99% of email users check their inbox daily, some as often as 20 times a day! So if you’re not optimizing your B2B email marketing strategy, you’re missing out on a crucial channel of communication with your audience.

Email marketing has been driving results since the dawn of digital marketing, but that doesn’t mean marketers don’t have to consistently update their email marketing efforts to keep it fresh. Like content marketing and video marketing, 2022 is bringing some new challenges for marketers when it comes to their email marketing efforts.

We’ve identified some key trends in email marketing that you should be watching out for in 2022.

Important B2B email marketing KPIs
In this article, we’ve picked out popular email KPIs, explained why they’re important (or not), and included a bit on what you can do to improve them.

Artificial intelligence

These days, marketers have more data than they know what to do with. But even the most tech-savvy among us need help navigating and utilizing all this customer data, because, when compared to a computer, most humans just aren’t as good at crunching the numbers.

Enter AI software, which has already proved an invaluable tool for marketers across many different channels. It can sift through millions of data points to make predictions about how your email campaign will fare, and automatically adjust it to give you the very best possible results.

AI can write your email subject lines for you, send out personalized emails, optimize send times, and automatically adjust your email lists. By analyzing large datasets, AI can use insights to make recommendations and decisions to allow for personalized segmentation at every stage of the customer journey.

As we head into 2022, we can only expect AI to become more prevalent and offer even more benefits than it already does. So if you haven’t already taken advantage of the benefits of AI in your email marketing, make a start in 2022.

Interactivity

People’s attention spans are waning, so static emails that require people to sit there and read your content just doesn’t cut it anymore. If you want customers to engage with your emails, then making them exciting is essential, which is why we can expect interactivity to be a big trend in 2022.

Interactive emails mean including elements that users can manipulate without having to visit your website, such as including a carousel of images that can be swiped, embedding videos, using sliders that can be manipulated, or even including games within the email.

By including interactive elements, you not only increase the amount of time people spend looking at your email - thus increasing the likelihood of a click-through - but you can also guide them through the sales funnel from the get-go.

There are limitations, however, as many interactive elements are not supported in all email clients, so you’ll still need code fallbacks for subscribers whose emails won’t support interactivity.

B2B Basics: Email marketing best practices
As the digital age has progressed, we’ve seen the rise of many new marketing channels. So many, it makes the old workhorse of email marketing seem a tad overshadowed.

Personalized messaging

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, when it comes to B2B marketing, personalization is where it’s at. Whether content, video, or email, consumers want relevancy, they don’t have time for ads that have nothing to do with their wants and needs.

74% of marketers say that targeted personalization in email increases customer engagement, so if you want to stay ahead of the game in 2022, you best be prepared to get personal with your customers.

You’ll need to harness all your data to drive more engaging email content with personalized subject lines, offers and promotions, the content, and even the time of day the email is delivered.

Fortunately, AI software can make this process easier than ever. By collecting all the available data about your customers and their purchasing habits, AI can analyze all of it more quickly and more accurately than a human marketer ever could, producing data-backed recommendations for content that’s far more likely to result in click-throughs. All-in-one CRM products like EngageBay can help you with personalization.

User-generated content

User-generated content is becoming more prevalent across different aspects of digital marketing, from video to social, but it’s also making waves in email marketing. Customers are more likely to trust other customers than a company trying to sell them something. A company will always say their products and services are amazing, but if lots of happy customers are confirming this as well, then they’re much more likely to take it as gospel.

Showcasing happy customers encourages others to make a purchase. So make sure you’re utilizing customer reviews, photos of customers using your products, and customer case studies in your email marketing. 92% of consumers are more likely to trust non-paid recommendations than any other kind of advertising - and the same is likely true for B2B - so social proof is a great way to improve your click-through rate and encourage conversions.

16 email marketing tools for B2B marketers
Here’s a selection of some of the tools you can use to elevate your B2B email marketing, all approved by B2B Marketing Alliance.

Microsegmentation

Customer segmentation is not just smart practice, it’s essential. By segmenting your audience into groups to send individualized emails to, you get a higher ROI and a higher chance of click-throughs. But splitting your audience into broad categories using the likes of their location or industry demographics just won’t cut it anymore. In 2022 we can expect to take this even further.

Your email marketing should embrace microsegments, segmenting your audience into even smaller groups for a far more personalized experience. You’ll need to deep dive into not only your audience’s organizational demographics but their buyer behavior and how they use your site and products.

This is where AI can lend a hand, segmenting your audience for you based on the data it’s collected and analyzed. What makes AI even more handy for this process is that it can update these lists automatically over time as it gathers more and more accurate, up-to-date data, keeping your segmented email lists as accurate as possible.

Mobile optimization

50% of B2B inquiries are made through smartphones compared to a desktop, yet nearly one in five email campaigns are not optimized for mobile devices. So if mobile-first is set to become standard in 2022, and email marketing needs to catch up.

If you’re not already making sure your emails are offering a mobile-friendly user experience, now is the time. Your emails must function correctly on mobile devices, by using responsive design so they can adapt to whatever device your audience is using.

The design of the email is also important because you’ll want to keep it free of clutter so mobile users don’t have to scroll endlessly to find the relevant content. In 2022, keeping your email campaigns mobile-friendly needs to have equal priority with desktop, rather than just an afterthought.

Improving your B2B email marketing with AI
For any stellar marketing campaign to be successful, email marketing is vital. From automation to personalization, capturing data and email timing calibration, AI could transform your email marketing.

Less copy

We’ve already mentioned how attention spans are deteriorating, well that can only mean that marketers need to be more concise with their copy. A well-written, concise email will catch your reader’s attention in the same way an interactive email will. It’s also ideal for people who are prone to glancing at an email on the go, so you can impart your message to them in less time.

Rather than the hard sell, consider using storytelling, a popular marketing tool that has been shown to be much more memorable than simply relaying statistical facts. Another option is to connect to your audience with a conversational, or even humorous, tone, forging meaningful relationships with the email recipient. Just make sure that the tone of your message is consistent with your brand persona.

Final thoughts

Email marketing is always evolving thanks to emerging technologies or even external factors like the impact of a pandemic. If you want to stay ahead of the competition, you need to remain at the forefront of the latest email marketing trends and adjust your strategy accordingly.

Want to learn more about how B2B marketers are gearing up their email campaigns for the new year? Join the B2B Marketing Alliance Community!