How to Use AI to Provide Seamless Email Journeys for Your Customers

How to Use AI to Provide Seamless Email Journeys for Your Customers

You probably had your first dose of artificial intelligence (AI)
through Steven Spielberg’s sci-fi films that depict robots coming
to life and gaining control over the world.

Though this is still a distant dream, it wouldn’t come as a
surprise if such advancements actually came true in the near
future.

As the world is moving at breakneck speed, the concept of AI is
receiving a mix of emotions from all around the world. Mark
Zuckerberg and Bill Gates referred to AI as a “holy grail” in
the realms of computer science and technology that would go a long
way in making lives easier.

Now looking beyond the scenario of robots taking over the world,
AI has arrived in the business landscape transforming critical
operations and processes for tons of businesses worldwide.
Marketing, particularly email marketing, is one such practice that
stands to receive the most out of artificial intelligence.

AI and email marketing

Intelligent analytics for email journeysImage Source:
MarketingCharts

Yes, email marketing is in for a revolutionary transformation.
Thanks to AI, email marketing today is no longer confined to a
rule-based marketing process. It is fast emerging as the most
preferred tool for digital marketers when it comes to personalization.
Long story short, email marketing has turned more powerful and
effective than ever with AI. Let us discuss how:

Recently, Google rolled-out its biggest upgrade in years for
‘Gmail’, which aims to make Gmail more user-friendly, secure
and smart with artificial intelligence. This is something that puts
the entire idea of email marketing in for a grand overhaul.

AI and Email Marketing for email journeysImage Source:
The Verge

Google is leveraging machine learning algorithms to help users
respond. They call it the Smart Reply feature, which scans the
email text and recommends three smart and often apt responses that
users can opt to tweak and revert to an email.

Wondering how marketers can leverage AI to offer smarter
and more seamless email journeys to their customers?

The more relevant your email content, the more targeted the
promotions will be. Email marketers have been leveraging AI in
their email campaigns for this very purpose i.e. to fine tune
frequency, send times, relevant content, open rates, and to drive
click-through rates.

Here are some of the key ways AI is influencing email
marketing:

Driving customer engagement

With AI, email marketers get to learn about a customer’s
historical behavior and predict what customers would want to buy as
well as the timing for when the customer would actually buy. This
allows marketers to come up with a strategy to develop automated
triggers for every single stage of the customer lifecycle.

Though CRM systems have been a perfect pick-me-up for marketers
across the globe to manage the data of customers, integrating AI
with a CRM software would take things to a whole different level.
The result would be smart predictions about a customer’s next
step and behaviors. For instance, you can include a personalized
recommendation for a product or service in an email. This is a
great means to drive the click-through rates of your emails whilst
driving customer engagement levels significantly and eventually
contributing towards the bottom-line.

We know how daunting it is for a marketer to handpick products
or services that would appeal to every customer out there.
Artificial intelligence makes it a cakewalk for marketers to
analyze gigantic volumes of customer data such as purchase history,
past behaviors, browsing patterns, etc. to come up with highly
personalized suggestions for every customer. Simply put, AI can
help you roll out highly targeted, relevant and personalized .

4 Positive Effects of AI Use in Email Marketing for email journeysImage Source:
Statista

In fact,
McKinsey & Company
reported that Amazon generated about 35%
of its total revenue from its email and on-site product
recommendations.

Optimizing email subject lines

The
subject line
is unarguably the most critical aspect of your
overall email marketing strategy. An appealing subject line is sure
to help your email stand out instigating the user to click-through
and skim the email content. On the other hand, a bad or dull
subject line is a huge turn off causing the email to end up in the
junk or spam folder of the users. It is the copywriter and a lot of
A/B testing that go into the making of stupendous subject lines,
but AI is here to transform this old-school practice.

Yes, AI leverages algorithms to come up with smarter and
appealing subject lines that will appeal to your audience thus,
driving open rates. AI does this by analyzing the data of all your
email marketing campaigns followed by helping you optimize and
improve subject lines over time.

Traditionally and until a few years ago, behavior-based or
trigger based targeting used to top the list for email marketers
when it comes to driving open rates. The marketer first analyzed
the user journey to identify (triggers) or behaviors to understand
whether the customer is interested in the email or not.

However, the inception of AI into email marketing has turned the
tables drastically. Yes, email marketers are now using AI to
understand what a group of users or a particular user is most
interested in. AI-based behavior targeting or automated behavior
based triggering has become the new normal for email marketers.

optimized Email Subject Lines for email journeysImage Source: Data
Revenue

Just as email subject lines can be automated and optimized, the
entire content of the email can also be automated.

AI-powered software can use pre-written copy, images,
promotions, blog post snippets, curated content, links, and even
machine-generated content to produce emails that are optimized for
a high engagement rate.

AI algorithms can not only determine the optimal combination of
different types of content but this automation also significantly
cuts down on the time and resources needed to keep your email
campaigns running.

Improved email automation

Similar to how AI can help optimize and automate subject lines
for your emails, you can automate the entire email content with the
help of artificial intelligence.

An AI-powered email marketing tool can intelligently use
pre-written email copies, snippets from blog posts, promotions,
images, links, curated content as well as machine-generated content
to come up with emails that are pre-optimized for high engagement
and click-through rates.

AI will not only test-run a diverse combination of email content
but will also cut down the resources and time required to devise
and execute your email marketing campaigns through intelligent
automation.

Intelligent analytics

Email send time plays a pivotal role when it comes to deciding
the fate of an email i.e. whether it would appeal to the reader or
whether it would go into the junk folder. With that being said, the
timing of your email has to be suitable in today’s era where our
inboxes are cluttered with tons of emails. For this, an email
marketer should know when his/her readers open their mailbox. This
is something that is extremely cumbersome and time-consuming.

AI with the help of predictive analytics can make this a piece
of cake to automate and optimize send times for your emails based
on helpful insights garnered through the analysis of past email
behaviors and interactions. Long story short, AI and predictive
analytics help email marketers determine the best time to send
emails to their readers ensuring that nothing goes unnoticed. A
good example here is that of the emails we receive post abandoning
a cart
and leaving a purchase incomplete.

Final takeaway

Though AI still seems to be a nightmarish concept for some,
it’s benefits clearly outweigh the misconceptions many of us
hold. However, it is important for marketers to wake up to the idea
of AI in email marketing and equip themselves with the right set of
tools to take their email marketing campaigns to the next
level.

Guest author: Anwar Shaikh writes about AI,
machine learning, business intelligence and all things enterprise
technology. A self-made writer and Digital Marketing Manager, Anwar
works for Sage Software
Solutions (P) Ltd.
, a leading provider of cost-effective and
user-friendly ERP and CRM solutions. Follow him on Twitter.

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How to Use AI to Provide Seamless Email Journeys for Your Customers