Kevin George
August 12, 2020
How AI Is Making Email Marketing Even Better

Email is a robust platform. What started as an inter-departmental communication tool is now a prominent marketing channel with the highest ROI. Two of the key features that set email marketing apart from other marketing channels are: 

(a) Email Automation – Ability to send certain emails based on triggers

(b) Email Personalization – Ability to include personalization tags that are dynamically replaced with customer details during email sending

When combined together, email marketers can send personalized emails as a batch without any manual intervention.

One of the biggest problems faced by email marketers is the inability to process huge customer data, collected from multiple customer touchpoints, and draw valuable personalization information from it. Thankfully, the innovations in Artificial Intelligence happening in leaps and bounds, have relieved email marketers of this pain point.

In this article, we shall highlight different avenues where AI has revolutionized email marketing.

AI Innovations in Email Marketing

Segmentation and Hyper-Personalization

Email Segmentation is pivotal for sending targeted emails for an audience segment based on their preferences. When you send emails that are of your subscribers’ interests and intent, you are bound to observe a spike in the engagement rate. A smart AI can study the behavioral patterns of a customer, find out common interests, and group these customers together.

In a traditional lead scoring methodology, the customer is evaluated based on the current engagement. AI can study past purchases and behavioral data to predict when a customer will make the next purchase. And it can perform predictive lead scoring to help marketers improve their conversion rate. 

So, with predictive lead scoring and audience segmentation, you can create niche communication that takes personalization to the next level. Your subscribers receive hyper-personalized emails that no longer rely on demographics or other traditional personalization criteria but on their behavioral data.

Crafting the Perfect Subject Line

Subject lines are the first interaction your subscribers have with your emails. Based on the effectiveness of your subject lines, your open rates are impacted. This puts unnecessary pressure on marketers to come up with innovative subject lines that stand out. 

With brands like Phrasee, who use AI to suggest the right subject line for your email campaigns, the need for trial and error is completely eliminated. AI predicts the emotional value or urgency needed for your email to be opened. It then crafts your subject line based on it.

(Source: Phrasee)

Send Time Optimization

Another pitfall for most email marketers is determining the optimal send times for their email campaigns. Email Marketing veterans cross-reference website activity levels with their email campaign sending time to fine-tune it. But people no longer need multiple tools to determine activity. By now, AI can process relevant information and suggest optimum sending times. 

Popular Email Service provider, MailChimp has been offering this service to their paid plan members for a long time.

(Image Source: MailChimp)

Automated Campaign Testing

A/B testing helps email marketers test out different permutations for certain HTML email template elements and helps to come up with the right combination for maximum engagement. While this is an effective email marketing tactic, it is not an efficient solution from the point-of-view of the time invested. AI can help marketers conduct bandit testing and drive more traffic to the successful variant, while a small percentage of the audience is still getting tested for other variants. This way, the revenue generated from the winning email campaign is incremental.

Email Retargeting

Cart abandonment is a major problem for eCommerce brands. While cart abandonment emails are a great tool for bringing back customers to their carts, the effectiveness differs from person to person. Some might return immediately while others may need some more cajoling. AI can identify the reason a person abandoned their cart and suggest the right cart email type. This can reduce the overall time to retarget customers and improve your conversion rates.

Wrap Up

61% of marketers claim that AI is the most critical aspect of their data strategy and investing in AI for email marketing promises a greater return in the longer run. As soon as you have defined the rules and trained the AI to be better customized for your email marketing strategies, you can run your campaign on auto-pilot with minimal intervention.

Check out this infographic by Email Uplers on the different ways AI is becoming pivotal for email marketing. 

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Kevin George is Head of Marketing at Email Uplers, one of the fastest growing custom email design and coding companies, and specializes in crafting professional email templates, PSD to HTML email conversion and free responsive HTML email templates in addition to providing email automation, campaign management, and data integration & migration services. He loves gadgets, bikes, and jazz, and he eats and breathes email marketing. He enjoys sharing his insights and thoughts on email marketing best practices on his blog.