Take Your Marketing Automation Further with AI
By John Oechsle, President and CEO of Swiftpage
It’s been said that artificial intelligence is the future, but I’d argue that AI is very much a thing of the here and now. It’s playing an increasingly significant role in marketing efforts, and is taking marketing automation to the next level. And during an era when customers are demanding fast and hyper-personalized service, AI-based technologies couldn’t be more critical.
AI-based technologies bolster marketing automation efforts through personalized interactions. Your business can benefit on a multitude of fronts by embracing these game-changing advancements.
It’s easy for emails to get lost in the shuffle of a busy day. After all, inboxes are overflowing with meeting reminders, work correspondence and plenty of promotions. Enticing a customer to simply open a marketing-related email can be challenging. But with the right tools, you can consider that challenge conquered.
AI-based technologies are helping marketers win the attention of potential customers in numerous ways. For instance, they’re allowing small- and medium sized businesses to improve their email marketing automation strategies by knowing who to target, when and how frequently.
Know your target: AI helps businesses understand – and foresee – customer behavior patterns, and detect which strategies email subscribers best respond to. It can also help businesses more effectively automate emails to ensure customers are receiving personalized correspondence and promotions relevant to their needs.
Adding a personalized touch to emails pays off. A Statista study shows that personalized emails had an open rate of 18.1 percent, compared to a 13.1 open rate for non-personalized emails.
Engage thy customer: Of course, AI-generated emails should do more than attract customers – they should also engage them. Email subject lines can be tailored for each customer, for example, while the emails themselves might contain personalized offers.
When it comes to gathering and analyzing customer information, we mortals are no match for the pace and efficiency of computers. AI-based programs are capable of processing user data at lightning speed, and can be hyper-responsive to customer needs.
Automating the data collection process can help simplify the lead-nurturing process for businesses, while AI can set the course for future marketing strategies.
Capturing information: AI provides marketers with the valuable information they need to close a sale. It tells us when someone has visited their site, which pages they visited and how much time they spent perusing products.
Marketing teams are using this data to drive sales, and if statistics are any indication, it’s working. AI could lead to an economic boost of $14 trillion in additional gross value added (GVA) by 2035, according to Accenture research.
Automated actions: As I mentioned earlier, AI-based software doesn’t just benefit businesses in the long term — it can also be of tremendous value in the present. Through AI, valuable customer information is being captured in real time, and can be instantly used to tempt shoppers with personalized offers and targeted advertisements. Forrester has predicted that 20 percent of enterprises will begin using AI to make decisions and provide real-time marketing instructions.
Successful businesses strive to equip customers with the tools and services they need. The trouble is, it can be a bit tricky to determine what those needs are.
AI aid: While automation can help track previous purchases and user experiences, AI can take that information and make predictions on the potential for additional sales. It can determine whether a customer is a good candidate for additional products or services and establish which products a customer might be in the market for next.
Once your sales and marketing teams are made aware of your business’s cross-selling potential, they can make customers aware of those additional offerings.
A happy customer is a loyal customer. AI can help you retain your existing customer base by providing you with a better understanding of client needs. You might think you already have a handle on that front with your CRM platform, but AI can provide a more complete, more actionable picture of your current customers.
Meantime, customers will appreciate the personalized service AI-based software offers, and are more likely to become repeat customers.
Reengaging past customers
Customers come and go – and they’ll come again with the right approach. Whatever the reason for losing a customer, it’s never too late to win them back – especially with some artificial assistance.
Helpful insights: AI can provide insight into how and why a customer left, and help determine the best way to reconnect. For example, it can be used to send an email with product recommendations based on a customer’s purchase history, or inform them of any relevant price drops.
If you’ve spent any amount of time looking into customer engagement and sales/marketing success strategy, you’re undoubtedly already familiar with the ways in which automation can help your business. Now, it’s time to build on those benefits by incorporating AI-based technologies into your marketing strategy.
Businesses are becoming increasingly competitive and to remain relevant, AI-based technologies must be embraced.
H. John Oechsle joined Swiftpage (www.act.com) in July 2012 and currently serves as president and chief executive officer. John came to Swiftpage with a 30 year track record of building highly profitable and sustainable revenue growth for emerging companies and established global leaders. John is an advocate for technology and education in Colorado and has been an active contributor to the Colorado Technology Association (CTA). John has received numerous recognitions, including the Technology Executive of the Year in 2006, the Titan of Technology in 2009, the Bob Newman Lifetime Achievement Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Community by the CTA in 2011 and the Nancy J. Sauer Philanthropy award in 2016. In 2015, John was appointed to the Business Experiential Learning Commission (BEL) by the Governor of Colorado and continues to serve on that commission today. In 2018, John joined the Rutgers CX Advisory Board for the Customer Experience Certificate Program at Rutgers.