Today, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is making huge waves in probably every area connected to the human experience, from Manufacturing and Education to Healthcare, Finance and even National Defense. In the areas of Business and Commerce as well, AI tools, systems and applications are empowering organizations to streamline their operations, improve their HR outcomes and serve their customers better. Another area of business where AI is increasingly proving to be indispensable in a number of ways is Marketing.
In its Fifth Annual State of Marketing Report, Salesforce found that the use of Artificial Intelligence by marketing leaders has grown by 40% year over year. Furthermore, AI in Marketing is not limited to isolated use cases but is being used across the marketing lifecycle in order to meet customers’ expectations, get an edge over competitors and ultimately to improve their business margins.
Salesforce Marketing Cloud (SFMC) is one of the world’s most powerful and popular Marketing CRM solutions. Packed with Salesforce templates and features, SFMC streamlines and even automates Marketing activities across multiple touchpoints. This includes Email Marketing. Plus, it boasts Einstein, a complete AI platform that offers powerful predictive insights and recommendations to boost the performance of Email Marketing campaigns.
But how can Einstein AI help marketers enhance their marketing outcomes and boost their ROI?
Read this article to know more!
But first, let’s start by learning a little about Einstein.
Einstein: SFMC’s Powerful Artificial Intelligence Engine
An overwhelming number of marketers report that AI helps them create 1-to-1 marketing campaigns across every customer touchpoint and also increases their overall marketing efficiency.
In general, they need AI to:
- Improve customer segmentation
- Create personalized customer journeys and channel experiences
- Craft dynamic and hyper-personalized email marketing campaigns
And one of the best examples of AI in Marketing is of course Einstein and Salesforce Marketing Cloud!
And what exactly is Einstein?
Einstein is a powerful AI tool built into Salesforce Marketing Cloud (and many other Salesforce offerings including Sales Cloud, Community Cloud and Service Cloud). With Einstein, Salesforce has taken AI out of the lab, “so everyone can be smarter about customers”. With Einstein’s integrated, comprehensive AI capabilities, marketers can:
- Discover relevant insights about their customers, say, how they engage with a particular Email Marketing campaign
- Build audience groups and segments
- Create predictive customer journeys and personalized, cross-channel experiences
Next, we’ll address in detail some of the ways marketers can harness Einstein and SFMC to design, execute and enhance their Email Marketing campaigns:
- To identify and segment their target audience
- To create personalized messages that wow the audience
- To engage intelligently with customers and on their terms
- To analyze campaign success (or failure) and use this information to improve future campaigns
1. To identify and segment their target audience
Marketing to everyone is equivalent to marketing to no one. In today’s customer-focused marketing landscape, it is foolhardy and even dangerous to assume that the target audience is one homogenous group who will be happy with a generic campaign. To ensure that the right message reaches the right person at the right time (every time!), segmentation is essential.
In SFMC, AI and predictive analytics let marketers segment their audience quickly and accurately, and even find new and relevant audience segments that they can serve. With AI-based probability models, marketers can match their customers’ actions to their identities and thus get a unified view of each customer across different marketing touchpoints. With natural language processing and image recognition, they can also collect new data points from customer interactions, content and conversations – information that can help them identify where customers are in their journey and take actions accordingly.
From the perspective of Email Marketing in particular, AI enables marketers and Salesforce certified email specialists to predict and pre-analyze the actions their subscribers are most likely to take on receiving their email campaign. For example:
- Will they open the email or not?
- Will they click through or not?
- Will they convert or not?
And equally important,
- Will they unsubscribe or not?
Why are such predictions important? This is covered in the next section!
Tips to leverage SFMC’s Einstein AI for smarter audience segmentation:
- Gather high-level information about your main audience, for e.g., who they are and what they like
- Use AI to do a deeper audience analysis and to uncover new personas
- Treat new personas as ‘sub-segments’ and create personalized messages to market to them
2. To create personalized messages that wow the audience
Audience segmentation is essential but it is by no means the end of the road. In today’s noisy world where customers are bombarded with information and special offers from every side, the only way to make them pay attention to your message is by personalizing it so that they have a clear answer to the age-old question, “What’s in it for ME?”
With SFMC, content personalization is easy to do. Email Studio for example provides a comprehensive toolset, readymade Salesforce templates and of course AI-powered recommendation engines to enable a Salesforce certified email specialist to create and deliver email campaigns with more personalized, tailored dynamic content or offers that would be relevant for each target customer segment. Plus, as Einstein AI continues to learn more about an audience’s preferences, intents, interests or past behaviors, it will fill in the right offer for each customer dynamically – a boon for future Email Marketing campaigns. In addition to content, AI-powered campaigns in SFMC can also offer personalized banner ads within emails that are more likely to prompt customers to take some action.
Tips to leverage Einstein AI in SFMC to create personalized content (at scale) for your Email Marketing campaign:
- Create multiple offers for your target audience
- Identify which audience segment should receive which offer with rich tags or metadata
- Incorporate dynamic fields into your content and link them to these tags and metadata
- Automate your campaign with Einstein’s recommendation engines and built-in machine learning capability
- To send customized emails, use Einstein Content Selection
3. To engage intelligently with customers and on their terms
Customers can be a fickle lot. If they don’t like your message or think it is not relevant to their goals, needs or challenges, they won’t think twice before opting out of, unsubscribing from or blocking your email message.
AI capabilities like predictive scoring and segmentation, and predictive attribution and sequencing can help marketers identify the perfect messages, volume and channels to keep their customers engaged and happy. To capture and keep their attention, AI provides the means to optimize send times. Furthermore, if a particular audience segment doesn’t engage with email, AI can predict this intelligently so marketers can reach them with social media ads or mobile push messages instead.
Finally, AI-based automated team routing and prioritization through natural language processing (NLP) and sentiment analysis can help email marketers improve their inquiry and support processes.
Tips to leverage Einstein AI in SFMC to engage intelligently with Email Marketing customers:
- Conduct a regular audit of the messages you send along with send times and channels
- Use AI and your preference centers to collect customer preferences and use this information to adjust and improve your Email Marketing campaigns
- Regularly measure the impact of your AI-optimized campaigns and compare it to your existing baseline using A/B or multivariate testing
4. To analyze campaign success (or failure) and use this information to improve future campaigns
One of the best things about Einstein AI in SFMC is that it ‘learns’ over time. With capabilities like probabilistic attribute/field matching as well as data normalization and harmonization, Email Marketing teams and their Salesforce certified email specialists can get a comprehensive view of their Email Marketing campaign spend and performance. With anomaly detection, they can identify critical areas for improvement in campaign performance and spend, while with predictive campaign insights and recommendations, they can discover ways to optimize spend and thus extract the best possible RoI from their campaigns.
Also, consumers often deviate from marketers’ planned journeys. However, Einstein’s predictive attribution and sequencing feature provides the means to optimize channel and journey engagement against marketing and branding goals.
Tips to leverage Einstein AI in SFMC to effectively analyze Email Marketing campaigns:
- Make sure you unhide all the hidden data extensions or data views, especially those that contain tracking data such as sends, opens and clicks
- Use Einstein Engagement Scoring to target Email Studio customers in order to maximize engagement and conversions
- Make use of Einstein Copy Insights (which uses text analytics and natural language processing) to craft subject lines that drive stronger email engagement
Old-fashioned, manual ways of planning, executing and analyzing marketing campaigns – even Email Marketing campaigns – are long gone. And why would you want to continue to use those cumbersome, hit-or-miss methods when you have AI-powered Salesforce Marketing Cloud to do it all for you?
With SFMC and Einstein AI, you can:
- Discover rich insights about your customers
- Make predictions that improve your decision-making
- Take the best actions to make the most out of every engagement a customer has with your brand’s email
- Automate routine tasks so you can focus on providing value to your customers
With its unique, powerful yet user-friendly capabilities, SFMC and Einstein are a real boon for Email Marketers and Salesforce certified email specialists. Have you tried it yet?