aggressive and you can add more emails (or less) as your contacts respond to you.

Here we go. Here is your cheat sheet for following up with your prospects:

Email OrderWhen to SendContent
Email 1Day 1If someone just opted in to your list, be sure to deliver whatever they opted in for.

If you are “cold emailing” or following up with someone you met at an event, tell them why you’re emailing them and have them “take action” as an indication they want to be marketed to.

Email 2Day 3Remind the person why you’re reaching out to them (ie they opted-in to receive something from you, you met them at a recent event).

Talk about why you think you can help them with a challenge they’re facing.

Ask what questions they have for you.

Email 3Day 6Think of the #1 reason people don’t move forward with your services or make a purchase. Use this email to preemptively overcome the objection. The most common “objections” to any purchase are: no money, no time, sounds too good to be true.

Ask the person to give you a try.

Email 4Day 10Think of the #2 reason people don’t move forward with your services or make a purchase. Use this email to preemptively overcome the objection.

Ask the person to give you a try.

Email 5Day 15Think of the #3 reason people don’t move forward with your services or make a purchase. Use this email to preemptively overcome the objection.

Ask the person to give you a try, or buy, etc.

Email 6Day 21If the prospect was “hot”, you’re about to lose them. This email needs to be very aggressive. You can either: 1) remind them of all the reasons you’re amazing and include a strong call to action to buy, or 2) come up with a highly discounted offer to convince fence sitters to move forward.

Note: If you’re using an offer for this email, make sure you include a “deadline”, and follow up in a day or two reminding them of that deadline.

Email 7Day 25This is your “consolation” email. The person didn’t take action. Say that. Say something like, “I’m a little surprised you didn’t take me up on my offer. However, you obviously have your reasons for not moving forward right now.”

Then, inform your prospect that you would like to continue following up with them. Then tell them all the content you plan to send them. Stuff like: educational emails about your industry, special offers and opportunities, invites to webinars, etc.

Also let them know they are welcome to reach out to you at any time.

 

From here on out, you’re going to email your prospects once a week. It doesn’t matter what day or time, but keep the following ideas in mind:

  • Weekends are usually for play. Unless you sell retail goods, you might not get a great response on the weekend.
  • Mondays are catch up day. People are sifting through their inboxes, trying to get back on track after the weekend. Your message could get lost.
  • Fridays are kind of like the weekend. Not a lot of motivation to take action on Fridays.
  • Mornings are like mini-Mondays…it takes some time to sift through everything and get moving. Your message may not be a priority.

I know it sounds like I just told you to only email Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday afternoons, but I didn’t. What you should do is start with one of those and then switch things up occasionally to see if your business is one of the anomalies that gets better results on a random day and time.

One more thing, before we continue – you need to keep things fresh. The moment someone thinks they know what your email is going to say is the moment they mentally check out.

Switch things up frequently. And here’s how you’re going to do that:

The columns below are types of emails. I will give you the guide for when to send what type of email and you decide what content to put in there. Of course, I’ve provided you with some suggestions:

A: Promos and Special OffersB: Relationship BuildersC: “Proof” EmailsD: Educational EmailsE: Prospect-centric Emails
Holiday promoWhy you started this businessCase studyLink to webinar replays or videosJust “checking in”
Fire saleHow you use your own products and/or services“Got an email from a customer and wanted to share it with you”A List

(ie 10 things you should know before buying a house)

“How can I help you overcome your challenges?”
Webinar inviteVideo of your office or employeesEndorsement from an “expert”Link to an article you read that you thought they’d appreciate“Can I use you as a case study?”
Event inviteA rant: one thing that bugs you the most (as it relates to helping your prospects, ie when copywriters charge $200 to write a single email)Why so-and-so just signed up with youLink to one of your blog postsSurvey: what’s holding you back?
Free consultationThe best experience you ever had as a business ownerLink to a video testimonialA list of your favorite books – as relates to your industry“What don’t you know about your challenges?” (Offer to write an email or a blog post regarding their response.)
Free trialCharities you’re involved in and whyLink to an article or Press Release in which you were featuredThe worst situations you’ve ever seen – as relates to your industry, ie The 10 worst plumbing situations you ever had to fixSeasonally based tips (ie, how to make it through the holidays when you’ve recently been through a divorce)
Discontinuing product saleShare an experience you’ve had lately – that reaffirmed your decision to be in your industryTalk about your certifications and educationDebunk the myths from your industryInvite to a Facebook group or user group, etc.
New product launchTake a stand against an issue – as it relates to your industry – like car dealers opposing higher tariffs on cars or teachers reacting to Common CoreShare statistics of your successAnswer a question about your business that you get frequently asked
Invite to join you on social mediaYour biggest flaws – as relates to your industry and how you overcome them (ie the nutritionist who’s addicted to ice cream)Talk about how many years of experience you have and what you’ve learned in that timeThe secrets others in your industry won’t share
Sign up as an affiliateOffer an ebook or free report you’ve already created

Now that you have some ideas what you can send, let’s get back to creating your content calendar. Before finishing, open an actual calendar. Sometimes, I give you the choice about what content to include. If the date falls near a holiday, it would make sense to run a promo. Based on the season, you may have some ideas that are applicable.

Another thing to keep in mind…if it’s a week you plan to run a promo, you’ll probably want to run a series of 3 emails (all in the same week). You offer the discount (or whatever) in the first email. Reminder them about it in the second. And tell them it’s their last chance to buy in the third. It’s okay to run multiple emails as you won’t be doing this often.

52 Weeks of Email Marketing Spreadsheet

Okay, picking up where we left off:

Email OrderWhen to SendContent
Email 8Day 32(D) Educational Content
Email 9Day 39(E) Prospect-centric Email
Email 10Day 46(C) Proof Email
Email 11Day 53(B) Relationship Builder
Email 12Day 60(A) Promos and Offers
Email 13Day 67(B) Relationship Builder or (D) Educational Content
Email 14Day 74(D) Educational Content
Email 15Day 81(C) Proof Email
Email 16Day 89(A) Promos and Offers or (E) Prospect-centric Email
Email 17Day 96(B) Relationship Builder
Email 18Day 103(D) Educational Content or (C) Proof Email
Email 19Day 110(A) Promos and Offers
Email 20Day 117(E) Prospect-centric Email
Email 21Day 124(D) Educational Content
Email 22Day 131(B) Relationship Builder or (C) Proof Email
Email 23Day 138(D) Educational Content
Email 24Day 145(A) Promos and Offers
Email 25Day 152(C) Proof Email
Email 26Day 159List Scrubbing Campaign – you can move this a week ahead or a week behind if you’re right on top of a major holiday. But you really need contacts who want to hear from you. Send contacts (who haven’t responded to anything from you lately) an email asking if they’re still interested in hearing from you. You can offer something for them to take advantage of to show their interest. Those who don’t respond – you should probably stop emailing them. Consider sending them a direct mail campaign.
Email 27Day 166(E) Prospect-centric Email
Email 28Day 173(B) Relationship Builder – Include a strong call to action here – like a free consultation.
Email 29Day 180(A) Promos and Offers or (D) Educational Content
Email 30Day 187(C) Proof Email
Email 31Day 194(B) Relationship Builder
Email 32Day 201(E) Prospect-centric Email or (D) Educational Content
Email 33Day 208(A) Promos and Offers
Email 34Day 215(B) Relationship Builder or (C) Proof
Email 35Day 222(D) Educational Content
Email 36Day 229(E) Prospect-centric Email
Email 37Day 236(A) Promos and Offers
Email 38Day 244(B) Relationship Builder
Email 39Day 251(D) Educational Content or (C) Proof
Email 40Day 258(E) Prospect-centric Email
Email 41Day 265(A) Promos and Offers
Email 42Day 272(B) Relationship Builder or (C) Proof
Email 43Day 279(A) Promos and Offers
Email 44Day 286(E) Prospect-centric Email
Email 45Day 293(B) Relationship Builder or (C) Proof
Email 46Day 300(D) Educational Content
Email 47Day 307(D) Educational Content
Email 48Day 314(A) Promos and Offers
Email 49Day 321(C) Proof
Email 50Day 328(B) Relationship Builder or (D) Educational Content
Email 51Day 335(A) Promos and Offers
Email 52Day 342(E) Prospect-centric Email with strong call to action
Email 53Day 349(B) Relationship Builder with strong call to action
Email 54Day 356(A) Promos and Offers with strong call to action
Email 55Day 363List Scrubbing Campaign – send contacts (who haven’t responded to anything from you lately) an email asking if they’re still interested in hearing from you. You can offer something for them to take advantage of to show their interest. Those who don’t respond – you should probably stop emailing them.

The truth is…3-4 months into the email marketing process, you’re not going to need a guide. You’re going to start to “feel” when you should be in contact with your people and you’re going to want to reach out to them every time you think of something that would be great in an email.

I don’t follow a pattern. I have automated emails in place for my new prospects (that basically follows the outline I gave you). Everything else is created when I feel inspired.

Now, if you’ve followed me to this point, I’m going to guess that in addition to a guide, you’d sure like to see what these emails might look like. And I am more than happy to oblige. In the notes, mention which emails, from the A-E categories you would like to see written. I’ll create an email sample and link to them directly from where they are listed in the columns.

Plus, I’d love to know if this was helpful to you in creating consistent follow up marketing.

52 Weeks of Email Marketing Spreadsheet