As we head toward the end of 2021, it’s been a challenging and successful year for the digital marketing industry. Challenging, because of the uncharted waters brought on by the pandemic and evolving data privacy regulations. Successful, because while real-world marketing was impacted most by people staying home, the digital marketing industry rose to the occasion. Amidst it all, email marketing continued driving results, as it has consistently for the past 40+ years. But, as we head into 2022, what can marketers expect to see from the email channel?

Here are 5 key trends you can expect to see in the email marketing industry in 2022.

The Impacts of Data Privacy

Whether it’s new legislation and regulation that is changing the ways companies can collect and leverage data in their marketing programs or specific technological developments that specifically address email marketing (like Apple’s Mail Privacy Protection features) email marketers will be challenged in 2022. That said, the email channel is well-positioned to thrive in 2022. Email marketers have many years of experience working within a regulatory framework that requires compliance with a set of rules. While changes in the data marketers can leverage for audience targeting will make certain aspects of email marketing more challenging, the email channel itself has never been more important to consumers and businesses. So, expect email marketers to continue to successfully adapt to changing requirements while delivering impactful and effective campaigns in 2022.


Even with more stringent rules around the collection and use of consumer data, you can expect email marketers to become even more focused on segmentation, targeting, and personalization in their campaigns. Email marketers will become even more focused on making the best use of the data they have to drive more engaging email content with personalized subject lines, content, send timing, offers, and promotions. If anything, expect email marketers to rise to the occasion and dial in their personalization programs to a higher degree than ever before.

A Renewed Focus on Performance Marketing

It seems fairly certain that Open Rate, a traditional email marketing metric, will become if not ignored, at least used only directionally. While this certainly impacts email marketers and many types of campaign planning and optimization, it may actually be a net positive for the industry. Email open data has always been at least somewhat suspect for a variety of technical reasons. Now, email marketers will be forced to step away from relying on it and focus on more accurate and easily tracked metrics like click-through rates and other measures that are more closely tied to valuable response actions taken by email recipients. Focusing more on sales and conversions driven by an email campaign will help marketers optimize toward these more valued and revenue-driving performance metrics.

Leveraging Artificial intelligence Tools

We’ve been hearing about the coming of AI for years, but if you haven’t been watching closely, you might be surprised at how far it has come. There are now tools that can automatically write or rewrite marketing content, using performance data to guide it’s output. Marketers will begin testing AI tools to write email content, subject lines, and calls-to-action more frequently, and they are going to find that these tools are now capable of improving performance in many cases. AI may not be ready to create everything from scratch quite yet, but it’s now more than ready to help optimize and dial in content as effectively (and likely more effectively) than marketers can do manually.


Expect to see email campaigns that leverage a wide variety of engaging interactivity within the content. Look for polls/surveys, games, forms, and other types of content that recipients can interact with inside the email itself, rather than clicking out to visit a website. Adding this type of interactive element is extremely user-friendly and also reduces the number of steps required to drive any number of actions by recipients. With the increased focus on performance, interactivity will provide tools to optimize campaigns to maximize recipient engagement and conversions.

Get ready for another exciting year in the email marketing channel, as it continues cementing its place as a core communications and marketing channel for companies spanning virtually every industry.

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