Using AI to re-engage dormant email subscribers

AI could be the solution to helping brands that are struggling to maintain subscriber engagement through email


Email marketing is one of the most effective ways to build a brand image and earn loyal followers. Experts will tell you that the ROI of email marketing is roughly two to four times higher than all other major marketing channels. Unfortunately, email marketers face many pressing challenges, and overcoming declining engagement is one of their biggest obstacles.

Nonetheless, AI could be the solution to helping brands that are struggling to maintain subscriber engagement. However, they are going to need to understand the role that AI can play in the context of the greater strategy. In order to do this, they must appreciate the reasons that engagement levels drop and the steps that need to be taken to reverse the trend. This is one of the most important things email marketers need to do to maintain a healthy contact database.

How can AI help with re-engaging email subscribers?

According to research from Marketing Sherpa, the average email marketer loses 22.5% of their list over the course of a year to attrition. The full extent of disengagement is even worse. The majority of email subscribers that lose interest don't unsubscribe – they simply ignore and delete emails.As subscribers lose interest, the ROI of email marketing campaigns can crater while potential customers stop opening your emails and expressing interest in your offers. For businesses that depend heavily on email marketing to generate sales, this can be very problematic.

Investing in AI can help mitigate these risks. Here are some ways that it can be invaluable.

Using automation to tweak email headlines for long term subscribers

One of the biggest reasons that engagement levels fall over time is that subscribers become numb to seeing the same copy in your headlines. Marketers that want to keep their engagement rates up need to experiment with different power words in their headlines. However, they face a couple of challenges:

They need to determine which words drive the most engagement. Even while running split testing campaigns that focus on other variables, they might overlook data showing the effectiveness of certain words in their copy.

They must determine when to use different words to increase subscriber engagement. They might not realize that they have created dozens of email headlines with similar headline copy.

Incorporating deep learning algorithms into email marketing automation systems can help solve this challenge. They will be able to use deep learning to monitor subscriber response to different types of copy over time. They will also use automation to rotate copy to keep people from getting disillusioned by seeing the same headlines.

Send custom emails to subscribers that have lost interest

Over time, you're going to notice that email engagement metrics are going to drop for some of your subscribers. You aren't going to want to have to monitor this manually for every single subscriber on your own. That would be far too much work, especially once you have earned thousands of subscribers.You are going to need an automated system to monitor engagement. AI makes it easy to keep track of subscribers whose interest has clearly waned. You don't need to manually write an email and send it to these subscribers every month. You can have a pre-written email that is automatically sent to people that have indicated they may not be interested anymore.

Animoto is an example of a brand that has followed this strategy. They use their AI-based marketing automation tool to send an email that asks: "Do you still want to hear from us? We want to ensure that you continue to receive content from Animoto that is interesting and relevant to you. If you would like to stay connected, please select the communications that you would like to receive in our email preference center."This is a great use of AI for a couple of reasons. First, it shows that the company cares about serving customers and wants to see if there is anything it can do to boost engagement. Secondly, it gives the customers a chance to specify their preferred communications to get more relevant emails. This could be the biggest reason they will see a lift in engagement.

Closing thoughts

With AI increasingly disrupting the world of marketing, it is simply no longer a technology that marketers who want success can ignore. And with Point Source research indicating that when AI is present, 49% of consumers are willing to shop more frequently and 34% will spend more money, what are you waiting for?

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