How To Implement AI in Email Marketing + Top Tools

17 May
How To Implement AI in Email Marketing + Top Tools

If you’ve been keeping up with the news recently, it’ll seem as if artificial intelligence is the new answer to everything and all tasks in life.

For example, are you curious to know how black holes are formed in space? Artificial intelligence can explain it to you as if you’re five years old.

Or do you want an original poem about tigers in the style of Shakespeare? Artificial intelligence can write it in 10 seconds flat.

And what if you wanted a fresh song playlist tailored to your musical tastes? You guessed it—artificial intelligence is already suggesting recommendations as we type this.

In fact, it seems that the only thing artificial intelligence can’t do at this point is helping to cook soup. (That said, it can help generate soup recipes. Though we don’t guarantee the soup will taste good.)

So given the (almost) all-powerful nature of artificial intelligence, how can eCommerce email marketers like yourself benefit from its potential?

Find out in this blog post, where we share five use cases in email marketing in which you can apply artificial intelligence and what you can get out of doing so.

How does artificial intelligence work with email marketing?

Despite the sophistication of artificial intelligence, you can’t just slap a random artificial intelligence model onto your use case and expect it to deliver mind-blowing results right away.

That’s because your artificial intelligence model first needs to be trained with data similar to what it’ll encounter in your situation.

While submitting an online form, for instance, have you ever had to identify traffic-related objects in an image to prove you aren’t a bot?

Google reCAPTCHA challenge

If so, congratulations! You may just be helping to train Google’s artificial intelligence systems to identify stop signs, crosswalks, motorcycles, and so on—and thus teaching them how to drive.

Likewise, if an artificial intelligence model is meant to help generate email content, then its training data should comprise previously sent email content (and ideally good samples of these for the best results).

And once the model has been sufficiently trained, you can apply it to your email marketing efforts for it to start working its magic! ✨


Benefits of using artificial intelligence in email marketing

1. Write email copy

Don’t let writer’s block hold you back from putting out the most compelling email copy. Using an artificial intelligence tool with natural language generation capabilities, you can have your email copy generated for you in seconds. No exaggeration, no lie.

If you don’t believe us, just check out the copy that artificial intelligence chatbot ChatGPT produced when we gave it this prompt:

“I run a store called Sally's Sweets and I'm offering a 50% discount on all chocolate gift boxes as Mother's Day is coming soon! Write me an email to promote this offer to my subscribers.”

ChatGPT generating email cop

ChatGPT can also help write email subject lines—and multiple subject line options for the same email, too, so you can pick your favorite or run multivariate tests with a handful of them (more info on these tests later).

ChatGPT email subject line suggestions

All these make ChatGPT a superb tool when you’ve got new email marketing campaigns to try and want copy suggestions for them. Learn more in our article on how to use ChatGPT with email marketing!

2. Create images

In a similar vein, artificial intelligence can also create beautiful images for inserting into your emails. It’s a lifesaver if you aren’t an artist and don’t want to use boring stock photos others have used a thousand times before.

Just fire up the artificial intelligence art tool and provide details on the image you need. You can even request for it to design your image in a certain manner, such as:

  • Using colors that complement your brand colors
  • Drawing the image in a specific art style

And voilà! You’ll have your image created for you in a flash.

For example, here are some images that Bing Image Creator created in response to this prompt:

“An email image of a mountain of chocolate gift boxes to promote a Mother's Day sale, with hearts and flowers”

Bing Image Creator image 1

Bing Image Creator image 2

3. Feature dynamic email content

The above two artificial intelligence use cases involve a type of artificial intelligence technology called “generative AI,” where we’re using artificial intelligence to create media from scratch. But artificial intelligence can do more than just produce things out of thin air!

For one, artificial intelligence can automatically add content to your emails based on conditions you specify. In the eCommerce context, this could mean tapping into your customer data to create personalized emails featuring products that customers have left behind in their carts.

The result could be something like this abandoned cart email by Le Puzz:

Le Puzz abandoned cart email

You can also use artificial intelligence to auto-populate your emails with the latest info on your products!

In our Sendlane email platform, for example, our dynamic product block feature can automatically pull store data on the following for including in your emails:

  • Best-selling products
  • Cheapest products
  • Most expensive products
  • Recently created products (such as products you’ve newly launched)
Sendlane dynamic product block feature

4. Send only the best email campaigns to your contacts

Since generative artificial intelligence tools can effortlessly create multiple versions of media in response to your prompts, how do you identify the best one(s) to use in your emails?

Instead of guessing, put them to the test with multivariate testing. This feature is a souped-up version of A/B testing that lets you send multiple variants of your email campaigns to selected percentages of your recipients.

As recipients engage with your email variants, your email platform keeps tabs on the variants’ performance before sending the very best one to the rest of your audience.

Many email marketing tools allow you to test a maximum of two variables at once, but our Sendlane platform’s multivariate testing feature can accommodate up to four different email campaign versions in a single test!

You can also state what is considered a winning variant—such as the one that nets the highest open rate or most revenue, for example—so our platform picks the winner based on your specifications.

Sendlane multivariate testing feature

5. Send your emails at the right time

It can be a pity to spend ages crafting the perfect email copy and images, only to send it when people aren’t checking their inbox… and make your email campaign a flop. So here’s where an artificial intelligence tool can help maximize inbox delivery and open rates!

For example, Sendlane’s machine learning open predictability feature can track when your contacts opened your previous emails to decide on the best send timings for each contact.

Sendlane machine learning open predictability feature

If one contact tends to open your emails during lunch, then our platform will send your email to them around lunchtime. Meanwhile, if another contact has the habit of opening your emails around 5 p.m., Sendlane will schedule your email to be sent during that hour of the day instead.

This way, your email will land at the top of your contacts’ inboxes at the time they’re most likely to open and then engage with it!

How to implement artificial intelligence in email marketing

Excited about the power of AI in email marketing? Then here’s how you can implement it in your email marketing strategies:

  • Make a list of your common email marketing tasks. These could include building pop-ups, writing email copy, designing and inserting email images, sending your emails, setting up email marketing automations, and measuring email campaign performance.
  • Evaluate how artificial intelligence could simplify or speed up the processes of carrying out these tasks. The use cases we’ve shared above should give you some inspiration here 💡
  • Invest in the right AI tools for the tasks that you could soup up with artificial intelligence. Among various options, there’s ChatGPT for creating email copy and Sendlane for auto-populating your emails with products, testing multiple email variants, and optimizing your send times. Try to test these tools before whipping out your credit card so you don’t pay for a tool that doesn’t meet your needs. For example, you can sign up for a free trial of Sendlane here!


How can artificial intelligence help improve email marketing?

Save time

AI-powered tools are massive time-savers.

As we’ve seen above, some of them can generate entire chunks of email copy, and beautifully illustrated images, within minutes or even seconds!

You can also save on thinking time by entrusting certain decisions into the hands of artificial intelligence (not that artificial intelligence has hands, technically).

No need to agonize over whether you should be doing X or doing Y—let artificial intelligence pick the right approach based on your preferences, then move on.

The result is that you potentially free up hours for getting more done within the same amount of time.

Reduce costs

Apart from saving you time, artificial intelligence can also help reduce your business costs as you can:

  • Free up your team to take on other responsibilities. If your team can automatically generate email copy and images on the fly, they’ll have much more time for tackling other tasks (as mentioned in the previous section). As a result, you don’t have to hire extra staff to handle such work, which would have added to your payroll costs!
  • Optimize your email campaigns for improved performance. With artificial intelligence helping you send the best emails at the best times, your emails may just receive more opens and clicks. You may therefore be able to send fewer of them to bring in the same—or even higher—amount of store revenue! This could in turn lead to email bill savings if your email provider charges you for every email you send, or requires you to buy more email credits if you hit your plan’s email quota.

Enhance your email marketing with artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence is a fantastic tool for helping you cut down the time you spend on nurturing email contacts into customers while still doing a stellar job. Just remember that even though artificial intelligence can get the ball rolling, the responsibility of ensuring its output’s effectiveness still falls on you!

When you have artificial intelligence generate email copy for you, for example, double-check that the copy matches your house style. If it isn’t, refine it to be more in line with your brand voice.

After all, at the end of the day, it’s you who knows your brand’s authentic voice and tone the best—not artificial intelligence. So don’t outsource the important task of overseeing your email marketing efforts to a machine! 🤖

If you’re ready to incorporate artificial intelligence into your email marketing efforts, try our Sendlane email platform. It comes packed with multivariate testing, machine learning open predictability, and other powerful artificial intelligence features to supercharge your store marketing.

You’ll also love features such as:

  • Multi-channel marketing automations to engage contacts with email and SMS on autopilot
  • Flexible contact segmentation for sending relevant, targeted emails to contacts with shared characteristics
  • Website tracking, which is great for learning how contacts interact with your store pages and improving the shopping experience accordingly
  • Real-time analytics on how your email campaigns are performing, so you can fine-tune your email marketing strategy with the benefit of data-driven insights

Sendlane integrates seamlessly with Shopify, BigCommerce, WooCommerce, and custom storefronts, and you can grab your free 60-day trial here to get started!

Artificial intelligence in email marketing FAQs

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