Personalized emails are one of the most effective ways of improving customer loyalty and engagement, and AI can seamlessly improve this process. AI can be used to reach relevant customers with relevant messages. The two main ways this can be achieved is through: real-time behavioral personalization, and personalization for large audiences.
What Are Personalized Emails?
Personalized emails involve tailoring emails to each individual’s specific preferences and needs. For example, if you’ve ever received an email that addresses you by your name (“Hi X”); this is email personalization.
Alternatively, if you have ever received an email that mentions an item you put in your cart but never checked out; this is a personalized email. They are emails that relate to you personally, as opposed to a broad email that could be addressing everyone on the mailing list.
Why Personalize Emails?
Through personalizing emails, readers feel connected to the brand. This leads to a rise in open rates, click-through rates and ultimately conversions. By appealing to shoppers’ individual needs, more people become interested and you can earn more customers’ trust and loyalty.
In today’s crowded email marketing environment, personalized emails are a must in order to show that you stand out from the crowd. Shoppers understand that you care about their needs, and will feel more inclined to show brand loyalty in the long run.
Data Privacy Challenges
Data protection laws are becoming more strict, as third-party data is increasingly being restricted. Third party cookies are being cut in order to protect user data. This is a good thing for overall well being and privacy of shoppers, but it makes personalization more difficult.
Historically, the data for personalization has been gathered through third-party sources such as name, location, gender and other information that is available to be retrieved online. Now the reliance has switched more to first-party data.
Using AI To Extract First-Party Data
Artificial intelligence (AI) can extract raw data from various sources that do not need to be third-party. This data can be based on click-profiles, or on willingly shared customer information. This raw data can then be transformed into a form that can be analyzed and worked into email campaigns.
How AI Can Personalize Emails
We will now take a look at two main ways of using AI in personalized email marketing:
Real-Time Behavioral Personalization
AI can examine and record real-time user behavior, in order to reach customers in a way that fits with their previous behaviors. For example: if a shopper is more likely to open their emails in the evening, AI can use this data to know that it’s best to send emails to them at the optimal time.
It can also know which kinds of products to send to each customer. For example, if a shopper has never purchased a high-ticket product, then these kinds of products aren’t sent to them in the email marketing. Rather, their usual purchase styles would be featured.
As you can see, this goes beyond simply first name personalization. It creates fully tailor made content for your shoppers to benefit from, without violating any privacy restrictions.
Personalization For Large Audiences
AI is able to divide your audience into segments that can then be sent emails relevant to them. Through looking at data, it can observe patterns and then make predictions through Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Machine Learning (ML).
Different groups or audiences can be created using demographics, interests, behaviors and click profiles. It can detect how long people have been customers and which stage of the buyers’ journey they are in, thereby judging their level of brand loyalty and retention. According to this, relevant emails can be sent.
For example, an audience segment of ‘First Time Buyers’ can be created. These could be sent the same personalized email offering a discount code on their first purchase.
Cart abandoners could receive the same email; reminding them of the product they placed in the cart but didn’t purchase. Similarly, re-engagement segments could receive the same relevant email.
Using AI in personalized email marketing creates effective, targeted messages with little work from the merchant. The AI does it all. The automation speeds up data collection and reduces human error without using any cookies; this is a win-win for both merchant and shopper.
These emails improve conversions and customer retention rates, whilst extracting all the benefits of email marketing. AI means that personalization has never been easier, so if it isn’t already a part of your email marketing strategy- it’s time to include it now!