Guest Column | December 15, 2021

The Ever-Evolving World Of Email - 2022 Predictions By Industry Experts

Security Data 2022

After the upheaval, in 2020, of what was once considered “normal life,” it’s a bold move to predict what any year will bring. However, like denim and a clock with no hands, predictions are timeless. And as it is about a half-century old, our go-to communication platform has proven just as timeless: email.

Email also has become a lucrative advertising platform and leads many consumers to shop online through a single click. And, while email and the wider world have changed since our first AOL and Hotmail accounts, it’s still a topic worth examining and getting expert predictions about the road ahead. Several email experts whose companies specialize in email campaigns were asked what will change for email marketers in 2022. While no one can guarantee what will happen in the year ahead, the following experts have seen what can change day-to-day and have some insight into the hottest tools and trends in the established world of email. 

Kate Nowrouzi, VP, Deliverability & Product Strategy, Pathwire

If you’ve ever accepted a suggestion or made a comment to a Google Doc within the email notification rather than in the document itself, you have taken part in what I believe will be the “next phase,” or the biggest trend, for email marketing in 2022. This innovative technique is called AMP, or Accelerated Mobile Pages, and is becoming popular in the world of emails due to the increased engagement rates marketers get from their audience. One of our first clients to use this practice saw their engagement rate increase by 35% the first time they used it! This play was first introduced by marketers in 2019. As it was such a new technology then, it has taken a few years for marketers to create effective templates for AMP emails and to work out all of the technical issues on the back end. I believe that in 2022, those who continue to say “email is dead” will be proven wrong as AMP creates a new interactive email experience. Email is not going anywhere, and with this technology, it is alive and thriving!

As ransomware and phishing attacks continue, I believe next year we’ll see a rise in businesses adopting BIMI as a solution for customers to know their email is the real deal. BIMI stands for “Brand Indicators for Message Identification,” and is a security technique that shows the logo from the email sender. These emails are a challenge for cybercriminals to replicate, as the outgoing email address must pass DMARC identification before the logo will appear in anyone’s inbox. We are already seeing this to be a huge motivator for brands and organizations to adopt this strategy to protect themselves online, as any brand can be a target for phishing. As BIMI serves to keep the email ecosystem more secure, and phishing attacks happen to brands every day, I believe this will become a norm and best practice for anyone who relies on email campaigns to drive brand awareness or digital engagement. We’re already seeing brands such as eBay, Zelle, Scott’s Cheap Flights and the Cloud Security Alliance capitalizing on this security technique. In 2022, this will be more widely adopted.

Daniel Morris, VP of Product, Pathwire

There’s a clear trend in the martech landscape of companies bringing together communications platforms to control the entire life cycle of communications. Brands are currently showing an affinity for working with one communications provider. When each step in the life cycle of a campaign, including the tools and results, exists under one roof, a brand can stitch together the products to understand what is happening in the big picture of a campaign. By committing to a single platform with a holistic experience, it becomes easier to track, analyze and leverage results. In 2022, I suspect that more brands will continue to choose providers that can offer them all the tools needed along the way, and I suspect we will see valuable email marketing tools continue to consolidate under the roofs of larger communications platforms. 

Josh Odom, CTO, Pathwire

In 2021, Apple’s newest iOS update changed the metric around how an email open rate is measured. Users are demanding more control over their personal data, and tech companies are starting to pay attention. In 2022, we’ll see brands lean more into engagement and click rates instead of email opens. Brands will have to adjust and change how they leverage opens in their campaigns and how they can define what is a truly successful campaign. No longer will a campaign’s success be gauged by open rate alone. The days when marketers could deploy a cookie and track users are quickly coming to an end. 

Every year, there is a new change in the email marketing industry that causes panic for many. We theorize that this will make channel marketing more relevant. The email marketing industry always finds a way to adapt and find the best way to reach a customer. Email is the most trafficked mobile app and brings the highest revenue compared to other media. If you look at how your audience is responding and interacting with your emails, that is first-party data. Innovations are still happening in this field. 

Will Conway, CEO, Pathwire:

Accessibility will continue to grow in its importance to email marketers, and hopefully, move into the forefront. Currently, dark mode is the trend that is dominating online design. This promotes more accessible emails since the dark mode is gentler on the eye and the phone battery. I highly suggest marketers start implementing dark mode into their design, send out tests, and see how their audience responds to the change. This is something that needs to be included in the design stage and be tested before moving forward. Features such as this will continue to be added to email platforms to make it easier for the user. Additionally, new features will be added to email that can make it easier for users to access on any device. With that in mind, email engineers should focus on doing more to make the design of in-app emails easier on users’ eyes.