It seems like nary a discussion can occur without talk shifting to AI. It’s become so pervasive already, and continuous advancements into the 2020s seem poised for AI to continue its rapid advancement.
This also raises the question – is there a role for AI in eCommerce email marketing? Indeed there is. This article will explore the relationship between AI and email marketing in the context of eCommerce.
We also share a list of AI tools to try if you’re ready to harness AI for your eCommerce email marketing.
Table of Contents
What Is AI in Email Marketing?
Let’s begin by demystifying this confounding concept. AI is short for artificial intelligence. While it used to conjure to mind Terminator-like creatures, we know AI today as a tool that can render fun images for us or write and research.
AI in email marketing is like email automation, only it’s much more intuitive. An email tool or software will have built-in AI components that can infer data, make recommendations, and do tasks for you in real-time.
How is this possible, you ask? Well, every AI tool has different algorithms, but many use machine learning. This allows the AI to learn based on the information it receives and continually improve.
For example, if you use AI to write email subject lines for you, the technology can learn the kinds of subject lines you prefer and eventually begin churning them out for you just the way you like them.
The Benefits of AI in eCommerce Email Marketing
If you have an eCommerce business, utilizing artificial intelligence in your email marketing can pay excellent dividends. Let’s see how.
Helps you engage more effectively
Engaging with your audience is critical, whether they’re still in the lead stage, recently converted, or long-term customers. AI allows you to produce instantly engaging, interesting content your audience will want to open.
You should especially consider AI if your open rates have sagged lately.
Saves you time
It takes time to come up with the perfect subject line or opener for your email, too much time for some marketers. You can’t sacrifice this part of email marketing, as it affects engagement, but you also can’t afford to agonize over your emails for too long when you have so much else to do.
AI allows you to write engaging email content and still stick to deadlines. Between an AI tool and email automation, you’ll spend far less time crafting the perfect email and more time reaping the rewards.
Emails must be personalized to perform, but this is another task that can take up monumental amounts of time. AI can do the personalization elements for you so your emails have that tailored look and feel. Your audience will be none the wiser about it.
Saves money and resources
AI can help you design your emails so you don’t have to hire a team of graphical experts. You can compare email content, reducing your reliance on software. You won’t need a copywriting specialist or an email consultant.
You will save time by reducing resources and third parties involved in email marketing.
9 Ways to Use AI In Your eCommerce Email Marketing
Here are the major functions of email marketing that AI can help you with.
1. Write subject lines
As mentioned, those pesky subject lines you struggle with will be a thing of the past. Give the AI the crux of the subject line, including keywords, and you’ll receive several subject line variations.
Don’t like ‘em? That’s fine. AI won’t take it personally. Just ask it to generate more and keep going until you find the subject line you love.
Of course, feel free to tweak any of the AI’s recommendations to better suit your audience, brand, and goals.
2. Design your emails
How much time do you spend selecting the perfect email template? What if we told you that AI could do that for you instead? It can!
AI can select template recommendations based on the type of email you’re sending and the audience, adding one more layer of personalization to your email marketing campaigns.
3. Write your emails
AI can produce email content for you copy, which should save you time.
4. Send your emails
You likely rely on email automation software to schedule and deliver your messages, but AI can do it too. These tools are so intuitive that AI can even recommend the best days and times to send your messages based on your audience and email performance.
5. Split-test your emails
Should your emails have more of what’s in Column A or Column B? Split-testing is a necessary part of launching a successful email campaign, but it can take forever. Not with AI.
It can speedily determine which elements will drive the most engagement so you can get that email sent.
6. Segment your audience
The success of your email campaign hinges on targeting the right audience. AI can segment your audience into as many groups as required according to your selected criteria, including demographics, geographics, psychographics, or a combination.
7. Recommend the right products
What products would interest your audience? You must always have the answer to this question to target them at precisely the right moment. AI can assist you in reviewing a customer’s purchasing history and other data to recommend the right product to make their life easier and better.
8. Prune your email list
In our intro to email deliverability, we wrote about how having dead, deactivated, and spam email addresses in your contact list can hurt your credibility and potentially limit the emails you can send.
AI can make quick work of deadheading your email list so only the most engaged, active audience members remain.
9. Retarget your audience
Did you miss a first shot at your customers or leads and want to take a second crack? AI can help you write a personalized retargeting email campaign with tailored product and service recommendations that your audience cannot resist.
How To Use AI For Your eCommerce Email Marketing
Are you interested in exploring the vast world of AI eCommerce email marketing? Here are the steps to follow to implement AI into your next campaign.
Step 1 – Determine your goals
What are your email marketing goals? How can AI help? Answering these questions will ensure you select AI tools that can guide you in the outcomes you seek, helping you save time and money right out of the gate.
Step 2 – Find the right AI tool
Next, you can compare options to find the ideal email AI tool. We’ll recommend some of our favorites in the next section, so make sure you don’t miss it.
Step 3 – Use AI to improve your email campaign
Now comes the fun part, implementing AI into your email marketing campaigns. You’ll recall that AI utilizes machine learning, so don’t feel frustrated if it’s not everything you envisioned immediately. It will reach that point.
Step 4 – Monitor the results sharply
As you begin using AI in your emails, track performance. Do more customers and leads open your emails? What does the click-through rate look like? What about the bounce rate?
AI might not immediately improve email performance, but your campaigns should be more bountiful, given the time.
Step 5 – Tweak the AI for better results
However, that may require some tweaks and changes before you get there. Feel free to adjust the AI’s extensiveness in your email marketing campaigns or make other changes so the technology suits you and your campaign.
9 AI Email Marketing Tools to Try
It’s time to take your eCommerce email marketing to the next level with artificial intelligence. Here are 9 tools that will help you do that.
The HubSpot and Marketo tool Seventh Sense was built to maximize engagement and email performance without ditching the software you’re already using.
Two of the three HubSpot tools are free, including automated A/B testing and an email deliverability tool. The latter determines why your emails get sent to the spam filter through an audit.
Next, the deliverability tool will assess your results, comparing them against other providers. Seventh Sense can also recommend action steps to improve deliverability.
The Business plan for HubSpot costs $64 per user per month with 5,000 contacts. The Enterprise plan has custom pricing and 150,000 contacts.
The Business plan for Marketo is $360 per month and includes 50,000 leads. The Enterprise plan has custom annual pricing and 300,000 leads.
Mailchimp is known for its email marketing simplicity, so it’s unsurprising the company has unveiled an AI tool called Email Content Generator.
Combining more than 20 AI tools in one, the Email Content Generator can determine marketing intent and tone, customize the content according to your brand, personalize your emails, test variants, and write copy.
When Email Content Generator produces an email you like, simply drag and drop it right into your existing campaign and use it as is. You can also tweak the email messaging.
Mailchimp has four plans to choose from, with pricing for 500 contacts: Free for $0 per month, Essentials for $13 a month, Standard for $20 a month, and Premium for $350 a month. You can try the Essentials and Standard plans for free for 30 days before you buy.
Brevo, the new name for Sendinblue, uses artificial intelligence in the form of its Brevo AI assistant. The smart algorithms that power this assistant allow the AI to generate email content to tap into your audience’s emotions, including excitement, urgency, or curiosity.
The Brevo AI assistant can also produce email subject lines, split-test your emails, and add personalization.
Brevo offers a Free marketing plan for $0 per month, a Starter plan for $25 per month, a Business plan for $65 a month, and BrevoPlus with custom pricing. These plans include unlimited contacts, even the Free plan.
HubSpot has gotten smarter with the introduction of HubSpot AI Tools. Some tools are still in public beta as of this writing but they can begin assisting your campaigns even now.
The content assistant relies on OpenAI GPT to write copy, recommend blog posts, build CTAs, write social media posts, and draft emails, including prospecting and marketing emails.
HubSpot AI Tools also include ChatSpot, a chat-based AI tool for following up, managing leads, requesting status updates, forecasting sales, reporting data, and prospecting.
Further, HubSpot AI tools can aid in areas like adaptive testing, SEO, call transcription and recording, email data capture, and data cleansing. Some of these tools are free!
Speaking of free, next, we’ve got Unspam.email. This no-cost tool is part deliverability tester, part spam checker. You need an account to get started, but once you register, you can actively begin improving your sender reputation.
Unspam.email checks if your domain, IP, and email address are on blacklists. It will also perform accessibility checks, preview your emails, and use AI prediction heatmaps to help you successfully ramp up your email marketing campaigns.
As Drift says, “everything starts with a conversation.” It’s easier to have that conversation with the tool’s conversational AI platform that links video, email, and chat under one roof.
Prioritizing personalization, Drift promises to increase your website traffic, build your sales pipeline, and boost productivity. The Premium plan starts at $2,500 per month, while the Advanced and Enterprise plans feature custom pricing.
7. Zeta Global
The marketing intelligence platform Zeta Global features Zeta Agile Intelligence for scaling up your business operations and enhancing the speed with which you complete tasks.
Zeta Agile Intelligence will provide valuable insights, curated data, and real-time information to increase revenue and conversions. Predictive analytics help you understand how your email marketing campaigns will perform before you launch them.
You can try a free trial of Zeta Global, but no pricing information is available.
An omnichannel marketing platform for SMS, push, and email marketing campaigns, Customer.io has easy-to-use workflows for A/B testing, automating, and deploying your campaigns.
Pricing varies by contact, but you’ll pay $100 per month for the Essentials plan, $1,000 per month for the Premium plan, and custom pricing for the Enterprise plan for up to 15,000 customers.
The AI content platform Phrasee should be on your list as you explore AI eCommerce email marketing solutions. It features a Content Engine that exceeds what large language models traditionally do, thanks to brand controls and performance predictions.
You’ll produce email (and other) content that achieves your brand voice and sounds natural. You can also rely on Phrasee to write blogs, product descriptions, CTAs, headlines, subject lines, social media posts, product features, and more.
The Starter plan costs $500 a month, and the Enterprise plan features custom pricing.
AI in eCommerce email marketing is the future. You can rely on AI to segment your audience, write catchy subject lines, produce copy, A/B test your emails, and schedule when they’re sent.
Tools like Phrasee, HubSpot, and Drift are leading the way, so make sure you try them out.