A Simple Framework to Improve B2C and B2B Email Marketing with AI
If you've ever struggled with email marketing, you're in the right place.
We all struggle to send emails that get delivered, opened, clicked, and acted on.
When your emails don't perform, you don't hit your marketing goals.
When you don't hit your marketing goals, you start to question your skills as a marketer.
As a result, you can get discouraged and miss out on driving revenue and engagement with email.
Ivan LaBianca gets it.
He's a performance-driven email marketer who's been there before.
Ivan is the Chief Revenue Officer of Seventh Sense, an optimization system that leverages artificial intelligence to drive better results with email marketing.
In his role, LaBianca oversees all revenue operations, including sales, marketing, and customer success.
He doesn't just rely on email marketing to drive revenue and engagement, just like you.
He's also spent his career developing proven ways to get better results with email marketing.
In an exclusive interview with Marketing AI Institute, Ivan shared his framework for using automation, AI, and email to get stellar results.
These are from our Ask Me Anything series, an exclusive perk of being a member of our AI Academy for Marketers online education platform.
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1. Vet email address quality and deliverability.
Before you send a single email, ask yourself:
Are you populating your list with quality email addresses?
Typos, spelling errors, and outdated addresses prevent you from getting your emails delivered at all.
Tools like HubSpot use AI to help you quickly and easily de-dupe contacts and ensure data cleanliness. Your email or marketing automation platform likely has similar tools to improve list quality and deliverability.
Many marketers fail to make sure deliverability is solid before making other tweaks, says LaBianca. Don't make the same mistake.
2. Optimize your send times.
Chances are, your brand has a global audience receiving emails in different time zones. Each of these recipients has different email habits, too. Some process email every morning. Others late at night.
That means optimizing send times is critical.
You can use AI technology like Seventh Sense to automatically send emails to recipients when they're most likely to open and click.
Keep in mind, though:
You need to tune up every part of your email program to make send time optimization worth it. It doesn't matter if you've optimized send times if you're still sending junk.
3. Make sure you're actually hitting the inbox.
Just because an email doesn't bounce doesn't mean it's landing in the primary inbox, says LaBianca.
Many email clients use different tabs now to sort emails. Landing in a promotions tab often has less visibility than hitting the primary inbox.
But, many tools out there don't give you insight into which inbox tab you land in.
Here's where a little human intelligence goes a long way.
Take a close look at your subscription forms and workflows.
Make sure you explain to new subscribers that they need to move you out of promotions.
You also want to keep tabs on fatigue and engagement levels over time. Subscribers may tire or tune out if you send too many emails in too short a time.
4. Don't ignore your subject line.
It doesn't matter how great your email marketing is if no one sees it. That's why it's essential to spend a lot of time and thought on subject lines.
AI is beginning to excel at this skill. Tools like Phrasee use AI to write winning subject lines at scale—automatically. That leads to more opens and more clicks, which ultimately translate into more revenue and engagement.
You can also use AI copywriting tools like Conversion.ai to generate compelling subject line ideas if you need some inspiration.
5. Focus on clicks and engagement.
There's no question that open rates are necessary to measure. But don't sleep on clicks and engagement.
Apple plans to roll out features to limit third-party tracking via email, which means your open rate data may no longer be accurate.
Changes like these make clicks and engagement even more critical to measure and optimize.
To start, work to identify click and engagement benchmarks for your industry. Then, put processes in place to regularly monitor clicks and engagement against these benchmarks. If you're continually below industry averages, it's time to reconsider your approach.
If you send a newsletter and need more clicks, check out an AI tool like rasa.io. It uses machine learning to create hyper-personalized newsletters automatically.
The result is that each person receives a newsletter personalized to their specific preferences. They get only the content they're most likely to be interested in—every time.
Get More Expert Advice on AI for B2C and B2B Email Marketing
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About Mike Kaput
Mike Kaput is Chief Content Officer at Marketing AI Institute and a senior consultant at PR 20/20. He writes and speaks about how marketers can understand, adopt, and pilot artificial intelligence to increase revenue and reduce costs. Full bio.