How to Use AI to Send the Right Email to the Right Person
Email marketing remains one of the most effective digital marketing channels, with email boasting a median ROI of 122% according to DMA’s “Email Marketing Benchmark Survey”. However, with inbox clutter and low open rates, marketers need to work harder to cut through the noise. Personalization has been shown to dramatically improve open rates and click-throughs. By leveraging AI and machine learning, marketers can scale personalized email campaigns that drive higher conversions.
Use Data to Segment Your Audience
The first step in personalizing emails is to divide your audience into different segments based on demographic, behavioral and contextual data. For example, you may want to segment by location, purchase history, on-site behavior, preference center choices, life cycle stage and more. AI tools can help you automatically cluster customers into segments for more targeted messaging. Ensure you have the data infrastructure in place to gather and analyze customer data at scale.
Carefully consider what customer data is most relevant for segmentation. Location, past purchases, on-site browsing history, preference center choices, and lifecycle stage are all examples of useful data points. The more data you can incorporate, the more personalized your segments will be. Invest in collecting quality customer data across touchpoints like your website, mobile apps, online ads, and social channels. Also make sure your analytics tools provide the functionality to easily divide users into granular audience groups using multiple data filters.
With quality customer data, AI-powered segmentation tools can quickly and automatically cluster users into audiences with common traits and behaviors. The machine learning algorithms handle the heavy lifting of processing the data, finding patterns, and defining hyper-targeted segments. This allows marketers to bypass more crude manual segmentation approaches in favor of sophisticated, multidimensional segmentation powered by AI.
Customize Content for Each Segment
Once you have defined your audience segments, you can create tailored content and offers that will resonate best with each group. Use your customer data to identify the pain points, interests and motivations of each segment. An AI assistant can generate hundreds of variations of an email for different segments, optimizing content and tone for each one. Testing content with small groups first can help you refine your personalization strategy before larger sends.
Getting content personalization right takes an in-depth understanding of your users. What messaging sparks interest for one group may fall flat with another. Leverage AI tools like Claude to analyze the customer data for each segment and recommend the right content, offers, and tone to use. The AI assistant can even generate multiple personalized email content variations for A/B testing.
When creating your content, ensure it speaks directly to the unique needs and preferences of the target users based on the data. For example, customers in one segment may respond better to emotional messaging with customer testimonials, while another group may prefer stats and logic focused content. Take the time to craft content that aligns closely with the interests and motivations of each group.
Use Dynamic Personalization
For the highest relevancy, use dynamic personalization to customize your email content right down to the individual level. For example, you can display the recipient’s name, reflect their purchase history or habits, show products they recently viewed or have in their cart, and tailor content to past engagement on your website. AI tools can help you scale this level of personalization across your entire database through machine learning and natural language generation.
Dynamic personalization requires a robust data infrastructure with a unified customer profile that’s updated in real-time as users interact with your brand. This allows you to leverage the very latest individual-level data to customize emails as they are sent. Focus on dynamic elements like name, location, past purchases, recently viewed items, and on-site behavior.
The key is having an AI platform that can ingest the real-time data and output customized email layouts, content, product recommendations, and calls-to-action tailored to each recipient. Test different types of dynamic content to see what resonates most. The more you refine based on performance data, the more effective your AI-powered personalized emails will become.
Customize Subject Lines
Your subject line is the first impression your email makes, so optimizing subject lines is crucial for improving open rates. Use data such as past email engagement and on-site behavior to dynamically generate personalized subject lines for each subscriber. Testing different variations will reveal which types of personalized subject lines work best for each audience segment.
Leverage your customer data to create subject line variations that speak to the interests of each user segment. Test different formats like question headlines, urgency cues, benefit-driven language, and more. You can even A/B test personalized details like including the recipient’s name. Pay attention to open rate data to refine your subject line personalization strategy over time.
Personalize Delivery Time
You can also use data to determine the optimal time to deliver your email to each recipient. Sending emails when a customer is most likely to open them improves reach and engagement. Factors like past email opening habits, time zone, and day of week can all be used by AI tools to recommend the best delivery time for each individual. Consider running A/B tests to validate the impact on open rates.
Analysis of the customer data can identify peak email engagement times for each user – this varies based on time zone, past behavior, and other factors. Work with your email service provider to set up AI-powered dynamic delivery time personalization. Make sure to monitor performance post-send to validate that the data-driven delivery time recommendations are driving lift in open and click rates.
Tailor Email Layouts
In addition to content, you can also personalize the design and layout of your emails. Adjusting layouts, images, calls-to-action, button styles and colors based on user preferences and past engagement can make your emails more appealing and effective. Use A/B testing to figure out which variations perform best.
Work with your design team to create different personalized email layouts and styles that would appeal to each of your core segments. Test different UI elements like button shape and color, text sizing, image locations, etc. Examine the click rate data to understand what resonates for each segment and continue refining the designs accordingly.
Personalize Across Channels
To boost relevancy, personalize your email campaigns in conjunction with other channels like social media, paid ads and your website. Using the same data to segment across channels creates a unified customer experience. AI can help you orchestrate this cross-channel personalization at scale.
A unified customer profile is essential for coordinating personalized messaging across touchpoints. Use the same audience segments across email, social ads, site personalization, and more to reinforce your messaging. Make sure your data is integrated between systems so insights from each channel inform the others. AI can help process all this data into coordinated campaigns.
Leverage AI Assistants for Campaign Ideation
Coming up with fresh, data-driven ideas for dozens of personalized email campaigns, week after week, is challenging. AI-powered tools like Anthropic’s Claude can significantly ease the ideation process. Marketers provide prompts with goals and customer data, and AI assistants propose fully fleshed out hyper-personalized email campaign concepts.
After defining your segments, brief your AI assistant on your goals, relevant customer data, and past campaign performance. Claude can rapidly generate a broad range of innovative, tailored email campaign ideas to test. This exponentially expands your ability to produce high-quality personalized email ideas and content.
The key to effective personalization is continuously optimizing based on data. Monitor open rates, click rates, conversions and other KPIs to see what’s resonating best with each audience segment. Feed these insights back into your email personalization strategy to further boost performance. With AI, this type of iteration and optimization can be automated, allowing you to scale your efforts.
Set up clear reporting to track email engagement across segments. Analyze the data to identify winning variations in content, design, timing, etc. Use those insights to further refine your personalization. Automated AI systems can handle this repetitive optimization work, constantly improving campaigns based on the latest performance data.
Personalizing email marketing campaigns leveraging AI tools like Anthropic’s Claude allows modern marketers to cut through the noise for higher open rates, engagement and conversions. By tailoring content, design, delivery timing and more based on detailed customer data and behaviors, email relevance soars. Continuous optimization enabled by AI will be key to scaling hyper-personalized, impactful email campaigns moving forward.