Email Marketing Trends in 2022: Rules & Recommendations

Email marketing is an ever-evolving landscape.  Enter 2020 and it was basically a rebirth. 

Which I LOVE because hey, I nerd out on this stuff.

So how does a busy email marketer like yourself (if you send any type of email, you’re an email marketer, just embrace it) keep up with email marketing trends and recommendations?

Glad you asked!

Because this email marketing nerd rounded up the top 6 email marketing trends for 2022 so hang on tight, because this is gonna be FUN.

The State of email 2022 is all about the customer and the experience you provide them via email. 

We’ll cover trends in email marketing including:

  1. Appealing email design
  2. Content is EVERYTHING
  3. Video ups the ante
  4. Get social on Social Media
  5. Forget the funnel
  6. Reboot your newsletters

Appealing Email Design

Nothing says 2022 email marketing trends like design.

So let’s start with some basics.

With the overwhelm that the last year and a half has brought us, we need a visual break with authentic imagery.

So when you’re designing your emails, a few reminders:

Keep it simple:

Remember to leave enough white space between content and images on your email to allow your subscribers’ eyes a rest.  It’s clean.  It’s simple.  Just do it.  For all of us.   

Keep it soft:

Softer email background colors were trending in 2021 and look to continue into 2022.  I know it’s been almost a decade since we were introduced to mint, but I gotta say, I can’t kick it!

source: Really Good Emails

Keep it personal:

Photos, especially black and white, tend to portray a more intimate look in both individual and landscape pictures.  It’s also like natural airbrushing.  I know what I’m doing for my next photo shoot!

source: Really Good Emails

Keep it inclusive:

Representation is SO IMPORTANT (hello, 2020 calling).  And giving visibility to marginalized communities is not going away (so help me).  So please, please, PLEASE be mindful of the images you use in your email marketing.  Your subscribers are all uniquely individual, and they want to be seen.  So show up for them.

source: Really Good Emails

When you’re creating your email design, take a step back and take a look at it.  What does your gut tell you?  If you’re nailing these points, then congrats!  Sounds like you’ve got some first rate emails going out.

Content is EVERYTHING

Don’t believe me?  Just ask Bill Gates or Seth Godin

Still don’t believe me?

Think about it- what is your go-to for attracting new clients and adding value to your current book? 

  • A PDF?
  • Guesting on someone’s podcast?
  • Creating any kind of visibility for yourself? (Within the realm of appropriateness. Because come on.)

Great!

You’re creating content, baby!

And when you market that content, you’re creating brand awareness, building credibility and trust, and generating sales. 

I think all three of those things basically define why you are in your business to begin with, ammiright?

Content can be anything:

  • White paper
  • Worksheet
  • Books
  • Magazines
  • PDF
  • Quick reference guide
  • Flowchart
  • Infographic
  • Video
  • Podcast

I think you see the picture here.

The top types of content being used right now?

  • Blog posts
  • Short articles

But as we gear up for 2022 and beyond, don’t be afraid to spread your wings a little. 

Your bottomline will thank you.

Use video to up the ante

Who knew this prediction would come true?

The Buggles and maybe… TikTok. 

On a more positive note, video increases your views and subscriber engagement.  It also helps users increase understanding of products and services.

Other fun facts? (you know you love ‘em).  According to Finances Online.com:

  • 81% of biz already use them
  • 80% of all internet will come from video by 2020 opening up a HUGE audience
  • 78% of people already watch online video every week
  • Helps increase sales by 76%
  • 55% of people already watch video online EVERY DAY

And don’t go screaming to the hills thinking you need to get a greenscreen and HD halo light to setup a studio in your office.  It could be short clips on Instagram or LinkedIn just talking about what you’re working on right now, or just commenting on the luxurious lounge pants you’re living in.

Get your face out there.  Don’t be scared.  That’s why god made filters. 

Get Social on Social Media

Get this- there are over 4.2 billion social media users worldwide (Hootsuite, 2021).

Remember what we just talked about, putting your customer at the center of everything you do?

And where are your customers?

Say it with me!

SOCIAL MEDIA

That was fun, we should do it again sometime.

Now granted, we are inundated with social media.  Trying to manage it in a healthy way can be difficult when it comes to email marketing in 2022.

So pick one outlet to start with based on where your ideal customer would typically visit.

  • Instagram
  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Tiktok
  • Twitter
  • Other social media apps/outlets the kids are familiar with, so unless they’re your ideal customer, let’s just ignore them. I don’t need more things to tell me I’m getting old, ok?

If you’re already on the social meeds and you’re looking to up your game, look at diversifying the type of content you put out there based on the social media platform.

The two main types of social media content are:

  • Permanent (long lasting)- think core brand messaging with blog posts, articles, white papers, etc.
  • Ephemeral (fleeting)- think simple short-term brand information with an Instagram story.

Stories on Instagram?  Great. 

Videos on Facebook? Awesome. 

Short blog post on LinkedIn?  KILLING IT

Social media isn’t going anywhere.  If anything, usage continues to increase.  So get ready to get social with your email marketing.  And if you need your teenage neighbor’s help to do it, more power to you.  Send her my way after you’re done, will you?

Forget the Funnel

That’s right.  I said it.  Forget the funnel.

Hello, flywheel!

Okay, I’ll be the first to admit that when it comes to trends in email marketing 2022, we’re always looking for the next buzz word.

I’m not sure how I feel about the word ‘flywheel’, but I’ll just have to give it time.

While the sales funnel has been a staple in email marketing for converting your customers, the flywheel essentially takes it to the heart of what you’re trying to achieve.

  • Customer loyalty
  • Retention
  • Brand awareness

And the heart of all of that?

Your customer.

https://blog.digikat.com.au/funnel-vs-flywheel

It’s been a pillar of our mission here at Flourish & Grit since inception (not to brag, but I’m bragging).

When you put the customer at the center of everything you do from email marketing to implementation to retention, your job gets a WHOLE LOT EASIER.

Does it take a bit more work up front to gather data on what your customer’s needs are, the language they speak, and the pain they’re looking to solve for?

Absolutely?

But it is definitely less work than trying to constantly attract new customers, because you can’t seem to hold on to the customers you already have. 

Reimagine Your Newsletter

POP QUIZ – how do you deliver your brand goals and provide an amazing customer experience with email marketing in 2022?

A newsletter!

That is, a newsletter that actually helps you convert your subscribers to customers without you having to stress about it.

A pipedream, you say?

Not so, my good friend!

Newsletters are great for reaching out to your subscribers.  But if you could reboot them to promote brand recognition and deliver value to your customers?  Then you’ve got a hot ticket to easy sales, my friend.

Some things to take a look at:

Newsletter format:

  • Is it fresh?
  • Does it speak to your ideal customer?
  • Or is it full of your recent purchases from Amazon and whatever air fryer recipe you’re obsessed with?

No judgement, just maybe reconsider if that air fryer recipe is helping you sell.

Strategy:

  • What is your end goal when emailing your subscribers on a monthly basis?
  • And is that helping your business?

Asking yourself these two questions will really give you clarity on what areas of your newsletter may need a second look.

Email production:

  • How easy is it to schedule and manage your emails?

If it feels like you’re reinventing the wheel every time, then it’s time to have a heart-to-heart with your email automation tools.

Newsletters can be fun and effective.  It just takes a little bit of work up front, but trust me.  Once you’ve got it dialed in, you’ll have so much more time to focus on the important things.  Like all those sales coming in!

Hubspot

TL:DR;

We’ve all got a lot going on.  Keeping up with email marketing trends for 2022 probably isn’t top of the list for most of us.

It’s at the top of my list, but hey, that’s how I roll.

But as you can see, just a few small tweaks can make a big difference.  Take what works for you, leave the rest, but remember- keeping your customer at the heart of everything you do is a great start.

If you need more expert support with this, contact us.

Email Template Best Practices

Summary

Email templates are critical for guiding a subscriber from open to conversion.

Yes, graphics are important for grabbing visual attention.

 

Yes, copy needs to connect on a relational and sales-driven level. (After all, your subscribers need to know WHY they should care). 

Packaging all of that up into a neat template has to be unique to the email experience. If they can see or read the content, then it’s just wasted effort.

There are five areas to think of when considering designing a conversion-driven email template:

  1. Above The Scroll
  2. Using Images in an Email Template
  3. Skimmable Content
  4. Clear Call To Action

    1. Above The Scroll

    Formerly known as “above the fold” in the days of paper-driven marketing, we now default to expecting users to scroll through all digital content.

    “Above the scroll” is the header of the email that subscribers will see immediately after they open the email.

    The content after a user’s screen size cuts it off is invisible to them at open. In order to view it, they need to scroll with their mouse or thumb.

    This area usually consists of two things:

    1. Your logo
    2. A captivating headline/image.

    There are two tricky parts to keep in mind when thinking about image sizes and headlines.

    Screen sizes vary widely.

    If most of your subscribers are generally desktop users, “Above The Scroll” is a much bigger space to play in.

    Your mobile users will have a much smaller window to grab their attention.

    Nailing down the exact area where “Above The Scroll” is is almost impossible for that very reason.

    Plus, people are accustomed to scrolling. It isn’t as big of a friction point for user experience as it once was as we all become fluent in using digital content.

    Email Client Information Takes Up Vertical Space

    As you know, your email doesn’t show up in an inbox exactly as you send it.

    When people open your email campaign, there’s usually the sender information and header combo from the email client (i.e. gmail, Outlook, Apple Mail, etc.) that can take up a large portion of the screen.

    This is especially true for mobile users.

    What that means for your template: make sure your logo isn’t taking up too much vertical space at the top.

    That’s precious real estate that could be devoted to a captivating headline that draws your subscribers’ attention further into the email content.

      2. Using Images in an Email Template

      Email marketing production gets complicated quickly, and you want to make sure your emails are not only eye-catching but readable.

      Testing of images in email varies widely. I’ve tested the exact same email content as text-only versus heavily image-based and the impact is only significant on specific types of campaigns.

      The main thing to think about is whether or not you have the internal resources to justify the extra work.

      Regardless, here’s what you need to know about using images with text on them in your email template.

      Accessibility

      When you're thinking about putting text on images, you can't forget about how to keep your overall digital marketing strategy accessible.

      People who rely on text-to-speech readers on their computers and mobile devices rely on there actually being text that their technology can read to them.

      They can't read the text that is embedded in your image.

      That's why it's imperative to include “alt-text” on each image. This option is available in every Email Service Provider.

      There will be a box in your image settings that is called “alt text” that lets you type out the text on the image.

      Mobile Responsive

      If you put tiny text in an image that is designed for desktop and shrink it down to mobile, you'll want to check out how it reads on mobile.

      I see this all too often. Text placed on an image that looks okay on desktop, but is barely legible on mobile.

      Make sure your font sizes are at least 28px if you plan on doing this.

      Disabled Images

      Some email clients like Outlook and Gmail will auto-disable images from unknown senders.

      That means if ALL of your content is in images, these subscribers will have to go the extra step of enabling images in order to see your content.

      We know as marketers, that every additional step we ask a user to take, is a place we could potentially lose them.

      Having alt-text will help this OR limiting your use of images with text placed on them.

      Here's what an email looks like if it's all image with text on it and it has not been optimized for mobile or alt-text.

      Click the image to see a gif of what I mean.

      3. Skimmable Content

      The average session time on a website is about one minute. We can expect less than that from other forms of digital content.

      What that means for email: make your content skimmable.

      How do you make your email campaign content skimmable? Here are three things to know:

      Avoid big blocks of text.

      A run-on paragraph can look visually overwhelming. If it looks like a lot of text to read, people won’t engage.

      Shorten your paragraphs to one or two lines at the most. Again, people are used to scrolling. If your copy is engaging, they’ll keep scrolling.

      Add visual variation to your text.

      Again, a monotonous block of text is easy to skim over. That means you need to visually draw attention to the most critical parts.

      Usually, that’s the major benefits of your offer, key points your subscribers need to know, deadlines, or special offers.

      You can add visual elements to text in a few ways:

       

      1. Bulleted/numbered lists. If you are highlighting the benefits or features of your content, product, or service, break it out into a list.
      2. Text Decoration. That can look like font styles such as bolding, italicizing, or changing the color of specific sections of text.
      3. Font Size. Make sure to break up sections of your email with headers that can be a simple bump up of the font size.

      4. Clear Call To Action

      Your call to action not only has to be clear in terms of the copy but also the visual design.

      A clear call to action should be simple and short. It should tell your subscribers the next steps they need to take in order to take advantage of your offer or content.

      Visually, it can big, bold, hyperlinked text like this:

      Even better, a button with a contrasting color like this:

      You want your subscribers to STOP when they see it, so they know that there is more for them outside of the email.

      It’s the signpost in your email that tells them which direction to head in to guide them further down your funnel.

      Take-Aways

      There are four areas to think of when considering designing a conversion-driven email template:

      1. Above The Scroll. This is precious real estate. Use it wisely.
      2. Using Images in an Email Template. If you have the resources for developing them, make sure they’re accessible and readable on mobile.
      3. Skimmable Content. You have less than a minute for your subscriber to read the content. Avoid big blocks of content and add text decoration.
      4. Clear Call To Action. Make sure you have a clear signpost in your email that directs your subscriber to take action.

      The Correction Email: How to Turn Around an Email Marketing Mistake

      How to Turn Around an Email Marketing Mistake

      DON’T BEAT YOURSELF UP. WE ALL DO IT.

      Seriously. We've all been there. 

      In my case, it's hitting send on an email, and realized I sent it to the wrong list. 

      It's seeing the final email launch after four people reviewed it, and there's a typo in the subject line.

      It's checking the date of an event five times, and you saved and sent the wrong version.

      And then begins the endless cycle of beating yourself up. Running through every possible worst-case scenario in your head.

      No one is ever going to think I can do anything ever again. 

      I'm going to get fired.

      I just lost a ton of money. 

      My customers are going to hate my brand and complain about me on social media.

      I'm here to tell you, it is going to be okay.

      Seriously. It is going to be okay.

      Everyone makes mistakes. E-v-e-r-y-o-n-e.

      Anyone who tries to tell you there isn't room for mistakes is seriously delusional (or a robot). 

      We are all human. And messing up is inevitable.

      The best part about messing up?

      You learn from it!

      Some of the best lessons I've learned are from falling flat on my face. Take your mistake, learn what you did wrong, and find a way to correct it in the future.

      Most of the time, when I make a mistake, it's because I need to do one of two things: 

      1. SLOW. DOWN.  You’re doing too many things at once, trying to get through them all.  Take a breath, and give yourself some time and space to focus on one thing at a time.
      1. Ask for help.  It’s okay to say you can’t do it all.  Because guess what?  You can’t.  Sorry to break it to you.  We all need help sometimes and guess what?  Most of your friends, family members, and colleagues are MORE THAN HAPPY to help you.  Because it’s the right thing to do and It just feels good.

      So how’s an email marketer supposed to turn what seems like an unforgettable error around??

      The question is – How to send an apology email for mistakes and typos?

      • Do you send a typo correction email?
      • Do you send a typo apology email?
      • Should you resend an email with a typo? (gasp!)

      Just call it for what it is – an Oops!

      Here are the three things to keep in mind when drafting a Correction Email (aka Oops Email) 
      1. Have Fun with Your Oops Email
      2. Own the Mistake in Your Email
      3. Correct the Mistake In Your Email

      Have Fun with Your Oops Email

      Yes, you're mortified that you just made a mistake.

      Guess what? We all do it.

      Sorry to be the one to tell you that you're not special in that regard.

      There's nothing better than deflecting embarrassment with humor in a typo correction email or typo apology email.

      A weird coping mechanism? Maybe.

      It's definitely not something I would do in an inappropriate situation.

      But it does put people at ease. They forget to be mad when they're smiling. 

      Check out this apology email subject line and email from Fab.  I mean, what’s funnier than a cat on a laptop, making the same face you did when you realize your mistake??

      source: reallygoodemails.com

      Own the Mistake in Your Email

      Pinpoint what happened. Name it. Say it out loud.

      Do what you have to do to identify the mistake in your typo correction email or typo apology email.

      What's worse than making a mistake? Not admitting to it and naming it. 

      Eh, it wasn’t that big of a deal, you didn’t notice anyway.

      Because come on, you’re just insulting someone’s intelligence if you don’t think SOMEONE will notice you used ‘their’ instead of ‘they’re’

      People feel like they're having something pulled on them because it lacks transparency.

      Name it so you can move on. 

      This typo correction email sample from Framebridge perfectly captures the ‘humble’ in their P.S. saying they know they made a mistake but they’re always looking to improve.  (Aren’t we all?)

      source: reallygoodemails.com

      Correct the Mistake In Your Email

      In case this isn't obvious, give them the correct info in the follow-up typo correction email.

      Give them the opportunity to take the action you wanted them to take.

      BONUS: Can you give an apology offer? Maybe a discount, a freebie, or a sweet pic of your baby niece (with mom's permission of course)?

      People appreciate it when you go the extra mile any time during their customer journey. Don't let this opportunity be any different.

      Check out this correction email from Gobe. They blamed their website (as they should) and offered a nice little discount code.  Short and sweet!

      source: reallygoodemails.com

      People LOVE Oops Emails.

      Sending ‘sorry for the typo mistake’ emails tells them there is an actual human being on the other side of the campaign because SHOCKER it IS one human putting it together.

      It kind of explains why we’re all obsessed with reality TV, because it’s proof that regular people and famous people are all a mess just trying to get through life. 

      Even if five people review and approve your emails, mistakes still happen. 

      But when you own it?

      People appreciate it, they love it, and it builds… BRAND TRUST.

      So welcome! You're officially an email marketer!

      Your mistake is not the first, and it certainly won't be the last.

      Unless we finally do get taken over by robot-aliens, and then I suppose we have bigger things to worry about than typos.

      Come up for air when you're ready and keep emailing!

       If You Need a Pep Talk The Next Time You Make A Mistake, I’m Here

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