December 17, 2021

Essence of Email Weekly - 2022 plans are here

More than half of B2C brands will be using email marketing as part of their strategy next year. But email is lagging behind other direct-response channels in budget spend, according to a study.

Zoom in: Of those polled, 60% will be using email as a direct-response channel in 2022. Next come Google ads (56%) and Facebook ads (52%). However, only 32% say email will get the most allocation budget in 2022, behind Google ads (51%) and Facebook ads (42%).

So why the third place for email? Because (successful) marketers saw an increase in online shopping spend this year and they now have the opportunity to shift budgets to channels that could quickly capture new customers, that is, Google ads and Facebook ads.

What the numbers say: What will be the most budgeted-for marketing channels in 2022? Paid search (46%) and email/SMS (38%) (SMS is now an important component of email marketing efforts, as the two work in perfect unity). But only 33% will increase their spend for email/SMS, vs. 48% for paid social and 47% for paid search. SEO ranks fourth in both listings.

According to the same study, the brands polled predict that these three channels will have the most impact on their marketing performance next year: paid search (42%), paid social (40%), and email & SMS (40%).

Finally: The report concludes that email "may be the oldest direct-response channel, but is still the most frequently used because it is easy to track and measure. It's fairly easy to capture email addresses using other channels and to collect more data to optimize your email campaigns. As first-party data becomes more important, email will continue to stay central to marketing strategies in 2022, even as inboxes show signs of strain from the constant bombardment."

What channels will you be focusing on in 2022?


Security issues ahead of the holidays

Source: Giphy
What's it all about: Major companies have been exposed to over 1.2 million cyberattacks since last Friday because of a piece of faulty software called Log4J. This is believed to be one of the biggest security breaches ever, and it's believed it could take years to fully fix.

If left unpatched, the bug in the Java-logging library Apache Log4j could be used by cyberattackers to take over computer servers. This can potentially put online services, as well as popular consumer devices, at risk of failure.

Zoom out: This software might not be widely known, but it is used by major brands such as Amazon, Apple, Tesla, IBM, and Twitter. Cybercriminals are now using it as a crowbar to break into computers from where they can extract sensitive data, mine crypto, and join the computer to a "botnet", which is a system of interconnected computers used to mass-send spam.

For now, only Microsoft has been breached via Log4J. Other companies are currently investigating, so the full effect is still not known. But a cybersecurity firm Check Point said that it detected over 800,000 attempted exploits of the bug in the first few days after it became public.

"It is clearly one of the most serious vulnerabilities on the internet in recent years. The potential for damage is incalculable," it is said in Check Point's report.

Last month, the US government warned companies about the high risk of cyberattacks in the face of the holidays, as this is a popular period for attackers to strike.


How to privacy-proof your emails

Source: Giphy
Canada's Anti-Spam Law (CASL), General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), and Apple's Mail Privacy Protection (MPP) all contributed to the rise of privacy measures, which will surely continue to increase. Add to that the death of third-party cookies from Google in 2023, and it's clear brands need to take certain steps to comply with the regulations, stay informed, and plan for the long-term success of their email marketing program.

Litmus is bringing ideas on how to set up your email marketing program with these privacy issues in mind.

  • Increase collection of zero-party data: This is something we recently wrote about. It's a type of data that users voluntarily and intentionally share with a brand. If you give your best to collect this type of data, you won't have to worry in the future when privacy measures tighten even further.
  • Ensure confirmation campaigns are in place: These are Re-Permission campaigns (the ones used to confirm with your subscribers they're still interested in getting your emails) and Double Opt-In emails (when a user signs up for an email marketing list/for an eBook, etc., this type of email is sent out to them. The email includes a link to click and confirm the subscription).
  • Track engagement with metrics other than open rates: Focus on more reliable metrics like click-through rates and unsubscribe rates. Even better, look beyond email, at other platforms. Incorporate omnichannel metrics that demonstrate customer engagement such as offline purchases, account activity, website visits, mobile app activity, and SMS engagement.
  • Consider removing Personally Identifiable Information (PII): According to the U.S. General Services Administration, this is "information that can be used to distinguish or trace an individual's identity, either alone or when combined with other personal or identifying information that is linked or linkable to a specific individual." Removing PII can be a good way of protecting subscribes' sensitive information. Instead, a subscriber ID number can be used. By assigning an ID, you can connect information to an individual person and protect their data from being passed to other systems in case of a breach.
For more ways to protect your subscribers' privacy, as well as for more details regarding the ones mentioned above, make sure to check out Litmus' blog post.


Giving back this holiday season

Source: ReallyGoodEmails
Your Christmas emails don't always have to revolve around sales. Sure, brands are offering all kinds of discounts and emails are looking all warm and nice with Santas and reindeers bringing coupons and packages.

But there's another type of email you can send out this holiday season to connect with your audience on a more personal level. It can also help you raise brand recognition and showcase your values. Yes, we're talking about donations and giving back to the community.

This email by AfterShokz focuses on non-profit organizations and encourages readers to get to know them better and support them during the holiday season. That's what holidays are all about!

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