AI email marketing: 3 things you need to know
19 November 2018
In case you hadn’t heard, artificial intelligence is changing the way marketing is done.
Although the true impact of this game-changing technology hasn’t really been felt yet by most brands, rest assured that the tremors are indeed coming. AI has given both brands and marketers the power to sift through massive piles of consumer behavior and marketing performance data in seconds, gleaning useful insights all the while, and the potential benefits of this awesome power can’t be overstated.
With new artificial intelligence marketing applications and SaaS companies popping up by the day, AI adoption in the marketing field is accelerating quickly. Even in the email marketing game, where AI adoption has been particularly slow thus far, forward-thinking brands are beginning to understand the stark truth about AI email marketing: those who don’t implement an effective AI strategy soon face being left behind by those that do.
For any brand looking to maximize the ROI potential of one of the internet’s most efficient marketing channels AI email marketing is quickly progressing from intriguing new option to absolute essential.
The good news is that for those seeking to make AI email marketing a key part of their email marketing strategies, there are some very effective options available right now to help them accomplish exactly that.
The bad news is that actually implementing AI into one’s email marketing stack can be a confusing and overwhelming ordeal that few are properly equipped to deal with. AI technology is complex and difficult to understand, which makes finding the right vendor a tall task indeed.
Here are a few important things you should know about AI email marketing to help you find your way.
1) AI might not be the answer to your email marketing problem
Here’s an important truth about artificial intelligence that everyone should understand: AI is a problem-solving tool. If you don’t have a specific problem that you need it to solve, AI might not be for you.
If you’re seeking to implement artificial intelligence for no other reason than because the competition is using it, or because you feel like you should, you’re doing things backwards. Think about the biggest problems holding back your email marketing program’s performance, then think about whether or not artificial intelligence is an appropriate solution for those problems.
If you’re having trouble clearly identifying the ideal send times for your campaigns, AI can help you sift through the data. If you want to address plummeting or stagnant open/click-through rates, AI-optimized subject lines might be just what you need. If, on the other hand, you’re sending emails to an outdated mailing list, or if you’re sending poorly-designed emails, a human touch might be more appropriate.
2) “AI email marketing” isn’t always AI email marketing
With a burgeoning, highly lucrative market for AI email marketing solutions, the number of brands claiming to offer artificial intelligence is growing by the day. The thing is, not all “AI email marketing” platforms offer true artificial intelligence.
Email marketing automation and email marketing AI both have some amazing benefits to offer your brand, but they simply aren’t the same thing. The key differentiator between the two technologies is important to take note of: artificial intelligence becomes more effective at completing its assigned task as it goes, while automation does not. If a vendor is offering an “AI” product which can’t analyze its own performance data and adjust its approach accordingly, their product is not AI.
If a vendor claims to offer an artificial intelligence solution to an email marketing problem, make sure they can prove that their product becomes more efficient over time, because that’s where AI’s true benefits lie.
3) AI can’t make you more money in a vacuum
Artificial intelligence is extremely effective at solving specific email marketing problems at scale, but it can’t run your whole email marketing program for you (yet).
AI email marketing functions best when it is implemented into an email marketing program that is robust and user-friendly in the first place. If your program is sloppy/boring, or if your customer experience/journey to purchase processes are clumsy/inconvenient, all the artificial intelligence in the world isn’t going to help you much. If you’re considering adding AI to your email marketing stack, make sure that you’ve got all your ducks in a row first.
However, with a strong program of well-constructed emails and a slick customer journey experience in place, artificial intelligence can have an absolutely massive impact on your brand’s email marketing bottom line.
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