Email marketing is an incredibly important tool for businesses of all shapes and sizes. This is even more true at the beginning of the year when you’ve set big goals for your brand. 

But perfecting your 2022 email marketing strategy isn’t easy. The industry is constantly evolving and there are always new trends to integrate and take into consideration. Relying on the same approach year after year simply won’t produce the optimal results.

In order to help you get those results, I’m sharing the top 3 consumer trends you need to keep in mind when planning your email marketing approach this year. After all, the best way to give your customers what they want is by understanding their needs and delivering accordingly. 

I’ll also be sharing specific strategies and tactics that can help you leverage these email marketing trends right away, so keep reading.

Get unlimited email sends & subscribers with Flodesk

We’ll never increase pricing because your email list is growing

Trend #1: People are craving connection

First things first, people are craving connection now more than ever. This is especially the case with the pandemic over the past two years, and actually goes back much farther than that. In fact, we’re hard wired to crave connection the same way we crave food according to one MIT study.

Another recent IBM Institute for Business Value study showed that nearly 30% of Gen Z respondents are planning to interact with other people more than they did pre-pandemic

We all know that one of the most popular ways to connect nowadays is through social media. But when Facebook and Instagram go down (like they did last October) my phone blew up—as I’m sure yours did, too—with messages from friends and colleagues freaking out about how long the outage might last.

This situation leaves us with one big question… 

What can we do if people are craving connection but the social media platforms we know and love aren’t as reliable as we thought?

How to connect with your audience

The best solution is to own how you communicate and connect with your audience by focusing on your email marketing efforts.

1. Focus on your email marketing

We encourage small business owners, entrepreneurs, and just about anyone to double down on their email marketing efforts so that they can build their own subscriber list. This is key because your email marketing subscriber list is yours no matter what. You aren’t relying on any particular platform because you can take it with you if you change systems or providers.

Circling back to the social media outage example, business owners who prioritize email marketing were able to pivot and even use the situation to their advantage. Just check out the example below. 

As you can see, Flodesk member Brittany Hennessy of Carbon August sent out an email on October 4 titled “So Instagram has been down all day…” with preview text that asks “Are you freaking out or booked and busy?”

That’s certainly an introduction that would pique a reader’s interest and encourage them to open the email. 

Then, the email body text starts off with this captivating, timely question:

Have you been freaking out all day, or are you unbothered because you’re working on your blog, sending out your newsletter, and making money? My Influencer Business Plan students were doing the latter.”

Brittany’s email is a great example of owning your list for two key reasons. First, her list building and email marketing efforts have paid off as she was able to connect with her audience and provide this timely content. She wasn’t only relying on social media to get her word out, so she could easily reach her subscribers via email during the outage.

In addition, Brittany was able to leverage the situation and promote her own content as she teaches students in her Influencer Business Plan to do the same. This is a great example of excellent email marketing in action.

2. Grow your email list

It doesn’t matter how big or small your subscriber list is, there are a couple easy ways to build it easily and consistently. Try them out now and just see how far they can take you and your business. 

Create a full-page form on Flodesk

One of the best ways to start (or continue) to grow your list is with a full-page form. In fact, you don’t even need a website to put one together, so they’re perfect for those just getting started.

You can design your own full-page form in Flodesk from scratch or by using one of our beautiful templates. Once you’re done, you’ll receive a unique URL you can post on social media, on your website or in emails to consistently promote your list. 

When promoting your list, be sure to highlight its value and the kind of content you’ll be sending out to potential subscribers. It’s not enough to simply share a link and leave it at that.

Add a pop-up form or in-line form to your website

Taking things a step further, you can also create an inline or pop-up form for your website. If someone lands on your website, you know that they’re at least somewhat interested in what you have to offer. Why not use that to your advantage and direct that interest to your email list?

Integrating a pop-up form and in-line form to your website is especially important for nurturing leads. When someone initially finds out about your business, they might not know enough about you or otherwise be ready to convert right away. However, if you capture their email and add them onto your list, you’ll be able to maintain that connection and nurture your relationship with them over time. 

Get unlimited email sends & subscribers with Flodesk

We’ll never increase pricing because your email list is growing

Trend #2: People want more privacy

As technology permeates more and more parts of our lives, people are also craving more privacy. A great example of this is Apple’s iOS 15 update, released in September 2021. This update gives users the option to block the tracking of their email opens while using the Apple Mail app. 

This update reflects consumers’ increasing demand for privacy in tech spaces. It also has serious implications for email marketing. When a user enables Apple’s Mail Privacy Protection setting, Apple will load and open all their emails remotely. That means that all their emails will be marked as opened on email marketing platforms, regardless of whether they were really opened or not.

Regardless of the email marketing software you use, this new update leads to the inflation of open rates, making them a less reliable metric than they were before.

How to manage without open rates

This update is a great sign that people are gaining more control of their data online. However, it’s important to consider how email marketers can adapt to the new tech landscape that has an increasing need for privacy. Building real engagement and serving your customers’ needs are key.

1. Give subscribers what they want

Take the guesswork out of the equation and send your subscribers the kind of content they love. There are tons of great features out there that let you ask your list what kinds of emails they’re most interested in, so why not use them?

For instance, Flodesk just released a new feature that allows users to add checkbox preferences to their forms. That means that you can ask your subscribers what kind of content they want to receive, allowing for a personalized marketing experience from the get-go.

With the Preferences Page (which your subscribers can find at the bottom of every Flodesk email you send), subscribers can manage their preferences at any time, so they can opt out of different kinds of content that’s no longer relevant to them.

These features make it super easy to segment content and ensure that you’re sending your subscribers content that they find truly worthwhile.

As discussed, open rates are becoming a less reliable metric because of new privacy settings. That means it’s time to find a different indicator of your emails’ success.

I recommend including at least one link in your email newsletters so that you can start tracking your emails’ click-through rates. 

In order to make this an effective strategy, it’s important to establish a baseline click-through rate for your business. Once you’ve calculated your average click-through rate over several months, you’ll get a good indication of whether a given email was successful or not. It will also give you an indication of the kind of content you should produce more or less of. 

3. Track email quality score

Your email quality score is an indication of how many people enjoyed receiving your email vs. feeling annoyed. It’s a little bit technical to calculate, but once you get the hang of it, it’s a helpful tool that allows you to gauge how your messages are perceived. Here’s how it’s done:

For those of you who aren’t familiar, your unsubscribes are anyone who unsubscribed from your list as a result of your email. Your responders are anyone who responded to your email by clicking. Here’s an example of the email quality score equation in action:

The result of this equation is 90, which means that 90% of people enjoyed the email. That’s a great score

This is an insightful metric to add into your repertoire alongside your click-through rate. It adds a different perspective into the success of your emails because it considers unsubscribes as well as clicks.

4. Keep showing up

It can be easy to get discouraged with the changing world of email marketing. However, I’d encourage you to be consistent with your messages and keep showing up. Your subscriber list still wants to hear from you and learn more about what you have to offer. 

It’s important to remember that people buy from people they know, like and trust, so it’s essential to keep nurturing those relationships over time. 

Trend #3: Shoppers are becoming savvier

The modern shopper wants to feel informed about the products and services they’re buying. The amount of information at our fingertips nowadays makes customers crave interesting content from their favorite brands. This is great news for businesses because it means that their customers want to receive relevant email marketing content from them. Just check out these statistics:

  • 73% of consumers are more likely to purchase a product or service if they can watch a video explaining it beforehand (Animoto).
  • 42% of online shoppers want more testimonials from e-commerce sites (Big Commerce).
  • 63% of consumers said they’d think more positively of a brand if it gave them content that was more valuable, interesting or relevant (Rapt Media).

How to keep your subscribers informed

There are tons of easy ways you can make sure your subscribers receive the information they want. Here are just a few of my favorites.

1. Use email regularly

Avoid making the mistake of neglecting your subscribers and then bombarding them with emails during key sales periods like Black Friday. Instead, nurture your list with educational and informative messages so that your customers can get to know you better. They’ll also feel better informed when sales emails do roll around and will be more likely to make a purchase.

You can also save a lot of time by repurposing different kinds of content and turning them into emails. Even better, your message will reach a wider audience. Flodesk allows you to do everything from embedding videos to adding layout blocks that highlight blog posts or podcasts interviews in your messages.

2. Include options in your emails

Customers value convenience and variety in their shopping experiences. More specifically, Google reported a 100% increase in “now near me” searches in 2021. This means that people are looking for physical stores to visit, but why? According to Google, it’s for the following three reasons: 

  • Convenience: Customers want to stop by a store without a huge detour, whether it’s on the way home from work or school.
  • Experience: Customers want to have the experience of visiting your store and getting to know your brand. 
  • Trial: Customers want to see or try your physical product. 

If your business has a physical location, make it convenient for your customers to visit you by providing them with relevant information through email marketing. Here are some examples of what to include:

  • Options for curbside drop-off and local delivery
  • Shop hours, stockist information, and special event details
  • Remind your customers that you love it when they visit you!

If your business doesn’t have a physical location but is stocked in certain boutiques or shops, it’s a great idea to include those details in your emails as well. Giving customers the opportunity to interact with your product in-person can truly make all the difference.

3. Design for mobile

People are using their mobile devices to search, browse, and shop more than ever, and this trend is only set to increase. In fact, 59% of all e-commerce sessions are currently happening on mobile devices. Just let that statistic sink in.

The best way that email marketers can adapt to this reality is by designing their messages with mobile devices in mind. On top of using an email marketing platform with mobile-optimized templates like Flodesk, there are a few other best practices you can integrate:

  • Use short copy that will fit neatly on smaller mobile screens as well as desktop screens
  • Provide a good balance between images and text 
  • Always review email tests on your phone before sending
  • Use a mobile-optimized email marketing platform

If you use these simple tips, you’ll be sure to send out elegant emails that are convenient for your subscribers to read anytime, whether they’re on their mobile device or desktop.

Give Flodesk a try with our free 30-day trial

If you’re interested in putting some of the tips I covered into action with Flodesk, we’ve got a fantastic 30-day free trial you can take for a spin for free. 

Our platform is designed for small businesses and entrepreneurs who love great design, so click here to try it out and see for yourself.