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Breaking Down Artificial Intelligence

You keep hearing that “artificial intelligence” (AI) is on the rise in email marketing, but what exactly does that mean? AI can be complex and a bit daunting, but it’s an important feature that all marketers should become aware of and consider incorporating into their email strategy.

The simplest way to explain AI is that it is technology that automates a task or function that was previously completed by a person. Essentially, it’s intelligent automation, which can mean two things in email marketing.

The first is recommending, which is predicting which action will have the best outcome in order to recommend next steps in a series of events. An example would be AI using algorithms to generate subject lines that attract a higher click-through rate or taking the guesswork out of timing and frequency of emails by automatically analyzing various data sets.

The second core function of AI in email marketing is automating, which builds on recommending. AI can automate routine and repeatable tasks, such as triggered promotion emails or retargeting emails. Automation requires a very exact set of rules and improves as more data is available.

Data makes AI possible, and it’s important to know how to collect, organize, and analyze massive amounts of data for it to be effective. AI relies upon a large amount of data from multiple sources that is organized and translatable into solutions. The best way to understand this is to distill the three most important pieces of data science:

  1. Big Data – A large source of observations from a specific process, such as the delivery rates of all email campaigns. It’s easy to spot errors or anomalies when looking at a generally stable and common set of results.

  2. Data Source – A consistent and repeatable process that can be measured, such as an email open rate for specific campaigns or users. This information can help make future suggestions, such as subject lines or send times.

  3. Machine-learning – Organizing and analyzing structured or unstructured data and making predictions based on it, such as facial or object recognition in images that can then be searched in a database.

Gathering data and putting AI to work can help take your email marketing campaign to the next level. Artificial intelligence can optimize elements like subject lines, generate content for email-friendly formats, and take the guess work out of timing your emails and re-targeting by analyzing your subscribers’ browsing habits and preferences.

Regardless of how you use AI, it offers the same benefits – increased engagement and conversions, more efficient processes, and a boost in ROI. By incorporating artificial intelligence into your marketing strategy, you are investing in brand success for many years to come.