According to a recent report, Inbox Insights 2022, an overwhelming 72% of marketers feel that their email marketing strategy is only a somewhat successful piece of their overall marketing plan. The report also revealed that only 19% of respondents feel that their marketing strategy is very successful. Analyzing the results from this segment, which is referred to as “best-in-class” marketers, helps identify some of the biggest challenges faced in creating successful email marketing strategies and best practices for improving email marketability.
The report also revealed that 97% of best-in-class respondents either somewhat or strongly agreed that executing an effective email marketing program will be a vital part of their overall marketing strategy in 2022. That said, this leading segment of respondents that have invested in email marketing programs are now able to pass on lessons learned to help other businesses find success through email marketing.
What are the top email marketing challenges?
By examining these challenges, we can leverage insights and opportunities for improvement from the most experienced email marketers that have already gone down this path. In the report, when best in class marketers were asked to identify the three biggest challenges, the top responses for that segment were the following:
1. Increasing Email Engagement
The ultimate goal for email marketers is to increase email engagement. The majority of best in class marketers feel that content (63%) and personalization (59%) are the most critical elements to increase email engagement. Delivering content that is exclusively designed for email will help make newsletters and communications unique and subscribers will come to anticipate that quality content will be delivered in a memorable and meaningful way. As email marketing has matured, so has the ability to personalize content so that it stands out to individual subscribers. Innovative marketers are creating unique inbox experiences with personalized email campaigns.
Additionally, research shows that 6.4 billion people around the world – that’s approximately 80% of the global population – own smartphones. With the increasing number of people opening email on mobile devices versus desktops, the success and engagement rate of your email marketing depends heavily on whether or not the emails are optimized for mobile devices and email apps.
2. Integrating Email Data
Data can be a powerful thing. However, the struggle is real with data sprawl if you don’t know what to do with it. Reliable data helps segment subscribers, personalize experiences, and automate behavior-based or triggered emails. Additionally, data can also help you measure ROI of email marketing and how it positively impacts your business.
That said, modern marketers use a multitude of tools that typically operate in silos and these disconnects can dilute the value of marketing technology investments. By integrating email with other systems, such as their CRM or marketing automation tools, businesses can increase efficiency which then translates into improved customer experience and a competitive advantage.
3. Improving Email Accessibility
According to the World Health Organization, at least 2.2 billion people have a near or distance vision impairment. That staggering number should have email marketers everywhere reflecting on how many people can actually access the information that is sent to them.
Email accessibility is challenging because, in many cases, it requires advanced coding knowledge and an understanding of how readers with vision impairments interact with emails.
In a recent email accessibility survey, results showed that over 80% of email marketers are considering accessibility factors during email design and development. The survey revealed that most marketers are focusing on improvements that are related to readability and usability, such as the use of subheadings, making links and buttons easy to see, and writing in short paragraphs.
While these design elements are important, there are more significant problems that need to be tackled when it comes to accessibility. As inclusivity continues to be of increasing importance, it is crucial to make emails accessible to everyone.
What are the trends in email marketing for 2022?
Trends represent opportunities to advance and improve your email marketing program and stand out from the competition. In 2022, some of these email trends will shape the way businesses communicate with their customers.
We’ve already talked about the importance of email personalization. It might not be a new concept, but it delivers a measurable impact. 91% of consumers prefer personalized shopping experiences and 90% of leading marketers say personalization has contributed to profitability. It’s a win-win, as it delivers both improved customer experience and higher email engagement and revenues.
Boosting interactivity in email campaigns continues to be another trend worth exploring in 2022. Marketers are taking things a step further to deliver interactive content that enables more activity to occur inside the inbox. Making edits or comments to a Google Doc within the email notification rather than in the document itself is part of the next big wave for email marketing. Introduced in 2019, this innovative technique is called Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) and is becoming popular in emails due to the increased engagement rates marketers get from their audience. While it has taken a few years for email developers to create effective templates for AMP emails, 2022 promises to be a key year in the email interactivity space.
Finally, privacy and security are always top of mind when it comes to consumer data, and 2022 is no exception. Tech companies are adapting to increased user demand for more control over their personal data. In 2021, Apple rolled out new privacy features on its Mail app, forcing senders to find other ways to measure success and analyze email engagement. As a result, marketers need to start leaning more into engagement and click rates instead of email opens. A campaign’s success will no longer be measured solely on open rate.
Where do we go from here?
The email marketing industry is constantly evolving to find the best way to reach a customer. Email is the most popular mobile app and generates the highest revenue compared to other media. As we examine how your audience is responding and interacting with emails, there are many innovations left to be made in this field.
Numerous factors, such as business size and budget, can affect your email marketing strategy. That said, there isn’t a template for creating the best email marketing campaign and it certainly isn’t one size fits all. The ultimate path to a successful email marketing program will be unique to your organization. Start experimenting and taking calculated risks knowing that with failure also comes success. Look for best practices that are applicable to your organization and find ways to track and measure the impact of your email marketing strategy.