6 Major Email Marketing Trends for 2022

6-Major-Email

To those who don’t routinely use email as part of their regular marketing mix, it can sometimes feel like email hasn’t changed that much since it was created. Maybe this is why some are so persistent in predicting its death every time a new flashy communications platform comes around. How many times have we heard the “it’s the end of email” mantra?

The truth is, while the digital marketing landscape changes dramatically every year, email has continued to be one of the most effective channels for ecommerce marketers.In fact, recent data indicates that each dollar spent on email can lead to an average of 4200% ROI if you’re using the right email strategy.

Whether you’re a fledgling startup or a major enterprise, regular email marketing endeavors should be a major part of how you stay in touch with leads and move them through your sales funnel.In this article, we uncover some new email marketing trends that will help you set your email program apart in 2022 and build stronger relationships with your customers.

Capture Zero Party Data

Zero-party data—sometimes referred to as self-declared data—is data that a customer voluntarily provides. This is data that marketers can’t infer, buy or collect elsewhere. It’s exclusively provided by the consumer and can be used to help build out future marketing experiences.

For example, Valvoline recently created an interactive and gamified experience to capture more zero-party data. Throughout this quiz, the customer learns about Valvoline’s product—but Valvoline in turn learns about the customer and their driving habits, which they can use for future personalization and product positioning. There is also a clear value exchange: the customer receives a $7 off oil change coupon at the end as a thank you for their participation.

Another way to utilize zero party data in your email marketing is by utilizing a tool like FiO’s Insight Marketing Platform, giving you access to countless zero and first party data points that allow you to target your audience with an unmatched level of personalization.

Why it will be relevant in 2022:

  • Capturing zero-party data is a great opportunity for brands to build more first-party data and can be executed easily through templated experiences
  • Voluntary experiences see high customer engagement: Up to 85% of people are considerably more willing to provide personal information in exchange for something that benefits them
  • This valuable data can extend beyond email and inform business decisions across the marketing landscape

Map Your Customer Journey

Journey mapping is a way that brands can understand every stage of the customer experience and accelerate the customer journey. Journey mapping quite literally starts by mapping the unique customer journeys for each program. Sometimes, it’s easier to do this with pen and paper first—identify the gaps, opportunities, redundancies and then map out your new ideal journey for all stages of the customer lifecycle.

You may wonder why a customer spends so long browsing your selection and adding products to their cart just to close the tab, or why it’s taking your customer’s several steps to get from point A to point B when it should only take one, a step which you’re UX manager has assured you are clearly established and vetted.

Defining customer needs, problems, and interactions with your company may seem overwhelming and at times. However, understanding every customer’s experience at each stage of your brand’s customer journey is crucial for turning data insights into long-term improvement strategies.

Creating a customer journey map is one of the most concrete methods to help your brand visualize how customers feel and what they experience at all brand touchpoints so you can avoid potential issues ahead of time, thus increasing customer retention, and discovering key information to make the best decisions for your business.If you need more help to get started, check out our blog on customer journey mapping. Or contact FiO to discover how a robust tool like FiO’s Customer Loyalty Platform can help you create customer journey maps that inform you on how to best meet and exceed your customers needs and expectations.

Why it will be relevant in 2022:

  • Journey mapping leads to tailored and seamless customer experiences that elevate your brand
  • Understanding your customers and how they behave, what channels they prefer, when they interact with your brand the most (or fall out of the funnel) is often more important than what content you send
  • Customer Mapping drives loyalty and retention

Enhance Customer Experience with Machine Learning

Artificial intelligence (AI) provides the foundation to learn from every single interaction and adjust your response in near real-time, while machine learning (ML) is a real time decision management framework and middleware software solution that easily connects to various platforms, providing an omnichannel structure and removes the need for many point applications. A modern machine learning and AI component optimizes personalized experiences to improve business results​. The same way self-driving cars learn and predict about the environment around them, ML for marketing learns about customer behaviors and predicts future events.

Augmented and virtual reality are two of the most exciting emerging technologies in 2022, with myriad applications for both personal and business settings. While many brands find there are still barriers that make it more difficult for marketers to leverage this content in emails, brands who have partnered with advanced tech companies like FiO have been able to discover new and inventive ways to utilize advanced AI tech in their email campaigns and overall customer experience strategy.

Why it will be relevant in 2022:

  • AI/ML helps teach marketers what content customers like to see and engage with, or what resonates the most with everyone
  • Machine learning will help marketers process volume of data a human just simply can’t, and can quickly lead to improving opens, clicks, conversions across your brand programs and solutions
  • Better personalization capabilities at scale
  • Real-time personalization as a customer moves through the lifecycle

A Focus on Data Privacy

Data privacy has been a key factor for businesses since the early days of the internet, but modern consumers are more concerned with their privacy than ever before.

Constantly changing regulations, including regulatory gaps in different countries and even different states, make it surprisingly complicated for ecommerce vendors to manage sophisticated campaigns while staying in compliance with all local laws.

For example, the loss of third-party cookies is forcing marketers to look for new, innovative ways to track users across channels. Smart brands have needed to pivot in the way they market their business. Gone are the days where a business can rely on an inflated Adwords and retargeting budget based on cookies. To get and keep the attention of today’s savvy consumers, brands need to rely on first-party and zero-party data, contextual advertising, marketing mix modeling, and other alternatives in order to stay competitive in an evolving marketplace. If you’re unsure of where to begin, FiO’s Insight Marketing Platform is the best place to start. A robust, data-driven platform like FiO’s IMP provides the analytic tools needed to mobilize modern data capabilities to not only directly target your audience but create the solid customer engagement needed to keep today’s customers.

Why it will be relevant in 2022:

  • In an era of heightened risk and uncertainty, remote workforces, and complex technologies, having effective data privacy policies and procedures demonstrates you’re on top of your tech game to consumers.
  • Without a data privacy and protection strategy, your organization may be more vulnerable to consumer complaints, regulatory investigations and fines, and fraudulent activities like identity theft, phishing, and hacking.

Build Trust with BIMI

Successful email marketing is built on trust. BIMI, or Brand Indicators for Message Identification, enables marketers to display brand-controlled logos within supporting email clients. BIMI increases the confidence email recipients have in the source of the email and creates instant brand recognition in the inbox. By displaying clearly who is sending the email and why, BIMI is the most transparent way to let users know about the authenticity and value of your email.

For visual clarification on the importance of BIMI, take a look at this example from HBO.

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On the left is an email from HBO. While the inbox shows the ‘friendly from’, it’s still not instantly recognizable in a crowded inbox who is in fact sending the email. After applying BIMI on the right, HBO’s logo is clearly displayed, which creates a recognizable brand experience and makes the content even easier to scan and digest from the inbox.

The great thing about BIMI? Not only does it give you inbox prominence, a recent statistic indicates that brands that have begun using BIMI in their email marketing strategy are yielding a 43% improved open rate for their email campaigns. Adopting BIMI also demonstrates that you’re a strong brand on the forefront of technology.

Why it will be relevant in 2022:

  • Brands that introduce BIMI help support good domain and IP reputation and in turn, excellent subscriber engagement as they know this sender is validated and trusted.
  • BIMI strengthens brand recall for customers, prevents fraudulent activities and cultivates trust in your customers crowded inbox.
  • It’s a relatively low level of effort considering it’s impact, and once implemented, it can easily be applied across all of your marketing programs.

Boost Experiences with Interactive Content

What do we mean by interactive content? Interactive content is content that the customer can engage with and interact with (carousels, add to calendar modules, videos, polls, or quizzes). It’s also content that can be delivered in real-time; at the time of open. We predict interactive content is going to be a major opportunity in 2022—people are exhausted and want to be transported from reality when engaging with brand-level content. Content your consumers can have fun with will put your brand top of mind.

People are naturally drawn to things that stand out from what they’re used to. Interactivity is an easy way to differentiate your emails from the rest of the messages in your subscribers’ inboxes. This also opens up a variety of opportunities for interactive content that will engage your readers in different ways.

Surveys, polls, and feedback forms, for example, give users the chance to communicate in the opposite direction and let you know their thoughts. You’ll be able to gather important information about your brand while showing your audience that you care about their experience.

Why it will be relevant in 2022:

  • Increased engagement with real-time personalization strengthens brand affinity
  • Creates a sense of urgency with customers
  • It’s a huge opportunity: despite its outstanding performance in the inbox, surprisingly few marketers are using interactive emails in their own marketing
    • A full 77% of marketers have not tried interactive email yet and nearly half (45%) of respondents haven’t tried interactive email—and they don’t plan to any time soon
    • Only 23% of marketers say they’ve used interactive elements in their emails
  • Having fun with your customers has become more important than ever as people continue to come out of the pandemic.