Navigating the future of email marketing: The do's and don'ts of using AI

If you’ve been paying attention, artificial intelligence (AI) has been all the rage over the past couple of years. Shifting from a “cool to know” to a “need to know” technology, public interest in AI has increased drastically. Even during the Super Bowl, advertisements about AI littered the airwaves, showcasing everything from Google AI in the Pixel 8 smartphone to a more comical approach with Minions creating AI-generated images, to the absurd in Body Armor’s Field of Fake.

While these examples don’t necessarily show how marketers can use AI as a tool, they do show us that it’s not going anywhere, anytime soon. These tools are reshaping how marketers approach strategies, from big-spend advertisements down to their email marketing programs.

There are a variety of ways to integrate AI into email marketing, from predictive analytics to automated content creation. AI offers endless personalization opportunities and can help increase the effectiveness of your emails.

Even with all the benefits AI brings to email marketing programs, it’s not perfect and doesn’t replace the human touch that is necessary to effectively connect with your audience.

So, what are the do’s and don’ts of using AI in your email marketing program? 


Icons_Do_Personalize_BlogIconPersonalize emails. AI can understand user behaviors and preferences by analyzing datasets such as past purchases, browser history and engagement patterns, allowing for personalized content tailored to your audience segments. For example, knowing a user’s engagement pattern can give you insight into their interests, allowing you to create more personalized content that guides your audience along the buyer’s journey. Typically, personalization in email programs takes time, and something as easy as putting everyone’s name in an email is simplified with the use of AI. A personalized approach can ultimately drive higher open and click-through rates.

Icons_Do_Segment_BlogIconSegment your audience. Effective audience segmentation is critical for any email marketing campaign, and AI’s ability to analyze large datasets enables more precise audience segmentation, ensuring the right messages reach the right people, at the right time. Using AI algorithms, you can segment your audience based on a variety of different factors like user behavior, demographic data and engagement history.

Icons_Do_Data_BlogiconDive into the data. Understanding how your audience interacts with your emails is essential for identifying trends and optimizing your program. AI can provide insights that look more in-depth than your basic metrics, allowing for a data-driven approach to campaign optimizations.

Icons_Do_ABTest_BlogiconA/B test. AI is a great tool for testing what works and what doesn’t work for your audience. Finding the content that resonates and the right time to send are two pieces to the puzzle. AI enhances traditional A/B testing, allowing for more variables to be tested in shorter timeframes. To find the best send day and time for your audience, AI can analyze subscribers' behavior and determine the most effective time to send. Utilizing these tests will allow you to fine-tune your email programs and avoid email fatigue.


Icons_Dont_Automation_BlogiconRely too much on automation. While AI can automate many aspects of email marketing, it’s incredibly important not to lose the human touch. It may seem counterintuitive when considering the benefits AI adds to email personalization, but over automation can lead to impersonal and ineffective campaigns. It’s important to find a balance between efficiency and personalization to ensure that emails remain authentic.

Icons_Dont_NeglectAB_BlogiconNeglect A/B testing. Despite the advanced capabilities of AI, manual A/B testing is still a crucial component of email marketing. AI can provide broad insights, but manual testing allows for a more nuanced understanding of audience preferences. Marketers should use AI to inform their testing strategies but not abandon traditional testing methods altogether.

Icons_Dont_OverSegment_BlogiconOver-segment your audience. While segmentation is extremely beneficial and necessary for email programs, you want to avoid excessive segmentation. Over segmenting will lead to an overly narrow target audience and increase the chance of missed opportunities.

Icons_Dont_Spam_BlogiconSpam your audience. One of the key risks of using AI in email marketing is the potential for increased spamming. The last thing you want is for your email IP to end up on a blacklist because you were flagged as potential spam. AI can automate email sending, but it's important to use this power judiciously. Marketers should focus on sending emails that provide value to the recipients, rather than simply increasing the quantity of emails sent. Doing this will help maintain the quality of the email list and reduce the likelihood of subscribers opting out.

Best practices for implementing AI in email marketing

The most effective way to integrate AI is by starting small with manageable goals and scaling up your use as you gain confidence. Consider starting by using AI in A/B testing with subject lines or optimizing the send times of your emails. Remember, balancing AI insights with human intuition is key. You know your audience best, after all. Regularly reviewing AI-driven strategies and remaining adaptable to new insights will ensure campaigns remain effective and relevant.

The future of AI in email marketing looks promising, with advancements in AI technology continuing to open new possibilities. We could begin to see real-time customization and the ability to interact with emails using AI, or even the incorporation of voice-activated elements of emails. AI systems will continue to evolve, creating new opportunities for marketers who stay informed about these trends and adapt accordingly.

Want to boost your email marketing campaigns with AI? Learn how to create more engaging and personalized emails, improve your deliverability and conversion rates, and save time and resources with AI. Read our latest blog post and discover the best practices for implementing AI in email marketing!