AI is the future of technology, but it’s already very present in our email marketing campaigns already. 

Artificial intelligence (AI). It’s one of those big buzzwords within the marketing industry right now, so chances are good you’ve heard of it. But how does it really play into our everyday lives, and how is it impacting what we currently do as marketers? 

That may be a loaded question. But for the purposes of this article, we’re going to take a closer look at how AI is impacting email marketing. Whether you realize it or not, AI is already taking over email marketing

 

Chart title: Effects of AI in marketing

AI is already making quite an impact in the marketing world. This chart shows a few of the areas that marketers are seeing improvements with the use of AI technology. Basically, it’s improving numbers across the board from open rates to improved revenue numbers.

Here’s a quick look at the different areas of email marketing that AI can help improve today.

  • Identify optimal send times
  • Improve personalization
  • Increase sales with coupons and discounts
  • A/B testing to find the right message

 

Identifying Optimal Send Times

Send times can make or break your open rates. But how do you know when the best time to send emails to your customers is? 

Of course, you can do a quick Google search and find an endless amount of articles telling you what days and times have the highest open rates — but there’s a better way. With the right email service, you can utilize the power of AI to develop an algorithm based on your customers’ actions.

This is what your email send times should look like in today’s marketing world. Not every person is the same and sending one batch email isn’t the best way to reach your customers anymore. Understanding their wants and needs will boost open and conversion rates in the long run. Image courtesy of Oracle

Analyzing the data you have about your customer base will tell you exactly when your customers want to hear from you. You’ll likely find that there’s not just one perfect time, but actually a different time for each person. 

From there, emails can be sent out automatically to people based on their preferences. Leading to higher open rates, which hopefully leads to more conversions and sales. Sending one batch of emails at 10 a.m. every Wednesday might not be the best way to reach your customers and AI can help you break that habit. 

Optimizing your send times can have a huge impact on your engagement rates. This is true for both mobile and desktop applications. Don’t lose conversions by ignoring the stats. Image courtesy of Blueshift.

 

Improve Email Personalization 

Personalization is extremely important, and it has already been a topic of discussion in most organizations. So it’s very likely you’re already implementing personalization tactics into your email marketing campaigns. Even the simple things such as using personalization tokens to use customer names and providing them with tracking details on their products is a good step. 

But with the advancements in AI, personalization can be taken to an entirely new level. Those marketers who are brave enough to dive into the predictive personalization waters will be rewarded in the long run. 

Email personalization is an area marketers identify as an area of weakness and improvement. Imagine the competitive advantage you could have if you mastered email personalization — with a little help from AI. Image courtesy of Liveclicker

Here are the areas we’re talking about when we say predictive personalization: 

  • Segmentation
  • Product recommendations
  • Content
  • Send time optimization
  • Customer journey automation

Understanding your customer base and using these advanced tactics can boost revenue 22% and even increase click-through rates above 80%. Why do we see these numbers? Because you’re serving your customer the information they want and communicating to them on a personal level rather than simply generating automated, machine determined responses. 

How does predictive personalization work? It helps to analyze customer behavior and interests to customize a different email marketing program for each customer. AI has the ability to know what information your customers want to receive and what they are more likely to open when they are checking their inbox.

Of course, this information doesn’t come out of thin air. You’re actually accumulating this information about your customers at every interaction. As they work their way through your sales cycle, you’re asking questions and collecting the data — the AI system is simply processing it. 

If we haven’t harped enough on the importance and huge amount of opportunity personalization provides you, here are a few more stats. Personalizing your email marketing efforts will provide you with increased open rates, click-through rates, and sales. If that’s not enough convincing for you, we’re not sure what is. Image courtesy of BlueVenn

 

Increase Sales with the Right Coupons

This one does follow the idea of predictive personalization, but because it has a direct effect on your bottom line, we felt it was important to talk about. If you knew exactly what products your customers want to purchase, you could send them offers to entice them to make those purchases — right? 

Well, that is exactly what AI can help you accomplish. With all of the data out there on your customer’s buying and browsing habits, you can practically provide them with the product they were looking for before they even knew they were looking for it.

AI technology can comb through all of the data and habits of your customers to identify what products they may be interested in purchasing. From there, you can send a coupon or discount emails that would apply to these products. Providing personalized coupons motivates 39% of people to spend more, meaning you’ll be improving sales and making your customers happy with a discount. 

This graph shows the performance of an email campaign that was sent with and without a coupon. This one doesn’t need much explaining, it’s easy to see that the emails with coupons performed much better than those without coupons. Image courtesy of Remarkety

 

A/B Testing to Find the Right Fit

A/B testing has long been apart of email marketing, but it’s evolving with the help of AI. The testing can now be done entirely through AI tools. You can test subject lines, design elements, call-to-actions, and product offerings. 

Through AI you can set specific parameters depending on what you want to test, for how long, and to how many people. Then, once those have been met, the system will automatically determine which performed the best and send it to the remaining group. 

A/B testing allows you to test, analyze, and understand what works best for your customer base. It provides a unique opportunity to see what people want to see from you, how they are interacting with what you’re providing, and how you can improve for future email campaigns. 

This is what an A/B testing scenario would look like. When AI technology is part of the process, it will filter contacts through the process and determine which email performed the best. Then, it would send the winning email to the remainder of the contact list identified. Image courtesy of Sendinblue

 

AI is Already Present in Email Marketing

As you can see, AI already plays a big role in the email marketing we practice today. Your marketing team is probably already using some, if not all of these techniques to reach your customer base today. 

But are you using AI to its fullest potential? If you haven’t taken the time to optimize send times or implement predictive personalization in your marketing plan moving forward, now’s the time to take another look and determine where you want to stand out. 

The question that always comes with AI technology is what’s coming next. We know that AI isn’t slowing down and it will continue to help us understand our customers and improve our marketing. Now you just need to stay ahead of the curve, get on the AI bandwagon and stay ahead of the competition as new technology arises. 

Read More How Artificial Intelligence is Changing Email Marketing

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