It’s truly incredible how email has stood not only the test of time, but the arrival of an ocean of technology trends for over four decades. More impressive, perhaps, is how it has not only merely survived the lightning paced landscape, but how it has remained one of the most effective marketing channels across most industries.
But while the basics of how email works have relatively stayed the same, how businesses have used them, along with the development of a vast email marketing tools have vastly grown.
One of the fastest growing technology trends this year when it comes to email is the adoption of artificial intelligence and advanced machine learning. While still in its nascent stages a growing number of brands have been quick to utilize AI in their email marketing.
As it is currently incorporated in email marketing, AI helps personalize emails based on a vast data gathered from user preferences, helping tailor subject lines, time of delivery, among others, which are designed to increase email engagement.
Essentially, here’s how AI-powered email personalization works:
The personalization, which is designed to be at a 1:1 rate for every user, is intended to, among others — increase open, click to open, and click-through rates. Some reports about email marketing AI have been so high on the technology, with one study, which analyzed over 200 million AI-personalized emails, saying that it increased the emails’ open rate by a staggering 228 percent.
But while the buzz surrounding email marketing AI cannot be ignored, as 53 percent of marketers plan to adopt the technology in the next two years, according to a Forbes report. But for a significant number of marketers, jumping onto the AI bandwagon may not necessarily be the automatic next step. Here are some of the things you need to consider:
While email marketing remains the preferred channel across all age groups by a 2:1 ration, and personalized emails have the tendency to be engaged with more, you need to make sure that your email marketing foundation is solid before even thinking about AI.
From gathering data on when customers want to be emailed, and whether they want to be contacted about specific events, to implementing rudimentary steps like sending thank you emails, and creating customer segments, you can start solidifying your email marketing with small, albeit valuable, steps.
Don’t get lazy by jumping straight to AI without making sure you have your compendium of data, and all the other essentials pat down. AI is there to help you, not do all the work for you. Like with all other strategies, it is imperative to start and excel with the basics of email marketing before jumping on the AI bandwagon.
With that said, if you believe your company to be ready to utilize AI in your email marketing, here are three of the top AI-powered email marketing tools you can use:
Boomtrain promises to take the guesswork out of your email campaigns, automating the entire process of creating a campaign. The AI-powered marketing tool possesses most of the AI-powered personalization features mentioned above, and then some –analyzing customers’ behavioral patterns and using the data gathered to provide them with more engaging, and meaningful experiences.
Boomtrain also promises to cut through the noisy nature of data collection, and respond to user patterns in real time. Apart from these, the AI-powered tool delivers comprehensive insights on the said patterns, not only from your own, but from a group of similar users, giving you a deeper understanding of what people like about your company.
According to Boomtrain’s analysis of 235 million emails, open rate for AI-personalized emails was at 63 percent, while increase in click-to-open rate (average number of clicks achieved with every 100 emails opened) was 100 percent.
According to Phrasee CEO Parry Malm, the email marketing tool combines human input with machine learning to generate interesting, response-driving email subject lines.
“When you input your open, click and conversion rates, Phrasee optimizes your subsequent subject lines using advanced machine learning algorithms,” Malm told Econsultancy. “Our strapline says it all: Phrasee turns you into a subject line superhero.”
The importance of attention-grabbing email subject lines to open rates cannot be overstated enough. Phrasee helps marketers save time by taking the subject line split testing out of the equation.
A relatively new player to the email marketing tool industry, Sendpulse, is perhaps the most convenient one to use across the board. From its free trial period, and the ease of importing contacts from other email marketing apps, to setting up campaigns, and even using push notifications and SMS options, Sendpulse appears to be designed with ease of use at its core.
And much like its peers, Sendpulse uses machine learning to optimize delivery and open rates, while also automatically segmenting your subscriber list. It also reduces the chances of your campaigns being considered spam by enabling you to use their servers to send emails in the name of your website.
All of these comes with one of the largest free quotas in its SMTP pricing plans.
While still in its early adoption stages, email marketing AI has already proven to be an effective tool in improving some basic KPIs. It isn’t too difficult to see, though, that in the foreseeable future, it can quickly evolve into a tool that has the potential to fast-track your sales pipeline by reaching customers who are ready to buy with personalized messaging based on their behavior and preferences.
And, while it’s currently being utilized in email marketing mainly for personalization and automation purposes, it already has the ability to provide marketers with deeper insights on consumer preferences and behavior. These insights should only improve future marketing campaigns.
From data collection and analysis, to A/B testing, and optimizing content and delivery, email marketing AI has the potential to quickly evolve into an entity with infinite possibilities. It’s important to note, though, that while the future of machine learning and AI is something marketers should be excited about, right now they exist to help them, and not do their job for them.