AI Email Marketing: How to Boost Your Campaigns with AI


AI email marketing transforms the way businesses connect with their audiences. Initially, email marketing focused mainly on broad, undifferentiated messages sent to large lists—which, as you might guess, led to low engagement rates.

Fortunately, over time, the approach has become more refined, and customer segmentation, A/B testing, and personalization have dramatically improved the relevance of email messages.

Yet, this required a large amount of manual effort—until AI email marketing, that is.

AI email marketing automates complex decision-making processes to tailor and segment content with unprecedented precision. It can optimize practically every aspect of an email campaign to boost performance, increase open rates, and drive engagement.

Curious how AI email marketing can transform your campaigns and improve performance? Below, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about AI email marketing to upgrade your campaigns with artificial intelligence.

What is AI email marketing?

AI email marketing refers to a broad range of tools, technologies, and software that use artificial intelligence to optimize email campaigns. It leverages a combination of machine learning, natural language processing, and data analytics that learn from user interactions and behavioral data to:

  • Predict future behaviors

  • Personalize messages

  • Segment users

  • Send timely emails

  • Execute campaigns at scale

The top email marketing platforms and AI email assistants are starting to leverage user data and machine learning to provide these functions, but it’s still relatively new. Look for email marketing software or an email marketing platform that will support your AI needs (now and in the future).

AI email marketing vs. traditional email marketing

Traditional email marketing often relies on predefined rules and segmentation that require manual setup and adjustment. For example, email marketers might create campaigns targeting users who clicked on a link within the last email. However, the segmentation and content remain static—it’s applied uniformly across the group without further refinement.

In contrast, AI-driven email marketing dynamically adjusts these elements in real-time (without human intervention). It analyzes incoming data from user actions to continually refine and target communications.

AI can predict the best times to send emails to each recipient, suggest and optimize email content based on what has performed well in the past, and even forecast future customer behavior based on current trends.

This results in more engaging and responsive email marketing campaigns that can automatically adapt to the nuances of customer behavior.

Top benefits of AI in email marketing

AI in email marketing doesn’t replace human expertise—it just enables marketers to do more with less. Unlike ever before, marketers can deliver customized, responsive content at scale, and it’s a win-win for everyone.

Marketers get to send better campaigns, and customers get more relevant emails in their inboxes.

Here are a few of the top benefits that AI tools bring to email marketing:

  • Personalization at scale: AI analyzes data from multiple sources to craft messages that cater to each recipient’s preferences, purchase history, and browsing behavior.

  • Optimization of send times: AI leverages predictive analytics to determine the most effective times to send emails to individual recipients, increasing the likelihood of opens and engagements.

  • Segmenting audiences more effectively: AI uses sophisticated algorithms to segment audiences more accurately and dynamically based on a continuous influx of behavioral and demographic data.

  • Content optimization: AI email marketing tools analyze past campaigns’ performance to suggest (and even autonomously adjust) email subject lines, body content, and images that resonate best with different audience segments.

  • Improved ROI: AI drives higher conversion rates and sales by improving the relevance and timing of emails.

  • Automated A/B testing: AI can automate the A/B testing process to quickly determine the most effective variations of an email campaign without manual intervention.

  • Churn prediction and retention strategies: AI can predict which customers might be at risk of churning and trigger tailored re-engagement emails to prevent churn and boost user retention.

  • Email validation: AI can integrate real-time validation into your signup forms to customize thresholds for follow-up emails, alert users to invalid email addresses, and decide whether to retain or remove invalid entries from your database.

How to use AI to boost your email marketing campaigns

Let’s look at some tactical ways you can start using AI to improve your email marketing campaigns:

1. Personalize email content

AI analyzes individual customer data, such as past interactions, purchase history, and browsing behaviors, to tailor email content specifically to each recipient.

This personalization goes beyond including your recipient’s first name in the subject line—it includes tailored product recommendations, personalized messaging, and content that aligns with the customer’s interests.

2. Optimize send times

Sending at the right time leads to higher open and click-through rates. Ultimately, you want your email to pop up at the top of the inbox when your recipient opens their emails.

Too soon, and your email gets buried underneath your competitors. Too late, and your recipient has already closed the application and moved on to something else.

AI optimizes email send times by analyzing when individual recipients are most likely to open and engage with emails. This involves studying patterns in user behavior across different times and days to predict optimal engagement windows.

3. Improve subject lines

AI can write email subject lines by using natural language processing and past campaign data to learn what phrases and calls to action resonate most with different segments of your audience.

AI can test and optimize these variables in real-time, adjusting to trends and preferences that increase open rates.

4. Automate segmentation

AI automates the segmentation process by analyzing complex data sets to group customers based on nuanced behavioral patterns, such as:

  • Purchasing frequency

  • Engagement levels

  • Content preferences

  • Time as customer

  • Experience with products and services

AI continues to refine these segments as you collect data, allowing you to target the right customers at the right time with the right message. And when you get this right, you create better personalized emails and improve your overall email deliverability.

5. Improve your CTAs

AI can test and refine your calls to action (CTAs) by analyzing how different messages perform across various segments of your audience.

It can identify the most effective wording, placement, and design of CTAs and adjust them based on real-time feedback to maximize conversion rates.

6. Streamline A/B testing

AI streamlines A/B testing by automating the creation, execution, and analysis of tests. It can manage multiple variations at once, quickly identifying the most effective elements of an email campaign.

This speeds up the testing process and applies successful elements and learnings across all your campaigns (not just a single one).

7. Use dynamic content

AI uses dynamic content to customize emails based on real-time data such as user behavior or significant dates. For example, it can automatically insert relevant products, change content based on weather conditions, or update offers based on inventory levels.

This makes each email personally composed for the recipient.

Best practices for using AI email marketing

While AI email marketing can be a game-changer for your email campaigns, it’s not a set-it-and-forget-it solution. It’ll take some thoughtful input and a bit of hand-holding to get the most out of it.

Here are some best practices to help you drive results without losing the human connection with your audience:

  • Clean up your data: AI email marketing relies on high-quality data. Keep your data clean and comprehensive—and only collect it through lawful, ethical means. AI performs best when it has accurate and extensive data to learn from, which improves its ability to make accurate predictions and provide valuable insights.

  • Balance automation with a human touch: While AI can automate many aspects of email marketing, that doesn’t mean you should have over the keys to your campaigns. Frequently check your emails to guarantee they sound like they come from a person rather than a machine.

  • Monitor and adjust frequently: AI is dynamic, and its effectiveness can evolve as it learns (for better or worse, sometimes). Regularly monitor your campaigns and adapt as necessary to keep your campaigns performing optimally. Adjust AI inputs and settings based on ongoing performance data to refine your email marketing strategies.

  • Maintain privacy and compliance: Stick strictly to data protection laws such as GDPR and CCPA as you collect and use data for AI-driven email marketing. Communicate transparently about how you collect and use AI privacy best practices to build trust with your customers.

  • Leverage predictive analytics: Use AI’s predictive capabilities to forecast future customer behaviors and trends. This allows for proactive adjustments to your email strategy, such as personalizing offers and content that anticipate customer needs before they even articulate them.

Build your company with DigitalOcean

For an in-depth understanding of AI advancements and practical applications, head to the Paperspace blog and delve into a wealth of knowledge tailored for novices and experts.

At DigitalOcean, we understand the unique needs and challenges of startups and small-to-midsize businesses. Experience our simple, predictable pricing and developer-friendly cloud computing tools like Droplets, Kubernetes, and App Platform.

Sign-up for DigitalOcean


    Try DigitalOcean for free

    Click below to sign up and get $200 of credit to try our products over 60 days!Sign up

    Related Resources

    What is Cloud Performance Testing? Ensuring Optimal Application Performance in the Cloud
    What is Cloud Orchestration? Automating and Managing Cloud Infrastructure
    What is Cloud Data Management? Strategies for Effective Data Governance in the Cloud

    Start building today

    Sign up now and you'll be up and running on DigitalOcean in just minutes.