10 Ways to Combine Email Marketing and Machine Learning

Email continues to show amazing superpowers as a digital marketing tool—nearly 25 years after AOL started making its way into every household.

Yet even after the emergence of tweets, texts and instant messaging, we still have a thing for email.

We’re exchanging emails at the rate of 269 billion every day, according to a 2017 study by the Radicati Group. And it’s only going to grow, with researchers predicting that 316 billion emails will be sent daily by 2021.

In the world of digital marketing, that type of longevity is an incredible feat.

But email is due for an upgrade.

To carve out a path to their targeted audiences in the midst of this flood of emails, marketers could use a tool that helps them deliver the right message to the right person at the right time.

Machine learning is that tool.

A form of artificial intelligence, machine learning has been defined by numerous marketing leaders in different ways. TechEmergence combined some of those insights to come up with the following definition:

“Machine learning is the science of getting computers to learn and act like humans do, and improve their learning over time in autonomous fashion, by feeding them data and information in the form of observations and real-world interactions.”

What that means from a practical standpoint, is that machine learning can pull from data gathered about your audiences and their behaviors to deliver actionable insights that can be used to create email messages that matter to them. Emails that will gain more opens, clicks, and engagement without all the manual work.

Take a look at 10 ways you can leverage machine learning to get better results with your email marketing campaigns.

1. Create an opening line that gets attention.

With a machine learning software platform fueling your email marketing strategy, your subject lines are automatically optimized to attract the attention of your subscribers.

The more your subscribers engage, the more machine learning picks up on the type of messaging that will continue to resonate with them in the future, improving the odds that they will take that all important first step and click on your email.

Machine learning lives up to its name. It’s constantly learning about your subject through their interactions…creating subject lines that keep getting better and better, steadily improving your open rates.

2. Identify the right promotions and offers.

You’re likely already segmenting your audiences—to the best of your ability. And it’s likely you’re getting better at hyper-segmenting audiences based on interactions with your email and site.

Customer has been browsing white dresses? Running shoes? Baby diapers? Those interactions are delivering the cues to refine subsequent email messages, promotions and offers.

With machine learning automation, you can advance that personalized experience, sending customized emails with the right offers that incentivize your subscribers to take the next step to purchase.

Depending upon their shopping interests, the subscriber can receive additional product suggestions—sandals when searching for a white dress, running shorts when browsing running shoes and the sustainable baby products for anyone looking for a specific brand of organic diapers.

3. Deliver a consistent voice.

Your brand represents everything about your company, including its personality. Your brand voice should always be consistent; familiar to your prospects and customers.

Who would think that artificial intelligence could deliver the warmth, voice, and tone of your brand with every interaction? It can. Machine learning draws upon the existing tone of your brand messaging and varying human emotions to consistently engage with your subscribers through an experience that comes across as convincingly real.

4. Interact across different channels.

Your audiences switch back and forth between devices with regularity. According to a study by the global marketing agency OMD, we’re checking emails, browsing and engaging online by switching among devices—smartphones, tablets, and laptops—at a rate of 21 times within an hour.

Your email messages should be optimized to reflect this type of behavior among your audiences. They should never be approached from a one-size- fits-all perspective. With the benefit of machine learning, your messages can be tailored and timed to coincide with your subscribers’ online browsing habits, whether on a smartphone browsing social media or on a laptop opening your emails.

5. Get the content right.

Once the subscriber has opened your email, they should be able to engage in a personalized experience. The copy and visuals should be designed to encourage an immediate connection.

Instead of trying to figure out how to create those unique experiences, you can rely on machine learning to get it right—pulling in data about the right mix of topics, keywords and messaging that will solicit the most interactions.

That means a single Millennial who is active on Instagram, enjoys traveling and regularly shops for vintage-inspired clothing will get an entirely different email experience from you than a married Gen X-er who devotes most of her time to her corporate job and three teenage children.

While those differences are obvious, machine learning can delve into the fine details of each of your subscribers to create a highly personalized experience that will feel like timely recommendations that come across positively…and less like an intrusion.

6. Get the timing right.

Just as delivering the right content to each subscriber is extremely important, so is timing. No longer do you have to constantly review reports on the best time of the week and best time of the day to send your emails. Machine learning will gather data about each individual subscriber, allowing it to make more accurate predictions about when is the ideal time to send that person an email.

7. Interact in real-time.

Human-like interaction demands that timing occurs in real time, similar to the flow of a 1:1 conversation in person. With machine learning added to your email marketing, you can replicate those types of conversations. Again, machine learning pulls in data about human behavior and naturally learns the right responses to comments and other engagements from your audiences—all in real time.

8. Send at the right frequency.

Avoid the risk of people hitting the unsubscribe button because they’re considering you a nuisance. Or because they’re forgetting about you since you don’t send as frequently as you should to keep them engaged.

With machine learning added to your email marketing strategy, you can be assured that emails will be sent at the frequency each subscriber prefers. Machine learning pulls data about your subscribers through their interactions to determine how many and how often emails should be sent to ensure optimal engagement.

9. Enhance drip campaigns.

While many email drip campaigns do a good job of tracking the buyer’s journey, machine learning can make the experience much more personal by monitoring the interactions of the user and responding at the right time with the right subsequent messages. The language and may be slightly adjusted based on the particular user and what they’re most likely to respond to.

10. Minimize your response time.

If you have a call to action that encourages users to sign up for a demo, schedule a test run or get more information, an immediate response is ideal.

According to a study by Harvard Business Review, if you don’t make contact within an hour, you run the risk of losing the sale or being able to verify the lead altogether. Based on 1.25 million sales leads, if you respond within one hour you’re seven times more likely to close the sale than if you waited two hours to respond. Some studies show that even minutes matter.

With a machine learning platform, responses to CTAs can be automatically detected and directed to the right team member. And, through machine learning, an immediate human-like response can be delivered to the prospect until the human counterpart actually reaches out.

Are you ready to use email to move your marketing strategy to an entirely different level? Engage your subscribers in real time with messages that matter? The combination of email marketing and machine learning promises to deliver experiences that help you make a connection.

Contact us. We’ll show you what Delivra’s marketing automation can do to enhance your subscribers’ experiences.

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