4 Big Email Marketing Trends to Watch in 2022

Puzzle piecesFor many marketers, planning a marketing strategy in 2022 probably feels like opening the box for a 6,000-piece 3D jigsaw puzzle for the first time. There’s so much potential in front of you, but the sheer number of digital marketing options makes the project a daunting task. Where do you begin? What pieces go where?

While you might be enticed by flashy new tools and opportunities like TikTok influencers, website widgets, and hyper-targeted social media advertising, it’s important to remember something that should be the cornerstone of any strategy: your email marketing.

That’s not to say that all those new marketing bells and whistles can’t have a place in your marketing strategy, but email remains one of the most reliable ways to get your message in front of your customers when they’re the most engaged.

Here are four big email marketing trends you’ll want to be aware of as you plan your email marketing strategy for the new year.

Mobile First

You’ve heard it before. In fact, you’ve heard it a whole lot in the almost 15 years since the first iPhone released. Emails need to be mobile friendly. Depending on the source, anywhere from 46% to 80% of all emails are opened on mobile devices, and that number climbs with each passing year.

Building emails that look good and function well on smartphones is crucial to providing your customers with a solid email experience. If you’re not optimizing for mobile, your readers are more likely to ignore your emails and, ultimately, your marketing message.

But, being mobile friendly isn’t simply about providing an adequate experience – it’s about giving your customers great, engaging, and thought-provoking experiences. In fact, mobile is the driving force behind some other email marketing trends, one of which can take your email to the next level.

Interactive Features

Conventional wisdom in email marketing dictates that the body of an email should be attractive, functional, and clickable. While that’s certainly still true in the smartphone age, mobile email clients have opened the door to a number of interactive features that can boost engagement.

Trendy, interactive email features include in-email quizzes, embedded submission forms, mouse-hovering hotspots, and image carousels. How do these help your emails perform better? Consider how image carousels add information and images to your email without taking up extra space, streamlining your email for users viewing it on mobile screens.

While the continued shift to a mobile focus has helped email marketers create more engaging emails, it’s also made life harder in some ways.

Open Rates

Recent changes to Apple’s privacy features have changed how the Apple Mail app — the default email app on Apple devices — interacts with new emails. In short, the app will automatically open emails to scan them for malicious code before making them available to the user. This function will trigger embedded tracking pixels, artificially boosting open rates.

Consider that at least half of all emails are opened on mobile devices and Apple has a 60% market share of the smartphone market in the U.S. While not all of your customers use iPhones to open your emails, your open rates have almost certainly jumped.

Open rates play a key role in helping email marketers understand the performance of their subject lines and preview content. However, it’s now more important than ever that your emails provide users with engaging content that drives interactions. Open rates simply won’t tell you if your email strategy is working or not.

Personalization

Customers want more personalization in emails. They open personalized emails at a higher rate — even though open rates matter less these days, this is still important — and are then more likely to use your services or buy your products. Yet many marketers think personalization amounts to merely including the reader’s name in the subject line or email body.

Personalization is really about tailoring emails to a subscriber’s individual needs and interests. That might mean offering somebody a specific product or service at just the right time. It can also be an interactive feature that feeds analytics data back to you, which can inform personalized content. This might seem like a large task, but it’s possible by using an email marketing service provider who can tailor content to create actionable insights.

While it’s been trending this way for quite some time, you can see how email marketing is so much more than simply slapping promotional words and an image into some HTML and clicking “Send.” If you want to complete that monster-sized 3D jigsaw puzzle of a marketing strategy, it’s going to take a mobile-focused, interactive, personalized, and engaging email marketing plan to be your cornerstone.

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