AI for email has taken many forms over the last few years. Much of it you’d argue is created with good intentions but hasn’t quite realised it’s potential.
Take send time optimisation as an example where millions of email opens are analysed to find the optimum time for sending each individual the email. Sounds great in theory, but the fact that the most popular open time is within minutes of the email being sent, and new hazards like Apple MPP most marketers haven’t realised the results it promised.
Yet while many marketers have been disappointed with some AI implementations, used in areas of prediction and product recommendations marketers can gain 3 main benefits:
Some media scare stories talk of AI replacing our jobs with computers doing the work. That might be far fetched in many cases, but for email marketers it presents an opportunity to reduce their busy workloads. Instead of manually creating product content for emails, let AI generate it for you. In fact if you need subject line or copy for an email there are even tools that will write it for you.
With traditional personalisation you are limited to a number of variants that you can write the rules for. As AI automates the selection of products for each individual there are no limitations and your content can beunique to each individual, dramatically improving the click and conversion rates of emails.
Typically, 80% of your database have only purchased once from you. That makes it difficult to work out their taste from just one purchase alone, and personalisation can be limited to what they’ve bought before.
AI can help by predicting taste using what other people who bought the same items, also bought. That way it is easy to serve relevant items from different categories and brands across the whole base, helping increase the breadth of products purchased and therefore the lifetime value of customers.
With AI in its relative infancy in email marketing the coming years will see the technology mature further, and accelerate the benefits on offer to help email marketers get out of the ‘batch and blast’ cycle into a individually personalised campaigns as the new normal.