If you’re a marketer who does any type of email marketing, you should look into how AI can help you dramatically improve and streamline your email marketing.
AI-powered tools are being deployed today by brands to:
- Write email subject lines.
- Write portions of emails.
- Send personalized emails to each prospect.
- Optimize send times.
- Clean up email lists. Automatically create email newsletters with unprecedented personalization.
- Artificial intelligence can also be used to learn what products your customers are the most likely to buy. You can then include these recommendations in automated email campaigns. SmartrMail recommends 5 places where these automatic product recommendations can be included in your emails.
In this post, we describe how AI can help you do better email marketing and send emails that get more engagement, then offer some practical use cases and vendors to start investigating.
What is AI in email marketing?
Artificial intelligence is an umbrella term that covers several different technologies, like machine learning, computer vision, natural language processing, deep learning, and more.
At their core, though, all of these technologies help machines perform specific cognitive tasks as well as or better than humans.
For instance, AI-powered computer vision systems in self-driving cars are able to identify obstacles just like people do, allowing the machine to take the wheel.
Your favorite voice assistant, like Alexa or Siri, understands your words just like another person, then responds in kind-all using AI.
Amazon and Netflix use AI recommendation engines to offer up products and movies you might like, making assumptions about your preferences just like a fellow product or movie enthusiast might.
While there are a ton of complexities to different types of AI, all you really need to know right now is that “artificial intelligence” describes many different types of smart technologies.
And many of these technologies can have a serious impact on your digital marketing career and performance.
That’s because AI isn’t just marketing automation, though it may include elements found in a traditional marketing automation platform. AI takes things a few steps further.
These technologies analyze large datasets. They don’t just crunch numbers, though.
They use advanced computer science techniques and superior computational firepower to extract insights from big data and your customer data, including from customer behavior.
AI algorithms use these insights to make predictions, recommendations, and decisions that allow for unprecedented personalization and segmentation at every stage of the customer journey.
In the process, the most advanced AI systems actually learn to improve their predictions, recommendations, and decisions as they make more of them.
Artificial intelligence makes email marketing better in two big ways:
- Increase revenue. AI-powered tools for email marketing are able to help you send better emails, which increases open and click rates, helping you make more money from email and produce better results from time spent on email marketing campaigns.
- Decrease costs. AI-powered tools for email also make it easier, better, and faster to create winning campaigns, dramatically reducing the amount of time it takes your team to produce collateral for email marketing initiatives.
That’s because AI excels at extracting actionable insights and patterns from large sets of data, including what works across large datasets of high-performing emails.
AI has a number of powerful use cases across email marketing.
How AI will change the email marketing strategy
Thanks to its powerful capabilities, AI can do a number of email marketing-related tasks at scale, including drafting copy, writing subject lines, and improving deliverability.
As such, the technology is poised to change email marketing strategy as we know it.
Gone are the days when we needed to plan for human marketers manually doing everything email-related.
Today, forward-thinking brands build email strategies that augment human marketers with intelligent machines.
As a result, email marketers must now build email marketing strategies that leverage what machines are good at and what email marketers are good at, as well as cultivate the skills needed to leverage AI.
To give you an idea of what this looks like, here’s a taste of what AI can do in email marketing…
Draft email copy and subject lines
AI can actually help you improve the words you use in your tailored emails-at scale. Here’s how.
- Write email subject lines all by themselves. AI tools use natural language generation (NLG) to write email subject lines even better than humans can. They do so by learning your brand voice through data you use to teach it, then draft subject lines that increase opens and earn higher revenue.
- Personalize copy down to the individual. AI-powered deep learning technology creates copy that resonates with any audience, segment, or individual. This type of technology can also offer personalized email content recommendations on an individual level, increasing engagement and conversions.
Phrasee uses advanced AI and machine learning to automatically write email subject lines better than humans, resulting in higher open rates.
There are a million different ways to improve the chances that your email reaches its intended target, and almost all of them can be improved with AI.
- Restructure your email campaigns. AI-powered tools can use historical data to break your marketing campaign into hundreds of sub-campaigns internally, then structure and deliver them to maximize inbox delivery by sending more targeted emails.
- Optimize send times. You can also use AI to optimize email send times at the individual level to ensure each recipient is more likely to see your email content.
- Clean up email lists. AI-powered technology can clean up email databases by removing out-of-date contacts and updating job titles, phone numbers, and other information automatically-improving deliverability across emails in the process.
Seventh Sense uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to assess mountains of data from your HubSpot portal, Marketo instance and / or corporate email system. It then uses the data to build a predictive model for each contact.
That means each individual person in your list receives an email at the time they’re most likely to open it, based on data.
Drift Email automatically updates your contact database and instantly routes emails from prospects to the right people in your organization, making email marketing effortless.
Create smart newsletters
Email newsletters are a piece of email marketing-and at the same time, a huge, separate beast to decode and optimize. Luckily, AI technology exists to make the whole process a whole lot smarter and more effective.
- Send automated newsletters. There are AI platforms dedicated solely to creating hyper-personalized “smart” newsletters. These are automated emails that contain content curated individually for every single reader, which dramatically improves subscriber engagement. It’s a level of personalization previously impossible with traditional automation tools.
rasa.io is an AI tool that generates personalized newsletter emails and automates the newsletter production process, dramatically increasing reader engagement, and providing rich insights back to the brand.
How do you start using AI for email marketing?
Take our free online live class Intro to AI for Marketers.
This 30-minute live online class shows you how to understand and get started with AI. During the class, you’ll learn:
- What AI is, and why it matters to marketers.
- How to identify AI use cases.
- How to find and evaluate AI technology vendors.
- How to classify AI applications within the five levels of the Marketer-to-Machine ScaleTM.
- What business outcomes AI can help you achieve.
- How to measure the value of AI tools on your company’s efficiency and performance.
- How to prepare your team for piloting and scaling AI.
In just 30 minutes, you can lay the foundation to transform your career and business for the better using AI.