Email marketing is a unique discipline:
Highly creative, yet exceptionally data-driven.
You can’t succeed in email marketing if your emails don’t appeal to readers, which takes creativity and originality.
At the same time, if you don’t pay attention to your analytics—and learn from them—your emails will languish unread in your subscribers’ inboxes.
That’s why email is so well-suited to artificial intelligence—and why AI email marketing can be so profitable.
A 2018 Statista survey reported that 41% of marketers increase their revenue when using AI for email marketing.
What does using AI for email marketing look like? AI can help you generate copy that resonates with readers, segment subscribers based on their behavior, optimize send times, and generate personalized content for each subscriber.
Benefits of AI-Based Email Marketing
AI has revolutionized how marketers approach email marketing, leading to faster campaign creation, improved targeting, higher engagement rates, and increased sales.
Here are a few benefits:
- Faster launches: No more staring at a blank screen. With AI email marketing tools, you can quickly generate compelling copy, subject lines, and email sequences that convert customers.
- Less manual work: Rather than writing everything from scratch, AI tools help you build on proven copywriting structures to increase open rates and deliver value. For some email campaign types, AI-powered automation tools can take over entirely.
- More engagement: Engagement isn’t always about writing the perfect subject line. By using AI to personalize content for each recipient, you can lower unsubscribe rates and increase engagement.
- More revenue: Your subscribers are more likely to take action when they see offers that are relevant to them. By sending personalized promotions and discounts based on user behavior (like interests and browsing history), you can drive more sales.
- A better customer experience: According to MailChimp, the average email open rate is 21.33%. That means 78.67% of recipients aren’t finding your emails valuable enough to open. By building a more relevant customer experience, AI can make your email campaigns interesting and essential enough to engage with.
How to Design An AI Email Marketing Campaign
When you’re building your first AI email marketing campaign, consider starting with these two easy-to-implement features:
- Optimize your subject lines with AI
- Improve your email deliverability with AI
From there, you can venture into the more nuanced territory of personalization and automated content creation.
Optimize Your Subject Lines
47% of email recipients open your email based on your subject line. But coming up with creative subject lines takes a toll on human writers.
That’s where AI comes in. Instead of gambling with unproven subject lines—hoping you’ll stumble upon a winner—artificial intelligence subject line generators help you create subject lines that incorporate urgency and interest among your subscribers.
AI is much more effective than humans at writing subject lines. Phrasee, an AI tool, has run head-to-head tests against human copywriters—and its AI tool beats human-written subject lines 98% of the time. Many email marketing tools now have an AI subject line feature built in. For those that don’t, you can use AI writing tools for a similar outcome.
But the science of email marketing subject lines doesn’t stop there. Traditionally, email marketing used A/B testing to test one subject line against another. Now, AI-powered multivariate testing allows the simultaneous testing of 10 or more subject lines—and it automatically favors the best-performing option.
So, you’ve created the perfect email—but are your subscribers getting it? Email deliverability is a huge challenge, especially if you have a large email list to manage.
Fortunately, AI increases email deliverability by as much as 1.13%.
- List scrubbing: AI tools can validate the email addresses on your list, score each subscriber based on engagement, and recommend the removal of inactive contacts. The more updated and accurate your email list is, the higher your deliverability will be.
- Send time optimization: Different people open emails at different times. Using machine learning, your email marketing software can help you understand when each contact is most responsive. Send time optimization can increase your open rate by as much as 2-12%.
- Improved sender score: Email service providers assign a score to each email sender. When emails bounce back, when users mark your email as spam, or when you send too many emails at the same time, your sender score takes a hit. By optimizing your send times and increasing the relevance of your emails, you’ll improve your sender score, and with it, your deliverability.
Personalize Your Emails
One of the most powerful benefits of AI is personalization, which allows marketers to turn “one-to-many” email blasts into something much more useful for recipients.
AI-powered personalization lets marketers create unique messages and product recommendations for users based on their interests and past engagement. Hotel Chocolat, a retailer, attributes 44% of its online revenue to AI-powered recommendations.
To get started with personalization, use AI to segment your subscribers by factors like interests, engagement, and past purchases. Then, create dynamic, useful email marketing campaigns that focus on giving subscribers more of what they’re interested in.
Streamline Your Content Creation
In the past, email marketers spent a considerable amount of time writing email copy.
Now, that process is increasingly being streamlined by AI. For example, AI tools like Jasper or ChatGPT can take an e-commerce product page and quickly generate a persuasive sales email.
Let me illustrate how this works with this Patagonia jacket:
(Image Source: REI)
I copied the sales page information for this product into ChatGPT and instructed it to “Write a product sales email for the following product.”
Here’s what it came up with:
(Image source: OpenAI)
It’s a bit overly technical, but with some customization and prompt engineering you can have AI bulk-create unique promotional emails for hundreds of products.
For some email use cases, you can automate personalization entirely. For example, AI-powered email newsletters like Rasa.io use past subscriber behavior and interests to create custom-tailored newsletters for each subscriber.
Getting Started with AI-Powered Email Marketing
Unlike more complex applications of AI, what’s great about AI email marketing is that it’s easy to start in “beginner mode” and move on to more advanced use cases when you’re ready.
If you’re reading this and haven’t yet used AI for your subject lines or to optimize your email deliverability, those are two easy wins you can get started with right now.
As you get more advanced, you’ll find yourself personalizing content for your subscribers and streamlining your email copy with the help of AI—and maybe even automating some of it entirely.
Marketing is changing fast in the age of AI. To understand the best ways to incorporate AI for email marketing and more, upgrade your email marketing with Bionic Marketing.