Machine learning and artificial intelligence can be scary words for some, yet it is an influencer of many of the top marketing trends this year. From SEO to research to advertising and email marketing; artificial intelligence is reshaping how these tactics can be utilized. Email marketing has long been considered a high return-on-investment marketing approach. A direct conversation with customers and low cost to manage. However, artificial intelligence can be used to generate higher conversions, optimize personalization, automation, and data analysis. Let’s take a look at different ways that artificial intelligence can be used to your advantage
Personalization. It’s all about the customer's right! When your customer base grows, it can be difficult to send communications that feel personal and manage the volumes. AI helps with this by creating emails that look like they were written personally by humans. How? By analyzing their behavior, purchase history, interactions with previous communications and interests, customized emails can be created as well as potential product recommendations, discounts, or other promotions. Personalization drives engagement, with 26% more emails opened when the subject line is personalized. In order to create personalized email subject lines, you have to capture some basic information in your forms, such as age, gender, job title, geographic location, or interests. But the easiest and quickest way to personalize your subject lines is to simply incorporate your customers' first name in the subject. This is easily accomplished when using email marketing software such as Campaign Monitor, HubSpot, Mailchimp (just to name a few) which all offer multiple personalization features.
Higher conversions. Conversions are the ultimate goal, if we aren’t selling, we’re dying right. How do we get sales, by creating the right content, at the right time, through the right channel to the right people? This is why AI is to benefit. AI can test the right combination of subject lines, email body, and images to determine which will perform best. Incorporating artificial intelligence, emails will be sent based on subscribers’ activity to determine the right time to send. Artificial intelligence also provides product recommendations which oftentimes results in higher conversions. The same goes for advertising as well. Google uses machine learning in its advertising services to evaluate “billions of consumer data points every day, from color and tone preference on mobile screens, to purchase history, device, and location.” Delivering ads or sending emails at the right time and frequency can make the difference between a click and an unsubscribe.
Automation. Marketing automation involves the use of setting up triggers or points along your customer’s journey. Triggers can include the creation of a new contact, a change in that contact’s status when they perform a particular activity on your site (e.g. downloading a whitepaper, watching a video, taking a quiz). Any of these triggers can be set to initiate your predefined automated steps. There is no requirement for a minimum or maximum amount of steps, this is specific to your consumers' purchase cycle. Each marketing automation consists of a starting point, multiple steps (which sometimes include decision points), and a final step. Artificial intelligence can be used to analyze consumer data to determine where they are in their decision process or “customer journey.” Again, by evaluating purchase history, interests, and browsing behaviors; automated campaigns can be created in order to nurture your leads. Marketing automation is effective whether you sell to other businesses or consumers. From lead nurturing to behavior-based automation, automation is most effective when you know who your customers are, what their problems are, and why you’re the best solution out there for them. Which leads us to data analysis.
Data analysis. Without data, it’s impossible to understand customers and if you don’t understand your customers, then you can’t create an effective marketing program or compete in today’s customer-centric environment. Artificial intelligence can help you to succeed with your data analysis. There is a plethora of data at your fingertips, as noted in a recent article “A Minute On The Internet” by Statista “data compiled by Visual Capitalist, a single internet minute holds more than 400,000 hours of video streamed on Netflix, 500 hours of video uploaded by users on YouTube and nearly 42 million messages shared via WhatsApp. That same internet minute also contains more than 6,500 packages shipped by Amazon as well as an incredible 208,333 participants in Zoom meetings.” So there is plenty of insights to gain. Artificial intelligence can make sense of that data through text analysis. Text analysis uses natural language processing to break down the text (from documents, social media, internal communications, etc.) to uncover information, such as sentiment, topics, extract keywords, names, and specifications. Using software applications like Monkey Learn, you can use AI data analysis tools to train your own sentiment analyzer. This could include thousands of tweets about your brand, product, or the industry you compete to find real-time customer sentiment, then following it as it changes over time.
The marketing technology landscape is growing daily, roughly 8,000 this year; up 13.6% from last year. Data is the fastest-growing category, up 25.5%, a reflection of the priority of harnessing data to gain valuable insights. As stated earlier, AI is being incorporated into many of these technologies to make them smarter, faster, nimbler, and more competitive. It’s up to you to determine if you are ready for the new reality of leveraging AI to make your company smarter, friendlier, and agile in delivering customers personalized messages at the right time, through the right channel with the right message.