How Artificial Intelligence Influences Email Marketing!
We often come across the statement, ‘Artificial Intelligence is the future of Email Marketing’. With how fast-paced the present-day technology is, it is viable to anticipate artificial intelligence as the future of email marketing.
In fact, brands have initiated deploying AI-powered strategies and tools, to aid marketers in streamlining their workflow, thus making the whole marketing process substantially easier.
Artificial Intelligence and its subunit, Machine Learning; are among the tools that are revolutionizing email marketing and email marketing funnels.
If you are a marketer and want to be in the game for long, you cannot afford to skip these tools.
But, before we delve into how these tools are reshaping email marketing, let us first understand what artificial intelligence is, with regards to email marketing:
So what is Artificial Intelligence in Marketing?
Artificial Intelligence (AI), also known as Machine Intelligence, develops exceptional automation that is capable of thinking and performing tasks without requiring human intelligence.
If you have ever wondered as to how Alexa or Siri understands and responds to your queries, AI is the key to this mystery.
AI has an important role to play in email marketing and has gained momentum over the years.
Through AI-assisted tools, email marketing campaigns, with enhanced personalization are now able to garner higher conversions resulting in remarkable revenue generation, while decreasing the marketing costs, at the same time.
Do we have a significant reason to favor it?
Of all the digital marketing channels, email delivers the highest ROI, and AI, as expected, is significantly responsible for it.
Also, in 2018, US marketers who use AI-powered emails saw their CTRs and revenue increased by 13.44% and 41.29%, respectively.
The Importance Of Machine Learning
Machine Learning, a subunit of Artificial Intelligence that efficiently analyses and automates tasks without the intervention of human workflows. It helps marketers to sort out data-driven recommendations from millions of data, based on a single input.
Have you ever been intrigued by how accurate Facebook friend suggestions and product recommendations on online shopping platforms are?
There are a lot more benefits of AI for Email Marketing.
Let this article put an end to your endless wonderings. AI is the key contributory factor behind the bizarrely accurate data, and the secret will soon be revealed in the subsequent sections.
An excerpt from The Wall Street Journal reads, “Humans can typically create one or two good models a week; machine learning can create thousands of models a week”.
– Thomas H. Davenport, Analytics Thought Leader.
Machine Learning takes over monotonous tasks and spares humans the time to focus more on other tasks that involve decision making and problem-solving.
Effective AI To Achieve the following Email Marketing Objectives:
Drafting Email Copy And Subject Line
The subject line is the first glimpse of your email.
It, basically, is to an email, what a headline is to an article.
Acing the subject line is of utmost importance as it will either make or break your email marketing strategy.
While an appealing subject line will urge subscribers to click and explore the content of the email, an email with a dull subject line may end up in the trash or the spam folder.
Bringing attention towards the data – 69% of email recipients report email as spam based solely on the subject line. It not only harms the deliverability of emails but the overall ROI as well.
A good subject line must be a balance of intriguing yet informative words and should neither over nor under-promise the copy that follows.
Thus, crafting a click-worthy subject line is a tedious task.
However, owing to the advent of AI, human needs have become obsolete.
AI algorithms hold the competency to generate impeccable lines that will result in higher CTRs. Each marketing campaign is evaluated, and the subject lines are accordingly optimized to enhance the performance of future campaigns.
AI copywriting tool, Phrasee, is a paragon for this. The technology behind Phrasee is nothing but an amalgamation of algorithms and natural human language that helps in the generation of perfect subject lines.
Similarly, AI-powered tools generate copy that each subscriber can resonate with. Unlike human crafted copy that sounds generic, AI develops super personalized copy contingent to the prior segmentation and customer behavior, resulting in increased engagement and higher conversions.
Create Smarter And Personalized Newsletters
Would you open and read a newsletter that is irrelevant to you? Probably not!
Gone are the days when marketers and brands send “one-size-fits-all” bulk newsletters that speak the same language in the same tone to everyone- young and old.
Marketing strategies have evolved, and so has customer behavior. Customers now expect interactions with brands to be more personalized, and they appreciate when brands recognize their interests and preferences.
In a sea of marketers, trying to get subscribers engaged with their brands to convert them into customers, relevancy and personalization is crucial to winning over counterparts.
According to data by Campaign Monitor, personalization increases the open rates of emails by 26%.
Instead of using impersonal languages, the customers’ names will immediately bring you one step closer to your prospect.
But, hold on!
Does merely including subscribers’ names in newsletters enough to win over customers?
People prefer to open and take action to the emails that are tailored to their preferences, however, merely including their names and workplaces may not dispense the desired results.
Be profound by taking it to the next next level. How?
Personalizing emails, in accordance with their recently visited website or the things of their interest, will be more powerful. This sort of familiarisation will certainly build trust and could be regarded as a key for creating enduring relationships.
Now the question arises!
As to how you could acquire that detailed information and data of your subscribers? That is where AI comes into the picture.
While connecting with your audience, try to dig deeper for finding out all that you can.
You can gather information about your subscriber by including questions such as name, gender, age, etc. at the time of sign-up.
For instance, if you deal with skincare products, you can include questions like age, skin type-dry/ oily/ normal/ combination, etc.
AI will then leverage the data to craft the individual-centric newsletter for each subscriber.
Take Grammarly newsletters, for instance.
Grammarly tracks the customer’s performance in terms of productivity, accuracy, and vocabulary usage for a week and encompasses that data in their newsletter. Subscribers usually consider such newsletters more trustworthy in contrast to the conventional ones.
Email Sending Time And Frequency Optimization
Time and frequency are also imperative in deciding the engagement rate of the customer base.
Be decisive about the email sending time, as a study suggests that emails sent during the early hours or on the weekends have higher open rates.
However, there is no assurance that the strategy that works for one industry will work for another as well.
The receptivity of emails will differ according to variables such as customer segment, time zone, daily regimes, etc.
Optimizing the sending time will help the right email reach the right person at the right time.
Send Time Optimization (STO) is an AI-driven add-on that analyses the response behavior of each recipient.
According to research by STO, an increase of 2-12% in a click and the open rate is expected after sending around 10 time-optimized emails.
What are the pros, however?
- Optimizing the send time will significantly enhance the open rate.
- Emails will not go unnoticed if they reach recipients at the right time.
What about the other crucial factor- the frequency!
How often should brands or marketers send emails to their subscribers?
If you ask this question to five marketers, you may receive five different answers.
Similarly, try asking five subscribers as to how often they prefer to receive emails, the responses will vary.
Optimization of email sending frequency is pivotal as the frequency is largely accountable for the open and unsubscribe rates. If you send too many promotional emails, you stand the risk of getting unsubscribed. Your emails may even be reported as spam.
The image shows how Barneys New York’s newsletters ended up in the trash and are marked as a spammy brand.
On the other hand, if you send too few, your brand may be forgotten.
One wrong move and your subscribers will become not your customer but your competitors’.
But what works for one industry may not work for the other. So, marketers have to experiment with numerous frequency tests to find the one that best suits them.
This leads to the conclusion that there is no decisive answer to the frequency of emails.
Here is what you can do to optimize your email frequency-
- With the help of analytical models, sort out an ideal frequency, and send emails accordingly.
- Using the accurate data, evaluate the complaint rates, especially those of the primary subscribers, and also the success rate of a strategy before making any changes.
- Ensure that the new strategy will work in favor of your subscribers.
- In accordance with the outcomes, decide on a frequency that has the lowest complaint rates and the highest open rates.
Lead Segmentation in Email Marketing
Email lists usually consist of subscribers with different buyer personas, hence it will be impractical to send the same types of emails to all.
Narrowing down email lists is a powerful mechanism to send customized emails to the targeted segments.
The above image is an epitome of segmentation.
AI automatically adjusts marketing campaigns by filtering and narrowing down customer data and interests.
Segmentation, if done right, could boost receptivity and the engagement rate, because when you know what matters to your subscribers, you can market smartly and easily.
According to Mailchimp, segmented campaigns deliver 23% higher open rates and 49% higher click through rates.
Now, what about the bad leads? How to convert them?
Well, the most effective way to turn bad leads into good leads is through nurturing.
AI- aided tools track users across platforms, use data of prospects to keep interactions as personalized, stay engaged with valuable content, build relationships, and eventually turn them into buyers.
Lead nurturing is crucial as 71% of B2B marketers have agreed that lead nurturing is beneficial to their businesses.
The screenshot is a lead nurturing email by Canva. It used fewer texts and more posters to lure readers to explore 50 outstanding posters for inspiration.
Predictive Analysis For Behavioral Marketing Automation
For an email marketing campaign to be effective, marketers should send targeted personalized emails to subscribers, time, and time again. Although possible sorting and segregating data into segments manually is a tedious affair.
Sending the above “Thank you” newsletter to an existing customer would impact brand advocacy.
Likewise, sending a promotional email to new subscribers would sound too salesy, and they would rather mark the email as spam than become a customer.
Predictive Analysis eliminates mundane tasks by automatically segmenting email lists into different sets. It helps marketers in finding out the interests of new subscribers, automatically letting them segregate themselves into segments. The data thus gathered is later used to send hyper-personalized emails.
How to increase customers through Predictive Analysis?
Marketers can keep track of the products a customer usually purchases and use data-driven marketing to send customized product recommendations.
For example, a regular buyer of fiction would appreciate receiving recommendations on the new best selling fictions. On the flip side, sending academic book recommendations to such a customer would lead to no sales and eventually, may end up unsubscribing.
How to enhance customers’ experiences?
For a business to grow, enhancing customer experience is of vital importance. With predictive analysis, marketers can keep their customers relevant, engaged, and satisfied.
For instance, if a customer often purchases during sales, it is irrational to bombard that particular customer with emails of product recommendations with no discount.
They will not be interested in such emails and the probability of making sales is very slim. Instead, they should be retargeted with discounts, events, and sales emails.
How to retain customers?
Avoid customers abandoning your brand by running campaigns from time to time. With the help of Predictive Analysis, track the last time a customer visited your website and send emails accordingly, urging them to return.
Predictive Analytics can also be used to understand the different buying patterns of customers. If a regular customer stops buying from you, you can send out a newsletter, giving them reasons not to leave your brand. Including a discount will also earn brownie points.
This is an example of a “We miss you” email by SPY. It entices subscribers not to abandon them by giving ten reasons to stay, along with a discount of 20%.
Email Marketing Campaign Analytics
If marketers cannot see the results of their efforts, it doesn’t matter if the emails are optimized or not.
Before you begin your next campaign, ask yourself a few questions such as-
- Is the objective of your campaign to grow the subscriber base?
- Is it to generate more leads?
- Is it to turn the prospects into customers?
- Is it to retain the customers?
Once you are able to figure out your goal or goals, you will have a clear idea of which metric to track, and improve if it is underperforming.
An AI-powered marketing tool can help marketers analyze the performance of campaigns, rectify any necessary changes, end campaigns that do not perform well, and substituting them with personalized and better campaigns.
Chief metrics that marketers should pay close attention to, to have a successful email marketing are:
The open rate is one of the most crucial metrics to track the performance of your email marketing campaigns. It indicates the percentage of emails opened or viewed by subscribers.
One must not reap any benefit if the emails are not getting opened, as no one will be aware of what their brands are up to.
The open rate of your campaigns is contingent on the time the emails are being sent, the frequency of emails, etc.
Click-Through Rate (CTR)
Click-Through Rate indicates the percentage of recipients who click on an image, hyperlink, or CTA embedded in the email.
The main objective of CTRs is to track customer engagement and the percentage of recipients interested in your content.
If you get a high open-rate but a low click-through rate, meaning; your content is not as promising as the subject line.
An Email Marketing campaign that garnered outstanding open rates may fail to convert. This usually happens when the content of emails fails to convince recipients to take the desired action.
The Conversion Rate of an email is defined as the percentage of email recipients who completed the desired objective of the campaign such as purchasing a product.
Email Bounce Rate is defined as the percentage of emails that failed to be delivered successfully.
Artificial Intelligence plays an integral role in any marketing strategy. Email Marketing, undoubtedly, assists in enhancing the ROI by generating more sales.
However, it is Artificial Intelligence that helps marketers boost sales through customer behavior and predictive analysis.
AI-powered emails lead to higher conversion rates, hyper-personalization, segmentation, customer gratification, and customer retention. In my perception, the incorporation of AI in Email Marketing could reap the outcomes that would have been otherwise impossible.
Some other articles on Email Marketing:
- 67 Points Checklist – How Online Fashion Retailers can use Email Marketing for Brand Building, Profit & Customer Retention
- Email Marketing Funnels Best Templates
Since 2004 Netgains has been building fashion e-commerce website & running effective fashion digital marketing campaigns for fast-growing as well as established fashion brands. Our expertise in fashion eCommerce ensures that your brand and products are delivered to your customers in a way that makes them buy. Get in touch today!