For many marketers, email is the channel that delivers the highest ROI. But what if it could perform even better?

SwissCognitiveAverage open rates for email hover around 21 percent and click-through rates are a respectable 2.6 percent. The Data and Marketing Association says email offers the best ROI of any marketing channel and the lowest cost-per-acquisition, at $10.32.

What’s most encouraging about those figures is they describe an industry that is just at the dawn of an artificial intelligence-based revolution. By employing machine learning to every aspect of email communication, marketers can ensure their messages reach the right consumers at the right time with resonant messages.

Currently, use of artificial intelligence to segment and personalize messaging has boosted click-through rates by an average of 14 percent . And segmentation is just the beginning. Artificial intelligence can also be employed to create eye-catching subject lines, copy and calls to action that move the reader down the purchase funnel.

Subject lines that stand out

Unless your email list is less than 100, the reality is that personalizing is too hard for humans to accomplish.

The average office worker now gets 121 emails a day. Even if your communication is fortunate enough to escape the spam filter, the odds are against you. However, you can improve your chances by tapping machine learning. Some artificial intelligence-based email systems, for instance, can predict how likely your subject line is to get a response and even flag it for being too rude.

These systems can also ensure that subject lines are brand-compliant. Without machine intervention, creating and approving subject lines can take weeks. Automation can significantly cut down on those times. Research also shows that open rates can vary greatly based on the subject line. Adding the word “alert,” for instance, boosts rates by 61.8 percent. Of course, if you use that trick too often it will undermine credibility. But artificial intelligence can help craft subject lines that attract attention without eroding trust.

Copy that persuades

Marketing has successfully progressed once a consumer opens an email. But what good is an email that doesn’t persuade the reader to do anything? What works best is lively body copy that doesn’t waste the reader’s time and engages the reader in a style that suits him or her specifically (that might be no-nonsense, chatty, etc., depending on the recipient).

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With artificial intelligence, marketers can figure out which style to use with tools that analyze a particular recipient’s social media and web activity unique to that consumer. For instance, an artificial intelligence system might identify one target consumer as a high achiever and recommend words like “absolutely” or “done.” […]