AI and Email: A Match Made in Heaven?

Artificial intelligence is increasingly becoming the tool of choice for many email marketers, who find data-driven personalization can boost both subject lines and full messages.

Contemplating where to employ artificial intelligence?

Email may be the right choice, because it can add a lot of value to messages—whether or not you’re going all in. Even AI that helps decide the subject line can really stand out.

Among the tactics AI is enabling:

A data-based decider of the basics. Your association probably already uses basic email tactics, such as A/B testing of subject lines and send time. While Practical Ecommerce’s Carolyn Nye said AI can help tweak these processes in an intelligent way, it isn’t a full replacement for a human being. “The lesson is that AI is powerful, but it requires human intervention to set rules, such as the frequency in a short time frame,” Nye said.

A data-savvy copy editor. Recently, financial services giant JPMorgan Chase has been using a tool called Persado to help maximize its direct-response emails. Chief Marketing Officer Kristin Lemkau noted that the company’s approach has led to less gut-checking by marketing officials. “It kind of starts to take away the era of the CMO making the almighty, subjective call,” Lemkau told The Wall Street Journal. “You still have to have a point of view, but on writing copy, it would be nice to just nail it.”

Contextually personalized content. It’s not just about a good subject line—it’s quite often about content that matters to the readers. On its blog, Aishwarya Ashok of the business intelligence firm G2 made the case that you can deepen the relationship with readers through content built to their specifications. “Dynamic content techniques will help you target subscribers at a level that’s relevant to them based on their demographics and psychographics, as well as behavioral data like interests, actions, past preferences, geolocation, active times, and so on,” she wrote.

But whatever you try with AI and email, be sure that it makes sense as part of a larger strategy.

As Amith Nagarajan, chairman of the AI-driven newsletter platform, explained in an Associations Now interview earlier this year, it’s important not to put AI at the center of your technology work, but on the peripherals.

“The problem is that since changing existing processes has so many issues, you end up spending more time on politics, systems integration, and other things that don’t advance your organization’s ability to learn about AI and its applications in real time,” he said.

(alexsl/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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