Email marketing has been around for quite some time—since the 1970s, in fact. Best practices, technology and techniques have changed a lot over the years, but one thing remains constant: email marketing is both popular and effective.
Even in a vast landscape of social media platforms, people still read emails. According to the marketing platform HubSpot, email generates $38 for every $1 spent and 73 percent of Millennials prefer businesses to communicate with them via email. The number of daily email users is expected to grow from 3.9 billion to 4.3 billion by 2023.
Challenges in Email Marketing
Some of the biggest challenges for email marketing are boosting engagement, increasing conversions, and generating leads. In order to improve these metrics, and have a successful email marketing strategy, you need to collect and analyze data. That data then informs the way subject lines are crafted and optimized, the frequency, day and time emails should be sent, and the type of content that gets engagement from subscribers.
When you’re relying on human skills alone, this can take a lot of testing, and trial and error.
How AI Can help
Artificial Intelligence (AI) can streamline this whole process to minimize the guesswork and maximize the returns. AI is a blanket term for a variety of technologies that allows machines to learn, see and process as well as or better than humans. For example, voice assistants Siri and Alexa are AIs that understand human questions and respond with appropriate answers.
People are more likely to open emails that are relevant to their needs or interests. AI offers the capability of expanding personalization beyond just adding the recipient’s name to an email. Machine learning can predict user interests based on customer data and past behaviors. Those predictions can then be used to suggest products or services that are based on the individual.
This level of personalization can increase open rates and conversions.
Ever debated the best time to send your marketing email? You’re not alone. The short answer is that it depends on how your list behaves. Human email marketers have to review data, experiment, and use their previous experience to find an optimal time to deploy emails.
AI can collect data on previous marketing campaigns and use it to optimize delivery times down to the individual level. People will automatically receive an email at a time when they’re most likely to see it.
Machine learning can also keep your email list fresh by combing the database for outdated contacts.
Some AI software can actually automate the writing and building stage of email newsletter creation. The algorithms can determine and create subject lines that are more likely to be opened, as well as compile body copy, images and curated links to make an email campaign effective.
For marketers, this can save a significant amount of time and money. An AI-generated email campaign can be put together much faster with a smaller margin of error and fewer team members.
Email marketing is here to stay, but AI could be a major game changer. Machine learning is able to combine the data analysis, personalization, copywriting and deployment into one streamlined process.