AI and other technological advances are not short of ethical controversy. However, they are now being seen by marketers as a vital tool to be used in order to utilise the large amounts of consumer data created on the internet every day, use that information to develop a suitable marketing strategy and produce the kind of tailored experience consumers now come to expect.
This is true no more so than in email marketing. On average a person receives 120 emails every day meaning it is very likely that the vast majority of these will remain unread. Personalisation is one of the most effective ways a marketer can create an email that holds appeal and is, therefore, more likely to be read.
According to a study by Deloitte, that by just including a customer’s name in an email that Click Through Rate (CTR) increases by 5.2%. They then went on to show that actually, the more personalised an email is the higher the CTR.
Below are the 3 main ways in which AI is helping to increase personalisation in an email:
1. More than just a first name basis.
AI has enabled email marketers to go way beyond the very basic “First Name Personalisation” enabling them to market to consumers on a 1:1 basis. This is done through creating tailored body content that relates specifically to that customer and their interests and with this level of increased personalisation marketers are sure to expect a rise in both CTR and conversions.Before AI, it was very difficult to create individualized body content, mainly due to scalability. Marketers would have to create a generic and ultimately impersonal call to actions and these were then assigned to categories which contained customers with vaguely similar interests.
2. Personalised Product Recommendations.
Product recommendations in email have been shown to increase customer engagement, CTR and conversions. It is impossible for marketers alone to handpick these recommendations. AI paired with massive data sets such as customers past behaviour, activity and purchase history is able to create highly targeted email campaigns with tailored product recommendations, all in real time.Whereas without AI, marketers have to prepare recommendations manually using category-specific guidelines. These kinds of recommendations were far less likely to increase CTR and conversions because they do not contain any customer-specific content.
Segmentation and Personalisation within the world of marketing are contradicting concepts. This may be seen as controversial given its prevalence in marketing strategies particularly for B2C companies but in the future, marketers may have to move away from segmenting in order to truly achieve 1:1 personalisation.
Segmenting customers into groups and then curating content that might be relative to some but not others can hardly be considered “personalised” and also requires a lot of guesswork. AI eliminates the need for this by utilising a customer’s unique predictive attributes to deliver a completely unique and relevant experience.
The following are some current AI software programs that are already on the market and whose main objective is to increase personalisation.
Boomtrain uses AI software that analyzes content and user behaviour from a website to deliver personalized experiences and messaging. By combining algorithms with artificial intelligence, they can better understand user behaviour and market to them more effectively. Driven by this technology, Boomtrain are able to offer personalised subject lines, optimised delivery times and providing the option for curated products.
Phrasee generates and optimises language for an email campaign that sounds human and is also custom designed to a brands voice. The software understands the emotions that certain phrases can evoke and uses this information to create optimised and tailored subject lines. They also offer body copy that will drive a click, CTAs to drive conversion and powerful, tailored triggers.
In summary, AI allows email marketing to move past the single data point that is a person’s first name and gives retailers a chance to use this technology to capture the fleeting attention of the modern consumer, In turn, this will grow customer loyalty and engagement through even more individualized content that without Artificial Intelligence would not be possible.