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AI email marketing: a beginner’s guide

Reading Time: 7 minutes

Many business owners believe that email marketing has been surpassed by other marketing channels for customer engagements.

In reality, email marketing is one of the highest ROI digital marketing strategies, offering an average ROI of $36 for every dollar invested.

And businesses can optimize email marketing campaigns for even better ROI with artificial intelligence (AI). 

In this article, we’ll look at the power of AI email marketing and how it can benefit your business. We’ll also cover best practices, tips, and real examples of how AI email marketing works. 

What is AI email marketing?

AI email marketing utilizes machine learning to create targeted email campaigns. Its purpose is to maximize the performance of email campaigns.

Email marketers may personalize messages to individual recipients or specific audience groups with AI-based email marketing. This allows marketers to send targeted content that is relevant to each recipient.

AI email marketing tools analyze huge amounts of data to identify patterns, then predict customer behavior and preferences. 

It then uses those insights to tailor content and messaging for each subscriber. 

The key components of AI technology used in email marketing include:

  • Machine learning: Machine learning algorithms review data on customer interactions, purchases, and more. Marketers use this information to detect trends and make predictions. 

    Machine learning offers features such as predictive lead scoring, personalized product recommendations, and automated email segmentation.

    Omnisend utilizes machine learning algorithms to categorize customers into segments based on attributes such as demographics, shopping behaviors, and engagement data. 
Omnisend segmentation webpage
Image via Omnisend
  • Natural language processing: Email marketing systems can analyze the text in emails. NLP technology helps them understand sentiment, intent, and meaning. 

    Marketers can use NLP to detect the emotional tone of an email and analyze how customers talk about their brand. Businesses can also gauge the effectiveness of email subject lines or calls-to-action.
  • Big data and analytics: Email marketing AI analytics offer real-time insights into campaign performance metrics. These metrics include open rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates, allowing marketers to optimize campaigns and maximize their effectiveness. 

Artificial intelligence email marketing is transforming the way businesses communicate with their customers through email campaigns. 

Using Al for email marketing drives powerful automation and optimization. Al email automation and personalization help to boost deliverability, engagement, as well as return on investment (ROI). 

By leveraging AI, you can gain valuable customer insights. This helps to further optimize email content and improve the user experience. Al-based email marketing is contributing to more relevant, engaging, and impactful campaigns.

Why should you use AI in email marketing?

The use of AI for email marketing can help you achieve better results with less effort and time. AI impacts the conceptualization, execution, and optimization of email campaigns. 

AI’s ability to automate tasks using data points is the reason for this impact. It reduces the time spent on repetitive processes.

AI can analyze customer data to identify key behavioral patterns and preferences. Marketers can then use this data to customize AI-generated content in emails

Al email marketing tools can help marketers generate compelling subject lines, review existing subject lines, or suggest email copy for improved customer engagement.

Take Omnisend’s advanced features, for example, such as its free subject line generator and branded email templates. 

Main benefits of using AI in email marketing

Al email marketing provides a plethora of unique benefits for businesses. 

By leveraging artificial intelligence, brands can enhance their email campaigns in the following ways:

Personalization

Al email marketing tools can generate personalized email content for every individual recipient. The tools use customers’ distinct characteristics, behaviors, and preferences as the basis for this tailored approach. 

AI-based solutions can generate personalized subject lines, content, images, calls-to-action, and more. This leads to optimized engagement and open rates.

Automation

The use of AI in email marketing can facilitate email automation. Al email automation simplifies the process of creating, managing, and optimizing email campaigns. It can even determine optimal send times based on open rate data.

This reduces the need for manual effort and enables marketers to concentrate on strategic aspects.  

Predictive analytics

Al can examine patterns in customer data and interactions, which marketers can use to predict future behaviors and interests. 

For example, marketers can determine the likelihood of customer engagement or churning, then tailor messaging based on these insights to improve campaign performance. 

Improved segmentation

AI segmentation analyzes customer data to identify common attributes. It then groups contacts into more defined segments. 

Al can detect nuances and patterns that humans may miss. This results in more tailored micro-segments, which allow for targeted, relevant messaging.

Enhanced performance analysis

Al analyzes email campaign data to determine performance, engagement, and ROI. 

AI solutions can detect how small changes impact key metrics, so businesses can optimize their strategies for better results over time. 

Best practices for implementing Al in email marketing

Businesses can implement AI in email marketing by adhering to these best practices:

  • Key customer segmentation and targeting: Al relies on large amounts of data. It uses this data to understand your customers’ behaviors and preferences.

    Analyze your email and website data. Group customers into segments based on attributes like location and buying history. Tailor your messaging to be relevant for each segment.
  • Email content creation and personalization: Marketers use an AI-powered product description generator to create persuasive product descriptions for email campaigns. These descriptions can boost engagement and product sales.

    You can also use the data from your customer segments to personalize your email, including subject lines, preview text, and images. Don’t forget to incorporate product recommendations based on a customer’s interests and past purchases. 
  • Email design optimization: Al tools for ecommerce can examine design elements and help with other parts of marketing. 

    For email marketing, the design elements can include product photos, call-to-action (CTA) placement, and email copy formatting.

    Use the AI tools to determine the highest-performing designs for each campaign and follow the recommendations to optimize the email design. 
  • Deliverability and spam filtering: Consider integrating AI-powered email verification tools alongside spam filters. AI can enhance email deliverability by filtering out spam information. 

    Additionally, it can identify and address any issues with delivery. This ensures your emails reach subscribers’ inboxes instead of being marked as spam.
  • Predictive analytics: Use advanced AI tools to predict and understand customer behavior. This is a key aspect of successful email campaigns. One way to use this is to identify which of your subscribers are more likely to churn, then send a tailored campaign to keep them engaged.
  • Email automation monitoring and optimization: AI email marketing tools help track and optimize email automation. This optimization helps improve their predictive accuracy. 

    Track how your Al-optimized emails perform and provide feedback to the Al model. Over time, it will improve in suggesting content, offers, and designs that resonate most with your customers.

    Omnisend’s AI analytics feature can track and report the performance of email campaigns. It provides automation performance reports for email, SMS, and push notification channels. The analytics feature delivers these reports within predetermined time intervals.
Omnisend analytics webpage
Image via Omnisend

Real examples of how AI-powered email marketing works

The use of AI in email marketing is still in its early stages. Even so, the technology has already demonstrated huge potential in many areas. 

Check out these real-world scenarios to see how AI is improving email marketing.

AI-generated subject lines

An email subject line is the first line of text a recipient sees in their inbox, right after the sender’s name. 

It is a one-liner that summarizes the email’s contents and entices the receiver to open it.

Subject lines are critical as the first touchpoint to capture your reader’s attention.

Al can gather insights from the data provided to generate subject lines most likely to resonate with your audience.

Omnisend’s subject line generator can generate five customized suggestions. To use this feature, you input at least five keywords and a 30-50 character brief describing the content of your intended email.

Omnisend AI subject line generator
Image via Omnisend

Al-based text assistant

An AI writing assistant can help generate draft email content. It can also suggest improvements to your existing content. 

By analyzing successful email campaigns, the AI learns audience-resonating messaging. It suggests effective CTAs, emotional triggers, and key terms for your emails. 

Omnisend’s AI text assistant streamlines the email creation process. It provides writing support and suggests alternative phrases to convey the message.

The assistant corrects grammar and spelling errors. It also offers stylistic suggestions, ensuring polished and impactful emails.

Omnisend AI-based text assistant
Image via Omnisend

Tips for using AI-powered tools for email campaigns

Al is a powerful tool that can take your email marketing to an advanced level. 

Here are some tips for leveraging Al to enhance your email marketing: 

  • Choose an email service provider with AI capabilities, such as Omnisend. This can help optimize your subject lines, content, and campaign performance. You can even specify to include emojis in your subject lines, or to use a particular tone of voice (such as being witty).
  • Provide the AI with access to your email data. Share past campaign content to ensure there is information to make tailored recommendations. 

    The more data you supply, the more customized the insights can be.
  • When crafting subject line prompts, induce urgency with time limits or keywords.

    For example, input: 20% off shipping fee, travel bags, 24-hour timeline, buy now. Write at least 40 characters. 

    Example result: Buy now and save 20% on shipping fees for travel bags.
  • When using the AI Text Assistant, use one prompt to generate content for a single paragraph. 

    For example, prompt: In 1-3 sentences, talk about the variations of travel bags. Offer a 20% shipping fee discount on durable hard-shell suitcases and duffel bags.

    Example result: Enjoy 20% off shipping on our sturdy hard-shell suitcases. They offer secure protection for your precious belongings. Also explore our flexible duffel bags for convenient, lightweight packing for spontaneous getaways. 
  • Try a variety of subject lines. Experiment with email content alternatives. Discover the best wording that appeals to your target audience.

    Use Omnisend AI text assistant to regenerate text and create alternative versions:
Omnisend regenerate text AI option
Image via Omnisend
  • Remember to stay involved in the process and proofread all final subject lines and content. Al can optimize efforts, but human oversight and judgment remain crucial.

Wrap up

AI and machine learning in email marketing offer many benefits. 

By leveraging Al email marketing practices, you can optimize your email campaigns and achieve higher open rates, engagement, and conversions.

Ready to use Omnisend’s AI-powered email marketing tools to revolutionize your email marketing strategy in 2024?
Bernard Meyer
Article by
Bernard Meyer

Bernard is the Sr. Director of Communications & Creative at Omnisend, with a passion for good research, helping ecommerce businesses with their marketing automation needs, and beating absolutely everyone in Mario Kart 64.