One of the most effective digital marketing channels for creating personalised campaigns is email marketing, yet 59% of consumers are stating they are receiving irrelevant emails on a regular basis (DMA Consumer Tracker report 2017).

Providing a new era of sophisticated email marketing - AI and machine learning can remove this hurdle and take the guess work out by analysing an unlimited amount of data that would take several years for a human to analyse and provide recommendations. Such technologies can analyse and interpret consumers behaviour and then provide alternative recommendations whilst aligning to an organisations brand values. Delivering the right content in the right context remains king in the digital experience, with 75% consumers more likely to buy from retailers that provide personalisation (Accenture: Personalisation Pulse Check Survey 2016).

This enables email marketers to create customer centric strategies, providing emails that are relevant and hyper personalised to the customer at any stage in their customer journey. Given the increasing expectations from consumers for brands to constantly demonstrate they know their customer and the ability for AI and machine learning to achieve just that, is the reason they are my top trend for email marketing in 2018.

The sophisticated AI and machine learning tools available will determine the subject lines, copy and calls-to-action recipients are most likely to respond to. As a result, the email doesn't only have improved marketing performance, but also relevant and intelligently personalised experience for the subscriber. When reviewing your email marketing strategy, ensure your activity is focused on the customer by understanding what they are and are not responding to in your current campaigns, not on the latest products or offers you have available. The more a subscriber engages with you, the more personalised the content should be within your email campaigns.

The foundations of creating a successful email strategy are simple:

  • Define the why' in your email strategy that is focused on the customer
  • Then determine how' you're going to achieve the objective | before focusing on what the technology can achieve.


A brand that is reaping rewards from utilising AI within their email marketing strategy is Gumtree. Gumtree is a recognised brand in the UK but they still face fierce competition in the inbox. As a result, the marketing team wanted to increase their email marketing conversion rates whilst maintaining relevancy for the subscriber. They used Phrasee's AI tool to hone in on what makes their audience tick and they are already achieving fantastic results:

  • 23% uplift in opens
  • 44% uplift in clicks

It's already evident that brands which continue to struggle to provide any form of personalisation are going to switch consumers off with irrelevant messaging. The brands that can enhance the customer's experience by utilising both AI and machine learning to provide relevant information that adds value to a customer will be the ones to win in 2018.

Jenna Tiffany is Founder & Strategy Director at Let'sTalk Strategy.

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