With 2021 in its final month, and the holiday shopping season well underway, it is time to reflect on the changes this past year has brought to the advertising landscape, and how those changes are most likely to shape our marketing strategies heading into 2022.
We asked leading email marketing experts to share some of their top predictions for the year ahead, considering the impact of privacy changes, supply chain disruptions, and more. Email itself may be older than the internet, but the unique capabilities this long-established, opted-in channel has grown to include have made it more valuable for brands and advertisers than ever before.
2022: Email & Mobile Messaging Predictions
Email + SMS = 2022 Power Couple
“It’s no secret that SMS will continue to grow, especially as shoppers look for new ways to engage with brands. As you expand your retention efforts, make sure to keep in mind the whole customer journey and push for personalization. Text is a much more personal channel and defaulting to batch and blast (just like in email) won’t keep customers engaged long term. Yotpo reports that 60% of respondents would complete a purchase if sent a personalized offer via text message. Of shoppers polled, 39% are signed up to receive text messages from only 1-4 brands. That to me screams a huge opportunity to stand out from your competitors.”
—Christine Watson, Director, CRM & Email at Tinuiti
“Mobile messaging has incredible ROI potential and it provides an opportunity to create a hyper-personalized and unique experience for users. But now more than ever, it’s essential for brands to build trust and credibility with their subscribers. Make sure that the experience is seamless and that your messaging provides real value to your subscribers rather than simply causing a disruption to their day.”
—Mary Miller, Sr. Strategist, CRM & Email at Tinuiti
“Email campaigns will need to be thought of more in tandem with SMS efforts rather than as one or the other. SMS is only growing in popularity both with brands & customers, making it critical for email marketers to embrace it as another vehicle to connect with buyers. Each has its place in the buyer’s journey to shine, and brands that leverage both together will see bigger wins than those that keep them siloed.”
—Jane Serra, VP of Marketing at Justuno
The Impact of Privacy Regulations
“Privacy changes aren’t going away in 2022, and this will directly impact how we utilize email KPIs for our programs. Brands will need to pivot from top-funnel KPIs (opens and clicks) to down-funnel KPIs (purchases and conversions) for triggers and automations, and focus more on purchase behaviors for retention efforts. Gathering first-party data will be crucial to maintaining sophisticated email programs.”
—Emily Clarkson, Director, CRM & Email at Tinuiti
“With the ‘death of the third party cookie’ and iOS updates, email subscribers are the key into how you’re targeting individuals in other channels. Next year, we’ll see more investment into integrations available within ESPs (email service providers) to more easily allow sharing data and audiences to other channels. Additionally, identifying users via email address or phone number will be integral to being able to collect as much zero-party data and first-party data as possible. We’ll see more aggressive efforts to collect email addresses and phone numbers so that we can identify individuals and provide more meaningful engagements across the digital marketing space.”
—Kellie Collins, Sr. Manager, CRM & Email at Tinuiti
“Data privacy will continue to rise in importance, making email lists a marketer’s best friend as a lifeline to prospective buyers. While some metrics may become a relic of the past (open rate *cough* *cough*) that does not mean email is going away, or will be dead any time soon. Marketers will need to re-evaluate their KPIs and adjust to the times.”
— Jane Serra, VP of Marketing at Justuno
“Investment in loyalty programs will increase, and competition will heat up. Because 2021 was the year consumers and tech giants became more serious about data privacy, 2022 is the year brands will implement their fully adjusted digital marketing and personalization strategies to respect new privacy measures. At the heart of these efforts will be loyalty programs that allow marketers to continue engaging their customer base with 1:1 campaigns while also collecting the zero- and first-party data that’s crucial for sophisticated campaigns.”
—Rachel Cowlishaw, Associate Director of Strategy, Retail at Movable Ink
Don’t Leave Orders on the Table (or in the cart)
“2020 accelerated the growth of click-and-collect. eMarketer reports growth will decelerate, but the gains will hold, predicting click-and-collect to account for 9.9% of all retail ecommerce sales in 2021. Omnichannel retailers should invest in expanding their cart abandon programs to showcase other shipping preferences like buy online ship to store, curbside pick-up, same-day delivery, etc. If you aren’t able to tackle a complicated technical set up for this, having a simple banner in cart abandon emails that showcases other ways to buy is a great first step.”
—Christine Watson, Director, CRM & Email at Tinuiti
Want more great insights to help inform your 2022 strategy? Be sure to download our upcoming 2022 Email Marketing Guide: Email and Mobile Messaging in the Age of Privacy Concerns and Highly Personalized Expectations—launching later this month!