In 1897 Mark Twain had to tell people that the reports of his death were greatly exaggerated. In 2022, email campaigns may feel the same way.
But if there is one strategy you can count on to bring your email campaigns to life and connect with your reader, it’s building a human connection.
It’s never been more important to be authentic with your customers, provide them with valuable content, and encourage a conversation.
With 2022 in full swing, now is an excellent time to reevaluate your marketing plan, including your email campaigns.
Before we dig into specifics around email marketing strategies, though, let’s look at one of the key marketing trends we see going strong this year:
Putting Customers First
This isn’t simply “the customer is always right.” Rather, it is putting the client right in the middle of your entire marketing process, ensuring all initiatives revolve around them.
The highest-growing brands are comprehensively addressing the entire customer experience, so it stands to reason that you should too.
How can you apply a customer-first approach to email marketing?
Unlike social media or advertising, email is fully under your control. There are no algorithms to keep up with or compete against.
Email is an ideal way to reach your contacts in a personal way. A few ways to make sure your email marketing is centered around your client can include:
- Writing your email in the second person
- Empathizing on a shared pain point
- Providing information that is helpful
- Building trust by providing valuable content your reader will engage with
As you work to foster that human connection, you should also keep these best practices in mind:
- Remember that you are a guest in your contacts’ inbox
- Be respectful – do not spam
- Design an email that creates a frictionless experience
- Provide highly valuable information
- Clarify the reason behind your outreach
That last point is critical.
Your email MUST have a goal.
When creating your campaign, you want to write with clarity and purpose to ensure the reader knows WHY you are sending them this email.
Consider a SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Timely) goal to really hone in on your CTA.
So, what’s next for email marketing? We rounded up five of the hottest trends we see holding strong this year.
Five of the Top Email Marketing Trends to Generate ROI in 2022
Here are the top five trends for email marketing in 2022. Some are new. Evolving. Others are tried and true methods that will continue into the new year.
1. Plain Text Emails Are Trending
Have you noticed that you are receiving more and more plain text marketing and sales emails?
I’ve historically embraced the theory that a well-designed HTML email is more engaging and almost always results in a higher rate of conversions than plain text.
However, this study found that even though consumers think they want HTML emails with pictures, graphics, and GIFs, they actually prefer (or are more likely to open and click on) a plain text email.
In a world where more is more, perhaps a simple, well-written email just feels a bit more human. It’s conversational and relatable – the same type of email you would receive from a co-worker or friend.
2. Make Your Email Easy for Readers to Interact with
Whether you stick with an HTML format or decide to convert to plain text, including an interactive element in your email is a sure-fire way to catch your reader’s attention.
Interactive emails can range from polls, surveys, games, and forms, to image galleries, short-form videos, product review requests, and purchases.
In this article, Mark Robbins, a leader in interactive email, talks about the benefits of keeping the user engaged right within the email itself.
“The goal is really to bring the landing page into the inbox. Every click a user has to make is an opportunity for them to drop off the conversion funnel.
If you can bring the landing page directly into the inbox, you remove some of that drop-off. It creates a faster journey and also a much smoother one for the customer. It’s a much better user experience.”
Once again, creating a more seamless experience for the user is the goal. Fewer clicks = more engagement = happier readers!
3. Optimize Your Email for Mobile
This trend has been at the forefront of email marketing for many years.
With more than 70% of people reading their email on mobile apps, it is only going to continue to grow.
How often have you cruised through your email while waiting in line for a coffee? How are you reading this email right now?
The best way to ensure mobile optimization is to create a responsive (mobile-friendly) template.
Many email platforms like MailChimp and Active Campaigns make it easy to optimize your content for mobile viewing. You can simply click the preview email button and the system formats your email into both a desktop version as well as a smartphone version. See below for an example. It’s also ideal to view the email on your own desktop and mobile device.
By optimizing your email for mobile you are ensuring the best experience for your consumers.
4. Personalization and Segmentation Reign Supreme
If you haven’t taken the time to segment your email list – now is the time to do it! Segmentation is the first step to creating a personalized, authentic message for your audience.
Your lists can be segmented by industry or job title, by phase of the buying process, or other similar commonalities that matter to your organization (location, company size, etc.).
Without segmentation, you will be trying to deliver a personalized message to a massive, generic audience.
One way to know if you are struggling to deliver a personalized message is if your current list has a low rate of opens and clicks.
If it does, a quick cleanse and reorganization of your list is critical. Continuing to send irrelevant email campaigns can hurt your domain’s reputation and further dissolve engagement.
What does the data reveal when it comes to engagement?
Dig into it and use the gold mine that is data to uncover some gems!
5. Use AI to Ramp Up ROI
The final trend is quickly evolving. AI (Artificial Intelligence) has taken serious strides over the past decade and has become a go-to tool for marketers.
The simple definition of AI is: a machine or computer that collects available data, learns from it, and delivers highly researched results and solutions.
You can use AI for your email campaigns to:
- Optimize Subject Lines
- Fine-Tune Personalization
- Automate Content
- Determine Optimal Timing
For example – to improve the headline for this blog, I used CoSchedule’s Headline Studio.
My initial headline read: Authentic Email Strategies to Foster Human Connection in 2022. CoSchedule scored it as a 59, with the following suggestions:
After a few iterations, I landed on the current headline, rated at 79: Five Powerful Email Strategies to Foster Authentic, Human Connection in 2022.
The same theory applies to using AI within email – it can help you write a compelling subject line, suggest what your audience might feel when reading your email, or quickly analyze data to help you determine the best time of day to send your campaigns.
AI will only grow, so start leveraging this tool today and boost your email marketing ROI.
Don’t worry. AI is not and can never be a replacement for authentic human interaction. Even in email. But it can take your communication to another level.
Above All, Remember That There is a Human on the Other End of that Email
Keep your message true to your voice and your brand.
Be authentic and genuine, keeping the needs of your audience in mind.
Take any and all feedback and analyze the statistics to continue to tweak and hone your strategy.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help
If you’re new to email marketing or have had a number of setbacks and this feels overwhelming, the best thing to do is to TRY something and continue to learn as you go.
Our team at JS-interactive has been swimming in these digital waters for years. We’ve seen trends come and go. We know how hard it is to stay on top of all of this, much less anticipate where it may go next.
We also understand that you probably didn’t get into your business to provide the world with better emails. And yet, we both know that in order to effectively grow your brand and care for your clients, communication is critical. In every form.
That’s why we’re here. The team at JS-Interactive LOVES helping people write better emails. Among other things. :-)
Really, we want to help you take your brand to the next level. Reach out today for a free consultation and learn how our team can support yours.
Cheers to an engaging 2022 and taking the next step toward your email marketing goals!
An outbound link would be good here.