As we look ahead to the future of email marketing in 2023 and beyond, it’s important to consider how AI will impact this space. Analysing relevant data and trends from the past few years, allows informed predictions about how AI will shape email marketing strategies moving forward.
From automated campaigns to personalised messages tailored for individual customers, there are a number of ways that AI can revolutionise the way marketers approach their strategies. In this post, I’ll be looking at some potential developments with AI in email marketing over the next few years and offering my insights into where this technology may take us.
In the very near future, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is set to have a major impact on every aspect of email marketing. From automating the process of sending out the right email at the right time for each subscriber to creating personalised content for each individual recipient, early iterations of those tools are already in many email marketers workflows today.
Rather than AI killing email marketing I am predicting AI will transform email marketing into an even more powerful tool and change workflows and routines of many industry professionals. In 2023 with the majority of email marketers will find themselves using AI powered tools somewhere in their workflow. The changes will be subtle at first, with each small improvement a greater appetite will develop until such time as AI has truly revolutionised every aspect of email marketing.
New tools are being created all the time empowering email marketers with better information and utilising AI. Just last week Live Inboxer implemented GPT-3 for example.
As to what may happen in 5 or 10 years time, specifics are difficult to predict so far into future — one thing is abundantly clear – AI is already here and developing quickly. I predict automated solutions and natural language processing will allow for quicker and more accurate design work, while analytics tools will enable even better insights into user behaviour. Additionally, there may be an increased emphasis on developers and strategists within mail design teams as mundane tasks are automated away — potentially resulting in higher paying jobs for highly skilled individuals who can take advantage of the latest AI technologies early on.
Whatever happens next, it’s almost certain that artificial intelligence will play a major role in transforming the way emails look — and how people create them — over the next few years.
It really should be no surprise as crafting emails that stand out day after day and finding the techniques and language to use with various segments to drive conversions is massively time consuming. The right message, at the right time, to the right person is the holy grail right? True personalisation is on a per individual basis. This is where AI promises to be able to help. With AI, businesses will be able to create highly personalised emails that are tailored to each individual recipient’s interests and tastes. In fact there are vendors offering this right now. The technology will simply get more sophisticated.
Before we look at how marketers will leverage AI, let us look at how block lists and spam filters are already ahead of the game in many cases, many enterprises implement AI with great success in their anti-spam efforts.
In the old days spam filters relied on predefined rules or keyword-matching algorithms to identify and block emails containing suspicious content or checking against domain and IP blocklists to determine reputation or some combination of those things. Sophisticated mailbox providers have already utilised AI to determine sender reputation on other factors like how many people have interacted with your email or how others have interacted with emails containing similar language and more.
With the emergence of AI tech including machine learning (ML) and natural language processing (NLP), spam filters have been more effective at identifying spam emails by using advanced pattern recognition techniques offering improved accuracy in detecting potentially malicious messages.
ML algorithms are able to learn from past data in order to recognise patterns associated with malicious emails these patterns may not be identified by traditional rule-based systems or keyword-matching algorithms. Additionally, NLP techniques can be used to analyse text within the body of emails in order to better understand their context and determine whether they contain any suspicious content.
- Google Gmail: Google’s email service has been using AI-based spam filters since at least 2012 to block out unwanted emails and keep users safe from phishing attempts.
- Microsoft Exchange: Microsoft’s email service also uses an AI-based spam filter, which can be customized according to user preferences and the types of messages they receive most often.
- Symantec Mail Security for Exchange: This enterprise level mail security solution employs AI algorithms to detect malicious emails and protect networks from threats such as malware, ransomware, phishing attacks, and more.
- McAfee Total Protection: This comprehensive security suite utilizes machine learning techniques to identify suspicious emails that may contain viruses or other malicious code before it reaches a user’s inbox.
- Sophos Intercept X for Email Advanced Threat Protection: Sophos’ anti-spam system combines artificial intelligence with human expertise in order to provide real-time protection against advanced threats like spearphishing campaigns, business email compromise (BEC), zero day exploits, deep fakes, data loss prevention (DLP) violations and more.
- Proofpoint Email Security: This cloud-based email security system leverages AI to detect malicious emails and protect against targeted attacks, phishing attempts, malware, and other threats.
- Mailchimp Spam Filter/Omnivore: Mailchimp’s spam filter uses artificial intelligence algorithms to identify suspicious emails that may contain unsolicited content or other malicious code before it reaches the inbox of users subscribed to a mailing list managed by this service provider.
- Barracuda Essentials for Office 365: This comprehensive cloud-based solution combines AI with human expertise in order to block spam and phishing messages as well as advanced threats such as ransomware before they can reach user inboxes via Office 365 Exchange Online Protection (EOP).
- Comodo Advanced Endpoint Protection & Secure Email Gateway : Comodo’s email protection system utilizes an AI engine combined with automated sandboxes in order to provide real time threat detection for both incoming and outgoing emails across multiple devices within an organization’s network environment.
- Mimecast Targeted Threat Protection: Mimecast’s AI powered email security solution provides organizations with additional layers of protection against sophisticated cyberattacks like zero day exploits, spearphishing campaigns, business email compromise (BEC), deep fakes and more.
- Cisco Advanced Malware Protection (AMP): AMP (not to be confused with AMP for email from Google) is a cloud-delivered endpoint security platform that includes an advanced machine learning based anti-spam feature which automatically scans emails for potential malicious activity before they are delivered into a user’s mailbox or sent out from their account.
- Avast Business Antivirus Pro Plus : Avast’s antivirus software also has an integrated anti-spam feature which utilizes heuristic analysis techniques coupled with artificial intelligence algorithms in order to detect unwanted messages before they can enter users’ mailboxes.
- Trend Micro InterScan Messaging Security Suite : Trend Micro offers businesses a suite of messaging solutions designed specifically for protecting corporate networks from potential threats including junk mail, spoofing attempts and other types of unauthorised activities related to incoming/outgoing communications via eMail.
- ZixGateway Cloud Based AntiSpam Service : ZixGateway employs powerful machine learning algorithms along with its proprietary ZeroHour technology in order to deliver enterprise level defense against known & unknown cyber threats arriving through electronic mails.
- Kaspersky Total Security Solution Suite: Kaspersky’s total security package features a robust antispam module which incorporates various technologies such as artificial neural networks along with traditional rules based filtering mechanisms in order prevent dangerous items from reaching end users’ inboxes.
Another benefit of using AI for email spam filtering is increased efficiency due to automation capabilities offered by ML models which are capable of automatically adapting their parameters based on newly collected data without requiring any manual intervention from administrators or users.
When using machine learning models to detect malicious emails, it is important to consider potential drawbacks. These models require a large amount of training data and if there is not enough data available during the training process or if the parameters are not properly tuned, the model can be prone to false positives when dealing with unseen inputs at runtime (legitimate mail being flagged as spam).
Also machine learning models generally rely heavily on supervised learning techniques, where datasets need to be labeled by humans before being used, so risk of introducing bias into the system exists if labels provided by annotators are incorrect or inconsistent.
That said, the ability for AI-based systems to learn from past experiences means that they can adapt as new types of malicious emails emerge and therefore AI is poised to play an essential role in email spam filtering for years to come.
AI's role in Marketing Automation
AI has already proven its value as a powerful tool in fighting spam, and applying it to email marketing can be equally as powerful and its adoption will have positive impact on business in 2023 and beyond.
in fact AI is already revolutionising the way businesses interact with potential customers. From predictive analytics to automated customer support, AI has made it easier than ever for businesses to target potential leads and get the most out of their campaigns.
By automating repetitive tasks and creating personalised content for each individual recipient, AI already helps businesses save time and AI-powered analytics provide invaluable insights into customer behaviour.
In the future we can expect that AI will use advanced natural language processing (NLP) to analyse the public writing from an individual’s social media feeds, past interactions and other data points. This analysis will provide insight into the person’s preferences and interests, allowing AI to tailor the language in email marketing messages that are more likely to resonate with them.
Additionally, AI can be used to detect sentiment within public posts so that it can tailor its messaging accordingly—creating positive-sounding messages for those who post positively and creating neutral messages for those who post in a negative manner. Further AI can detect things such as change of career, loss of employment and other life events. In this way, AI can help ensure that each individual receives an email campaign message tailored specifically towards them in order to maximise impact and effectiveness.
Automated Content Generation will become a major part of email marketers strategies. By using AI, email copywriters can create automated content that is tailored for each individual user based on their past interactions with the brand or website. Next we take a deeper look at AI’s role in copywriting and the significant impact it already has on many copywriters.
AI's role in copywriting
AI is already widely being used in email copywriting to automate the process of writing personalised emails, additionally, AI is being used to generate subject lines optimised for open rates and clickthroughs. A quick Google search will uncover dozens and many email service providers including Active Campaign and Keap providing them.
One really does not need to search very hard online to find AI tools that are utilised by email marketers and copywriters; there is an abundance of free and paid options available which clever marketers have already adopted to enhance their email marketing efforts.
Here are just a few of the popular tools:
- Automated Insights Wordsmith: This AI-powered copywriting tool enables users to automatically generate personalized content at scale in a fraction of the time it would take a human writer.
- GPT-3: Developed by OpenAI, GPT-3 is an advanced natural language processing (NLP) algorithm that can be used to create compelling and accurate copy quickly and easily.
- Quillbot: A powerful AI writing assistant designed for students, professionals, and marketers alike, Quillbot helps you craft effective copy with its automated grammar correction tools and intelligent suggestions engine.
- Articoolo: This artificial intelligence technology uses Natural Language Processing (NLP) to help write quality articles from scratch without requiring any manual effort or research on your part.
- Copy AI: Copy AI is a copywriting tool that uses natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning to generate high-quality, SEO-friendly content in just minutes.
- Jasper AI: Jasper ai is a cloud-based artificial intelligence (AI) platform designed to help organizations unlock the power of AI and make it accessible to everyone. An intuitive graphical interface that allows users to build their own custom AI applications without needing any coding or data science experience. Email content and subject line tools are included.
In the near future, new technologies such as natural language processing (NLP) will be used to make email marketing more conversational and interactive. This technology will allow subscribers to get automated human-like responses when they reply to emails, making it easier for marketers to encourage engagement.
AI algorithms can also be used by marketers to collect data from a range of sources including purchase history, browsing behaviour, demographic information and psychographics. This will help copywriters gain valuable insights which can inform their communication strategies; AI can segment customers into specific groups based on their interests or preferences for a product or service combined with public data points posted on social media – allowing personalised emails that directly address customer needs and interests.
Moreover, AI enables complex automated testing of different subject lines and body copy across various email segments in order to determine what messaging has the most significant impact. In addition, NLP is employed by marketing teams who want deeper insights into how certain messages are resonating with customers at scale through sentiment analysis techniques – providing feedback about customer experiences with the brand so campaigns going forward can become even more effective.
AI will undoubtedly revolutionise the work of email copywriters in the future, but it won’t completely replace them as there is still a need for creativity and human touch when crafting persuasive messages.
AI's Role in Deliverability & Compliance
One area that is still relatively unexplored when it comes to AI is email deliverability. Outside of spammy reputation warming solutions there is little for the email marketer when it comes to AI powered tools with deliverability in mind.
In respect of compliance AI will unlock even more automated compliance opportunities. AI algorithms are already being used by some vendors to verify that emails sent out comply with the rules and regulations set by ISPs, as well as any other laws governing email marketing. Detecting unsubscribe links, appropriate privacy notices and similar. Mentioned earlier in the anti-spam section ESPs like MailChimp and many others use complex AI in their attempts to fight spam from their networks.
However when it comes to practical AI driven deliverability tools there is little to consider. I predict this is about to change, AI will start to play a much larger role in email deliverability, and by 2025, its impact will be undeniable. Maybe not quite in the ways I have outlined here, in fact I imagine there will be far more.
Automated MTA Migrations and Reputation Warming
AI and automation can simplify the process of migrating MTA’s from one NOC to another, or from one Cloud Vendor to another. By utilising AI algorithms and machine learning, it is possible to automate the monitoring of logs from multiple locations, as well as adjust MTA settings based on responses received from receiving mailbox providers. This eliminates the need for manual intervention in tweaking settings manually, allowing for more efficient migrations that are less prone to human error. In addition, AI-based solutions can also be used for automated IP warming processes which further simplifies the migration process by providing a smoother transition period with fewer interruptions in service delivery and a faster more successful reputation warmup.
AI-powered predictive analytics tools can help identify potential issues with email deliverability by analysing past and live data points such as bounce rates, open and click-through rates, replies, sentiment in the responses, spam complaints, unsubscribes, delivery times, sender reputation scores and customer demographics. These tools are able to quickly detect patterns in the data that could indicate a problem with an email campaign’s performance. By recognising these patterns early on in the process, marketers can make adjustments accordingly to ensure maximum deliverability of their emails. AI-powered predictive analytics can also be used to suggest changes to the technical elements of an email that might increase its chances of being delivered successfully.
Improved sender reputation management
The reputation of a sender can have a huge impact on the success of an email campaign. With AI, businesses will be able to quickly detect potential issues with their sender reputation at specific receivers and take steps in real time to mitigate them.
For example if engagement rates are significantly lower than expected for certain days or times of day then AI may automatically adjust sending schedules accordingly, throttling automatically based on prior learning.
Improved ESP shared IP Pools with dynamic IP address allocation
AI algorithms can be used to automatically allocate the best IP address for each message being sent by an MTA, mitigating the chances of it from getting rejected or filtered. this can take into account far more factors than in a traditional reputation based IP pool setup.
AI's role in Email Design
Design and the jobs of those who design emails will not be spared in the AI driven email marketing revolution.
In the not too distant future AI will have a substantial influence on how emails are designed and distributed, transforming email designers’ roles in significant ways.
The first way that AI could transform email design is through automation. AI-based platforms can be used to automate time-consuming tasks such as designing layouts and coding HTML for emails. These platforms can take instructions from email designers and use them to quickly generate well-designed emails with minimal input from human designers. This shift toward automated solutions would likely result in increased efficiency for email designers, freeing up more time for creative tasks such as concept development and improving user experience.
NLP in Email Design
Another application of AI in design is through natural language processing (NLP). As discussed earlier in this post NLP allows computers to understand and interpret natural language like humans do – for the field of design this means potentially eliminating the need for humans to manually code an entire email template or create complex rules regarding where certain elements should go on a page.
For example, if a designer wants an image placed near some text that mentions it, they could simply enter “place image near text about X” into an NLP system and have it automatically position the image correctly without any manual coding work required.
Data Driven Design
AI can greatly enhance the analytics capabilities of email design tools, allowing users to measure engagement levels with their campaigns more accurately than ever before. Using AI algorithms, large amounts of data can be analysed and patterns identified that would be difficult or impossible for humans to detect, resulting in higher accuracy and precision when measuring engagement.
For example, an AI–enabled email design tool could use Natural Language Processing (NLP) to automatically scan replies for key words or phrases indicating user interest such as “interested”, “contact me” or “inquire now”. This allows the system to quickly determine which campaigns or elements are most successful at engaging customers.
Automated Design Recommendations
In future AI will make suggestions about placement of CTA’s, colours used and more by tracking each subscriber’s engagement with different campaigns over time across multiple platforms.
It will then recommend design changes based on which version is likely to perform best – something not possible without artificial intelligence.
AI can explain and predict the best way to create an email in order to maximise engagement. It can analyse data from previous emails sent, such as open rates and click through rates, in order to determine which elements of the design had a positive or negative impact on user interaction.
Based on this analysis, AI algorithms can make recommendations about what kind of content should be included in future emails, as well as how they should be formatted and laid out visually.
As AI technology continues to advance over the coming years, there is also potential for fully automated content creation systems capable of producing personalised messages tailored specifically towards individual subscribers based on their interests and behaviours tracked across multiple digital channels.
This kind of innovation has huge implications and could lead to revolutionary changes in in terms of what’s expected from tomorrows email designers!
The impact on the email workforce
As automation continues to take over the more tedious parts of email design, developers and strategists may be tasked with taking a larger role in creative direction for campaigns. This shift would result in fewer positions available, but those positions will require a greater skill set than what is currently seen in the market. Algorithms and software frameworks will do much of the mechanical work that used to be done manually.
With regards salary expectations this could mean increases depending upon number organisations adopting the latest tech early.
The future Email Marketing in an AI world
In the world of digital marketing, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is becoming increasingly vital for success. AI can help marketers create custom campaigns and automate repetitive tasks, freeing up time for more creative work and increasing ROI. As AI technology advances, it’s expected to have a major impact on email marketing jobs over the next decade.
Currently, many email marketers are using AI tools to enhance segmentation strategies, optimise delivery times and reduce manual workloads. Soon we will see that automation has become an integral part of our daily lives in email marketing as new AI-driven solutions continue being developed rapidly. Automating routine tasks such as segmentation will be commonplace and more complex duties like A/B testing will be handled quickly with minimal human involvement in the process.
Therefore those employed in email marketing roles today must start adopting new skills if they don’t already have them; understanding how data is collected and is analysed by different ML systems will become increasingly essential for email marketing careers in future.
Brand loyalty among customers interacting with automated systems must also be taken into consideration going forward; poor experiences could lead consumers away from a brand. It’s essential for organisations implementing these types of technologies to proactively monitor consumer feedback regularly.
As technology continues to evolve at an incredible rate, it is clear that job roles within email marketing will drastically change over the next 10 years. In order to stay ahead of the curve, individuals must remain willing and able to adapt in response to shifting contexts and changing demands as AI reshapes our world. In future email marketers will be expected to utilise AI-driven tools and automated processes in order to successfully complete their jobs.
As a result, they’ll need to develop new skills that can help them understand and leverage these technologies.
Ultimately, the rise of Artificial Intelligence within the world of email marketing is only going to become more significant over time; those embracing this technology and are willing to learn how best to leverage its capabilities will find themselves in an advantageous position moving forward.