“The fear of the unknown is so powerful; it convinces us to stay in the misery of our current situation simply because we know it already.”
It is an eye-opening quote by Tory Eletto, a well-known American psychotherapist. Even though she isn’t from the B2B industry, her quote perfectly represents the business scenario (challenges of AI in email marketing). Now the fear of the unknown in a business context means new difficulties users might face while integrating this technology and that’s why they are unwilling to try it. If they aren’t also getting much success from their old processes and technologies, they still won’t test the new tech (AI email marketing is still in early phases) as it is alien to them.
If we go down the history, humans don’t easily accept groundbreaking technologies, ideas, social structure, etc because they feel safe in a known territory. The same challenge we could witness in the case of AI email marketing.
Now why there is a downplaying of this new technology? Are there real security concerns? Let’s analyse some recent cases, the explosion of deepfake AI in the entertainment industry of USA, has worried industry experts. The deepfake political ads is also a disturbing trend, spreading misinformation among the population of United States. The misuse of the AI technology in different industries is thus, adding to the concerns of B2B marketers.
So, could we say that artificial intelligence is the real culprit for this chaos?
To understand better, let’s take an example of a well-known equation:
2H2+O2= 2H2O+ ENERGY
Well, you know that through this reaction, water or H2O is produced. Are you also aware that energy is released in this process? Yes, it’s like a byproduct, whether you asked for it or not, energy is released along with the water. The same we could say about artificial intelligence, along with leading us to our goals, it offers some challenges, that we didn’t ask for.
So, you need to find a way that helps you in the perfect usage of AI and mitigates the risk involved in it. But you can’t completely rely on AI and needs to play crucial role in planning, strategy, creativity and executing the process.
In the below statistical graph, you could decipher the same:
Here you can see that almost 47% of marketers stated that AI will have a key role in email marketing but won’t eliminate human creativity and strategy. Now, if deciphered properly, it means they acknowledge the benefits of AI in email marketing but still won’t rely on it to balance innovation (human creativity) and ethics (strategy for effective process).
So, do we have some tactics to integrate AI and email marketing with right balance? Yes, we have, and you as a marketer could integrate the same to streamline your process:
1. A Good Subject Line:
Many recipients’ have a short attention span and would hop on from one content to the other. So, you need to develop a subject line that catches the readers’ attention at first glance. For that, you don’t need bold or spammy content but take the help of AI to develop a formal and creative subject line.
This intelligent technology with the right analysis of vast information could develop the one sentence subject line hit among the audience.
Balancing ethics and innovation: Now as we know AI has to use a lot of personal information to execute this process; so, could ethics create an obstacle to innovation here? Well, the challenge (personal information such as name, company name, location, customer segment, and other unique data of an individual customer) could be misused to send spam emails or ads with distorted information. Please find the below image:
As you can see here, these are the top email personalization factors used to develop emails. The top personalization factor is name, company name and other profile data (80%), followed by customer segment (64%), past email interactions (42%). The popular data field is the first one as it is the most private information and facilitates in developing the right content. It strikes the right chord with customers and pushes them down the sales funnel. But at the same time, these data pose a threat to the privacy of customers.
Now as a marketer, you’ve to be creative, ambitious and simultaneously respect the privacy of customers. You should not pester customers with spam emails or misguide them with false information like subject lines invoking fear, and panic so that they open emails.
Let your imagination run wild with fleeting thoughts that would give you the best creative ideas aligned with marketing ethics; you could develop the subject line with the right balance of ethics and innovation.
1. Using Past Purchase Data to Develop Emails:
Every marketing campaign is for a specific purpose. For example, your customer has purchased a specific product the previous year. And your organization is giving festive offers on the same product this year, you’d surely reach out to these customers.
Now these past purchases (data about bought products clearly describes the interest, preferences of customer) is also the customers’ data. When you use it to send bulk emails to customers, many won’t like it. The reason- too many promotional emails with discounts and offers. And that too with precise content of products, they purchased last year!! They feel marketers are spying on their shopping pattern to use it for their benefit. Just remember The Wolf of Wall Street moves don’t work for every customer.
AI with the past purchase and search trail, could help you recommend the preferred products to the customer at the right time and right frequency. This won’t make you look pushy and further maintain a good rapport with them.
Balancing ethics and innovation: Develop emails to target customers to sell specific products and balance ethics, innovation concurrently. But how could you make the customer comfortable during the entire process? It’s all easy; inform your customer that you’re keeping their entire shopping data, so that in future, you could provide them with a delightful shopping experience.
With these data, you as a marketer could suggest them similar products aligned with their preferences. This process is creative and customers would also feel secure. They would also save time as your suggestions would facilitate instant purchases and most of these would be high-quality products at right market prices.
In the below example, you could find one of the product recommendation emails:
Just as you could see in this example, it is mentioned in email “Here are the latest fashion products….” With AI you could understand the product that prospect is more likely to purchase and recommend, thus reducing the sales cycle. The creative content,” searching for stuff…..” coaxes them to read further and finally make the purchase. And later the free code offer at the end is the final push that you need to convert your prospect.
We should acknowledge humans want the best life whether food, clothes, lifestyle, and others and your customers are humans. So, your aim should be selling the right product to them and simultaneously making profits within the marketing ethics.
We also have information about top AI email marketing tools to maintain the right balance:
1. Seventh Sense:
This AI email marketing tool acts as a truly professional email marketer. In the competitive world, you should be aware of what time you should send your email campaign. The Seventh Sense tool identifies the best time, when readers are most likely to open emails. It would increase the open rate as prospects would receive emails at the right time zone.
This tool can just sense, when prospects have higher chances of conversions so that it would shoot out emails at that specific time. It would also maintain the frequency level to have steady communication; this is the most important part as high frequency won’t go down well with the audience and also would go against the marketing ethics.
Seventh Sense helps to have the right number of times of email campaigns(frequency). Please find the below pictorial representation of the tool:
In this image, you can see the top time on all 7 days of the week. The email engagement level is also shown here. As you can see here it is mentioned that engagement level is increasing, the information would encourage the marketer.
The USP of Unlayer tool is that it helps design some of the best email marketing campaigns. It is a fact that visual appeal is one of the first tactics that marketers use to attract prospects through the marketing process. And this email marketing tool facilitates generating catchy, visually appealing headings for email campaigns.
The design also includes right CTA content. It would help you generate the best short content for Call-To-Action. You could choose the keyword on the dropdown box so that it adds content to motivate the customers to click it. Please find the below image to see how the process is executed:
As you can see here, the best words used are “grab”, “save”, “start”. Long story short this tool acts as a copywriter for your email campaigns.
Now two more steps, marketers could integrate into their process is maintaining transparency and offering additional facilities:
- Consent of customers: You should have the consent of customers before using their personal information for your business purpose. As a marketer, you should understand that your business depends on your customers, so their absolute trust is highly necessary.
- Opt-out facility: The customers should have the facility to opt-out of your email campaigns whenever they feel like. This would give them peace of mind and further, you’d have only those customers seriously interested in your product or service.
AI in email marketing is absolutely safe and productive if rightly used.
We have some techniques and tools in this blog that would surely help you in walking the
tightrope (AI and email marketing). Integrate the same to witness positive business results.