We're Better Off: Email Marketers Are More Upbeat Heading Into 2022

Email business is on the rebound and production is more efficient, but marketers continue to be dogged by privacy issues, judging by Email in 2022: The trends, behaviors, and benchmarks driving email forward, a study released Wednesday by SparkPost.  

Of the email marketing leaders polled, 91% say their team was successful in 2021. And 70% report business performance as better overall, compared to only 42% in 2020. Only 15% say business was worse, down from 32% in 2020.

Moreover, 76% state their email marketing program made a positive impact on the business in 2021, versus 58% in 2020.

For 63%, budgets and priorities reflect pre-COVID-19 levels. And 71% of marketing teams grew during the past year. 

That doesn’t mean their pay went up as a result. Of email leaders globally, 33% admit their pay was negatively affected over the past year, and 21% lost their job as a result of economic and industry challenges. 



In contrast, 14% of leaders kept their jobs and received a pay raise, as did 41% of practitioners.  

But efficiency is on the rise as companies have taken their email work in-house: only 29% rely on agencies to do most of their management and execution, down from 55% in 2020. 

And, 63% of leaders say all email marketing is done in-house.   

As for technology, 62% have an a la carte martech stack, while the remainder use a single platform. 

In addition, 95% say their email marketing was aligned with other marketing disciplines — up from 50% in 2020.  

Meanwhile, 82% of leaders are preparing for privacy changes, and 67% at the practitioner level are concerned about how privacy will affect their ability to perform. 

Marketers fear that digital marketing assets will be unusable in the future, that they will have to overhaul systems and need to re-do things from scratch.

Specifically, marketers worry about these problems: 

  • Apple’s IOS 15 — 81% 
  • Google’s third-party cookie tracking — 77% 
  • Government regulations — 72%
  • Deprecation of app tracking data — 72%

To help bolster security, email senders are using these forms of authentication: 

  • SPF — 57%
  • DKIM — 6.4%
  • DMARC — 58%
  • BIMI — 15%

Looking forward, AMP is being considered by 33%, BIMI by 28% and voice emails/triggers by 12%. 

As for their work lives, 94% of leaders and 85% practitioners claim to be happy in their current role.  

Only 10% of firms are back in the office full-time, while 49% remain fully remote and 41% are in a hybrid mode.  

Remote work has not hurt workflow — 98% say collaboration is either the same or better, and 95% claim the same about productivity. 

The report is based on two global surveys conducted in Q3 2121 of 2,000 marketing leaders who reported on “changes in strategies and budget, teams and workload, effects of privacy changes, and email marketing value and investments,” and of 224 email marketing practitioners focused on how industry and economic changes have affected their ability to accomplish their work and succeed.

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