5 Ways to Supercharge Your Email Marketing with AI


It’s no secret that AI is shaping marketing this year. With the launch of ChatGPT, AI has been at the center of many of our conversations, particularly in marketing. Without even realizing it, AI is already ingrained into most of our day-to-day lives – Alexa turns on our lights, our iPhones unlock with facial recognition, our favorite shows are suggested on streaming platforms, and our GPS uses AI to calculate the best route. Now, AI is increasingly becoming an indispensable tool for marketers, and the use of AI in marketing will only continue to expand in the years to come. In fact, a fifth of executives worldwide say that AI will be critical to their job functions by 2025

When AI is mentioned for marketers today, the first thought that often comes to mind is content creation. While creating content is certainly an important use case, it’s just one of many ways marketers can use AI to their benefit, especially in email marketing. AI also takes the guesswork out of daily tasks, enhances personalization, predicts customer behavior, increases efficiency, makes data-driven decisions, gains valuable customer insights, improves campaign performance, and more. It enables us to make the most effective decisions about our campaigns in an automated way. The result? Better customer experiences. With AI, marketers can easily and quickly determine who to target, what to recommend, how to create email content, when to engage, and where to message customers – boosting campaign results and increasing efficiency.

Here are five ways you can start using AI in your email marketing strategy to maximize ROI:


1. Predictive Segmentation

Segmentation and targeting are foundational and critical counterparts to successful marketing strategy. Marketers can have an impactful message but if it isn’t reaching the right audience, well… you might as well be speaking to your audience with your mic turned off. With predictive segmentation, marketers can identify the most valuable customers to target with ease, using always-on predictive models which identify key customers based on their likelihood to perform desired actions such as conversion, engagement, churn, etc. Predictive segmentation moves your customers in and out of segments and trigger campaigns automatically, all based on real-time customer activity. By targeting the right audience, at the right moment in their individual journey, you greatly increase the likelihood that your customers will engage with your emails and convert. This is also a powerful tool for customer retention as you can identify key signals and catch customers well before they churn. 

Customer Spotlight

Online music retailer, Sweetwater, uses predictive segmentation to target customers who are ready to engage via email, but haven’t opened the email. “If you’re going to send an email to somebody, you want to send emails to people that are likely to click — and purchase,” says Jeff Ekblad, vice president of technology at Sweetwater. After utilizing this method, Sweetwater saw a 25% increase in clicks from emails. 


2. Predictive Recommendations

Whether your goal is to turn browsers into buyers, increase order value, or drive repeat purchases, success hinges on the same strategy: presenting personally-relevant product suggestions throughout the customer journey. Marketers must curate experiences to customer preferences, buying habits, and real-time intentions to facilitate and encourage purchases. With predictive recommendations, the process of matching your customers with the products and content most likely to drive the highest engagement is made easy and efficient. Pull directly from any product or content catalog to automatically incorporate recommendations into your cross-channel campaigns. Create your own custom recommendation scheme or choose from 100+ preloaded recommendation recipes for common industry use cases, such as abandoned cart, and easily add recommendations into your email creatives with the drag-and-drop editor. Recommendations adapt in real time based on customers’ current context and latest behaviors to ensure continued relevance. Providing personalized experiences and matching customers with the right products for their individual needs leads to increased engagement. In our recent benchmark report, we found that messages with AI-powered content and product recommendations yielded a 166% higher conversion rate.  

Customer Spotlight 

Rental marketplace, Zumper, has about half a million apartments live on the site at any point in time with close to 100 million users. Due to the fast nature of rental inventory, matching users to the right apartment, at the right time is key to success. Russell Middleton, Zumper co-founder, explained: “Most users need us at defined points in time so we work hard to get the right apartment in front of them at the right time.” By using personalized recommendations to help customers discover new listings, Zumper scaled leads by 384%. 


3. GenAI for Personalization

Creating compelling email content that resonates with your audience is essential for driving conversions, but it can be challenging to create content that speaks to each individual customer. It’s no secret how time consuming copywriting can be, and with GenAI, that process is made much more efficient. GenAI combines the power of Generative AI and first party data to provide marketers with an AI suggested content wizard directly in the creative studio for email, SMS, and push notifications. Marketers can now generate content in the right tone and style for each customer with a simple click. By utilizing AI for content creation, marketers can both accelerate content creation and deliver more personalized and engaging content – from getting creative ideas for catchy and engaging email subject lines and preheaders to polishing or rephrasing your current content. Generating personalized content that is tailored to each customer’s unique demographics, interests, and preferences is an invaluable tool for increasing engagement. 


4. Engage Time Optimization

With endless competition in the inbox, customers are receiving upwards of 100 emails per day. In 2021, there were an estimated 319.6 billion emails sent and received daily and that is projected to increase to 376.4 billion by 2025. To increase the chance of your messages being seen, optimize the send time for when each unique customer is most likely to engage. Engage time optimization identifies send times for each customer by analyzing past messaging activity, customer attributes, and site activity for each customer to effectively pinpoint the perfect “When”. In our 2023 Benchmark report, we found that campaigns using engage time optimization resulted in a 23% higher click-through rate and a 200% increase in conversion rate. By triggering messages at critical moments of the customer journey, at the best time for each customer, you can maximize the success of your messages. Optimizing send times with AI for downstream behaviors, rather than initial open rates, leads to more accuracy and increased conversions. 

Customer Spotlight 

Online deal sharing community, Slickdeals, uses engage time optimization to increase community engagement and send messages at the best time for their community of shoppers. “Blueshift has been key to creating automated journeys while also increasing efficiencies. We’re able to leverage predictive capabilities to identify the secret recipe for finding the right time and the right channel to send the right message” says Kristina Paulos, Sr. Director, Marketing CRM at Slickdeals. With predictive insights provided within Blueshift, Slickdeals grew its deal postings by 65%. 


5. Channel Engagement Scores

Email is reliable, cost-effective and has historically remained one of the most effective channels for marketers. But leveraging a single channel is a practice of the past; consumers today are shopping across multiple channels and devices. Consequently, it’s more important than ever to consider the other channels you have available whether that is SMS, in-app, push, direct mail, etc. As the number of channels a consumer uses continues to grow, marketers can take advantage of AI to help optimize their channel selection. Using predictive channel engagement scores ensures that email is the most effective channel for your message and for your customer. Channel engagement scores help marketers autonomously select which channel is best by predicting the likelihood of a user engaging with a message on each channel. Creating a seamless experience across all interactions and channels is critical as it not only enables you to create the best customer experience but be present when a customer is ready to engage. When customers are messaged on the most optimal channel with highly engaging and relevant messages, they’re more likely to interact with your brand.


If you haven’t started using AI in your email strategy, now is the time. AI has the power to transform your email marketing campaigns, helping you reach the right customers with the right message at the right time. After all, consumers today expect their interactions with various brands to be personalized, contextually relevant and responsive to their behaviors. Marketers must anticipate customer interests and intentions, and decide on the next-best action—and AI is the only way to do both. By using AI for email marketing, marketers can maximize efficiency and ROI while delivering better customer experiences. 

Want to learn how customers in your industry are using Blueshift’s AI-powered platform to automate relevant, timely cross-channel experiences? Download our 2023 Benchmark Report here.