Nothing in recent memory has arguably managed to disrupt the technological landscape as definitively as the advent of ChatGPT. Even though it has found countless takers in the blink of an eye, the jury regarding its applications are quite evenly split. Amidst all this, we decided to turn our gaze towards its use cases in the realm of email; specifically, email copywriting. With ChatGPT being touted as the ultimate writer’s assistant by many, our curiosity regarding its possible implications on email copywriting were rather inevitable.
And so, to gain a nuanced understanding of this subject, we posed a few questions to individuals who are an absolute authority concerning all things existing at the intersection of content and email marketing. Curious to see what came of these exchanges? Well, keep reading!
I see applications of generative AI in data complexity where you gain an economy of scale. Different cohorts and customer segments, all customized based on their characteristics.
Not only smaller businesses can benefit from AI copywriting tools, but also larger teams that might not have enough workforce to AB test or work on a new initiative.
Some of the things that are generated are simply not true or misinterpreted. It requires a true professional in that area to ensure we send accurate information.
I always encourage my clients to use AI as a starting point on which they layer their own creativity and brand voice, not as an employee!
AI tools can assist email copywriters by automating certain tasks and providing suggestions, but ultimately, it’s the human touch that makes content truly engaging and relatable.
I think security and privacy should also be something people consider seriously before using AI tools, whether professionally or personally.
Use AI to shorten your copy creation period. Use it as an assistant rather than the ultimate solution.
Anything that helps marketers increase output without an extra burden is a good thing - especially where it means we can use this capability to understand and better communicate with our prospects and customers.
Managing Partner, RPEOrigin
Interestingly enough, the premise that AI can help bridge the gap between effective copy and scale have not yet come to fruition. We do not use AI for copywriting but are exploring a wide array of other uses that may increase production. Our approach is not to replace something for the sake of innovation, but to do so in a responsible manner that benefits the customer and end consumer.
It’s truly the “X” factor in the link between the end consumer and the brand equity. The brand stewards (marketing) know the brand voice, tone and mission inside and out. Living and breathing what the company stands for, what the consumer is looking for and how to fulfill on the brand promise.
As an example, the RPE Origin brand has a voice, tone, mission and value. I cannot teach that, you just know it. It’s been defined and refined and is different for each business cohort.
I think how this is overcome is still to be determined. It would be foolish to concede that it will never arrive. I think maturity, application, change and innovation are going to show us what is possible and the limits to any technology.
If you don’t have the money to spend, without a reasonable chance of positive return, why invest?
Sure, play around with it. Learn the technology, but realize that the “baby” of generative AI was born not too long ago. We’re in an infant stage relationship. The technology, uses and applications still need to grow and mature.
I would find it foolish to put your eggs in the generative AI basket at this point, but it can be a great way to understand what the future could hold.
Do you give credit to your copywriter? Typically, whatever you put in front of your customers is what you should claim as authentic and true. If you have to “disclaim” the copy and in essence, tell people “something else wrote that” aren’t you looking for cover? An excuse? Marketers and owners are responsible for the message. It’s not transparent to tell people you used AI in any form, it’s an excuse. As a business owner, I chart the path for my marketing and my business. I take responsibility for what I put out, regardless of the source.
The answer lies in the question “what gains you advantage”. In business, you choose paths that give you an advantage in production, efficiency, capability gaps and speed to market. I don’t think it’s a black and white choice. At the current state, can you adequately teach your brand? Would you want to?
I see applications of generative AI in data complexity where you gain an economy of scale. Different cohorts and customer segments, all customized based on their characteristics. In that, where you have added complexity, then you have the ability for technology (not just copywriting) to help you achieve that personalization. Are we there yet? Nope. But it’s exciting to think about.
Isn’t that what change is? Isn’t that what innovation is? We don’t send people to the moon with a computer less powerful than my phone anymore. I’m currently on a plane from Thailand to Dallas and not on a boat. Change is what we signed up for.
Now, it’s not all unicorns and rainbows, but it is an essential change and the “better or worse” decision is up to us and history in the future.
But be mindful to ride the wave. Learn, adapt, grow in your understanding of digital marketing. This is a monumental step in our world, and you’re in a front row seat.
I reference my previous answer a bit, with a caveat. I don’t believe we replace humans. Sure there is job compression. There always is, with change. But I think it’s a bit premature to call the “death” of something on the horizon.
Like I previously stated, change is inevitable and where we need to embrace that change is happening now. But that is not without guardrails and innovation on the massive shift we’re seeing from generative AI.
I don’t believe that anyone can answer that question right now. I mean, if we’re going to, then let’s talk about transporters instead of planes. Let’s talk about flying cars and robots to clean my house and do the dishes.
Do I think change is coming? Nope. It’s been here for a while.
Let’s use this moment to watch, learn and contribute to the future instead of running scared from a presupposed future we cannot grasp.
I think I'd be chastised by any marketing community if I say I don't use ChatGPT or Google's Bard, but they are one of my email idea-generation tools, which is a start.
My ESP, TouchBasePro, has some advanced AI content and copy features which include AI-article processing and recommended content. This saves a ton of time moving copy over to the email environment by clustering content preferences based on the activity users on a website are taking. This works super well for Publisher customers I work with. It takes away a ton of the manual segmentation and effort in content creation when news feeds into emails.
Grammarly is also a big part of my copywriting toolkit, along with Wordtune for phrasing checks.
This helps predominantly from a time and admin perspective. Being able to create varying iterations of content snippets to find what suits a topic or theme helps immensely when you're sitting with a mental block around ideas or concepts.
There's also the automating of various tasks, such as the segmentation of audiences, which happens by default with content-recommender feeds. This helps vastly in keeping copy contextual, personalised and more engaging.
To begin with the most glaring issue, I think plagiarism is the biggest challenge. Making sure your ideas are original and not merely bad copies of existing content is critical. You also diminish trust by simply copying work that an AI engine generates.
The other glaring challenge is often the accuracy and relevance of AI-generated content. If you've worked on an AI-content generation platform of any kind, you'll realise how much work and learning is still needed by these algorithms to ensure context and relevance are accurate.
The biggest way to overcome these will remain manual intervention and correcting, especially for the next while (how long that will be could be anyone's guess). What is both positive and scary is how quickly tools are springing up all over the place to address these issues. The advancement of AI technology is extrapolating and I'm certain we'll soon see copy being generated that would be difficult to distinguish from human-generated copy.
AI is, quite literally, a game changer, especially for small businesses with limited expenditure and resources. By using AI tech, a far smaller team could achieve the workload of a far larger team, especially when it comes to content generation.
I caveat this heavily in that it is dependent on both the user and their understanding of how AI content-generation tools work. This is where I think the playing field will be decided. How well are staff trained and open to using such tools are the two big questions in any business using AI that will need to be answered.
To be frank, I don't feel this is necessary.
The reason for this is due to the way businesses currently operate. If content is ghostwritten by a human, agency or copywriter, most often a business is credited as the source of this information. We already use editing tools like Grammarly, or if you extend this, photoshop to edit photos. We never credit Grammarly or photo-editing tools, despite the perceived advantages they provide.
I think that, in its current state, simply copying and pasting AI content can be easily identified. Though this may change, as long as the content provides value, then I see no harm in letting a reader define what value they derive from the content they're reading.
Again, looking at the current state of AI content generation tools, the latter option is going to be the best approach for a while.
There are small, contextual nuances that an AI engine may miss or not be privy to, despite training. Humans can pick up on this from their direct environment, interactions and engagement with actual people. This gives a dedicated human resource somewhat of an unfair advantage over AI tools but keeps the content generation process both safe and held responsible to constantly keep improving.
I think it is already! Copywriters will always require inspiration, ideas and information to formulate a great price of copy. AI is speeding up this process by creating easier research mechanisms, and ways to cross-reference material and edit content efficiently.
I think the change is already positive in that AI is creating an avenue for more people to become better copywriters, generate more ideas and collaborate more easily.
Where it may become negative is that AI is likely to cause redundancies, creating an impact on jobs and the perception around the complexity of creating copy and content. Though we've seen the impact of industrial automation and the internet do very much the same, we're still likely to see the demise of many copywriter roles and jobs, which is probably the biggest fear in the copywriting space at the moment.
This is so tough to answer! If I had to whip out the proverbial crystal ball and provide an answer, I'd have to say I do indeed see a future where copywriting tools replace humans.
Though controversial, my statement is based on how rapidly technology is advancing. I'm no AI expert, but should we reach a Singularity (which is not unrealistic by any means) then a machine thinking as a human does (or better) makes us pretty redundant in many aspects.
Do I wish this will be the case? Most certainly not! But it's not a far stretch of the imagination either. Only time will tell but, for the next while, we are going to need humans to train and keep AI engines running to eventually reach that point.
Email & Marketing Operations Lead, Powtoon
My team is taking part in a beta program called “Copy Assist” by our ESP, Iterable. This tool helps generate several alternative subject lines, including the addition of relevant emoji. I have also tested several other tools that assist with the subject line, such as SubjectLineGenerator.
And, of course, the one and only ChatGPT that is mainly used by our team as an inspiration tool and a competitor research assistant.
The primary challenges lie in maintaining consistency and brand identity. On July 20th OpenAI announced Custom Instructions that were made to apply the same voice and style and keep it for future conversations. This technical solution should pair with documenting prompts used for content creation requests and written pieces for AI training purposes.
On a separate matter, a challenge that is less related to my marketing scope of work, is the ability to fact-check. I’m uncertain whether we truly need to overcome this challenge and start placing blind trust in AI.
I have recently been invited to participate in the AI LinkedIn Live conversation, and Adam Erhart mentioned that AI tools open the game for a larger audience and lower the barrier for people that are not necessarily good copywriters. I agree with Adam; on one hand, we will likely see an increase in poorly created emails. On the other hand, using AI tools for ideation and tweaking the final copy defines timesaving as the main benefit.
Not only smaller businesses can benefit from AI copywriting tools, but also larger teams that might not have enough workforce to AB test or work on a new initiative. For example, you may have an idea of an anniversary and milestone sequence that requires copywriting sources. How would you get approval from leadership without showing any numbers or estimates? AI to the rescue! Quickly create an email copy and release the journey for a limited group of people. This way, you can show the revenue impact and prove with numbers why you need a dedicated content writer to work on it.
Marketers always seek help from external sources, whether it’s a grammar-checker or an SEO tool. Should we consider AI as an external source? Should all these tools be listed?
I know it’s a controversial topic, but different businesses can leverage AI usage differently. Why should they disclose that they are utilizing ChatGPT on a high level? There is a strong perception of AI not as a tool, but as a magic superpower.
Another example, we use STO (Send Time Optimization) to find the most convenient time to send email and Photoshop to edit images. The disclosure should include a comprehensive list of software being utilized.
I won’t say it's an either-or situation. In fact, it’s possible to combine both strategies simultaneously. During the initial stage of utilizing the tool, I prefer having a dedicated person to review the copy while continuing to train the tool to match the company’s brand voice.
At Powtoon, we often use dynamic elements in our emails. These elements are based on users’ onboarding data, such as their specific use cases, department for B2B solutions, and segment for B2C users like non-profit, business, or education. In this case, manual copy review becomes essential to ensure the proper usage of handlebars.
I’ll look at this from the employment perspective: it will attract more people to email marketing. And it actually makes me excited and delighted because what can be better than email marketing, yeah?
Like any other new MarTech platform, people need to be trained on using AI tools. I believe companies need to invest in training courses and security guidelines; in this case, we can expect a better outcome.
A future where AI copywriting tools entirely replace humans seems unlikely. There are several aspects that should be considered to produce an effective copy, such as unique value proposition per persona, mobile-optimized copy, and brand consistency. Human involvement ensures ethical considerations and makes content more authentic.
I’d like to quote Nicole Leffer from the recent episode of the Women in B2B Marketing podcast: "AI can be a great muse but can never become an artist". It is an asset, not something that will take over entirely.
Founder, sendXmail & Zopply
Since we're platform agnostic and work with clients with various platforms and budgets, we're using different tool sets accordingly. For instance, in some cases, we use Salesforce Einstein (which incorporates OpenAI solutions) to highly personalise content according to each segment and or interests. In others, we use Adobe Sensei AI to generate not only text but personalised images according to prompts that make sense for each segment or topic.
For more standard clients, we use OpenAI ChatGPT Pro solutions to produce ad hoc A/B testing variants and see what resonates best with some subscribers.
We can't live without it for quite some time; however, we must understand that we can't rely solely on what comes from these generative AI. We should be the ultimate editor and crave creativity to stand out in a world of people doing the same thing.
From my perspective, there are three main challenges in using AI copywriting assistance when creating email marketing or other direct messages.
One is the obvious lack of originality. For the time being, generative AI is only an intelligent content-creation machine that regurgitates the best content served until the last scrapping and machine learning feed. If we only resource to these tools, we're only saying the same things we can find online. It lacks a clear brand POV on the subject.
The second one is that we can't completely trust generative AI and carelessly leave it automatically to send millions of emails or DMs without supervision. Some of the things that are generated are simply not true or misinterpreted. It requires a true professional in that area to ensure we send accurate information.
The third one is a matter of educating ourselves on how to prompt correctly to extract the best quality from these tools. It's not as simple as asking to write a newsletter article about X.
Learning how to make prompts or a thread of prompts is invaluable to produce something beneficial for our goals.
For all of these challenges, the solution is the same. We need people who understand how to work with these tools AND can also be comfortable with the subject of the newsletters or DMs.
As mentioned previously, as long as we have true professionals editing and reviewing the entire content before it's sent out, we can reduce the time and budget of producing email campaigns by a huge amount.
We are certainly not willing to go back since we can now produce highly personalised messaging on a budget using these tools.
For even lower budgets, I would say that's a huge step forward to achieve similar regularity and volume as the bigger brands, but NOT forgetting to keep an eye on what's produced before anything you send to your list.
As long as we ensure that all our copy is edited and supervised by a professional before we send it, there's no need to make it public to the subscribers, as we also don't disclose when we have guest authors or freelancers doing our work.
What matters is to send valuable insights and content that resonate with the audience and it's a perfect match with the brand's POV, style and tone of voice.
However, if there are parts of the content that are not revised by editors —for instance, ultra-personalised slots per subscriber instead of segments— then it's advisable to make it clear that it was made by AI and not by the brand editors themselves, primarily to protect the brand from any mishap with that particular content.
There's no one over the other. We need to apply both according to our understanding. We should have a content repository that serves as a source bank for the output, but knowing how to prompt and iterate until we get a remarkable piece of content can only happen when you add both strategies.
Most of the time, it's not a 100% AI-generative piece of content when we use any. It's 80 to 70% AI generated with several iterations and prompts, but it takes at least 20 to 30% of human handwritten content to give it an original twist.
As with any other tool we add to our tech stack, AI tools affect copywriting and multimedia add-ons to email marketing. We can now create images, graphics and video, all automatically generated by powerful prompts.
The most significant impact is reducing the time to market from the idea and planning to the content production to fill in a full calendar schedule in a few hours instead of days.
There's also a massive impact on the budget since we don't need to hire so many content producers, yet we should be bold in hiring good editors to make it valuable.
To avoid becoming a household kind of content producer that only adds to the inbox noise, we shouldn't rely only on AI. Content producers are still important, and the brands that will shine will be the ones that can produce original content intrinsic to the brand.
It depends on the use cases. For instance, in terms of customer support, I can see a series of content and human-AI interaction happening without needing a human-to-human loophole.
The same can happen with email marketing/landing page content optimisation based on several A/B testing tries which the AI can receive signals of what's working best and change it accordingly.
However, for core brand content POV (point of view) is still essential to have a real, unique perspective on the topic you're trying to stand out.
Obviously, AI generative tools can still have a purpose within this strategy, but humans are the primary creative source for what and how to express that unique point of view.
Maybe in the future, when AI can create a sense of creativity and come up with unique ideas that might change, but for the time being, that's not foreseeable.
Founder & Principal, Synchronicity Marketing
I’ve used ChatGPT and Copy.ai as thought-starters for marketing email copy and subject line test ideas. I routinely keep Grammarly running as well. While AI-driven copywriting tools are only as good as the prompts you give them, they have successfully generated copy drafts and tones I wouldn’t have come up with on my own. I use them because it’s easier than starting from a blank-page, especially if I’m working with a brand whose voice I don’t know well, but never use them for final output.
The biggest challenges are in the areas of legality, plagiarism, originality and variety. I’m not convinced all AI copywriting tools check for plagiarized content, so there can be legal repercussions for marketers using AI-generated output without revising or checking whether it might be from a published, protected source. Aside from legal risks, the most pressing challenge is ending up in an echo-chamber of similarity because prompts were not original enough, or the AI is limited in the variety and diversity of what it can generate. I always encourage my clients to use AI as a starting point on which they layer their own creativity and brand voice, not as an employee!
They will certainly try, but I think it will take a few generations of AI-evolution before they’ll succeed. Will smaller businesses gain in productivity and efficiency in the short-term? Yes. But will AI copywriting tools level the playing field vs. big companies with big budgets and giant agencies? I’m not convinced.
In my own company’s email, probably not. However in work I do for clients I disclose which copy is AI-generated vs. original so they can make the final call on what to use.
I’d rather deploy a dedicated resource to refine drafts which have to go through approval and review. But, why not do both? Generative AI tools are only as good as their inputs, so the better the ingredients they’re fed, the better the outcome. Still, I think the human touch is the icing on the cake and I think a cake with frosting is far tastier and more beautiful than one without!
Yes, and I think it’s happening already. The thing with email copy is that it’s pithy, condensed, and relies heavily on keywords, headlines, and short CTA phrases - we’re not writing long prose or landing pages. From decades of testing we already know what works in driving direct response both creatively and psychologically, so AI should be able to adapt and evolve quickly to generate response-optimized emails. In my opinion this does not negate the need for human oversight, but I foresee a future where emails no longer need to be created from scratch as much as assembled, refined, and customized after first drafts are AI-generated.
No, I don’t envision that, which doesn’t mean it won’t happen. But I hope it doesn’t come to pass in the near future because I’m a big believer in technology empowering and enabling us to evolve, grow and live better lives. For marketers my hope is that this translates into less time spent on tactics and more capacity and inspiration for big-picture strategy, planning and truly unique creativity. That’s the vision I’d like to see play out in the coming years.
Here’s the list of AI tools I’m using specifically for my email copywriting and how they are helping to improve my email copy:
Hypotenuse.AI: When writing email marketing content, I prefer to use hypotenuse.ai because it searches the web for facts/statistics and writes well-researched emails. Moreover, it generates highly personalized & persuasive emails based on preferred keywords and the purpose of the campaign.
Rytr: I use this tool to write plagiarism-free emails at lightning speed, as this tool is integrated with Copyscape (a plagiarism checker & remover). It helps me to create educational or informational emails without compromising the quality.
Lyne.AI: This AI tool is specifically designed to write icebreakers/ first lines for cold emails in bulk. This tool has increased my productivity.
ChatGPT: It’s the core of my AI email copywriting. I use ChatGPT to create long email sequences, brainstorm compelling approaches and ideas, and multiple subject lines for A/B testing. I’ve created well-thought prompts for it, some are more than 500 words long. This tool performs like my assistant to help critique my email copy and provides valuable feedback.
Here are the 3 most pressing challenges that AI copywriting tools currently pose and their solutions listed below the challenges:
Yes, AI copywriting tools can certainly help businesses with limited resources to level the playing field. Here’s how:
Cost Effective and Increases Output: Email copywriter's fee ranges can be expensive based on the support needs, so small businesses with limited resources can easily handle their email copy initially with AI. Once the business has a sustainable budget, they should plan to hire an expert email copywriter to create more impact. In fact, with the help of AI tools, a business can compete with larger brands by multiplying content creation for their email marketing campaigns.
Increases Efficiency with Automation: By using AI tools businesses can automate certain tasks related to email copywriting/marketing like scheduling, analysis of data, A/B testing, targeted campaign creation, customer support, etc.
These activities will enable the business owner to have more available time and resources to build a good relationship with customers. AI email copywriting tools are a game changer for businesses with limited resources.
No, I would not tell my subscribers about the written details created by AI, however, I would tell my clients if I am writing email copy for them. AI writing tools provide insightful support but are currently not capable of producing human-level email copy and copywriters should not solely rely on AI to personalize the experience.
AI for me is just like a junior copy assistant where I have to train it on an extensive repository of previously written emails to get a baseline of the desired brand’s tone of voice and I have to provide well-crafted prompts. I still need to infuse human touch and thought leadership.
So my preference would be to deploy a dedicated human resource to refine the drafts to bring them up to expectations.
Yes, I think AI tools will change the face of email copywriting as we know it. AI tools have the potential to automate many of the tasks involved in email copywriting like personalizing content, optimizing subject lines, and triggering abandoned cart emails. This could further increase the email marketers time to focus on other tasks, such as building relationships with customers and developing new marketing campaigns.
To answer this question, it depends on how we’ll use it. If we use it to create super valuable & highly personalized email copy it will positively serve us and increase our productivity and revenue. But if we use it to create a lot of SPAM & irrelevant content then it surely will damage our email marketing efforts, cause inconvenience and challenges.
It’s difficult to predict the future with certainty, as all things are possible but it’s highly unlikely that AI copywriting tools will completely replace email copywriters. While AI tools can generate content quickly and efficiently, they still lack the creativity, empathy, and emotional intelligence that email copywriters bring to the table.
So, in the future, I think we will see a significant increase in the combination of email copywriters and AI tools working together to create effective marketing campaigns. AI copywriting tools will be used to automate tasks, generate content, and analyze data. Email copywriters will be used to provide creativity, empathy, personality and add the importance of the human touch. This combination of human and AI will create marketing campaigns that are more effective and engaging than ever before. Email copywriters should plan to stay up-to-date with the latest trends and developments in AI & learn how to use these tools effectively in their work, and remain competitive in an ever-changing industry of possibilities!
Senior CRM and Email Marketin Manager, Skillshare
Yes, we’re currently using two AI tools to help us with email copywriting: ChatGPT and tooling built into our ESP, Blueshift. ChatGPT has of course received a lot of attention the past few months, and we’ve found it particularly useful for initial drafting of larger batches of copy for messages due to how flexible and responsive it is to prompts and feedback. Blueshift, on the other hand, has tooling built into their template system, and it’s been valuable to create quick subject line and pre-header text variations for brainstorming and testing.
While there has been a lot of conversation about the threat AI poses to creativity, at Skillshare we believe that AI is actually a powerful tool creatives can utilize in their process. Staying up-to-date on developments in AI and how others are leveraging AI in their own work can certainly help creatives find the right balance for their own use cases. I think security and privacy should also be something people consider seriously before using AI tools, whether professionally or personally. These are exciting new technologies, but we also don’t fully understand how information entered into AI models is secured, which, depending on the copy you want to draft, could be an issue. At Skillshare, we’ve created an AI committee that reviews requests to use AI tooling so there can be a holistic discussion of the risks and benefits. This way, we’ve been able to balance experimenting with this new technology while protecting both business and user information.
Absolutely. I think AI tools can help businesses struggling with bandwidth or resourcing for email campaigns, but they also need to be realistic about how much it can impact processes or workloads. For example, while AI tools have helped me create first drafts of messages extremely quickly, editing and review is still needed to ensure copy is on-brand and accurate, and to also ensure we add the much-needed element of creativity to produce engaging work. So while it’s helped me decrease the time I spend writing, it hasn’t completely eliminated the need for that step of human review, either, which does take time and requires marketers who understand their business.
Currently, because all copy is still being further edited by staff, we are not disclosing this. However, as we potentially adopt copy in our messaging and products that leverages AI without that step, we will revisit how we disclose our usage of AI.
From my experience, feeding previous writing samples into AI models significantly improves the output. With writing samples, you’re leading with work created by humans first, which I think is invaluable in capturing the right tone for your message. The element of human creativity will always be needed in this work. As an added benefit, the writing sample is a more concrete set of information you can provide for the model to work, which will improve the results. While you can certainly describe a brand voice to AI tools, it’s harder to control how the AI synthesizes that information, ultimately. While further editing and review is required either way, I’ve found using writing samples makes that round of review go much faster.
I think it already is changing email copywriting and will continue to do so! Like many other industries, we’re discovering just the beginning of how these tools can streamline and improve the copywriting process and ultimately the copy itself. That said, I think we also have to seriously consider the negative consequences, as well. AI tools will make it easier to plagiarize and copy work from others, and AI tools still struggle to produce completely accurate content (as seen with a lawyer who used ChatGPT to write a legal brief and ended up with fake court citations). Like any new technology, ultimately, whether things change for the better or worse is up to practitioners like us. We need to make sure as an industry we use this technology responsibly and have best practices and ethics that can guide us going forward.
I don’t think AI tools will fully replace human writers and editors. First, it shouldn’t come as a surprise given I work at Skillshare that I believe there is inherent value in human creativity that ultimately impacts the final product. We’ve been creating for thousands of years, and creative works are something we all, at some level, recognize and appreciate. I think it’s also extremely difficult, if not impossible, to fully understand and capture this creative spirit. Unless AI can truly one day replicate human creativity, I think it will always be missing the piece that can make creative work truly connect and influence audiences. Second, currently AI tools are essentially synthesizing the information that’s being provided to them — someone still has to have a creative vision, prompt, or direction to feed these tools to get something that’s usable. Yes, AI tools may drastically change how email copywriters and marketers draft email content as these tools mature. However, there will remain value in having human creatives across any industry — whether email copywriters or screenwriters or designers — driving this work with the assistance of these tools. Maybe one day both of those issues go away, but until then humans absolutely have a role to play.
Senior Email Marketer, Close
I haven't found a generative AI tool that yet that writes copy in an approachable way. However, I do use Grammarly and ChatGPT to help me edit. These tools help make my copy concise and typo-free
AI copywriting tools are sparking a lot of fear around replacing professional copywriters. AI copywriting, in its current state, cannot replace strategy or real human emotion that impactful copywriting requires. There will be folks who choose AI over professional copywriting. My advice is to let them. Like all things in this world, cheaper isn't better. And many people need to learn that lesson on their own - especially with creative work.
Yes, they can attempt it. Something is better than nothing. Eventually, when resources allow for it, more investment in messaging and copywriting will be required. After all, AI copy generators require quality input for quality output. If you don't have your messaging strategy down, your output won't do you a whole lot of good.
If email copywriting was a relevant topic to my audience, I would. If not, then no.
I would rather have a human refine drafts. I hesitate to feed AI too much intellectual property. Once you do that, it ceases to be yours.
It already has. AI is an excellent writing assistant but it cannot replace the strategic and creative work a copywriter already does. Those who have experience with email copywriting have tested and experienced hundreds of iterations to know what actually moves the needle. AI can help them be more efficient at their jobs and produce more high quality work.
Someone still needs to manage AI. They need to know what to input in order to get the output they desire. I can see having humans who are AI managers. They work with AI tools to get the desired outcome an experienced copywriter needs in order to polish and refine their strategic initiatives. I think you'll see more high level strategic copywriters who know how to leverage AI to get even better outcomes for the businesses they work with.
Email Strategist & Conversion Copywriter
I use Bing and ChatGPT to get subject line suggestions, drum up shitty first drafts of email copy, and get it to suggest different versions of email copy I've written. For me, AI tools have sped up my copywriting process by shortening the blank page and shitty first draft stage.
The most pressing problem is the push towards using AI to create unique email copy (or any kind of copy) from scratch. To use AI to that level, you'll still need copywriters to give it clear instructions and then need them further so they can clarify, change, or adapt their instructions to suit the brand tone and style they want. From what I've seen, you're using the same amount of time it would take a copywriter to write an email to train your AI tool to create copy. Until we invent an AI that's at the level of Iron Man's Jarvis... there's no overcoming that challenge any time soon. Unless you hire a copywriter to train your AI and then you'll still need them to give it clear instructions every time you need some kind of copy written. From what I understand, AI doesn't have infinite memory. So even if you give it all the right instructions, it'll eventually forget and you'll have to start the process all over again. That's just time consuming. Use AI to shorten your copy creation, period. Use it as an assistant rather than the ultimate solution.
Yes. If they do it the way I described earlier. Want an abandoned cart email but can't afford to hire a copywriter? Get AI to write it, get an editor to fix it. Faster and cheaper. But it's not a permanent solution. Doing so will give you a short term edge. Use it to create long term gains so that you can hire the help you need to create emails that stand the test of time and AI.
No. Subscribers are readers. They don't care who's written the email copy. As long as the copy is on brand and relevant to the subscriber... as long as it's being sent to the right person, at the right time, with the right message... subscribers won't care. Unless the AI copy is so bad they'll use it as an example of what not to do - so be careful.
Both. Step 1 would be feeding it a limited set of the brand's best performing emails (not expansive because that'll just confuse the AI. When it comes to data, feeding the right kind - the quality of the data is more important than quantity) and then use AI to generate emails and use human resources to polish them up.
It'll get worse before it gets better, I believe. It'll be interesting to see how brands use (or abuse) AI generated copy during BFCM. If anything, getting AI to generate copy that converts takes time - and when it's crunch time during BFCM, many brands will be giving their AI tool the same kind of instructions. It'll be truly intriguing to see how similar and good or bad the emails being generated at that time are. After all, there are only so many ways you can say "Black Friday Sale" before copy starts getting repetitive.
Oh absolutely. I'm waiting for the day I get my own Jarvis!
Owner/Director, eFocus Marketing
The main tool we've using at the moment, like everyone, is ChatGPT (the free version). For us and our clients there have been 2 main ways we're currently using the tool:
1. to edit/shorten content that has already been created, helping to make it more succinct, readable and appealing to the audience where needed
2. Testing variation ideas - for subject lines, headlines, CTA button text and whole body copy sections, we're starting to test variations created by the platform, against our control version.
With the free version of ChatGPT for example, the data available only goes back to 2021, so it's not the most up to date for anything statistics led. As the user of the platform you also have to learn to get better at briefing and explaining exactly what you want, in detail, for the system to be able to work from. The great thing is, whatever you get out of the system is a starting point to work from and you can keep iterating until you have content you are happy with and suits your brand tone of voice - this means a human always needs to be involved to edit, check and confirm the outputs generated. If marketers start to rely on the system alone, the quality of the content being put out there will likely decline as time goes on.
Absolutely! Anything that helps marketers get a leg up and save time is well worth it! For me personally, I hate starting with a blank piece of paper - so the AI content generated gives a great starting point to edit from. Additionally, you can use the platform to create variations of your final content - into social media posts, alternative testing variations within your email or even images and videos to bring your content to life.
No I personally wouldn't - I don't feel it has an impact on them UNLESS we as marketers aren't properly checking the content, for example. If we can use this technology to write more personalised variations of content, faster, it will benefit subscribers.
I think there is a place for both - allowing the system to learn means that any output will improve, but in order to feed it the RIGHT information to learn from, you need a human resource to show what the expectations are. And don't forget, brands evolve and those expectations may change over time, but the system won't know that unless told that information on an ongoing basis.
Anything that helps marketers increase output without an extra burden is a good thing - especially where it means we can use this capability to understand and better communicate with our prospects and customers.
Anything is possible, but with the evolution of humans, the systems will need that new information to be input before it too can learn and adapt - the information has to come from somewhere!