How to Create an Email Marketing Content Strategy

I'm a self-proclaimed email nerd, but I realize not everyone shares my affinity for email. I've noticed that one of the biggest reasons so many bloggers loathe email is this mental block when it comes to knowing what to send to your email subscribers.

Having a strategy in place definitely helps take care of that problem. Here's the thing: If you can't send something of value, you honestly shouldn't be sending anything at all. (Yes, this is coming from someone who preaches that everyone needs an email list.)

Creating content for your email list isn't nearly as difficult as you're making it out to be, and I'm here to show you a better way to do it. I want you to learn how to create an email marketing strategy so you no longer loathe email. In fact, you might actually start to love it. 

Stop stressing about what to send to your email subscribers! You don't have to create MORE content for your emails. Learn how to create an email marketing content strategy and never run out of things to share with your email list, plus learn how you can get 52 weekly content prompts!

Before we get into the strategy part, I want to clear up a common misconception:

Your readers don't read every word you write.

What I mean is this: While it may feel as though you are repeating yourself - in a blog post, in your emails, on social media - rare is the reader who reads all of your content on every platform. A lot of your blog readers probably don't follow you on social media, and if they do, because of the crazy algorithms, they're not seeing every post.

The same holds true with your email subscribers. I know for a fact that my list of subscribers does not read every blog post, so if I share something in both a blog post and an email, it's not repetitive to them.

Do you get what I'm saying?

I know this is a common concern among bloggers. As a matter of fact, I just had a comment last week from reader Crystal saying,

My fear with starting a newsletter is not having enough original content on top of already creating blog posts.

See? So the key takeaway here is, you don't have to create original content for all of your emails.

{insert deep sigh of relief here}

So how do you decide what to send? That's where strategy comes in, my friend.


The cool thing about creating an email content strategy is that it also helps you determine the best frequency with which to send your emails. Nice bonus, huh?

Let's be clear - this takes a bit of work...and planning. If you're not used to planning, this might hurt a little. But in order to send valuable content to your readers, you have to make a little extra effort. Ready to work? Good.


First, get a few things together. You'll need a calendar (I like this one), possibly post-it notes, your planner (if you use one), and a pen or pencil. Personally, I like to start with pencil and paper so I can erase, move stuff around, and get my thoughts in order before putting things in my online editorial calendar, but do what works for you.

Ideally, I want you to plan ahead for the next 60 days. (Don't freak out - we're not getting super specific but will be creating a loose map of ideas.)

*TIP* If you're using a paper calendar, use a different colored pen for each of the items below.

#1 - Map out your blog content

On your calendar, map out which days you'll post on your blog and the general category of your blog post. For example, mine looks like this:

Monday - Blogging Tuesday - Email Marketing Wednesday - Podcast Thursday - Take 5 Friday - Encouragement

For the first 2-3 weeks on your calendar, try to go ahead and write down specific post titles to help you plan a bit easier.

#2 - Add important dates & deadlines

This is where you'll add anything that is relevant to your blog but not a blog post. You might include things like:

  • webinars
  • product launches
  • Twitter chats
  • workshops
  • sponsored posts with due dates
  • speaking gigs
  • podcasts

...or anything else you've got going on.

#3 - Add family/personal events & holidays

This one is pretty self-explanatory, but add birthdays (immediate family members will do), anniversaries, holidays you celebrate, or any other personal event to your calendar. (No need to add things like doc visits or anything like that, unless it's relevant to your blog's main categories.)


Based on the frequency of your blog posting schedule, determine the frequency of your emails. If you post on your blog often, you might consider a weekly email. If you post less often, bi-weekly or monthly might suffice.

Remember, not all of your blog readers are on your email list, and not all of your subscribers read every blog post, so don't be afraid of emailing too often.


I want you to understand, as you plan all of this, that we're not talking about simply sending your blog posts to subscribers. We're planning newsletter-style emails. That does NOT mean, however, that you can't offer more than one type of email to your subscribers.

For example, my subscribers choose to receive the Blog & Biz Weekly, which is an educational email related to blogging and business, or the Weekly Digest, which is a recap of the week's posts, or both.

You can send different types of emails to different segments of your list and then provide options for your subscribers to choose which emails they wish to receive.


This is where you get stuck, right? There isn't one right way to create content for your emails but I want to show you how to use the calendar you just made to come up with email content your readers will want and that will encourage them to click through to your blog posts.

You want to plan your content ahead of time so you're not scrambling on a Thursday night to throw together an email for Friday. I've said it before, but I'm a spreadsheet girl. I have a tab on my editorial calendar specifically for my emails, and I drop ideas, important announcements, links to relevant posts, etc. into my planning calendar.

Create a space for your email content planning, then use the calendar you created to help map out all that juicy content. Onto the email content ideas!


All those dates you mapped out on your calendar earlier serve a purpose. Your subscribers need to know about them, so you definitely want to talk about them in your emails.

Depending on your niche, you might find it best to create an entire email about a family member's birthday. Perhaps you DIY'd the party and have pictures on your blog.

Hosting a Twitter party, launching a podcast, or teaching a course? Use your emails to create a launch plan or marketing plan, including this information well in advance of the date of the event.


Rather than telling your email subscribers about a recipe you posted on your blog, or a DIY project you made, tell them why you made it.

Are your kids super picky, leaving you in charge of being creative with the food you prepare for your family? All of that creativity led to this wonderful recipe you just shared on your blog, and your kids love it!

Doesn't that make it more interesting than saying something like, "Click here to get the recipe for this kid-friendly quinoa dish your kids are sure to love!"


Who doesn't love a good story? If you sign up for my email list, the first email you receive tells the story of my childhood love for Shel Silverstein poems, particularly "The Invitation". I use this story to explain how that poem affected me as a child and still speaks to how I run my business today.

Your goal with your email list is to be personable, for subscribers to see you as a real person, not a blogger sharing blog posts. Stories make us feel more real, so tell a story that allows you to organically tie in your latest blog post.


We all make mistakes, but we rarely post them on our blogs. Our blogs are curated, with only the best of the best making the cut.

Your emails, however, are a great place to share your epic fails, mishaps and mistakes. Just like telling a story makes us more relatable, so, too, do our mistakes. Think about the last time you found out that a blogger or someone you admire messed up and owned it. You probably liked them a little bit more than before, right? Your subscribers will, too.

If your latest blog post was a product of a series of mistakes, share those in your email then tell subscribers to read your post to see how it actually turned out.


In case you haven't noticed, reality TV is a big hit. Why? Because we all love a peek behind the curtain to see how other people live their lives.

Your email subscribers are no different. Your emails are the perfect place to share a peek behind the curtain, revealing the blogger behind the blog.

It surprised a lot of people when I launched Sweet Tea, LLC to find out that I built my business while working a full-time job that required a three-hour round trip commute. I was spending 15 hours each week in the car. Crazy? Yep. But I was building a business while working and being a wife and mom, too. That's relatable and encouraging to a lot of people.

Maybe you're a mom, a wife, a side-hustler, a former professional wrestler (hey, it could happen)...whatever you are or used to be has influenced you to be the blogger you are today. Share it. Share your vacations, family adventures, trips to the grocery store...or anything else you feel like sharing.

The key is to organically tie in your blog posts with your behind-the-scenes look into your life. That's what makes people want to read your blog posts.