Are Your AI Marketing Tools Built for 1:1 Personalization at Scale?

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Published on
May 6, 2024
Written by
Kayla Ellman
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Is your marketing platform built to deliver hyper-personalization? Look for these eight key features and capabilities. 

Consumers expect personalization from brands. That certainly isn't new information. But most personalized experiences are still fairly static in nature, because they have to be created manually. 

First name macros. Predefined segments. Rules-based automation. And even though marketers are embracing AI with open arms—and understand its potential for one-on-one personalization—they still need access to the right AI tools to fully achieve it.

That's where using an AI marketing platform that's built to deliver truly individualized experiences for every customer can make a huge difference. 

Whether you’re evaluating if your current provider has what it takes to make your one-on-one marketing dreams a reality (at the very least, it should have AI on their roadmap), or you’re looking to get started with your first AI marketing platform, this guide is for you. It covers everything you need to know and look for to make an informed decision.

What is an AI marketing platform?

AI marketing platforms are purpose-built to help you achieve increasingly better results while maximizing your time and resources. They use advanced technologies like machine learning and natural language processing to streamline your workflows and optimize your strategies. But the real value lies in their capacity for one-on-one personalization

Think: Identifying and targeting more accurate audience segments in real time. Customizing content and message send times on an individual level. Predicting the unique behaviors of every customer to hyper-personalize their experiences.

However, it's important to note that not all AI marketing platforms are created equal. You need an enterprise-grade solution that invests in retraining their models to analyze massive amounts of data and recognize intricate patterns. That commitment to continuous improvement is ultimately what ensures that you get the best performance and results. 

8 essential personalization features for your AI marketing platform

1. Sophisticated AI model(s)

AI models are only as good as the data they're trained on. The quality, quantity, diversity, and relevance of the data all have an impact on the output. So when you're evaluating whether an AI marketing platform is built for personalization, take all those factors into consideration.

Having a large volume of high-quality data allows AI models to generate more accurate predictions and insights by learning from a wide range of examples. The sources of the data should also reflect real-world scenarios and customer behaviors that are relevant to your industry and use cases (vs. simulated data).

Attentive AI™ is trained on over two trillion data points and 90 billion messages across more than 70 verticals. We also layer in learnings from your brand's email and SMS program (e.g., message history, performance, subscriber information) to make sure every output is informed by and tailored to your individual goals and needs.

It's a sophisticated model that's helped our customers achieve 120% more clicks, 117% more purchases, and 115% more revenue.

AI Journeys, for example, helps you go beyond batch and blast triggered messages to achieve the highest possible engagement. It combines generative and predictive AI to make sure that no two triggered messages are the same. Each one is automatically personalized in real time for individual subscribers, including the content, send-time, product recommendations, and offers. 

The big differentiation that I believe Attentive’s approach has, versus anything else we've seen out there, is they’re the only ones trying to apply AI to literally do one-on-one personalized messaging. In terms of a journey, that means if we have 100,000 people come through our welcome series text, that's 100,000 unique one-to-one messages you're going to generate and send.

-  David Cost, VP of Digital and E-Commerce at Rainbow 

To assess this, ask: Can you provide results, benchmarks, case studies, or any other relevant information about your AI model's performance? What impact can we expect to see on key marketing metrics? 

2. Content generation capabilities

As a marketer, you've likely had moments when your creative energy is running low and your bandwidth is stretched thin. One of the biggest benefits of having generative AI capabilities at your fingertips is being able to work through those moments and still come up with relevant and engaging copy for your email and SMS campaigns. 

Your AI marketing platform should have models that can learn, synthesize, and apply your brand's unique "voice" to suggestions for email subject lines and message copy, with the goal of boosting performance. 

Attentive AI™ Copy Assistant

Attentive's Copy Assistant speeds up the creative process by essentially drafting a bunch of ideas for you to work from. The tool has made writing copy both easier and faster for our customers. Over 80% of them are sending messages crafted with the help of our Copy Assistant, and it's saving them 50% more time in the process. They’re also seeing more conversions from AI-generated retargeting campaigns that nudge subscribers based on their engagement in real time.

To assess this, ask: How can your platform help us optimize our content and streamline the process of creating it using AI?

3. Predictive targeting capabilities

Of course, coming up with great marketing copy is only one piece of the performance puzzle. The other is making sure you’re sending messages to the right people, at the right time, and through the most effective channels.

Basic customer segmentation and following send-time best practices can achieve this to some extent. But without predictive targeting capabilities, you’re still targeting groups of people rather than individuals.

Predictive AI can spot data patterns and make correlations faster and with more accuracy than humans can, so you're actually operating with individualized insights. 

An image of a mobile phone with a text message on it. Each part of the message is labeled to illustrate the use of data in making it more personalized.

Instead of sending campaigns to groups of customers who've bought similar products in the past, predictive AI can anticipate what each subscriber might want or need in the future. And then it can proactively recommend products that they're likely to purchase.

Instead of only focusing on subscribers who've clicked in the last 30 days, predictive AI can identify individual subscribers who're likely to convert, even if they aren't in your predefined "engaged" segment.

Our AI Pro tool set includes four features that help you optimize every aspect of your emails and text messages:

  • Audiences AI dynamically adjusts your target audience, adding in high-intent subscribers that you've missed and removing those unlikely to purchase. 
  • Identity AI recognizes more of your website visitors, enabling you to trigger more highly relevant messages. 
  • Send Time AI makes sure every message is delivered at the perfect time by sending them when each individual subscriber is most likely to convert. 
  • Brand Voice AI uses your past messages to write copy in your brand voice, and it gives you the ability to fine-tune it as needed. 
Attentive AI™ Product Suite: AI Pro

To assess this, ask: What kind of suggestions can your AI model make to enhance our marketing strategies and performance? How seamlessly do your platform’s predictive capabilities fit into existing workflows?

4. Automated conversations capabilities

When customers reach out to you with questions or feedback, they expect you to get back to them almost instantly, especially if their purchasing decision hinges on your response. 

Not replying quickly could be the difference between a conversion and lost revenue for your brand. So your marketing platform should be equipped with AI capabilities to help you prioritize and respond to each message in the right way, and in a timely fashion. 

That means it needs to have intelligent AI models that can:

  • Accurately decide which messages should be handled by AI and which ones should go to a real person on your CX team.
  • Classify messages based on their intent, urgency, and need. 
  • Analyze data from various sources to craft a personalized reply with the most relevant information. 
  • Handle complete back-and-forth conversations with subscribers, guiding them toward making a purchase by answering their questions or resolving their issue successfully. 
Example of an Attentive Concierge™ interaction powered by Attentive AI™ from Hot Topic
I’m always checking out the conversations inbox in our Attentive account and I see that our customers want to engage with SMS like they would their friends or family. We’ve sent browse abandonment messages and gotten replies saying, ‘Yeah, but you don’t have my size.’ It’s been a game-changer to see the AI messages overcome that problem by suggesting a store nearby or recommending another shirt that’s available in their size.

- Faith Bukauskas, Email Marketing Manager at Hot Topic

Concierge, powered by Attentive AI, and AI Journeys both offer these capabilities directly within the platform. Our learning engine is designed to understand your brand standards and the intent behind every incoming message, so it can provide immediate responses that are both accurate and sound like you. These interactions are hyper-personalized, with the AI taking each customer's preferences and past behavior into account when replying in context.

Ultimately, what this does is expand your capacity to provide support via SMS, while improving response times and freeing up your team to handle more complex scenarios. 

To assess this, ask: Is your AI technology capable of handling incoming messages or questions from our customers and providing appropriate responses?

5. Data privacy and security 

When it comes to using AI for personalization, you have to be comfortable with your data being used, at least to some extent, to create the kind of individualized experiences we've been talking about. So choosing a platform with robust data governance and advanced security measures in place to safeguard sensitive information has to be a top consideration. 

At Attentive, we’re investing heavily in AI development, and we want our customers to have peace of mind about the protection of their data. 

We use aggregated learnings to train our models and create anonymized insights that help us refine our best practices. We regularly scan our systems for vulnerabilities, so we can address any issues that come up promptly. We educate our team on cybersecurity best practices to make sure that everyone is well-informed about potential risks and how to mitigate them. We also require multi-factor authentication (MFA) for an added layer of account security.

To assess this, ask: What measures do you have in place to protect the data used to train your AI models?

6. Technical support and training

The beauty of an AI marketing platform is that the AI features are readily available and easily accessible within the interface. There’s no need to onboard separate AI tools or systems. Even so, most advanced technologies have a learning curve—and that’s especially true for AI’s role in marketing, which is still being defined. 

Your vendor should offer support and training to help you get the most out of their AI features and functionalities, and in particular, guidance on how they fit into your existing workflows. 

Our AI tools are fully integrated into our platform, slotting seamlessly into the campaign and journey-building experience you’re already familiar with. And we have a team of experts who'll walk you through implementing them in your larger marketing strategy, running tests, and optimizing your results.

To assess this, ask: What level of support and training do you provide to make sure we can use your tools effectively?

7. Proven results from customers  

Before choosing an AI marketing platform, make sure it has a proven track record of delivering results for a brand like yours. Look for—or better yet, explicitly ask for—case studies and testimonials that dig into the value current customers are getting from the platform, as well as success metrics like boosted revenue and engagement rates from improved personalization. 

Our Copy Assistant has been a game-changer for Emma Sleep, with the AI-generated copy outperforming in-house copy in A/B tests. They saw a 3% lift in CTRs, a 26% lift in CVRs, and a 20% lift in revenue when comparing the two. 

Our biggest surprise in launching SMS so far has been the results of our A/B test with Attentive’s AI Copy Assistant. This is an area we want to explore and test more as it can save our team a lot of time in producing campaigns, while also improving their efficacy.

- Danilo Dos Santos Mota, Junior Marketing Manager at Emma Sleep

Boston Proper uses Send Time AI to identify the perfect time to send a message to each individual subscriber. In one recent campaign comparing Send Time AI against a set send time, Boston Proper saw a 13% increase in CTR, a 10% increase in CVR, and a 10% increase in revenue per message. 

Initial assumptions about optimal messaging times for our subscribers were debunked by Send Time AI, leading to a highly successful adjustment in strategy.

- Gina Yanakieva, Marketing Manager at Boston Proper

To assess this, ask: What kind of results have your customers seen from using your AI tools? Can you share any case studies or success stories

8. Feedback and innovation

AI has made the possibility of one-on-one personalized messaging a reality. But in the grand scheme of things, marketers are just scratching the surface of AI's potential. You want a partner that's committed to staying ahead of the curve and delivering a solution that can meet your evolving needs. 

Ask potential vendors how they incorporate user feedback into their product development cycles and what kind of visibility you’ll get into their roadmap. 

At Attentive, we do extensive customer testing before bringing new products to market. We highly value customer input and take a collaborative approach to new feature development—because we want to make sure we're getting it right from the start. 

Our customers have played a pivotal role in shaping the growth of our platform by openly sharing their pain points, feature requests, and more with us. And these quick feedback cycles allow us to continue innovating while making sure we're actively addressing their wants and needs. 

To assess this, ask: How do you involve your customers in the product development process?

Ready to achieve a new level of hyper-personalization with AI? Learn what you can do with Attentive AI and join the waitlist. 

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