The Current State of Email Marketing 2022

Email marketing remains one of the most used and most cost-effective marketing channels.  When done properly, email has the potential to skyrocket your sales, generate new customers, reactivate former clients, and boost retention.

And email marketing has a return on investment (ROI) of $42 for every $1 spent so for every $1 you spend on email marketing, you can expect an average return of $42. That’s higher than any other form of marketing

In recent research by Litmus regarding the current state of email marketing today, more than 90% of survey respondents said email marketing is at least somewhat critical to the overall success of their company and 41% said it’s very critical—up nearly 30% since before the pandemic in 2019.

Litmus Email Marketing 2021

Additionally, because of email’s growing priority, nearly 37% of companies intend to increase their investment in email overall in 2022. Only 1.3% plan to decrease their email budget. Before the pandemic, only 11% of companies increased budgets while 35% decreased them, proving how invaluable email is in today’s current economy.

Email marketers are sending a variety of email types, the most popular being newsletters (81%) and welcome emails (79%). Other top types of email include:

  • Product emails – 75%
  • Sales or promotion – 72%
  • Event – 71%
  • Onboarding or post-purchase – 62%
  • Customer winback – 45%

Email personalization also ranks high in effectiveness among survey respondents. You may have seen the statistics, but the power of personalization never fails to impress. Check out this array of statistics from various research studies across the web:

  • 71% of consumers feel frustrated when a shopping experience is impersonal. – Segment
  • 70% of millennials are frustrated with brands sending irrelevant emails. – SmarterHQ
  • 74% of customers feel frustrated when website content is not personalized. – Instapage
  • 47% of consumers check Amazon if the brand they’re shopping with doesn’t provide product suggestions that are relevant. – SmarterHQ
  • 36% of consumers say retailers need to do more to offer personalized experiences. – Retail TouchPoints
  • 91% of consumers say they are more likely to shop with brands that provide offers and recommendations that are relevant to them. – Accenture
  • 80% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase from a brand that provides personalized experiences. – Epsilon
  • 90% of U.S. consumers find marketing personalization very or somewhat appealing. – Statista
  • 72% of consumers say they only engage with personalized messaging. – SmarterHQ
  • 80% of frequent shoppers only shop with brands that personalize the experience. – SmarterHQ
  • 56% of online shoppers are more likely to return to a website that recommends products. – Invesp
  • 63% of consumers will stop buying from brands that use poor personalization tactics. – Smart Insights
  • 66% of consumers say encountering content that isn’t personalized would stop them from making a purchase. – CMO by Adobe
  • 42% of consumers are annoyed when content isn’t personalized. – CMO by Adobe
  • More than 50% of consumers are willing to share information on products they like in order to get personalized discounts. – Retail TouchPoints
  • 83% of consumers are willing to share their data to create a more a personalized experience. – Accenture

According to the Litmus research, a full 8 in 10 marketers are personalizing by name, company name, or other profiled data, which is up from 72% in 2020. Marketers are also using personalization by customer segment, with 64% using this tactic.

Email Personalization

While email is highly effective, it certainly is not without its challenges. In a survey by Ascend2, for almost half (45%) of respondents, maintaining engagement with email subscribers is one of the most difficult objectives to achieve.

Email Marketing Challenges

One of the ways marketers are solving these challenges is through personalization (43%) and the use of quality data (39%).

Email Marketing Tactics & Strategies You Should Be Employing Today

Email Personalization and Segmentation:
Personalization shouldn’t even be a question anymore and many marketers are employing some type of email segmentation based on their subscriber list in order to create hyper-targeted and relevant emails. Lists may be segmented by behavior, interests, or demographics. However, with the start of a new year, there is no better time to take a fresh look at your techniques and see if there are additional methods you can utilize.  As data gets more sophisticated, your lists can be analyzed by more data points to create smaller segments and better-personalized emails.

The effort is well worth it. Segmented emails simply perform better:

  • Marketers found a 760% increase in email revenue from segmented campaigns (DMA).
  • Segmented email campaigns have an open rate that is 14.32% higher than non-segmented campaigns. (Mailchimp)
  • Segmented email campaigns based on database fields get 54.79% higher clicks than non-segmented campaigns (Mailchimp)

There are multiple ways your email lists can be segmented.  Start by looking at some of the basic criteria and combine different elements to create segmentation models.

Email Segmentation

Automated Email Journeys:

Triggered emails are a key component in communicating relevant messages at the right time with your customer base. Sending triggered emails based on a consumer’s behavior is effective for both acquisition and transforming customers into loyal brand advocates.

Check out these stats on the effectiveness of email marketing automation:

  • Automated emails get 119% higher click rates than broadcast emails. (Epsilon)
  • B2C marketers who connect with customers through automated emails see conversion rates as high as 50%. (eMarketer)
  • Relevant emails drive 18x more revenue than broadcast emails. (Jupiter Research)
  • Retailers who send a series of welcome emails see 13% more revenue than those who send just one. (Internet Retailer 500)
  • Birthday emails can lift conversion rates by 60% over non-birthday emails with the same offer. (ClickZ)

While many brands are very familiar with welcome emails or order confirmations, email automation must be holistically integrated throughout the journey to increase conversions and boost retention.

Consider these examples of customer journeys to engage with consumers at different points across the customer journey:

Engagement/Brand Awareness
Welcome, Birthday, Re-Engagement, Engaged Non-Buyers, Profile Updates

Abandoned Cart, Abandoned Browser, Next Best Offer, First Order

Purchase Intenders, Competition Conquests, Top Tier Look-alikes, Life Events

Nurture/Purchase Oriented
Nurture, Renewal Reminder, Loyalty, VIP, Thanks for Purchase

Include a Clear Call To Action (CTA)

Emails with a single call-to-action can increase clicks by 371%. (WordStream).  And when you take the time to optimize them, your click-through rates can soar.  Check out these stats about the benefits of optimizing CTAs:

  • HubSpot found that anchor text CTAs increased conversion rates by 121%. Between 47% and 93% of a post’s leads ONLY come from anchor text CTAs. 83% to 93% of each post’s leads come from anchor text AND internal link CTAs.
  • ContentVerve saw a 90% increase in click-through rate by using first-person phrasing: “Start my free 30 day trial” vs. “Start your free 30 day trial.”
  • Helzberg Diamonds saw a 26% increase in clicks by adding an arrow icon to their CTA buttons. (Marketing Tech Blog)
  • SAP found that orange CTAs boosted their conversion rate over 32.5%. (QuickSprout)
  • Performable found that red CTAs boosted their conversion rate by 21%. (QuickSprout)
  • Making CTAs look like buttons created a 45% boost in clicks for CreateDebate. (Copyblogger)
  • Personalized CTAs convert 42% more visitors into leads than untargeted CTAs. (HubSpot)
  • Neil Patel found that users prefer to learn about the offer before clicking a CTA– placing his CTA above the fold decreased conversions by 17%. (QuickSprout)
  • Reducing clutter around their CTA increased Open Mile’s conversion rate by 232%. (VWO)
  • FriendBuy increased signups by 34% by adding anxiety-reducing content and explaining key benefits next to their CTA. (Copyblogger)

Remember that perfecting your CTAs will take time. It’s best to include only one clear call to action per email and in some instances, a secondary, lower-urgency, CTA in case the subscriber is not ready to engage with the main CTA. Keeping emails short, sweet, and to the point will help prevent your subscribers from becoming distracted or overwhelmed.

As for call-to-action placement, the best position will vary based on your content. The traditional opinion is that it’s best to place your CTA above the fold to reduce the need for scrolling, but as seen in the QuickSprout statistic above, some users need more of an explanation about the offer before following through. An offer for “10% off of your next order” is self-explanatory and would benefit from being above the fold, but “fill out this form” may need some more details to support it. In the end, taking the time to test your CTAs to see what produces the best results in your email campaigns is the only truly effective way to optimize your campaigns.

Email is a highly effective tool and the foundation of today’s omnichannel marketing strategies. While this makes email more challenging to stand out in a crowded marketplace, using tried and true techniques to make your emails stand out will go a long way in driving conversions, loyalty and strong revenue.

Let us help rock your email campaigns. Download the Email Marketing Best Practices Guidebook, full of tips and best practices to help you get through to the inbox and in front of consumers waiting to hear from you.


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