As the competition with other marketing channels has amplified over the years, email marketing has been on the even keel, stood the test of time, and is still considered as one of the essential marketing tools that generate an astonishing ROI. That’s because email marketing lets businesses connect with their prospects and customers on a one on one basis. However, to stay relevant in the current times, emails can no longer be generic. Creating behavior-based, customized, real-time emails for every individual on your email list is the demand of the day, and that is where Artificial Intelligence or AI comes into the picture.
Artificial intelligence can be defined as the computer’s ability to efficiently perform a certain function through trial and error by taking into account a given set of information or data. So basically, AI is making life more convenient for us. As far as email marketing is concerned, it’s nothing short of a blessing because it helps to answer three primary concerns of every email marketer – who, what, and when to send an email. Most of us are, however, unaware of the fact that we are already using AI. The email marketing tools like automation are nothing but a way of making the most of artificial intelligence.
In this article, we shall understand the 7 ways in which AI can be leveraged for better email marketing:
Automation to boost lead nurturing
AI can be used to set up drip campaigns that are needed to nurture leads, slowly pushing them towards conversion. The emails are sent automatically, considering the available data of the lead and the stage at which they are in the sales funnel. AI fetches the lead’s browsing behavior, interests as well as purchase history to automate these campaigns.
AI can help to determine the content of automated emails like the welcome email or order update emails and how they can be tailored to achieve the highest amount of engagement and conversion possible.
Crafting a subject line and email copy that rock
As the competition to stand out in the inbox rises with the rising number of emails received every day, a subject line becomes even more important. It has to be something that makes your prospects click on it and read your email. Conventionally, there would be huge pressure on the copywriter to write a line that works well. Also, there would be a lot of experimentation. With AI taking center stage, the task is now much easier. Analyzing the performance of all the previous email campaigns, AI optimizes your subject lines effectively to achieve a better open rate. Going beyond the subject line, AI can also help to optimize your entire email, including the copy, images, placement of elements, etc. for a high engagement rate.
Personalizing emails for a better ROI
While a huge number of marketers have been using a basic level of personalization in their campaigns for some time now, AI is here to expand the horizon of personalization. AI uses algorithms and customer data to predict future behavior based on previous interactions.
Suggesting or recommending products based on each prospect’s interests and browsing behavior is possible with AI. Take a look at this email from Rdio. The brand studies the particular prospect’s taste in music and suggests them to check out the other music listings of the same artist.
4. Segmenting email lists using Big Data
Segmented campaigns have proven to outperform non-segmented campaigns. According to a Mailchimp study, segmented campaigns get open rates 14.31%, unique opens 10.64%, and clicks 100.95% higher than non-segmented campaigns.
Both personalization and automation are dependent on segmentation. Segmentation is done on the basis of big data. But how do you collect this big data so that you can segment subscribers to create groups with certain common attributes? This is possible through the information you collect from your subscribers when they sign up for your emails. This helps in crafting hyper-personalized emails. Different subscribers have different interests and behavior; tailor-made emails are thus a must for your emails to perform well.
Craftsman’s welcome email tries to dig into the interests of the new subscriber to find out what content they would like to receive.
5. Determining the best time to send your emails
Getting your email noticed is one of the primary factors every marketer focuses on. And with the busy schedules of today’s email subscribers, timing plays a crucial role here.
AI comes to the rescue of the email marketer as it can help to determine the best time to send your emails on the basis of demographics and online behavior. Algorithms can also identify the ideal frequency at which you should send your emails to each of your email subscribers to enhance engagement. What more, you can even automate the process.
When a prospect abandons a cart, AI can automatically send out a cart abandonment email to remind them about the awesome products they left in the cart. AI also helps to determine the ideal time at which the cart abandonment email is most likely to get a response from each of your cart abandoners- within half an hour or maybe 24 hours. Check out this email from Bonobos:
6. Creating customized email promotions
Customizing promotions for list segments, or even better, each individual subscriber on your list can help boost sales. And artificial intelligence comes handy while finding out the best offer for each subscriber- whether a 10% discount is enough to convince a particular subscriber to make a purchase or you need to offer something bigger. Based on the subscriber’s browsing and shopping history, you can also choose to offer promotions on certain products or offer free shipping or discounts.
According to a study, 55% subscribers expect emails with more targeted promotions and discounts. Also, 37% feel that emails would be more enjoyable if brands sent more tailored recommendations.
7. Discovering the right product recommendations
Adding the right product recommendations to your emails helps improve the conversion rate. Again, it can be accomplished by studying the browsing and purchase history of your prospects. AI algorithms save marketers the time and efforts they need to put into fetching the right products to recommend. The tailor-made product recommendations sent in real-time not only boost engagement but also increase click-through rates and ultimately conversions.
In the email example below, Adidas, while promoting one of their shoe ranges, very smartly adds recommended products just below the main banner to increase engagement.