The Biggest Shifts in Email Marketing Trends for 2022 [on-demand webinar]

March 2, 2022 | 4 minute read
Chad S. White
Head of Research, Oracle Digital Experience Agency
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The turbulence of the past two years has heavily influenced recent email marketing priorities and is shaping the trends that will dominate 2022. We can see those shifts in the results of our third-annual Email Marketing Trends Survey, where we surveyed Oracle Digital Experience Agency’s hundreds of digital marketing and communications experts about the adoption and impact of 26 email marketing tactics and technologies.

For a detailed look at all 26 trends and how they rated, check out our posts on:

However, in this post, let’s go beyond the quadrant placements and look at the highest impact trends overall, the biggest increases and decreases in adoption and impact, the largest gap between the impact of a trend and its adoption, and much more.

The Highest Impact Trends Overall

The most impactful trends are in our Competitive Differentiator and Proven Essentials quadrants. But to focus on the highest impact trends, we’ll only highlight the trends in the upper half of those two quadrants.

Those last three trends—personalization, segmentation, and automation—have made our highest impact trends list in all three years of our survey. And rightfully so. Those three trends are the three legs of the stool when creating a relevant email marketing program.

The Biggest Increase in Adoption

Dark mode optimization saw the biggest increase in adoption, growing 28% year-over-year. And that’s after rising 43% in our previous survey. While dark mode optimization has become critical for a significant portion of subscribers, consumer usage appears to be at or near its peak. On select Apple email clients, dark mode usage is 29%, according to Litmus.

The Biggest Increase in Impact

Universal holdout groups had the biggest jump in impact, with our consultants expecting their impact to leap 23%. Universal holdout groups are a small segment of subscribers who are suppressed from promotional campaigns in order to measure the difference in activity between that group and subscribers who receive campaigns. It’s the purest way to measure the lift generated by email marketing, and it’s increasingly attractive to email marketers who are being pressured to show the impact of their work.

The Biggest Decrease in Adoption

Account-based marketing (ABM) suffered the largest decrease in adoption, falling 11%. ABM has been challenged by the lack of in-person events and the shift to remote work, both of which make it hard to get both people and material in front of employees at target accounts. Despite the dip in adoption, ABM is expected to have more of an impact this year as offices reopen.

The Biggest Decrease in Impact

Recency, frequency, and monetary (RFM) modeling had the biggest drop in impact, slipping 7%. RFM gives you an effective way of measuring the engagement and value of your email subscribers, which you can then use in segmentation and personalization. However, it appears that Apple’s Mail Privacy Protection (MPP) is undermining marketers’ faith in RFM because opens are a part of those calculations. At the same time, brands have felt pressure to expand their audiences, especially during the holiday season, and RFM tends to narrow audiences.

Largest Gap Is Between Impact and Adoption

Of every trend in our survey, AI-powered content and product recommendations offer the biggest competitive advantage, given that its anticipated impact is 57% higher than its current adoption level. This functionality isn’t easy to set up, and the technology is still relatively young, but it’s the only way to personalize at scale. It’s already delivering solid results, and will only get better in the years ahead.

We discuss all of those trends and much more in this 56-minute on-demand webinar with Oracle Digital Experience Agency experts Jennifer Lancaster Dana, Patrick Colalillo, and Chris Wilson. It concludes with a lengthy conversation about how MPP, lean email teams, email redesigns, and the sunsetting of third-party cookies are affecting the email marketing trends. Watch it now to gain a clear understanding of the major shifts in email marketing priorities right now so you can effectively plan your own email investments and strategies for 2022.



For a full look at all 26 email marketing trends to watch for in 2022, check out our posts that examine: 

Also, for a better understanding of how all of these email marketing trends are evolving, check out our email marketing trends posts from last year:


Need help exploring these email marketing trends? Oracle Digital Experience Agency has hundreds of marketing and communication experts ready to help Oracle customers create stronger connections with their customers, partners, and employees, even if they’re not using an Oracle platform as the foundation of that experience. Our award-winning specialists can handle everything from creative and strategy to content planning and project management. For example, our full-service email marketing clients generate 24% higher open rates, 30% higher click rates, and 9% lower unsubscribe rates than Oracle Responsys customers who aren’t.

For help overcoming your challenges or seizing your opportunities, talk to your Oracle account manager, visit us online, or email us at

Want to better understand your email marketing risks and opportunities, take advantage of our free Email Marketing Assessment. Our experts will check your deliverability, review your email creative, audit your signup process, do a partial competitive analysis, and more. If interested in this free assessment, reach out to us at

Chad S. White

Head of Research, Oracle Digital Experience Agency

Chad S. White is the Head of Research at Oracle Digital Experience Agency and the author of four editions of Email Marketing Rules and nearly 4,000 posts about digital and email marketing. A former journalist, he’s been featured in more than 100 publications, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Advertising Age. Chad was named the ANA's 2018 Email Marketer Thought Leader of the Year. Follow him on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Mastodon.

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