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How Email Marketers Can Get Started with AI

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AI in email marketing is taking the marketing world by storm. Now more than ever, marketers are able to collect vast amounts of data in a matter of seconds, mostly due to the efficacy of digital marketing. By consistently collecting that amount of data, AI has become increasingly viable as a means of marketing.

So how exactly can AI be applied to marketing?

Well, consider the fact that AI uses data to make informed decisions. Effective programming would mean that every action the AI carries out is a reaction to data analysis. It’s pretty similar to the processes that we, as market scientists, make every day. We analyze data and decide how our findings can be applied to improving marketing strategies. AI completes that process much faster, but emotions don’t have any influence—all decisions are purely and solely based on data. 

Combining a data-driven marketing approach with email marketing—a data-rich strategy with an average 4,400% ROI—really a no-brainer. Email marketing provides CTR data and conversion statistics that are invaluable to your company’s marketing strategy. 

Because of the hype surrounding AI and the long history backing email marketing, it can be tricky to incorporate the two into your business. If you’re interested in how AI and email marketing can create more effective marketing campaigns, we have a few pieces of advice on how to get started. 

To make these processes feel a little bit more palatable, we’re going to use an example scenario:

You’re on the marketing team for an online shoe company. Up until now, you’ve focused primarily on email marketing to promote sales and new items. So far, you notice that sales fluctuate, but you have trouble discerning which campaigns are working.

You recently started reading about AI marketing, but you aren’t exactly sure how it would apply to a shoe retailer. Despite the uncertainty, you want to give it a shot. 

Identify Repeat Processes

What aspect of email marketing is your team spending time on every day? Is it sending marketing emails to your contact database? Is it drafting and designing said emails? Or is it the process of analyzing past sale successes and discount code usage to determine which campaigns were the most effective?

AI for email marketing is set up to make your job as a marketer easier. Like other forms of AI, it cuts out the busy work and automates the processes that can be completed based on proper data analysis.

Identify these processes by sitting down with your team and having a discussion. You might learn something you didn’t already know. From there, start with one process that you’d like to automate, rather than five. You’ll want to get comfortable before expanding to other areas.

Focus on Personalization

If you’re looking for effective repeat processes, we’d suggest something that has to do with personalization. When it comes to email marketing, 90% of consumers say that they find personalized emails more appealing than batch-and-blast.

Batch-and-blast email marketing is the process of creating one generic campaign that’s sent to an entire contact list. For our shoe company, this would be along the lines of a generic discount code that’s sent out on Memorial Day weekend. A more personalized approach is sending a unique discount code to a user who has been a loyal customer in the past. Use AI to identify repeat customers and send a 10% off code to anyone who hasn’t purchased in three months. 

Always Demo and Test

Make sure that you have all the necessary data to create your personalized email marketing campaign. You should have a collection of data based on past email marketing efforts. You’ll want to know your open rate, click-through rate, and conversion rate in order to create an effective strategy. 

Once you have that information being sent and stored in one secure database, test out your AI strategy. While AI can end up saving you money on labor and increasing your revenue and sales, the process of designing an effective tool can get pricey. Make sure to demo and test the tool before putting it to use. 

If implemented correctly, AI and email marketing go hand-in-hand. When you create an effective tool, your data will likely be utilized more efficiently and intelligently than it was before. Plus, by automating tedious, data-driven processes, you’re able to focus on developing new, creative campaigns for the future. 

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