AI Supercharges Email Marketing Via Hyper-Personalization, Audience Segmentation  

AI Supercharges Email Marketing Via Hyper-Personalization, Audience Segmentation

There are four billion daily email users today and climbing with expectations to reach 4.6 billion by 2025. These users send and receive a staggering 306 billion emails every day.  

CMOs, regardless of if they are in the business-to-business (B2B) or business-to-consumer (B2C) arena, can benefit greatly from AI-powered email marketing and it needs to be a central part of their marketing agenda. This will lead to more satisfactory open rates, click-throughs, and brand leadership.  

More than 80 percent of global marketers today integrate some form of artificial intelligence into their digital marketing activities. In email marketing, AI can perform a range of tasks, from tailoring content to specific audiences for hyper-personalized email campaigns to predicting customer preferences and consumer behavior to boost engagement.  

Enterprise Email Marketers Already Embrace AI 

More than nine in 10 marketers say AI will have a major impact on email marketing, a 2023 report from marketing firm RPE Origin and B2B researcher Ascend2 found.  

Personalization appears to be the top motivation for marketing teams tapping into AI. In the same report, 50 percent of respondents said content personalization will be included in their email program this year. This was followed by: 

  • Email retargeting (47 percent) 
  • Subject line optimization (47 percent) 
  • Dynamic content generation (44 percent) 
  • Send time optimization (44 percent) 
  • Predictive analytics for customer behavior (40 percent) 
  • Automated segmentation and targeting (40 percent) 
  • A/B testing and optimization (37 percent) 

Challenges in implementing AI-powered email marketing, however, exist. Forty-five percent raised concerns about customer privacy and data protection, with 42 percent citing data quality or availability issues and 40 percent concerned with a lack of internal expertise, according to research. 

Email Marketing Optimization With AI: 3 Key Areas 

Hyper-personalized email campaigns are a leading motivator for marketers leveraging AI, particularly generative AI, in their email marketing efforts. Leveraging AI, marketers can analyze huge amounts of data to better understand what customers want and prefer, and then tailor content accordingly. It shows in indicators such as open rates, click-through rates, and campaign performance when email messages are relevant and engaging.  

Part of this personalization is pushing retargeting efforts ahead, where AI algorithms can spot customers who have shown interest in specific solutions and then deliver personalized emails to win them over again.   

Not all email marketers, though, use AI for email content generation (besides perhaps idea generation), as they continue to bank on human creativity for more refined, straightforward, and relatable content for their target audience.  

Instead, here are three ways to harness AI and incorporate it into your email marketing: 

  1. AI-driven email send time optimization – This optimization entails identifying the right send time for every subscriber, along with adjusting the overall time for a message based on performance data. AI can help build complex decision trees that optimize the send time automatically, helping marketers determine the moment and intervals maximizing user engagement. Salesforce’s AI Einstein, for example, employs audience saturation algorithms to identify the subscribers running the risk of being over- or under-communicated.  
  2. AI-driven email segmentation – Target audiences can be segmented based on geography, demographics, psychographics, and their various affinities, to name a few. AI functionalities can dynamically trigger email campaign journeys to varying segments, giving every subscriber a personalized experience based on their preferences.  
  3. AI-driven product feed recommendations – AI can personalize emails in a way that it provides product recommendations (based on browsing or purchase history), tips and tricks for product use and adoption, value-adding content customized to user affinities, as well as special promotions.   

Marketers can then take it up a notch and explore within their email service providers (ESPs) to measure engagement and conversion from such AI-driven email marketing automation and audience analysis.  

Adopting AI-Powered Email Marketing 

Ryan Phelan, RPE Origin managing partner, urges email marketers to experiment more with AI tools. One way to do this: set up control groups to determine the most effective AI-generated messages and processes, whether in audience segmentation or email marketing automation.  

The caveat, time and again, is that AI can’t do it alone.  

“I can go to ChatGPT and fill in all this information and say, ‘Generate X,’ but I still as an individual need to go through and humanize it,” Phelan stated, emphasizing the need to establish and reinforce your brand voice and style.  

Related Readings:

AI Marketing in Focus: IBM Harnesses Generative AI Tool Adobe Firefly 

Marketers Are Gearing Up for an AI Revolution 

AI-Powered Advertising 101: Benefits, Use Cases, and Prospects 

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