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Top 7 Marketing Automation Trends in 2022 According to 103 Experts

Marketing rapidly changes. 

Despite all the alterations, one thing remains ― marketing is tricky. The principles remain the same, but the execution rapidly shifts. Thanks to the rise of new platforms, algorithms, policy alterations, and constantly evolving consumer behavior.

Enter marketing automation. 

To adapt to and exploit these changes, marketing automation has become the go-to solution for most businesses. It has amplified workflows, provided real-time analytics, and armed marketers with superpowers (like warping time because they no longer have to do things manually). 

Thus, automation has become one of the favorite strategies of savvy marketers today:

  • The global marketing automation market size is expected to reach 25.1 billion US dollars by the end of 2023
  • 63% of marketing teams plan to increase their marketing automation budget this year 
  • 9 out of 10 marketers use more than one form of marketing automation software regularly

Hmmm, but… 

Which marketing automation is optimal to use? What are the best ones that have brought the greatest ROI? Which ones should you stick to? 

We asked 103 marketing experts of global companies. Now we bring you our findings on the top marketing automation trends in 2022.

But first…

What is Marketing Automation?

Marketing automation is a marketing approach that allows marketers to send automated marketing messages under certain conditions to a certain group of people at a scheduled time (or triggered event). 

It goes way beyond emails. It’s used in social media, SMS, and other digital channels. 

The goal is to turn the complex processes involved in B2C and B2B marketing into automatic, easy, and repeatable processes with less human intervention. 

Marketing automation is no longer seen as just a necessity but rather the key to success for many businesses. That said, here are the emerging trends that will help you take your marketing to the next level in 2022.

  1. Hyper personalization using funnel-optimized content
  2. Omnichannel marketing 
  3. AI and machine learning in email, content marketing, and SEO
  4. Inter-departmental automation
  5. Conversational marketing and chatbots
  6. Value-driven retargeting and retention
  7. Mobile-first automation

1. Hyper personalization using funnel-optimized content

Personalization, in general, is a growing tactic to boost customer experience. But it’s more than just the “Hey *insert name*”.

Sadly, this no longer suffices the ever-growing customer’s expectation of a personalized experience. Hyper-personalization is the trend that takes this up a notch. 

Rather than using names, company names, or locations, you use their behavioral data ― the real-time interactions they have with your brand. This is hyper-personalization, using data to send personalized content across all stages of the funnel.

For example, when your user visits your pricing page. But they leave without any transaction. The real-time analytics regarding the recent activity will let you send a behavior-based in-app or email that starts a conversation about pricing. 

How to execute this?

Marketing automation platforms like Encharge can help you set up hyper-personalized email campaigns. Through user segmentation, you can set email triggers based on behavior data like visiting a critical feature page or seeing who is opening emails. When you do this:

  • You send relevant messages only.
  • You customize their experience with your brand.
  • Your Net Promoter scores will increase.

Here are some hyper-personalized strategies you can implement in 2022:

  • Account-based marketing or ABM. You start attracting a few hyper-targeted accounts instead of starting with the general audience and filtering them down by lead scores. Then as you identify who’s likely to be a lead, you can send personalized content to increase the likelihood of engagement. 
  • Behavior-based emails, i.e. reward emails or milestone emails. They’re not like welcome emails that you send to everyone who’s signed up to your opt-in list. You only send them selected active people who’ve hit certain milestones like completed the setup or upgraded to a paid plan.

What the experts say about this

Funnel-optimized content: Marketing Automation combines the best of both worlds — personalization and automation. With the power of marketing automation, your business can produce a proven experience that speaks directly to the reader by representing its unique challenges, industry, and goals.”

Jignesh Gohel,
Founder & CMO at OLBUZ Private Limited 

“The biggest trend will be continuing to optimize how we personalize our content. Customers are looking for increasingly tailored content and experiences that suit their specific needs. The thought process isn’t new, but automation helps us do it better, reaching customers in the right way at the pinpointed time that makes the most sense for them.”

Ryan Brown,
Integrated Marketing Director at Kenra Professional 

“In 2022, I’ll be focusing on funnel-optimized content and, I’ll be using automation to help me to create a more personalized experience to do this. For this, I’m working closely with my sales and customer support teams to identify customer pain points and, also, sticking points when it comes to my funnel. This will allow me to create more targeted content and, therefore, increase leads by making my funnel more customer-oriented.

Milosz,
ChiliFruit

“When such personalized content gets delivered to the users they get stimulated to respond to the call to action. Content personalization is already ruling the market and it is estimated to grow by leaps and bounds in the coming years.”

2. Omnichannel marketing 

Have you ever seen an interesting ad on Facebook or Instagram, then remembered to check them out again when you see their banner on Google?

It almost feels like they’re following you everywhere. Sometimes, their ads (or emails) even invade your inbox.

This is omnichannel marketing. Brands retarget you and you see them all over your online assets. 

So, where does marketing automation come into play?

Marketing automation allows for automated content management all throughout the lifecycle customer journey.

That means you can deliver marketing messages, depending on where the customer is on their journey. This enhances the overall user experience. Automation lets you add content or advertisements to different channels simultaneously. 

Remember, there needs to be integrated data to make the customer journey cohesive. Powerful cross-channel marketing can thread the messages from different channels and still convey the same idea throughout.

So if you sound fun in the ads, but your homepage feels stiff, serious, or cold, customers might get confused if they’re really dealing with the same vendor. 

Provide a consistent experience to customers across multiple platforms, the concept behind integrated cross-channel marketing.

What the experts say about this

“Omnichannel marketing allows each channel to be managed separately. By using different communication channels, companies can deliver personalized communications that are easy for customers to receive, understand and act on.”

Stephen Curry,
CEO at CocoSign

“Marketing automation allows for hyper-personalized, hyper-targeted client experiences to be delivered across many marketing channels. There will be a consumer-centric automated nurturing operation.”

Jordon Scrinko,
Founder & Marketing Director at Precondo

“What’s more, people are increasingly meeting with your brand digitally. Which means there are potentially thousands of content touchpoints across your digital channels that need to be aligned to your brand standards. Because each touchpoint is another opportunity for you to connect with your audience and show them the value your product or service provides.”

Charlotte,
Acrolinx

3. AI and machine learning in email, content marketing, and SEO

Artificial intelligence and machine learning have paved the way for large-scale content automation.

AI-powered writing tools help you whip out content faster. Yup, it “writes” your emails, blog posts, social media status, and even ad copy for you. Nonwriters love this part! 

Copywriters also use AI to generate ideas, pick messaging angles, and find better hooks. 

Take, for example, the Encharge Magic Writer tool. It’s based on the GPT3 technology (developed by OpenAI, the company co-founded by Elon Musk), and it can create unique subject lines, email outline ideas, and even write whole emails for you in a matter of seconds. You just give it a topic, tone, and the name of your company, click Generate, and it writes a ton of copy examples for you.

Encharge Magic Writer
Example subject lines generated with the Magic Writer in Encharge

Give the Magic Writer a go by signing up for a 14-day free trial for Encharge. Or, if you are not ready to try the Magic Writer yet, make sure to check out our Free AI Email Subject Line Generator, which is also based on the same technology, plus it doesn’t require signup!

Jarvis results

SEO AI tools, on the other hand, help you find the top-ranking articles that you can use as reference and provide you with keywords that you need to add to your article. They also give you metrics like the monthly search volume, keyword difficulty, or SERPs. An example of this is Ubersuggest

Ubbersuggest screenshot

There are also tools that will help you create an outline for your blog posts and score your article from the SEO perspective as you write it. 

Will they replace marketers? Can humans be replaced by technology?

2022 will be the year where the rise of machines is expected to grow. And not maximizing artificial intelligence for your business is like surrendering to your competitors.

What the experts say about the use of AI in marketing automation:

“Adopting AI technology will refine how businesses forecast and predict consumer behavior, allowing them to produce more accurate content that ensures engagement and interaction. The versatility of AI technology provides endless opportunities for brands to update and reinforce their marketing methods, especially mitigating challenges around SEO.”

Michael Knight,
Co-founder and Head of Marketing at Incorporation Insight

“You may gather information about your audience using AI and Machine Learning, which will help you build better marketing for them and in the future. You can collect data on people and their online habits using machine learning, and you can organize that data using automation. This data may be used to create future campaigns that will engage and please your target audience. It enables you to produce tailored content for your target audience.”

Rodney Yo,
CEO & Founder of Best Online Traffic School

“The automation of optimized content is becoming a large-scale tool for many brands. Tools like jasper.ai can produce automated content on a large scale in a breeze. Although this content is not of the highest quality, it can work as simple texts for Ads or as a base for developing better content.”

4. Inter-departmental automation

A 2016 article entitled Ending the War Between Sales and Marketing practically showed the misalignment between the sales and marketing teams then. The teams both tend to overlook the other’s contributions to business growth.

Fast track to 2020, the authors say that there’s a little gap between the departments today. There has been a massive realignment of the team roles. Sales and marketing people can now both participate in individual and company customer lifecycle marketing.

In the future, we’ll see a better inter-departmental alignment — from sales to the marketing team and everything in between. 

Inter-departmental automation can standardize the processes involved in a company’s pursuit to enhance the customer experience at every stage of the sales funnel.

How does marketing automation bridge the gap?

  • The first impact we’ll see is how sales and marketing “tag teams” to fulfill the entire customer journey. And this strategy is only feasible if you have the right integration with your CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system. 

    This system stores all the information of your contact. When teams have the right and careful access to this rich information, you can implement lifecycle marketing for each customer’s stage.

    Marketing automation platforms like Encharge integrate with some of the major CRMs like HubSpot and Salesforce.
  • The second trend we’ll see involves lead scoring. It is the process of determining the quality of your leads (a.k.a your potential customers). When you use numerical values to assess the likeliness of a lead to convert into a paying customer, marketing teams can be sure to pass only qualified leads.

    Sales and marketing departments can set the criteria for a lead to be sales-qualified. They can then determine which touchpoints account for this score and the method of nurturing they can do. 
  • Retargeting potential customers will be leveraged in marketing automation. This happens when you can analyze their browsing behavior so you can send relevant messages using different platforms. 

What the experts say about inter-departmental automation:

“An underrated marketing automation trend in 2022 will be combining marketing data and sales data for analysis. This would also help to budget for marketing campaigns accordingly. We’ll be able to predict the ROI generated from the campaigns, and you can discuss results with your marketing campaign managers accordingly!”

Sally,
Marketing Director and Co-Founder at FastPeopleSearch.io

“A CRM distributes customer data via a dashboard, allowing marketing executives and teams to access and use data like emails, phone numbers, locations, and other information in their campaigns. CRM software allows marketers to monitor where their leads are in the sales funnel, which aids in the conversion of those potential consumers.”

Shiv Gupta,
CEO at Incrementors Digital Marketing 

“As the focus on first-party data intensifies, savvy businesses will be looking to optimize their automation strategies based on their own data. This includes layering in lead scoring and aligning marketing efforts with the sales process. By adding scores to key activities along the customer’s path to purchase, marketers can begin to see trends and opportunities to make their automation stronger.”

Katie,
Founder at Smart Girl Digital

5. Conversational marketing and chatbots

Here’s a truth that every business should do: stop one-way communication with customers. Have a conversation with them. 

That’s why conversational marketing made it to our list.

Businesses use conversations with customers to show that they care about the customer’s needs. This is the future of direct marketing as Forbes says it. 

Technology has advanced to the point where personalized conversations can now happen. Move over to a more human-centric strategy using chatbots. They can even run 24/7 so you can ensure customer engagement while you’re asleep.

But why use chatbots when you need a human touch? 

Using automated chatbots does not mean replacing human employees completely. They are meant to start the conversation, answer common questions, and resolve simpler issues fast. 

For instance, frequently asked questions can have automated replies so you appear to respond spontaneously. And when an inquiry gets a little too complex, it’s time that a human takes over.

While it is now best to leverage the power of the programmed bots, there are best practices that you should be careful of. Always keep in mind that customers now are much more complex and intelligent. 

  • Personalize your chatbot ― name, image, personality
  • Let them talk like a human
  • Inform your users that they’re still talking to bots (it doesn’t hurt to be honest)

What the experts say about conversational marketing:

“Most companies nowadays use chatbots to enhance customer service and engagement by having them answer important customer queries. Chatbots have become so popular because they help businesses save time by answering basic customer questions.”

Scott Keever,
Founder & CEO of Scott Keever SEO

“Chatbots can have access to millions of customer-centered data points. They use this data and some other types of data such as spot repetitive problems to predict what’s causing issues for a particular user.”

Azza Shahid,
Digital Marketer at Physicians Thrive

“You’re losing out on one of the leading marketing trends for 2022 if you haven’t begun utilizing chatbots yet. Chatbots are important for improving customer support and engagement. You may communicate with your consumers and answer their inquiries without having to lift a finger.”

Susan Smith,
Marketing Manager at Velden Engineering  

6. Value-driven retargeting and retention

2022 is a cookie-less world where data privacy is sacred. 

Quick recap. Cookies are small pieces of data that enable websites to “know” more about you. But Apple has given consumers the power to put up walls to block these cookies through the iOS 14 update.

When you allow a website to enable cookies, it puts a little chunk of code in your browser. That way, they track, personalize, and save information about your web session. This data is then used by advertisers so they can personalize the content that they will show you so you’re more likely to become a future customer.

Smart, huh? But people hate cookies.

What does this mean for you? 

Well, marketers need to be creative to find new ways of finding interested people.

From 2022 onwards, marketers are expected to leverage the use of first-party cookies and data-driven attribution models. The impacts of first-party datasets can be greater than third-party cookies when it comes to improving campaign performance. 

What the experts say about value-driven retargeting:

“The average consumer is getting smarter and wants to feel privileged. Establishing connections that will keep them coming back but being aware of the extreme caution customers have about sharing their sensitive personal information today. Collecting data with AI-powered tools and using effective automated retention campaigns for building those valuable relationships.”

Klara Dumancic,
Digital Marketing Executive at Investors Club

“It’s common knowledge that we live in the (marketing) world that shifts from the invigilating big brother to a cookieless utopia. We already see high-growth brands, with their first-party data strategies locked and loaded, surpass their less data-prepared competitors. The challenge that entrepreneurs will face in the months to come will be fundamental: to rewrite their brand growth strategies so that they’ll include well-thought first-party data-driven marketing.”

Kamila Kotowska,
Head of Marketing at cux.io

7. Mobile-first automation

One survey found that 71% of millennials will allow service providers to use their mobile data for personalization. It only implies that more customers of today’s generation rely heavily on their mobile phones.

The mobile-first strategy will be increasingly popular by 2022 when users of mobile devices will make up the majority of your website visitors. 

Total mobile data traffic forecast in the US from 2017 to 2022 - graph
Source

Marketers must develop mobile-first strategies. Thus, tools such as in-app ads, push notifications, and SMS will be employed more often to boost consumer engagement, retention, and experience.

Your job is to optimize email and web design on mobile to improve the users’ mobile experience. Sometimes, marketers have a shortened version of their copy for mobile too.

What the experts say about mobile-first automation: 

Developing a mobile-first approach is imperative for marketers in an era in which mobile devices are the primary source of content consumption and purchase activity. As a result, in-app advertisements, push notifications, SMS, and accelerated mobile pages (AMP) will be used more effectively to improve engagement, retention, and customer experience.”

“With more people relying on their mobile phones every day and with many using it as a laptop or desktop alternative, mobile marketing automation tools offer a good opportunity for e-commerce businesses in particular. Mobile marketing automation can include personalized and real-time messaging, analytics and integration with apps and other data sources coming from the user’s mobile device.”

Madhurima,
Recruit CRM

“As phone technology continues to rise, you’ll need a strategy for reaching and engaging these users. You may obtain data about your mobile consumers using mobile marketing automation. You can find out things like location, browsing patterns, type of gadget, plus a lot more. You may begin distributing automated content to your mobile audience after collecting information about them.”

Daniel Carter,
Debt Advisor at IVA Advice

But that’s not all of the trends that experts foresee in 2022. They have shared insights and predictions into a number of other technologies. Here are some emerging trends that we gathered from them:

“The upcoming marketing trend we’ll see in 2022 is voice-command optimized content. With the aggressive advancements in tech, this will become mainstream sooner than we expect and people will heavily utilize it as it promises to deliver greater convenience for users. Optimizing marketing content to accommodate voice command secures staggering conversion for brands.”

“There’s a significant rise in voice search as users make use of artificial intelligence to help them find what they are looking for online.”

Donna,
Marketing Specialist at myPOS 

Internet of Behavior

“Marketing in 2022 will be much more personalized and this is where Internet of Behavior (IoB) will play a crucial role. IoB refers to gathering of data through technologies like Business Intelligence (BI), Big Data, and Customer Data Platforms. This information determines the behaviors, preferences, and interests of the customers.”

Chris Nddie,
Co-Owner and Marketing Director of ClothingRIC

Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR)

“Social media will see a rise in the adoption of technologies like augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR). AR and VR are expected to become more mainstream as mobile networks become stronger and faster. As these platforms grow, users will demand better and more engaging experiences, and these technologies can make that happen.”

Pedro Hernandes,
Demand Generation Manager at Groundbreaker

Virtual reality and Metaverse advertising is something which will also come into the picture as more and more brands welcome creative, new ideas.”

Andrew,
Owner at Techgeroid

Future-proof your marketing automation 

As we say hello to 2022, it’s a great time to review your yearly marketing automation strategy

Make these top marketing automation trends in 2022 your guide. Get ready and anticipate what the future of marketing holds.

Want to start with marketing automation? Try Encharge. Start 2022 right by automating your email content based on customer behavior or interests, automating repetitive marketing tasks, and aligning your sales and marketing teams with native CRM integrations.

Don’t wait until it’s too late to adopt these trends, go back to the drawing board and see which trend you’ll focus on starting today.

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