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Email marketing and AI

We discussed personality-based marketing and how Psychographic Segmentation and similar tools are helping marketers connect with their target audiences in meaningful ways. This week, we’ll take a look at the email marketing landscape in particular. Despite the fierce competition for consumers’ attention, email marketing is still a staple tool for businesses. This type of interaction connects businesses with current and potential clients in a rather successful manner. In fact, Statista reported that the median ROI generated by selected direct marketing channels was 124% according to marketers worldwide as of June 2017.

The key to successful marketing campaigns is connecting with a core audience. In the past marketers cast a wide, but inefficient net with low success rates. Email represents a unique landscape to connect with a user. Email is innately more personalized because email marketing is occuring in a space that is a “home” for users on the internet. And the number of users with email accounts is growing steadily. According to another statistic by 2022, the number of active email users is forecasted to reach 4.3 billion people.

The future of email marketing will invariably be personality or behaviorally-based and customized accordingly. Research is already showing greater success rates through personalization. One study showed that personalized emails based on behavior were 3x better received than impersonal, large batch emails, and according to Single Grain, personalized emails drive 18x more revenue than broadcast emails.

So how can a business that is already busy being a business personalize all its emails? That’s where Artificial Intelligence (AI) comes into the picture.

AI and Personalization

AI can manage large sets of data. As a business collects a growing number of emails, the data related to those emails will also continue to grow and grow to the point where managing it is a full time job for a team of people. But with AI this information can be more easily catalogued and readied for use.

Customizing Information

AI also enables marketers to study customer behavior. In the case of personality-based marketing, AI can help sort through data to determine if individuals fall into a certain pre-determined personality type. Regardless of whether marketing is based on Psychographic Segmentation or another manner of personality categorization, AI can label and filter data in order to send tailored emails to each individual. For example, if it’s known that someone who falls into personality category “A” likes to see information presented in infographics, an email can be arranged and sent in an infographic format to that individual.

Predictive Analytics

AI can also help with predictive analytics which allow marketers to have a good idea of how a user will act based on their past behavior. While this type of data requires past interactions with a user, its collection can become invaluable. Based on past behavior and predictive analytics, AI can determine how likely it will be for a user to open an email in the morning but ignore the same email if it arrives after 4pm. And based on this information, it can inform a business as to the best time to send emails individually.


Similarly, in the ecommerce industry, with the right analytics a business can understand shoppers purchasing habits, browsing patterns and so forth. With AI, quick real-time emails can be sent to users with custom recommendations or reminders of items left in a cart. These emails help boost engagement and increase sales. An in depth study of abandoned carts found that a single initial email had an open rate of 62.94%, a click-through rate of 14.53%, and revenue per recipient of $10.75. Not bad.

Even something as simple as a subject line with the recipient's first name makes a big impact. Studies have found that a personalized subject line with the individuals first name is is 26% more likely to be opened.

Wrapping Up

Email marketing is a proven way to connect a business with its target audience, but its success has become dependent on personalization. The competition for an audience's attention is stiff, with advertising dominating much of the online experience. That said, when a meaningful connection is made, conversions go up and users are more likely to appreciate the email approach when it is personalized.

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