“We’ve never seen a technology move as fast as AI has to impact society and technology. This is by far the fastest moving technology that we’ve ever tracked in terms of its impact and we’re just getting started.” - Paul Daugherty, Chief Technology and Innovation Officer, Accenture.
If you are a sales, marketing or business development professional in the B2B sector, you know how important email marketing is for your success. Email marketing is one of the most effective ways to reach and engage with your prospects, customers and partners—but is also among the most challenging and time-consuming tasks. From crafting compelling subject lines, writing engaging copy, and designing attractive layouts to segmenting your audience, personalizing your messages, testing different variations, analyzing the results and optimizing your campaigns, it’s enough to keep a marketer busy around the clock.
That's where AI comes in. AI can help you automate and optimize many aspects of your email marketing campaigns, saving you time and money, while increasing your conversions and revenue. AI can also help you create more relevant and personalized content for your audience, based on their behavior, preferences and needs. AI can even generate images for your emails that match your brand and message.
The latest statistics on the use of AI in B2B email marketing indicate that AI is becoming increasingly integral to the success of email campaigns. Here are some key findings:
• 53% of B2B marketers expect AI to improve marketing effectiveness in driving revenue.
• A 2023 survey among email marketers from the United States, the United Kingdom, and other European countries found that approximately 51% of respondents believed that AI-supported email marketing was more effective than traditional approaches.
• Marketers who utilize AI for email personalization saw revenue increase by 41%, and click-through rates (CTR) increase by 13.44%..
• AI-written email subject lines are reported to increase open rates by 5-10%.
• Currently, 10% of email marketing teams use AI for writing email copy, and 39% of email marketers use AI overall.
These statistics highlight the growing importance of AI and automation in enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of B2B email marketing strategies. By leveraging AI, companies can better target their messaging, improve engagement, and ultimately drive more revenue.
In this article, we will explore how AI can benefit your B2B email marketing campaigns, detail some best practices to follow and even some sample prompts for you to copy and paste in your next campaign.
How can AI can help you improve your B2B email marketing campaigns? Let us count the ways.
• Subject line optimization: AI can help you generate and test different subject lines for your emails, based on data from previous campaigns and industry benchmarks. AI can also help you optimize your subject lines for different devices, platforms and audiences.
• Content generation: Create engaging and relevant content for your emails, based on your goals, keywords and audience segments with the power of AI (see below for a sample prompt). AI can also help you generate images for your emails that match your brand and message.
• Personalization: You’re going to want to personalize your emails for each recipient, based on their behavior, preferences and needs and AI can help you do this. It can also help you tailor your emails to different stages of the buyer's journey, from awareness to decision.
• Segmentation: AI can help you segment your audience based on various criteria, such as industry, company size, location, job title, purchase history and more. AI can also help you identify new segments and opportunities within your existing database.
• Timing: Determine the best time to send your emails to each recipient, based on their past interactions and habits with AI. Use this technology to adjust your frequency and cadence based on the response rate and feedback.
• Testing: AI can help you test different elements of your emails, such as subject lines, content, images, layout, call to action and more. AI can also help you run multivariate tests that compare multiple combinations of elements at once.
• Analysis: Looking to analyze the performance of your email marketing campaigns, such as open rate, click-through rate, conversion rate and revenue? You can call AI in for this too. AI can also help you identify the key factors that influence the results and provide actionable insights and recommendations.
Pro tip: Always add your personal touch to your email. The last thing you want is for your email to stand out as AI-generated. Take what AI gives you and make it yours.
Here are some best practices to follow when using AI in your B2B email marketing campaigns:
1. Define your goals and metrics
Before you start using AI in your email marketing strategy, you need to define what you want to achieve and how you will measure it.
For example, do you want to increase your lead generation, lead nurturing, lead conversion, or customer retention? What are the key performance indicators (KPIs) that you will track, such as open rates, click-through rates, conversions, revenue, or retention rates?
2. Choose the right tools and platforms
There are many tools and platforms that offer AI solutions for email marketing. Some of the factors that you should consider are the features and functionalities that they offer, the ease of use and integration with your existing systems, the quality and accuracy of their data and algorithms, the security and privacy of their data handling practices, and the customer support and service that they provide. While there are a ton of AI tools and platforms out there for your business to choose from, keep in mind ChatGPT 3.5 and Bing Co-Pilot are free, so optimizing your campaigns with AI doesn't have to cost you a ton of money.
Pro tip: When it comes to your email campaigns, there’s one very important thing you DON'T want to be AI-generated, and that’s your contact data. Rely on IndustrySelect's human-researched industrial contact data to power your next campaign.
3. Test and optimize
One of the advantages of using AI in email marketing is that it allows you to test different elements of your email campaigns and optimize them based on the results. However, it's crucial to approach testing strategically. Begin by testing one variable at a time to accurately identify what contributes to improved performance. Variables may include subject lines, send times, content types, and calls to action. Continuously monitor the results and adapt your strategy accordingly, leveraging AI insights for ongoing optimization.
4. Ensure data quality and compliance
AI's effectiveness heavily relies on the quality and accuracy of data. Regularly clean and update your email list to maintain relevancy. Moreover, ensure compliance with data protection regulations. This is not only an ethical practice but also essential for maintaining trust with your audience and avoiding legal issues.
5. Combine human creativity with AI insights
While AI excels in data analysis and pattern recognition, human creativity remains irreplaceable. Blend AI insights with creative human input to develop compelling content that resonates with your manufacturing audience. Collaborative efforts can lead to more nuanced and emotionally resonant campaigns.
6. Personalization should feel authentic
The goal of personalization is to make your audience feel seen and understood. Avoid generic personalization that feels automated. Instead, focus on crafting messages that genuinely connect with individuals based on their preferences, behaviors, and interests. AI can facilitate this process by automating the personalization journey.
7. Monitor and adapt to evolving trends
The field of AI is continually advancing, bringing new possibilities and strategies. Stay informed about emerging trends and technologies to ensure your B2B email marketing stays ahead of the curve. Regularly assess your AI tools and strategies to align with the latest developments in the industry.
Content Creation: As a B2B marketer looking to create an email for prospects, the best prompt for creating the content with AI assistance would be specific, targeted, and include key details that you want to highlight. Here’s an example of an effective prompt:
“Create a professional and engaging email for B2B prospects that introduces our company’s [product or service], emphasizes how our products can solve industry-specific problems, and invites recipients to a free demo. The tone should be informative yet approachable, and the email should include a clear call-to-action. Please incorporate data-driven results and client testimonials to build credibility.”
"Generate a B2B email targeting [specific industries/job roles/company sizes], emphasizing [key points or pain points]."
"Create an email with the primary goal of [generating leads/nurturing relationships/promoting a new product, etc.]"
“Write a [formal/casual/informative/persuasive] email that aligns with our brand voice. Focus on [specific messaging guidelines]."
"Ensure the email includes personalized elements such as [recipient names/company names/other details] to enhance engagement."
Subject Line: Crafting an effective subject line is crucial for email marketing success, as it’s the first thing your prospects will see. Here’s an example of a good prompt for creating a subject line with AI
“Generate a concise and attention-grabbing subject line for a B2B marketing email that highlights the unique value proposition of our [product or service], creates a sense of urgency, and encourages the recipient to open the email. The subject line should be under 50 characters and resonate with the challenges faced by our target industry.”
Call to Action: For a B2B marketer, the call-to-action (CTA) is a critical component of an email as it guides prospects towards the next step. Here’s an example of an effective prompt for creating a CTA with AI assistance would be:
“Design a compelling and clear call-to-action for a B2B marketing email that motivates prospects to take immediate action. The CTA should encourage recipients to sign up for a free trial, schedule a consultation, or download a whitepaper. It must create a sense of value and urgency without being overly aggressive. Include a direct link or button that stands out visually and is easy to find.”
Pro-tip: You can also use AI to help you refine your own copy. Stuck on a sentence? Try the “fill in the blank” method. Simply paste your existing copy and ask AI provide a number of variations to help you finish your sentence.
Image Generation: To create an image that will be used in a B2B marketing email, the prompt should be specific to your brand and the message you want to convey. Try this prompt on your next campaign:
“Create a professional and visually appealing image that represents our company’s commitment to innovation and customer success. The image should include our brand colors and logo, and visually depict our software solutions streamlining business processes. It should be suitable for a header or banner in an email and resonate with our target audience of industry professionals.”
AI is not just a buzzword; it's a transformative force reshaping B2B email marketing and stands as the most significant commercial opportunity for companies, industries, and nations in the coming decades. Embrace this opportunity by integrating AI into your email marketing strategy for manufacturing audiences. From personalized content to dynamic automation, AI offers a spectrum of tools to elevate your campaigns.
When it comes to your email campaigns, there’s one very important thing you don’t want to be AI-generated, and that’s your contact data. Verified firsthand by real people, IndustrySelect’s 460,000+ industrial profiles contain detailed information you can rely on to power your B2B email campaign. Set up your free demo account today, loaded with 500 real company profiles so you can test out all the features of this powerful software.