As we approach the end of 2021, it has been a challenging and successful year for the digital marketing industry. It presents a challenge, due to the unknown waters created by the pandemic and sophisticated data privacy regulations. Successful, because even though real-world marketing has been influenced by people staying at home, the digital marketing industry has risen to the occasion. In the midst of it all, email marketing continues to deliver results, as it has always for the past 40 years. But, as we head into 2022, what do marketers expect to see from the email channel?
Here are 5 key trends you can expect to see in the email marketing industry in 2022.
Data privacy implications
Whether it’s new legislation and regulations changing the ways companies can collect and use data in their marketing programs or specific technological developments that specifically address email marketing (such as Apple’s Mail Privacy Protection features), email marketers will be challenged in 2022. However, the email channel is well positioned to thrive in 2022. Email marketers have many years of experience working within a regulatory framework that requires compliance with a set of rules. While changes in data marketers that can benefit from audience targeting will make certain aspects of email marketing more challenging, the email channel itself has never been more important to consumers and businesses. Therefore, expect email marketers to continue to successfully adapt to changing requirements while delivering impactful and effective campaigns in 2022.
Even with stricter rules around the collection and use of consumer data, you can expect email marketers to become more focused on segmentation, targeting, and personalization in their campaigns. Email marketers will become more focused on making better use of the data they have to drive more engaging email content with personalized subject lines, content, sending timings, offers and promotions. If anything, expect email marketers to rise to the occasion and demand their personalization software even higher than ever.
Renewed focus on performance marketing
It seems fairly certain that the Open Rate, a traditional email marketing metric, would become if not ignored, at least used only directly. While this certainly affects email marketers and many types of campaign planning and optimization, it may actually be a net positive for the industry. Open email data has always been at least somewhat suspicious for a variety of technical reasons. Now, email marketers will have to move away from relying on it and focus on more accurate and easily trackable metrics like click-through rates and other actions that are closely related to the valuable response actions taken by email recipients. Focusing more on sales and conversions driven by your email campaign will help marketers improve the most valuable and profitable performance metrics.
Take advantage of artificial intelligence tools
We’ve been hearing about the advent of AI for years, but if you haven’t been keeping a close eye, you might be surprised at how far ahead. There are now tools that can write or rewrite marketing content automatically, using performance data to guide its output. Marketers will begin testing AI tools for writing email content, subject line, and calls to action more frequently, and they will find that these tools are now able to improve performance in many cases. AI may not be ready to build everything from scratch yet, but it’s now more than ready to help optimize and order content more effectively (and possibly more effectively) than marketers can do manually.
Expect to see email campaigns that benefit from a variety of engaging interaction within the content. Look for polls/surveys, games, forms, and other types of content that recipients can interact with within the email itself, rather than clicking to visit a website. Adding this type of interactive element is very easy to use and also reduces the number of steps required to push any number of actions by the recipients. With an increased focus on performance, interaction will provide campaign optimization tools to increase recipient engagement and conversions.
Get ready for another exciting year in the email marketing channel, as it continues to establish itself as the primary communications and marketing channel for companies spanning nearly every industry.