It’s no secret that consumers are less than fully onboard with the concept of AI, much less its application in marketing efforts. Email marketing has made particularly good use of the developing technology, but in spite of no strongly negative results, studies still indicate that consumers feel a pronounced wariness towards brands that openly use AI to interact with them. Site Impact has been studying the issue, and we think that the best method for brands who know the benefits of AI to keep consumers happy with it is to incorporate a personal touch.
Of course, there’s no reason not to be up front about what you’re brand is doing if you’re asked about it; but studies indicate that consumers are more wary of the idea of AI than the actual fact of it. According to a study by Pegasystems, Inc., only 40% of consumers polled felt that artificial intelligence could or did improve customer service, and only 30% felt comfortable with businesses using AI to interact with them. That exists in stark contrast with studies illustrating that brands who use AI proficiently in email marketing tend to get better results than those who don’t incorporate the tech at all. The important factor is for consumers to not realize or immediately recognize that they’re dealing with a system informed by or using AI. When consumers interact with AI-enhanced systems without knowing that they’re doing so, they feel much more comfortable.
The key to making AI work for email marketing is to lean into personalization, increasing the one-on-one feeling. AI surprisingly is very good at this and getting better, since AI systems can be taught the buying histories of many different customers, the demographics, and other details to serve up options like buying guides, suggested next purchases, and more. Many consumers don’t realize that these types of emails are even possible for AI-enhanced systems--and that lack of awareness can help get over the wariness. Site Impact is still working on systems to incorporate AI into our own platform, with an eye to eventually offering options with that enhancement to our clients, precisely because AI can take so much of the guesswork out of the most difficult parts of email marketing.
When it comes to AI in email marketing, consumers have good reasons to feel a certain amount of wariness. Early AI uses in marketing and other venues have given people a bad taste, and newer developments in the field haven’t been as publicized. By using AI enhancements to increase your personalization efforts, either with shopping and buying guides or other tailor-made content, you can develop new strategies and target consumers with high value offers that are more likely to convert. You can use the systems to make it easier to keep in touch with your prospects and repeat customers alike, and forge a deeper relationship, no matter what size your business is. Contact Site Impact to learn what we think about AI and how we’re keeping track of the developments in the field to eventually bring it in to help our clients.