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Artificial Intelligence is Changing Email - Get Ahead or Fall Behind

Posted by Mike Donnelly on Jun 13, 2017 4:03:12 PM
Mike Donnelly
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While a world in which computers are sentient beings may still be a long way off, artificial intelligence has developed at a rocket-fast pace in the last several years. We can now do things with the help of collective intelligence that we would never have thought possible. And that power is being applied to everything from the HIV pandemic to. . . email.

With the help of artificial intelligence, you can now know what content individual subscribers will find valuable, know exactly where they are in the buying/customer journey, and know when each subscriber is most likely to open and engage with your email. This is not only the future of email marketing, it’s happening now. And your competitors are using it to reel in prospects and keep customers loyal, so you might want to get on board!

Deliver Content That's Guaranteed to Be of Interest to Each Subscriber

Wouldn’t it be nice to read the minds of your subscribers to know exactly what they’re interested in and what subject lines will trigger an open for them? AI software can analyze content and user behavior from your website to know what content you should send to what subscribers and when.

Boomtrain is leading the way with this capability. With this software you can take the guesswork out of your campaigns and deliver personalized experiences and content. The tool watches what individuals do on your website (what blog posts they read, what pages they visit, what content offers they request, etc.) and sets up “smart segments” which group similar subscribers together so you can be sure you’re sending them something that will interest them.

The software includes a drag-and-drop email editor that makes it easy to design your emails, and everything you send is tracked and measured so you can watch your success via a dashboard.

Deliver The Perfect Email for Each Lifecycle Stage

Beyond individual interests, you need to know where subscribers are in the buying/customer journey. Different content and different offers are appropriate for different stages, and you don’t want to bug people with email that doesn’t really apply to them. When someone is just beginning to research a variety of solutions to a problem, they need help gathering data that will inform their search. When someone has settled on a solution and is trying to evaluate vendors, they need testimonials, case studies, customer stories, ratings and reviews, and other information that will guide them to a good decision. When someone has made their first purchase, they need to be celebrated and encouraged to use the product/service to the fullest potential so they’ll be happy and refer friends and family. If a customer made an initial purchase but haven’t returned in a while, they need to be reminded of why they purchased and encouraged with additional offers that you know will be of interest.

All of this is possible when you know exactly where each subscriber is in the journey. While all the full-stack marketing software programs (like HubSpot and Marketo) allow you mark subscribers as leads, MQLs, SQLs, etc., they do require human input (at least at this time). The key to getting results from lifecycle stage marketing is to make sure your marketing and/or sales team is staying on top of updating leads as they progress through their journey.

Conversica takes some of the work out of lifecycle stage marketing by automating conversations with leads until they either buy or opt out. When an individual first downloads a content offer or signs up for something, the Conversica “assistant” kicks in and sends a welcome/thank you email. The assistant then tailors additional emails based on the data known about the individual to get a response. Once a lead has responded, the assistant interprets the response and asks questions to gauge needs and desires, qualifying the lead in the process. When the assistant identifies a lead as sales qualified, it alerts a sales rep. And the assistant doesn’t stop there. It follows up with the subscriber to make sure he/she got all the information needed.

Deliver Email at the Perfect Time for Each Subscriber

Everyone has different email habits. Some people check email constantly throughout the day, but those people are becoming more rare. Most people (unless they’re in Sales!), in an effort to be more productive, schedule their email time. People tend to be very predictable when it comes to when they check and respond to email.

The engagement data on each subscriber can be mined and used to customize the time each email goes out to each subscriber and at what frequency. This is what Seventh Sense accomplishes. Rather than having your email buried under several dozen other emails, Seventh Sense delivers your email to each subscriber’s inbox at the time when they’re in their inbox. So your subscribers are much more likely to actually see your email and open it, and you’re much more likely to see engagement.

AI technology is making marketing smarter, and smart marketers are taking advantage of what it has to offer. If email is a part of your marketing mix, you’ll either get ahead of your competitors by using AI, or fall behind!

Topics: Artificial Intelligence, Email