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Omnichannel Marketing Automation

How To Use AI in Email Marketing To Save Time and Money

By Ian Donnelly

06/30/2023

Omnichannel Marketing Automation

How To Use AI in Email Marketing To Save Time and Money

Artificial intelligence (AI) is on every marketer’s mind right now, and for good reason. It’s a tool that’s reshaping how marketing works and operates, especially when it comes to AI in email marketing. 

But while everyone is eager and anxious to adopt AI, it’s important to understand exactly what you want AI to achieve. The main goal of your AI implementation should always be to make the most effective and efficient strategy, especially when it comes to email campaigns. 

In a world where customers are constantly being bombarded with marketing messages on every channel, artificial intelligence can help you hone your email strategy to craft the perfect message for every customer. You can send less and convert more, which is a universal dream for all email marketers. 

In this blog, we’ll show you how to achieve that dream. We’ll cover the changing landscape of email marketing since artificial intelligence came on the scene, why you should be using it to better your marketing efforts, and some key AI tools that you can adopt to take your email marketing to the next level. 

A customer receiving a personalized email from an e-commerce business

The Current State of Email Marketing

Email marketing has traditionally been the best-performing channel for e-commerce businesses, and it shows no sign of losing that title anytime soon. As of 2022, there are approximately four billion email subscribers worldwide, which eclipses the user base of other marketing channels like Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram. 

A graph showing the active subscribers for popular marketing channels, with email leading the pack

This might sound shocking at first when compared to popular social media apps, but when you think about it, this statistic makes sense. Everyone has an email address, and everyone checks it on a daily basis. 

Email marketing offers an audience of dedicated subscribers that are engaging with their inbox constantly — more than 99% of consumers check their inbox each day. 

With this level of user engagement, it’s no wonder that marketers continue to rely on email as their go-to marketing channel. And when it’s paired with the capabilities and promise of artificial intelligence, you can optimize and streamline email campaigns to make sure every message makes a big impact.

How AI Is Changing Email Marketing

Like every other aspect of modern marketing, AI is changing the status quo of email. Once a novel idea, incorporating artificial intelligence and machine learning into your marketing strategy is now paramount for keeping your email campaigns as relevant as your customers expect. 

Generative AI Has Revolutionized Content

When you think of AI, you’re most likely thinking of content generation tools like ChatGPT or something similar. These AI tools, which can instantly craft high-quality and human-like text responses to conversational queries, have changed the game when it comes to designing compelling, targeted content for marketing emails. 

If you’re just beginning to adopt AI into your email marketing workflow, this is most likely where you’ve started. With a few simple prompts, these content generation apps can cut down on valuable time and help streamline the content process — you can use it to write email subject lines, promotional copy, and more.

And once you’ve incorporated AI tools like ChatGPT, it’s all but guaranteed to become a staple of your marketing strategy. 95% of marketers who use generative AI for email creation rate it “effective,” with 54% rating it “very effective.”

Read This Next: What Is Generative AI? Everything You Need To Know

AI-Powered Automation Unlocks True Personalization

While ChatGPT is at the forefront of the buzz around artificial intelligence, AI-powered marketing automation is just as game changing as these content tools, if not more so. 

Algorithmic analysis makes it possible for marketers to collect, analyze, and interpret data from customer interactions and buying behaviors at an unprecedented speed and scale. With all of this information, generative AI can create dynamic content that speaks directly to each customer — all while improving over time and learning from each new interaction.

For email marketing, this can have a massive influence on the way your audience is segmented, what email flows and content they’re served, and how their responses to your campaigns affect future communications. All this is automated with AI, so you don’t need to spend all your time and energy mapping these relationships out yourself.

A digital marketer setting up an automated email workflow on their laptop

The bottom line is, true personalization is only possible with AI, which opens up your ability to vary your emails and tailor your campaigns to each individual subscriber.

Variation and testing is the key to personalized experiences. The more sophisticated your personalization goals get, the more variations you will need in your email campaigns to better suit each customer’s wants and preferences. Truly personalized email campaigns have to adapt and learn from your audience’s interactions, testing and refining as they go. 

For modern e-commerce businesses, this level of personalization is impossible to do without the power of AI. You need artificial intelligence to reach and retain customers who have grown to expect completely personalized experiences with the brands they love. 

If this sounds appealing, you’re not alone. Findings in a recent report show that 77% of marketers are already using AI automation to some degree. And in the next five years, about 74% expect more than a quarter of their tasks to be intelligently automated. 

With a large majority of marketers anticipating an increased application of AI-powered automation in their processes, we’re likely to see AI becoming essential for any modern marketing toolkit.

Marketer Know-How Is the Only Thing Holding AI Back

It’s obvious that artificial intelligence can have a positive impact on any business’ email marketing campaigns. So why hasn’t every business adopted these tools already? 

It all comes down to education. AI email marketing tools are new on the marketing scene, and while digital marketing is a fast-paced and flexible environment, many marketers have been slow to familiarize themselves with AI-powered tools — and marketing departments have been slow to encourage education, too. 

45% of marketers consider themselves beginners when it comes to AI marketing. There’s a lack of confidence in the ability to understand and implement AI on a productive scale — only 29% percent believe that they are highly capable of implementing AI solutions.

But this crisis of confidence is unfounded with so many easy-to-use and helpful AI-powered solutions available. There’s nothing stopping marketers from adopting AI and implementing an effective email marketing strategy. 

You just need the right tool for the job and some deliberate goals in mind to make AI-driven campaigns that grow your revenue.

AI Tools You Can Use To Upgrade Your Email Marketing

With an AI-powered marketing solution like Bloomreach Engagement, you can harness the power of artificial intelligence and machine learning to refine your email marketing campaigns and personalize your communications like never before. 

Bloomreach helps marketers be everywhere at once, interpreting all your commerce data in real time and helping you determine where to best utilize any insights gathered from your customers’ behavior. It can analyze your audience’s interests in a fraction of the time that it would take your marketing team to study the numbers, so you won’t be bogged down in the sheer depth of information you have access to. 

With all that information being processed and analyzed, you get the most relevant insights and all the features necessary to put them to good use in your email campaigns. 

Here are some effective AI-powered tools available in our marketing platform that you can use to streamline your email marketing and improve your business’ bottom line.

Create Content at Scale With Our ChatGPT Integration

An email marketing strategy without impactful content won’t get you very far, which is why Bloomreach offers an AI content generator that helps you create excellent marketing content directly in our email campaign editor. 

Powered by ChatGPT, this convenient tool can cut down on the manual time it takes to build communications, using smart AI to simplify content creation and quickly execute campaigns. 

A view of Bloomreach Engagement’s generative AI component, available within our email campaign editor

In a matter of seconds, our integration can generate new content ideas for emails. This feature supports testing as well, where marketers are able to use ChatGPT to generate multiple variants and then test their favorite suggestions. 

Personalization is also executed seamlessly through features that can input a customer’s first name, control the message’s tone of voice, and streamline language translation. 

You don’t have to leave the platform to generate things like content ideas, alternative subject lines, or multiple CTAs to try out. You can simply input the desired theme, character count, and language for your emails and the content generator will create content options for you to use in your campaigns.

Leverage AI for Smarter Segmentation

Customer segmentation is essential for creating personalized emails, and Bloomreach’s AI tools and marketing intelligence can help you understand your customer journeys so well that every campaign makes a meaningful impression. 

Every marketer knows that creating segments can be a challenging process. Sifting through an endless stream of data to organize your customers into relevant groups can eat up valuable time and energy for your marketing team. 

Thankfully, Bloomreach consolidates all your customer data into a single customer view. And with the power of AI, you can put all that data to work instantaneously. 

An in-platform view of Bloomreach Engagement’s customer segmentation capabilities

With all your data in one place, our Engagement platform can identify key segments like lapsing customers, your most loyal buyers, and new subscribers in seconds, giving you insights into your customer behavior, preferences, and trends. 

Plus, our machine learning capabilities allow you to craft email campaigns that learn and grow with each new interaction — you can anticipate your customer’s next move, adapt to changing demands, and be present in their inbox exactly when they're ready to engage with up-to-the-moment intelligence.

Read This Next: Customer Segmentation: Options Marketers Should Know

Personalize Your Campaigns With AI-Driven Product Recommendations

No one likes irrelevant emails. Marketers don’t want to send them, and audiences don’t want to see them in their inbox. That’s why personalization is such an important part of email marketing, and product recommendations are one of the most straightforward ways to tailor your campaigns to speak directly to your customers. 

A customer receiving a personalized email featuring AI-driven product recommendations

With Bloomreach’s AI tools, you can offer product recommendations that are generated by machine-learning algorithms using insights from past customer behavior data, such as searches, clicks, and purchases. Instead of setting up tedious rule-based recommendations, AI can recommend the most relevant items to a particular customer — and automate the process. This means you don’t have to blindly add recommended products to emails and hope your audience clicks — AI can do the heavy lifting for you. 

This can cut down on the amount of campaigns you send and drive up the revenue of your email efforts at the same time. 

Reach Your Audience When It Counts With Individual Send Times

Email marketing is all about timing. If you want to reach your customer when it’s most convenient for them, you can’t rely on the average preferred send time of your entire audience. 

You need to create truly personalized experiences for your customers, and our AI-powered optimal send time feature can help you achieve just that. 

An in-platform view of Bloomreach Engagement’s optimal send time feature

Using prediction models, Bloomreach Engagement can determine each customer’s optimal send time for email campaigns and store this data within their individual profile. Your campaigns don’t have to rely on aggregate send times for your entire audience — they’re sent when each recipient is most likely to open or click.

This might sound like a simple AI tool, but it can have a huge influence on the success of your campaigns. The ability to send the same email to various recipients at different times based on their likelihood of engaging can lead to more email opens and click-throughs, which can translate to greater conversions and revenue. 

Go Beyond A/B Testing With Contextual Personalization

The key to any good marketing strategy is testing. If you’re trying to make your email campaigns the best they can possibly be, you test out variations of different components to see which one works best. A/B testing can help you fine tune everything — your messaging, your subject line, your visuals, and more — to see what resonates with your audience. 

But there’s an inherent problem with traditional A/B testing — it’s general. You take a winning variant based on a control, and then apply that variant to the rest of your audience. Even though there’s a higher chance of that version resonating, there’s also a good chance it won’t click with some of your customers, which is a missed opportunity.  

That’s where Bloomreach’s AI-driven contextual personalization can help. Instead of trying to find the best overall messaging to appeal to as many customers as possible, you can use contextual personalization to match the right customer to a particular message. 

AI can use each customer’s context — things like clicks on the website, past purchases, opened emails, and even data from their ongoing session — to select the variant most likely to lead to a conversion. AI aggregates all this information for each customer automatically, analyzes these insights, and selects the correct variant based on this context.

With contextual personalization, you can set up a test and know your variants will be served to the right customers on an individual level — something that traditional A/B testing can’t hope to achieve.

Read This Next: What Is Contextual Personalization?

Send Fewer Emails and Make More Money With Bloomreach Engagement

By correctly implementing AI in email marketing, businesses can streamline their email efforts while growing revenue at an unprecedented scale. 

It’s all about cutting down the time and effort it takes to give your customers exactly what they want from your campaigns. And when you can personalize the content, cadence, and timing of every email for every customer, you only need to send the emails that matter and can focus on quality over quantity.

Bloomreach Engagement provides everything you need to build better email marketing campaigns with advanced targeting and AI-powered personalization — without sacrificing deliverability and ease of use. From real-time insights into your customer’s behavior to setting up targeted and dynamic email flows, our platform can transform your email strategy into an AI-powered masterpiece.

Are you interested in learning more about the future of generative AI and its impact on e-commerce? Register for The Edge Summit today, a special event that brings together the brightest minds in e-commerce for a conversation about the impact of artificial intelligence on the e-commerce world. 

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Ian Donnelly

Content Marketing Manager at Bloomreach

Ian has years of copywriting and digital marketing experience that he brings to his role as Content Marketing Manager at Bloomreach. With a keen eye for fresh angles and new perspectives, he aims to highlight the endless possibilities available to savvy businesses with cutting-edge digital commerce.

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