Last week we touched upon the topic of meaningful B2B Email Marketing Best Practices, all highly relevant to this year. We provided 9 insightful methods to become a grandmaster email marketer, however, we intentionally left one out - arguably the most important one at that. If you haven’t guessed it yet from the title of this article, the final best practice of email marketing in 2021 is leveraging artificial intelligence. After all, 87% of companies have adopted or are considering adopting AI to improve their email marketing.
Artificial intelligence has become vital in the email marketing environment, much because advances in intelligent technology does wonders for boosting marketing efforts and amplifying the constant demand for personalised reach-outs and recommendations. When studying this phenomenon and interjecting it into our methods, we’ve seen that there are huge gains to be had from utilising AI, specifically in the realm of email marketing.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) in email marketing is about staying on top by using high-end tech. In boosting email marketing, AI goes beyond the abilities of humans with regards to speed, depth in data delivery and opportunities for more accurate predictive analytics. This amplifies personalisation and gives your B2B buyer what they are searching for faster.
Utilising machine learning, aka artificial intelligence, is key to boosting email marketing and brand popularity in 2021. Read on to discover more about how AI helps maximise your ROI and customer loyalty by digging deep into data, getting personal and highly automated.
The most prominent benefit of artificial intelligence in email marketing is that AI tech systems can analyse data much more efficiently than humans. In a world where data is our most valuable currency, AI takes it to a whole new level. In email marketing, AI allows businesses to learn what elements in their campaigns are working, and which of them need to be adjusted in order to optimise performance.
At its core, AI and machine learning are centred around the demand for highly efficient systems that automatically adjust for higher success and amplify personalisation.
At SnellMedia, we focus on these 11 identified boost factors that have helped us and many of our clients to maximise the value of their email marketing campaigns and achieve great ROI:
Email retargeting constitute 26% of all retargeting efforts.
Is this the first time you’re reading about retargeting? In that case, read more about the tactic here, to get a better understanding of how it works in a holistic marketing setting. Essentially, retargeting is about serving ads to prospective clients who’ve interacted with your brand without making a committed purchase, sign-up, or scheduled a meeting.
With the help of AI, we enable businesses to reach out to those otherwise lost conversions and get them acquainted further with the brand. Also, there is a depth to AI that allows us to fine-tune the retargeting and determine when people are ready for the retargeted email. AI uses different algorithmic functions to distinguish between different types of prospects and what offers they are looking for. AI can then deliver them content that is highly relevant and more likely to generate a conversion, ultimately increasing your sales value.
There are businesses who have seen a +750% increase in ROI as a result of optimised AI-generated email subject lines.
If your subject line isn’t enticing the reader to open your email, you’ve failed early. We don’t want to see that for our clients. At SnellMedia, we recognise that few things are as important as the subject line when it comes to an email marketing strategy.
A great email subject line will stand out in the receiver’s inbox, inspiring them to click and read the content inside. As we have gotten more into the AI and personalisation side of digital marketing, we have learned that subject lines do have a huge impact, and bringing in personalisation generates a 26% higher probability of your emails being opened, and delivers 6 times higher transaction rates.
With AI, you can be certain that this otherwise intricate, labor-intensive activity can be made really simple. Instead of bringing in copywriters and commencing a long process of experimenting, we apply artificially intelligent algorithms to automatically generate subject lines that will achieve a higher click-through rate. More than that, the system will analyse the success and failure of each email marketing campaign to optimise the subject lines for each campaign loop.
When working with email campaigns in a B2B setting, it’s important to focus on you being the optimal supplier already in the subject line: keep it short, bring in promotions, get personal with the people you're targeting, and focus on a mutual connection.
Revenue can increase by 41% with AI-customised campaigns.
A great way to ensure that you are retaining prospects and converting them into clients is by serving them promotions, deals, samples and rebates that are relevant and intriguing. From data about clients’ habits and purchase histories, we use AI to determine what promotions will work best with each prospective buyer.
AI-honed recommendations and promotions provide higher levels of customisation, making it easier to get B2B buyers engaging with your content, brand and eventually the business as well (in a supplier partnership). The ideal here is that AI identifies what the prospective clients are looking at and automatically builds promotions that will satisfy their need for a solution. Creating customised offers promoted in the subject line will increase email open-rate by 22%.
Email open rates can increase by 8% when using AI-analysed optimal send times.
AI has the capability to gather data that signalises optimal send-out times and serves specific clients and prospects with emails when they are most likely to open them. This can be configured over time as clients’ behaviours change, and allows you to optimise continually. In our experience with AI, the system will determine optimal send times based on how often emails are being opened and clicked through, and schedules send-outs correspondingly to maximise customer response.
Where this would manually become a time-consuming process, artificial intelligence can perform the required analysis’ for your email marketing efforts to quickly and accurately determine the time of day your prospective buyers are checking business-related emails.
AI is increasing sales by 50% based on the number of leads, much due to thorough segmentation and tailored reach-outs.
When searching for new clients and partnerships, AI can help significantly in establishing segments based on specific demographics and behaviour patterns of ideal prospective clients. With thorough and precise segmentation of prospective clients, you can create highly customised campaigns with which to target them. You will learn more about this in section 8.
Campaign A/B testing can increase your ROI by 13%.
Testing and analysing the work that you’re doing, is crucial for success. To discover more about how A/B testing works (before AI), have a look at our previous article.
Utilising AI for testing email marketing is all about maximised automation, i.e., bandit testing. With bandit testing, we can help our clients automatically predict how much traffic each campaign option should get at any given time based on potential success. This testing looks at different variants of the same campaign, and serves more of the variant that is ‘winning’ to ensure that your campaigns are as effective as possible in reaching new B2B buyers looking for their next supplier.
75% of buyers are more likely to buy from suppliers that recognise them and recommend products based on their purchase history.
Personalisation in the B2B world is, and has been for a while now, a do-or-die tactic. It simply doesn’t cut it anymore to use ‘Dear business owner’ and generic messages in your emails. Prospects will not feel unique or properly addressed, so they won’t interact with the content.
The world of machine learning truly expands on the potentials of personalisation. To be ahead of what your clients want to receive in email content, you need to think in terms of predictive systems and behaviour forecasting. Algorithms of predictive analytics in personalisation can supply us with accurate forecasts on buyers’ future behaviours based on their earlier interactions and data trends. Utilising this data allows us to be one step ahead of their needs.
58% of revenue in email marketing is attributed to segmentation and personalisation.
Machine learning is an incredibly powerful tool in segmentation and personalisation, as it supports us in the customisation process and provides compelling insights and data on in-depth customer factors beyond location or purchase history. Today, our email marketing campaigns are segmented based on specific behavioural signals, which puts a whole new spin on client’s desire to open and engage with what we serve them.
In the context of business-to-business affairs, remember that 72% of business C-suiters believe that digital assistants (through a smart personalised segmentation) make their lives easier, so they are already open to your interaction, just make sure it's properly personalised to their needs and demographics.
49% of buyers are willing to shop more frequently while 34% will spend more money when AI is incorporated into the buying process.
As you’re gathering intel on your clients, and the artificial intelligence of your email marketing efforts starts building a significant database, the entire content of emails can be automated to fit the patterns for each specific client. The AI-powered software we use leverages pre-written copy, images, promotions, articles, curated content and links, to create emails that are fully optimised for engagement. The overall wow-factor here is that we see a significant decrease in time and resources needed to keep our campaigns running, all thanks to AI.
In the B2B environment, marketing teams can show off their AI talent through the delivery of the content created to their buyers. With this, businesses can ensure that they are moving ahead of their competition by leveraging AI to reach thousands of prospective buyers with delivery of the right content, to the right contacts, at the right time, in an automated setting. This allows the team to focus on testing and optimising as the content goes live.
One of the biggest roles AI plays in your business is interpreting the optimal frequency of email marketing campaigns. In the last article, we talked about frequency rates, and how 45% of subscribers will mark a sender as spam or unsubscribe if contacted too often. So, knowing that, how can we ensure that the frequency of send-outs fits with the engagement patterns of our clients?
Frequency rates are not only a crucial component of a campaign, they also require attention on an ongoing basis to ensure that the frequency is optimised based on evolving circumstances. To do so efficiently and without potential delay, AI is the ideal tool. Just as with optimised send times, AI can adjust the frequency of email send-outs based on how clients’ behavioural and demand variables change.
When it comes to B2B companies, it can be difficult to measure the exact optimised frequency rate where one shoe fits all - and in all probability, such a stat doesn’t exist. On average, B2Bs serve one email marketing campaign every 25 days, but the truth is, some B2Bs will appreciate 3-4 email send-outs a month, where others may want to keep it more towards once a month. What AI does here, is recognise a pattern in the client’s engagement of your emails, and adjust the frequency accordingly.
51% of executives say their AI goal is to enhance the performance of their products.
No matter what your business is, or what you offer, there is always a need to analyse data to improve what you provide. This is where AI data analytics comes in.
You may be noticing a pattern whereby every ‘How to’ guide or expert walkthrough always concludes with the power of analytics. If you noticed, bravo to you, there is a reason for that. Every process, including every loop of email marketing campaigning, needs to be finalised with a portion of time dedicated to studying the outcome and planning for a better upcoming loop. With technology this is even more vital as you're putting your faith in online algorithms.
The data generated from an email campaign, brought out from the metrics you established beforehand, let’s you determine the value of an investment, the potential versus actual outcome of a campaign, and enables you to act on the conclusions you make. The data can also be added into a broader contextual analysis with the customer in mind, by looking at customer engagement and satisfaction, allowing you to prevent recurring (negative) patterns. Remember point 6? Always focus on testing to ensure eventual success.
Are you a B2B company looking to start a successful email marketing campaign in 2021? Or do you need help optimising your email marketing today? Do you feel that your email marketing has great potential, but you aren’t too sure how to optimise your leads or where to start?
In that case, look no further, ‘cause SnellMedia is here to guide you. As an experienced B2B digital marketing agency focusing in part on valuable email marketing solutions, we can build personalised, intriguing campaigns designed to maximise your ROI in 2021. If you’re curious to know more about what we do, and how we can help you grow your business online, feel free to reach out to us when you need us. We’d love to hear from you!
This article is part of our digital marketing trends series, showcasing the primary pillars of digital marketing that we at SnellMedia focus on; PPC, SEO, Social media, Email marketing, Web design, and content marketing.
At its core, the most important changes in your email marketing strategy when you incorporate artificial intelligence will be greater personalisation and automation. While your strategy should already have testing activities, AI will amplify that process and conduct powerful analytics, automatically adjusting your campaigns to fit new circumstances and clients’ behavioural signals.