How Artificial Intelligence is changing the way marketing departments maneuver in a highly competitive marketplace
In our last post, Can Artificial Intelligence help you become a more effective marketer, we discussed how real-world Artificial Intelligence (AI) is far more helpful than the malicious computers found in sci-fi fantasy stories. As AI assistants become more commonly integrated within marketing automation software, marketing departments are having to adapt their workflows to best use this dynamic tool.
Take a look at a fairly typical workflow for creating a summer promotion campaign:
The Marketing Director creates the goal for a summer promotion and the channels they would like to use for the messaging (email, social media, Sunday circulars, etc.).
The Marketing Specialists pour over data from the company’s most recent campaigns as well as last year’s promotion to determine the right type of assets to create, what the content should say and how to effectively send out promotion. This requires the use of several tools, such as Google Analytics, reporting in email software, and Customer Relationship Management systems.
The team then separates their audience into various targeted segments to personalize the promotion to these unique groups (i.e. advertisements of toys being sent to parents, men’s clothing being sent to male customers, etc.).
Once the time-consuming task of data mining is complete, the Marketing Coordinators and Specialists begin creating the various assets for the campaign.
After the content is created, the team sets up a series of tests to fine tune the materials. These tests include: A/B split testing, Email Inbox previewing, SPAM analysis, and many others.
Finally, the campaign is deployed and the team focuses on gathering data to fine tune the messaging as the campaign progresses.
Now imagine the same team has an AI assistant connected to all of their various systems. How would the process look different? The first major difference would relate to the automation of large data mining tasks. AI assistants would automatically segment the audience list and could suggest content for each of the targeted groups. The assistant would also automatically establish testing procedures and give recommendations for improving campaign performance. Essentially, an AI assistant would be able to rapidly complete tasks that are time-consuming for humans, allowing for the marketing to focus on building new creative ideas for communicating with their customers.
Industry leaders are predicting that in the coming years, many of the tasks currently related to marketing campaigns will be effectively automated. While on the surface this might sound alarming, it actually frees the team up to concur new challenges and be more productive. Each generation of marketers have embraced new forms of technology. From computer assisted drawing in 1980’s to online advertisements in the 1990’s, our industry has grown and come up with evermore creative and thought provoking ways to communicate. Now with the advent of AI assistants, we truly are facing a new frontier in communications.
Making software that’s easy to use, full of features, and delivers on its promise is what we all expect from software companies.
But what about Productivity?
Can software really help a user do their job better, faster, with less keystrokes, and with more efficiency?
I’ve used software programs that are very well-designed, that help me work better, faster, and especially smarter. I like that. Examples that come to mind include Microsoft Word, and Microsoft Excel. Like them or not, they do a good job of helping the user write and edit documents, and manage complex spreadsheets of information. They do an awful lot more too!
And now we have that same productivity in Email Marketing.
Net Atlantic’s new ListManager version 14 is now released, and contains a myriad of productivity improvements. In fact, it’s been designated our Productivity Edition.
The new ListManager 14 contains four key new areas of enhancements to explore:
Productivity Improvements – with a new streamlined interface, the email marketing platform boasts a new easy to use drag and drop template designer which makes responsive email templates very easy to use. Also included are Automatic Audience Segmentation, and One-click list optimization and import with List Buddy
Data Analytics and Reporting – including very high levels of detail on delivery of your email, deep engagement statistics, and letter grades assigned to your email campaigns to help you easily evaluate your performance.
Dynamic Design Tools – new responsive email designer, responsive templates, and Email on Acid integration helps you create attractive and highly effective email campaigns which render properly on all devices.
Advanced Security – The latest TLS (Transport Layer Security) deployment, advanced encryption, and SSL connections keep your data secure.
If email marketing is an important part of your job, take a look at the new Productivity Edition.
To learn more about the ListManager 14 Productivity Edition visit NetAtlantic.com.
Watching thousands of clients send billions of email marketing emails over two decades, it becomes easy to identify effective strategy and powerful money-making business models and approaches. In fact, making money with B2B (business to business) email can be broken down to seven simple steps.
“In reality, the steps are fairly straightforward,” said Lutts. “The problem is, most marketers don’t demonstrate the patience to fine-tune the strategy for their product or service and optimize results to make real money. Sometimes, they give up just before getting the mix right. If they only knew how close they really were to making it work in a big way.”
Okay, I’m just going to put this out there: the “Gmail issue” – that is, the ever increasing challenge of getting marketing emails to land in the Gmail Primary tab — is super frustrating! There. I said it! And I know I’m not alone on this. However…
Do you know who doesn’t hate the Gmail issue? Gmail, that’s who! And thank goodness for that, because they’ve given us all a reason to pause and consider how we think about our email campaigns, and what our subscribers want to know, receive and read.
That said, from a delivery and compliance perspective, senders can do a lot to ensure they get the best possible results in terms of where they want their mail to land at Gmail.
Email is widely regarded as one of the best ways to build long-term customer relationships, and it’s the most powerful marketing channel for retention and driving conversions.
On the other hand, social media is great for creating a sense of community around your brand, as well as inspiring real-time conversations with your customers and prospects. And then there’s the ability to deliver highly-targeted ads.
While it may not yet be common practice to use these two channels in conjunction with one another, the results can be quite powerful.
With a few months’ worth of the new Net Atlantic Executive Summary report under your belt, you may be wondering how you can improve your grade.
We recommend studying and reviewing trends in your list(s) from month to month. Study your subscribers, list growth, sending habits, opens and clicks, and more. The better you understand each element of your email marketing program, the better chance you have of improving your grade.
Of course, studying is only the beginning; you have to apply what you learn. Below, I’ll take you through the main areas of the Executive Summary Report, and provide some tips on how to improve your results in each one.
As you dip your toes into the waters of email marketing, you need to prepare yourself for the possibility that some of your email might contain content that people don’t want to receive. This is what ESP’s refer to as prohibited content. When you send a message with content like this — snap! — you’ll feel the jaws of compliance bite down on your email program!
In our last post, we explained why it’s important to test your emails before they go out. There are many benefits to incorporating this practice into your email marketing program, from catching typos and grammatical errors to ensuring optimal image display and maximum delivery.
But the biggest benefit of all is a little more abstract.
Picture this: you’ve created a phenomenal email. One of your best ever, in fact. It’s got highly compelling content that’s relevant to your subscribers, gorgeous images, and a call to action that’s practically irresistible. This email is so good, you can’t wait to put it out there and watch the clicks and conversions start rolling in. So you’re really tempted to just pull the trigger and skip the whole testing phase. After all, you know your email is practically perfect.
You want to include that beautiful photo you took, or that gorgeous artwork you created, in your latest mailing. Your image is so good, you can’t wait for everyone to see it. But there’s a problem: when your email goes out, all your subscribers see is a blank space where your image was supposed to be, along with this message: