At the beginning of every year, a friend of mine in the retail space vows to get serious about using email marketing for his shop.

But then the day-to-day of running his business always gets in the way of those good intentions.

Sound familiar?

The situation got me thinking.

What if we could break that pattern of wanting to do better with email but not being able to find the time?

I dug a little deeper into this problem with my friend. He told me that even when he finds himself with 15 minutes to devote to email marketing, he’s not sure what to do with the time. And so he ends up focusing his attention on something else.

How could we make it so that 15 minutes here and there would be enough to make good on those email marketing resolutions?

I brought this challenge to the team at Constant Contact. The rules:

  • The solution has to be simple
  • Each task can be completed in 15 minutes or less
  • People should know exactly what to do next

That’s how we thought up this virtual workshop series.

We’re designing a series of tools and virtual workshops so you can take full advantage of those 15-minute increments. You’ll end up with more than an email marketing plan for the year; you’ll know how to execute on that plan.

Mark this as the year you will increase sales for your retail shop with email marketing.

Here’s what you can expect for your first batch of easy-to-use tools:

The 2016 Marketing Opportunities Worksheet

Jot down the important dates for your retail shop on this simple worksheet. You’ll also find a list of special dates and holidays for the year. You’ll end up with a one-page overview of your email marketing opportunities for the year.

The 2016 Email Marketing Planning Calendar

Here you’ll enter the dates from your worksheet in an actual calendar. Then you’ll plot a short series of emails and the dates they need to go out for each promotion.

Virtual Workshop, Part 1: The 15-Minute Email Marketing Plan 

The tools above are designed for you to use on your own. But we know sometimes it’s better to go through the process with someone. That’s the purpose of this workshop. We’ll walk you through how to use the worksheet and calendar, and spend some time answering your questions.

Here’s what you should do next:

If you’re an overachiever and want something extra, watch Beat the Odds: Get Your Customer Engine Running as a primer to the Constant Contact approach to email marketing.

What about the rest of the tools?

We’ll provide you with more information regarding the tools and workshops associated with the following areas in the coming weeks:

Hope you put this information to good use. Let us know what you think of the resources in the comments below.