Can you use AI for email marketing? Everyone is talking about ChatGPT at the moment. Unless you live under a rock, you'll have seen or heard something about AI or even tried it yourself. So can tools such as ChatGPT help with your email copywriting?
Let's dive into all this!
SOME EPISODE HIGHLIGHTS:
(0:48) Join our FREE Facebook Group.
(5:55) Should you use AI software like ChatGPT for email?
(9:29) Can this new AI software create stories for your emails?
(16:04) Where could you use AI for your email marketing?
(21:04) What is the best AI email marketing copywriter?
(24:25) What are the drawbacks of using AI email marketing software?
(26:35) What happens when you combine our powerful email templates with AI?
(28:01) Writing your own emails makes you a better marketer.
(29:48) Only you can craft better messaging for your marketing.
(33:32) Subject line of the week.
Last year we did a podcast episode about AI called Write Emails Using Artificial Intelligence (AI). But AI is such a hot topic right now that it felt it needed revisiting.
Are emails written by AI 'good enough'? The fact they're written by a computer is great, yes. Only a few years ago, the thought of this happening would have been ludicrous. But now these things are possible, and that's amazing.
The real question is - if you'd paid an email marketing agency to write an email for you, and you got something along the lines of what you get from an AI tool, would you be happy?
The answer is no.
Because it's amazing that a computer can take a prompt and write an email for you that not only makes sense but also covers the topic appropriately. But is it as good as what a human could write? Is it as good as what an agency could produce? Or even as good as something that you could write yourself with our teachings and frameworks? No.
To borrow an expression from our friend Jon Benson, when you read an email out loud that was written by AI, it's a bit like hearing the radio announcer's voice in your head. You know that tone - it sounds artificial. And humans connect with other humans. They connect with your personality. So as soon as you put AI in the mix, you're taking that humanity away. And that's a big loss.
We’re not saying AI has no place in marketing – it’s actually extremely useful. But can it create the stories we include in our emails? A lot of our approach is based on storytelling because stories are compelling and persuasive. And yes, AI can help you find stories.
In fact, Rob did a little experiment and asked ChatGPT to come up with a story that happened to him that day that he could tell his friends down the pub. And when the software started typing about elephants dancing in the streets, Rob had to stop it. The tool was writing a dream. So Rob asked the tool to try again, but this time to make the story believable. It had to be something that could happen in real life, be logical, and follow the laws of physics and nature.
In the end, the tool came up with the story about Rob seeing a cat in the street. Initially, the cat seemed a bit shy and cautious. But then Rob found something in his pocket and fed the cat, and the cat became friendlier. All good here.
Then Rob asked the tool to relate that story to a lesson about email marketing. And sure enough, the tool came back very quickly saying that the story about the cat was a bit like building relationships with your subscribers. When they first come into your world, they’re going to be cynical and skeptical because they don’t quite know what to make of you. But over time, by delivering value, rewarding them, and treating them well (like Rob did with the cat) you nurture the relationship. And, just like the cat, your subscribers become more trusting.
So the tool did it! It created a story that could work. However, if you ask AI to create stories for you, they're not going to be true. This story was realistic, but it didn’t really happen to Rob!
And for us, the real superpower of great marketing is that it’s founded in truth. When people come up to us at events and mention things we’ve said or shared, we don’t have to scrap our heads trying to remember. Because what we say isn't made up or fictional - it's real! And we make sure that what we share is always real because we want to build trust.
So, as more and more people use tools such as ChatGPT or Jasper, you have a real opportunity to stand out by telling stories that are real. Plus, your individual style is also unique and something that will stand out over anything AI-generated. A piece of software can write your stories for you, but by writing them yourself (and ensuring they're true) you can stand out both through content and style.
With that said, there are a few places where you could use email marketing.
AI could be useful in helping you come up with subject lines. We don’t necessarily recommend that you start doing this. But if you wanted, you could copy and paste your emails into the platform and ask it to generate a few subject line ideas for you.
There's a problem with that though. ChatGPT (or other AI tools) haven't studied our Subject Lines That Drive Sales course. And that teaches you a different approach to creating subject lines. For us, it's not about pulling out the benefits of what you're selling - that's what everyone else seems to be doing. And most of the time, AI software is going to come up with benefit-driven, very linear subject lines that won't use the techniques we recommend, such as compound curiosity. But if you were really stuck, you could use AI for this purpose.
You could also use AI to come up with prompt ideas for the stories you want to share in your emails. To be fair, it might take you longer to work out what prompts to type into the tool to get the story you want than to use one of the story generator shortcuts we created. But it's an option.
Or, you could put the bare basics of an idea or your first draft into the tool, and ask it to re-write the story for you in a different style. You may want it casual, fun, and upbeat, for example. If you don't consider yourself a confident writer, this could help.
You could also do what Rob did. You could come up with a story, and ask the tool to relate it to a lesson about what you sell. It might not be in your exact style (so you then have to edit it), but the tool could help you build that bridge between the story and the lesson.
Another option is to have AI software write your transactional emails for you, such as the email that sends out the login information for your course, for example. Those emails are important, but they often fall to the bottom of your priority list because you have other more pressing emails to write - the ones that get you sales! So you could ask an AI tool to re-write some of your more transactional emails in a more interesting and inspiring way, for example.
When it comes to choosing the best AI tool to use, we can think of 3 main players in the email copywriting space:
There are definitely others, but these are the main ones. The first thing you want to consider when choosing one is what they’re powered by. And in reality, they're all powered by the same thing but interfaced differently.
They all have training and information fed to them, so you want to take that into account. Have they been taught email marketing techniques? We don’t know much about the direct response digital marketing training that ChatGPT has had, for example. But Jasper claims to have read 10% of the Internet. And it also has some frameworks specifically for headline structures, Facebook ads, and blog articles. When it launched, it definitely had a very content-heavy approach (rather than a marketing-heavy one), but it seems more balanced now.
If you think about what we do, for example, a Rob-and-Kennedy subject line is very different from what's considered a good subject line in traditional copywriting. We know that our technique works, and that’s not to say others don’t, but AI can’t replicate the way we do things. And that means you'll have different results based on the techniques that are being used, where the inspiration is pulled from, and how it’s worded, structured, or written.
If you use AI to write your emails, you might find they all sound the same - like they've been written by a radio announcer. When we write our emails, we type as we speak. And that's why this idea of subvocalisation kicks in - when people read our emails, they hear our voices in their heads. And they can't do that if your emails are written by AI email marketing software.
Plus, if you're not telling true stories (because you're using AI to generate them), you'll find it harder to create rapport. You may have AI write a story for you today that's all about you being vegan, and in a few weeks, they might start talking about steak! This is an extreme example of two contradicting stories, but it's easily done if you send out stories that aren't true.
And let's not forget that what you get out of these tools cannot be the final version of your email. It will need editing, and you'll have to add your own features or spin to it. The prompts will need maneuvering so they feel like you, and the AI-generated stories (while they might be good enough) will need tweaking.
Another drawback is that ChatGPT and the other AI tools can't write anything that's strategic. You'll only ever have individual emails - not campaigns of emails that are chained together to build a marketing argument that moves people from point A to point B and creates a desire for what you sell. Even if a tool could write a sequence of emails to help you sell something, they'd be standalone emails in a row, rather than emails that were strategically created to build on each other.
Inside our membership The League, we release a lot of email templates and campaigns. So how can you use AI in conjunction with what we teach?
As we said earlier, you could use AI to rewrite stories for you. For example, if one of our templates recommends you write a story about something funny that happened when you were a child, you might jot down a vague story and then ask AI to write it in a more interesting way.
Or you could ask AI software to articulate something you’re struggling with or find a new way of saying something. For example, on the last day of a launch or promotional campaign, we’ll send out 3 emails. There are reasons why we send those emails, but they also all say that the offer expires today. So you could use AI to come up with 3 interesting ways of telling your subscribers that your offer is closing tonight, for example. Just remember that once you have the ideas, you might need to tweak them and add your personality and style.
Overall, we’re not saying you can’t use AI. It definitely has its place, and a lot of people are using AI to help with their marketing, whether it's email marketing, content, or sales pages. AI is worth monitoring, but is it going to become your email marketing solution any time soon? No.
And honestly, writing emails ourselves day in and day out has helped us not just to make sales but also to get a better grip on our messaging. Because the truth is that the further away you move from regularly doing something (including talking about your business), the rustier you become.
We talk about email marketing all day long, and that’s helped up create frameworks, ideas, analogies, and metaphors. The more emails you write, the more you get to understand and refine your messaging. By sending out emails regularly, you get to see what people resonate the most with. As you pay attention to that, you get to come up with new ways to sell the same thing and appeal to different people. And by doing that regularly, you'll eventually find something that appeals to most people. And that's what you'll roll out more of.
Every time you write something, it gives you more clarity and understanding about what you do and what it means to others. The more ideas you come up with, the deeper you go into your messaging and come up with angles that are interesting and unique.
And when you eventually land on something that gets you a great response and resonates differently with people - it could be a turn of phrase, a way of describing something, or a metaphor - you'll want to capitalise on it. You'll want to take that thing outside of email marketing and also use it in your sales pages, your webinars, your videos, etc.
But you can only do that if you get to experiment every single day on how to craft messages for your marketing. This doesn't work if all you're doing is pressing a button and getting AI to write for you. Take Rob, for example - he has to come up with a new way of writing about our membership The League every single day. And because of that, he's more experienced that anyone who's not doing the same in their own business.
So use AI for inspiration or to rewrite ideas - it's fun. But The League was created pre-AI so you always know what to say, who to say it to, when to send it, and how to send it without having to ask a computer to do it. Because remember that they don't have context, thinking, or strategy! So go and check out The League.
This week’s subject line is “Cancel the flights!”. The sentence was designed to be reminiscent of the tone that a big, busy business executive in a film would assume when talking to their assistant. The email had a story about an event we’re speaking at and promoting, and the message was about getting your tickets for the events right now (and worry about the logistics later). Pretty cool, right?
Write Emails Using Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Get Your Emails Opened Using NLP – With Jon Benson.
Advanced Psychology: Using Compound Curiosity.
If you want to write better emails, come up with better content, and move your readers to click and buy, here's how. We put together this list of our Top 10 most highly recommended books that will improve all areas of your email marketing (including some underground treasures that we happened upon, which have been game-changing for us). Grab your FREE list here.
If you want to chat about how you can maximise the value of your email list and make more money from every subscriber, we can help! We know your business is different, so come and hang out in our FREE Facebook group, the Email Marketing Show Community for Course Creators and Coaches. We share a lot of training and resources, and you can talk about what you're up to.
This week's episode is sponsored by ResponseSuite.com, the survey quiz and application form tool that we created specifically for small businesses like you to integrate with your marketing systems to segment your subscribers and make more sales. Try it out for 14 days for just $1.
Not sick of us yet? Every day we hang out in our amazing community of Email Marketing Heroes. We share all of our training and campaigns and a whole bunch of other stuff. If you're looking to learn how to use psychology-driven marketing to level up your email campaigns, come and check out The League Membership. It's the number one place to hang out and grow your email marketing. Best news yet? You can apply everything we talk about in this show.
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