You might have noticed us banging on a lot about AI this year, and there are 2 main reasons behind this. Reason 1: it’s kind of a big deal! Whether you’re currently using it, planning to roll it out in the near future, or sticking your fingers in your ears at the very mention of it, it’s going to have an impact, especially on email marketing. Reason 2: as is to be expected with any shiny new toy, there’s a lot of hype and misconception around AI. We’re excited about it too, but we want to be clear about what it can and can’t do, and we want to share that knowledge with all the people who are smart and savvy enough to read our blog (just like you!)
Misconception 1: AI will make your job obsolete before Christmas
Reality: Despite all the hype, AI is still in its early stages. Right now, it can predict your Click Through Rate, but it can’t do all the work of writing an entire email for you. It’s a speedy number cruncher, but not a poet or a soulful artist just yet.
Misconception 2: AI is a silver bullet which will fix all your problems
Reality: If the data pot that you’re sending to isn’t accurate, no intelligence, artificial or otherwise, is going to help you. Much like giving Lionel Messi a deflated football, an AI which is fed poor data is not going to produce the results you want or need.
Misconception 3: You’re going to need a whole new strategy to fit around AI
Reality: AI in 2018/19 is simply going to make you better at doing what you already do. Its ability to tell you which contacts are likely or unlikely to open a specific email is just an enhancement of the segmentation you should already be doing. Similarly, it can recommend changes which would make your email perform better, but hopefully, you’re already split testing and adjusting as you go.
Misconception 4: An AI, data-driven approach will make your emails less personal
Reality: At its core, AI is an incredibly efficient number-cruncher. This means it is doing the legwork to figure out what content and style is most appealing to your prospects, so you can take those recommendations and deliver emails that you know will provide value to each specific audience persona, and get them coming back for more.
Misconception 5: AI isn’t actually here yet
Reality: It’s early days, but it works! If you use Spotify or Netflix or you’ve looked at Amazon’s “People who viewed this item also bought”, you’ve benefitted from AI. And these are only going to get smarter and wider in scope.
Artificial Intelligence is here, now, and it offers a powerful weapon in your arsenal. However, it is important to cut through the hyperbole and look sensibly at what its capabilities and limitations are, and how these fit into the strengths and gaps in your existing strategy.