Current Email Marketing Trends and Best Practices (2022)

by | Mon 22 Nov, 21

Email marketing is now a major player in the digital marketing game. Discover how to leverage the latest trends within your email marketing for 2022. 

It’s an exciting time for email marketing. Despite being one of the oldest channels in the marketing game, it continues to play a key role for big and small businesses. 

In fact, the global email marketing market was valued at $7.5 bn in 2020 and is set to increase to $17.9 bn by 2027. 🤯  

With email marketing offering brands the possibility of a quick return on investment (ROI) and future growth on the horizon, it pays to keep your ear to the ground – starting with understanding the latest email marketing trends and how to leverage them to your advantage. 

7 new trends in email marketing for 2022

According to Litmus, more than 90% of companies agree email marketing is crucial to the achievements of their company. The same report also revealed that 41% of respondents classify this proven marketing channel as very critical, which is up nearly 30% since before the pandemic.  🆙

What was once important has quickly become essential. 

37% of companies intend to increase their investment in 2022, with only 1.3% planning on decreasing their email budget. This trend is a striking difference from the beginning of the pandemic when 11% increased their email budgets and 35% decreased them.

Moral of the story? 

👉 Prioritise email marketing. 👈

But to do it effectively, you must adopt the right approach and invest wisely. To get the ball rolling, here are the latest email marketing trends to look out for in 2022. 👀

Retention 🎠

Acquiring new customers is always the goal, but retaining them is becoming even more important in the email marketing game. Retaining customers is often overlooked due to shorter-term solutions, such as PPC.

But when it comes to planning ahead, retention is a crucial element to long-lasting business growth. Surprise-surprise, email marketing just so happens to be the most effective digital marketing strategy for customer retention. 

To get your customers coming back, you’ll need to implement a retention strategy. This includes welcome letters, newsletters, reminders, rewards, loyalty schemes and referral requests. Using user-generated content through customer reviews will also increase organic traffic and improve conversion rates. 

Remember, be loyal to your client base and they’ll be loyal to you. Retention trumps acquisition in this episode.  

Welcome letter and newsletter 💌

Branching from the retention section, we lead nicely onto these two email marketing power players – welcome letters and newsletters. 

Yep, that’s right. Both these email marketing forms sit at the top of the tree for the most popular types of emails sent. Boosting retention and engagement, this double act sets the standard for the optimum styles in email marketing.

Give your customer a warm welcome that makes them come back for more. Then, keep them there, with consistent newsletters of quality and relevant content. 

Believe it or not, people are actually paying! That’s right, newsletters with exclusive and original content are being paid for with real money. 💰

A testament to the success and popularity of the email newsletter.  🙌

Just make sure you don’t include the word “newsletter” in your subject line. Research suggests that there’s an 18.7% decrease in open rates when you do. 

Personalisation 🎯

Now, this is a big one. Personalised marketing is the ultimate weapon in current advertising strategy. 

Personalisation improves conversion rates, engagement, feedback, lead nurturing and generation. It also massively contributes to customer retention, overall creating higher revenue for your brand.

Don’t believe me? Just take a look at these stats:

Marketers now have the power to target consumers like never before. The most effective ways to personalise your emails is through name, company name or other profile data, before customer segment, location, past email interactions and purchases. 

There are even ways to personalise emails through customers’ previously expressed preferences, website, product or service interactions, member, reward or points status, even race and gender. 

To stand out, you should go beyond just using customer names with your email marketing. That strategy is quickly being swallowed up in the surge of its own success. Think segmentation. You need different versions of emails to target certain client groups, don’t just send the same email with each customer’s name as the only way of personalising it. 

With segmentation, you should get to know your customers better through A/B testing. Despite its effectiveness to decipher between types of customers, it’s rarely used by marketers. In fact, 55% rarely or never use A/B testing. Opportunity missed.

Automation and AI 🤖

As a result of personalisation taking precedence in email marketing strategy, automation is being introduced to help the process become more efficient and effective. 

A system that sends accurate content to the right customer at the ideal time is beginning to surface and is taking precedence. 

Therefore, automation is now a key email marketing trend, with 59% of marketers investing in automation as a major priority.  

The most popular source of automation is triggered emails, leading the way with 82%. Then we see drip/nurture campaigns, before segmentation, A/B testing and reporting. 

The easiest emails to automate appear to be welcome letters, onboarding or post-purchase, subscriber re-engagement and cart or browse abandonment. 

AI, on the other hand, has a long way to go compared to current automation features. But in practice, it could prove to be a very effective tool to help in the automation process. 

AI will eventually identify potential customers with greater speed and accuracy, deliver personalised content while driving brand awareness and engagement. 

Privacy measures 🔒

With such emphasis on personalisation, no doubt privacy is going to get ramped up. This point is highlighted with the potential loss of third-party cookies and Apple’s new privacy protection scheme, Mail Privacy Protection (MPP). 

MPP will exclude marketers from accessing data informing them of open rates, devices and location. Whereas third-party cookies are being seen as insignificant by browsers and will most likely be abandoned. 

The four leading alternatives seen to be replacing third-party cookies will be Google’s Privacy Sandbox, Universal ID, contextual advertising and first-party data collection. 

The recent unveilings are forcing marketers to re-consider their personalisation strategies, so they don’t get burned. 🔥 

Going into this new privacy overhaul, it’s important to recognise the four types of data:

  • Zero-party data – Received directly from the audience: email preference, account preferences, topic, or product interests. 
  • Firstparty data – Given by users on your channel: email engagement, website activity and purchase history. 
  • Second-party data – Data shared by a trusted partner: co-marketing efforts, customer reviews and loyalty programs. 
  • Third-party data – Aggregate data taken from multiple sources: browsing activity, demographics and survey responses.   

Gain the trust of your customer through email authentication. Providers such as Brand Indicators for Message Identification (BIMI) validate brands by showing their logo next to the sender’s name in the inbox. BIMI has already seen a 90% increase in brand confidence.

Empathetic email marketing 🌈

Once again, personalisation features. However, this time it is in a human aspect. Since the pandemic and other major social issues, the incentive for diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) is significant, even in email marketing. 

Think, the more personal you try to be, the more likely you may offend. Think of your customers as living-breathing-thinking-feeling human beings, not just some commodity. Remember, communicate your company values, use inclusive language, and appropriate imagery. 

Email marketing design trends 🎨

The latest email marketing trends isn’t just about the content. The appearance and overall customer experience of your email marketing matter too. All this comes through the level of design. Really Good Emails is a great site for email design and code inspiration. 

Welcome example

The well-known successful welcome email is an opportunity to leave a lasting impression. This one from GOOD Meat is a prime example.

Newsletter example 

This newsletter design example from Increment allows the customer to seamlessly flow through the content while encouraging a call to action with appealing icons.  

Ecommerce example

Offer exclusive discounts and send promotional sales emails specific to your subscribers. This email example from Danner uses imagery and a punchy header to capture the imagination and set the scene for subscribers. 

The main takeaway? 

Think about the experience. Email marketing design trends and features come and go. But the need for a greater user experience (UX) will always be the most important aspect of email marketing.

Emails that excite with imagery and content that flows seamlessly from top to bottom encourages subscribers to engage with your brand and click the CTA buttons.  

Why email marketing is becoming a trend 🔍

Email marketing is becoming a trend again because of its accessibility, affordability and effectiveness. The average open rate is 19.8% across all industries and only costs around 0.003p to send

Email Marketing also boasts the highest ROI of any other marketing channel. Labs reports a staggering ROI of 4,200%. By hitting all areas of lead generation, lead nurturing, sales, brand awareness, engagement, and retention, the possibilities are endless.  

Speak to a top email marketing firm 🦸

Now you know the latest email marketing trends and why it’s so popular, you can put them into practice with your latest campaigns.

However, with British companies wasting around £2.4bn a year on irrelevant marketing emails, you may want to leave it to the professionals to manage.

If you need further advice, support or services with your email marketing, contact our team of specialists at MailNinja. We offer a full-service email package, with an expert team managing your email marketing from start to send, saving you time and money.

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