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Email Marketing in 2022: 7 Experts Tell You What You Need to Know
Some of our favorite email geeks talk about the most critical changes in the email space – and what we need to know about email marketing in 2022.
Email marketing continues to see exponential growth and innovation, and it’s not too late to strategize and succeed. If you’re already sending email promotions and newsletters, there’s always something to implement, learn about or just try.
So, what do you need to know about email marketing this year? It’s a thought that’s in the mind of just about everyone in the email world.
Email marketing in 2022: what you should be aware of
I got some of the most intelligent and resourceful talents in the email biz to tell me what everyone should be aware of – and what the trends will be.
You may also wonder: what’s going to be different about email in 2022?
Emily Ryan, Westfield Creative: “Email accessibility is becoming more and more of a priority.”
If there’s anything you can take away from Emily Ryan’s advice, it’s to stay up to date on what’s new. Email accessibility is more important than ever. You can craft emails that are eye-catching but also work on many devices.
“There are always new trends and technologies in the world of email and it’s important to try to stay informed on what’s new. From AMP Email to using AI-powered tools, to hyper-personalized emails to staying up-to-date on designing for accessibility, email marketing is constantly changing. And ZeroBounce has always been a great resource to learn about the latest trends for email.
In terms of email design, I’ve been seeing more use of neon and modern color themes (think super sleek, techy, minimal). Apple does this really well with their emails. We will also continue to see emails with images cropped into interesting shapes, like here.
And while not a trend, email accessibility is becoming more and more of a priority. Brands are more conscious about designing emails that are accessible to all. That means:
- not relying on certain colors to convey your message,
- using symbols and lines instead of color,
- not using too many animations/flash graphics,
- mobile-friendly features
- easy to read emails/graphics.
— Emily Ryan, Mailchimp Pro Partner, Email Stategiest and Co-founder at Westfield Creative
Tom Kulzer, AWeber: “Personalized emails will become more common.”
As AWeber’s CEO Tom Kulzer points out, email is evolving into the next level of personalization. Personalization will mean you provide emails based on what the customer previously engaged with.
“Stop worrying about Apple Mail Privacy Protection. There’s so much dumb fear of this in the market. It changes your “opens,” but it doesn’t change who opens and gets value from your email. Spend time making sure you’re sending emails people want.
- Personalized emails will become more common. I’m not talking about “Hi, Jake” in subject lines, I’m talking about personalized product recommendations, more content that’s similar to previous content a customer’s engaged with, emails that update using AMP4Email technology, etc.
- Interactive emails using AMP4Email technology will go from “what’s that?” to “I use it weekly.” It will be used so people can interact without leaving their inbox, updated to show real-time content that’s more relevant, more interactive than ever before.
— Tom Kulzer, Founder and CEO of AWeber
Kassanndra M., Zoho: “It’s the subject line that gives every other element a chance to play its part.”
Zoho’s Kassanndra M. R. emphasizes the importance of personalization and a good subject line. It’s always been critical because it’s the first thing your readers will see, and will continue to be.
“As personalization takes the spotlight with regard to every aspect of the buying process, we’ll be sure to see brands carve out identities for customers by making emails relatable and interactive.
From the basics of zodiac signs to personalities derived from purchase patterns, brands are making the most of data to bring you interesting quizzes, polls or games that hold shareable value.
The past two years showed us the importance of business resilience. Brands want to focus on building long-term relationships as opposed to increase immediate sales. Establishing a sense of community amongst consumers ensures greater customer value in the form of advocates on social media and/or word-of-mouth champions offline.
However, what won’t change in the coming year is the importance of a good subject line. Honest, crisp and never too much!
As we evolve our messaging with hyper-personalization and interactive templates, it’s the subject line that gives every other element a chance to play its part.”
— Kassanndra M. R., Product Marketer at Zoho
James Alston, Mailbutler: “Email recipients expect their privacy to be respected more than ever.”
Privacy has become a front and center issue for both customers and companies. MailButler’s James Alston says that we’ll hear a lot about privacy in 2022, as well.
“One of the main mistakes people make when doing email marketing is sending the same email out to all their leads. This doesn’t work because your recipients don’t feel like they’re being spoken to personally, and therefore, valued.
Segmentation has always been important, but in 2022, it will become critical.
Customers will expect personalization in subject lines, body content, and even timing, which will make marketers’ jobs more difficult.
Interestingly, while this personalization will become ever-more important, email recipients also expect their privacy to be respected more than ever before. This creates an interesting dilemma in which private information must be secure, but customers also want to feel like you know them.
One solution to this is to use an email plugin like Mailbutler, which ensures strict privacy of customers’ data. At the same time, it allows you to:
- personalize your messages with Signatures,
- get important insights with Email Tracking, and
- reach customers at the perfect time with Send Later.”
— James Alston, Content Marketer at Mailbutler
Simon Harper, SRH Design: “Someone has trusted us with their email address and wants to hear from us.”
One thing is undeniable: someone sharing their email address with a brand means something. Simon Harper of SRH Design doesn’t take that lightly and recommends adopting relational, empathetic communication. Think “genuine conversations.”
“Let’s get the obvious change out of the way: iOS 15. Now that it’s the dominant iOS, it will impact audiences and businesses differently. It will depend on what email service provider you use to identify these users and the percentage of your audience which adopts MPP.
But the one thing that is the same for everyone in email marketing? Getting back to our roots. Yes, zero and first-party data will be important with the incoming demise of cookies (third-party data). But, most importantly, we need to adopt relational, empathetic marketing.
Email allows us to have genuine conversations with our audiences, engage with them, learn more about them and personalize marketing for them.
In email marketing, we are in a unique position that someone has trusted us with their email address and wants to hear from us. In 2022, let’s not break that trust, instead, embrace it, grow it and make it rock-solid.”
— Simon Harper, Business Owner at SRH Design
Jonathan Herrick, Benchmark Email: “Use your own sites to track key insights on your customers.”
As data privacy becomes more of an issue, how marketers gather information about customers is changing. According to Jonathan Herrick of Benchmark Email, the email marketers who succeed will make use of first-party data.
“With the rollout of iOS 15 and with the cutting of third-party cookie data – which has already begun with some browsers but will be happening in 2023 for Google Chrome – data privacy is becoming increasingly important. I’d say it’s probably one of the biggest trends happening for email marketing, and it’s forcing email marketers to change a lot about what they typically rely on to gather user data.
These privacy updates mean email marketers have limited access to key insights on their audience base. If they want to continue to thrive, they’ll have to shift from relying on third-party data to first-party data, and they’ll need email marketing and automation software to help them do so.
Instead of tapping into intel from outside sources, they’ll have to use their own sites to track key insights on their customers, which will, in turn, help them send hyper-personalized campaigns.”
–– Jonathan Herrick, CEO at Benchmark Email
Brian Minick, ZeroBounce: “More marketers will send out plain-text emails.”
Have you noticed brands sending more plain-text emails lately? It’s not a coincidence – oftentimes, they do perform better, and we tell you that form our personal experience at ZeroBounce. Our COO Brian Minick also reminds marketers how important data quality is.
“I think 2022 will see a lot more plain-text emails. Emails using rich HTML, bright colors and vivid pictures can be over-stimulating and downright overwhelming. It’s kind of like Las Vegas syndrome, where the lights, flashes and sounds start to have the opposite effect.
A lot of newsletters will be able to stand out with a simple, relaxed, minimal look. More email marketers will send out plain-text emails because so many people love them, and they tend to perform well.
Another aspect is data quality. More professionals in the email space are realizing what a tremendous amount of energy, creativity, thought and cost goes into creating email campaigns. But sending great emails to a list that has declined in quality is like nailing Jell-O to the wall. It’s a mess and misses the point.
This year we’ll see an increased awareness on list quality, especially because of the churning of data during COVID-19 and ‘The Great Resignation.’
As more companies place importance on list quality and email validation to strengthen their lists, there’s a great chance the ROI for email marketing will increase as well.”
— Brian Minick, Chief Operating Officer at ZeroBounce
Email marketing is an ongoing journey
To echo the point Emily Ryan made, the world of email never stays still. It helps to look at success in email marketing not as a destination you arrive at, but as an ongoing journey. Let your readers know you’re there for the long-haul, and your emails should show that thought went into them.
We’d love to hear from you. What do you think email marketers should do in 2022?