Go Beyond Open Rates with Generative AI for Email Marketing Subject Lines

In a time when social media inundates us with unending advertisements and branded content, email marketing stands out as an indispensable tool for connecting with customers, personalizing content and offers for select audiences, and driving customer loyalty. But, the email marketing landscape can be just as crowded. With customers’ inboxes flooded with offers by the hour, much of the success of email marketing is tied to email marketing subject lines. That’s where Generative AI for email marketing subject lines comes in. Generative AI can optimize the process of creating effective email marketing subject lines. 

More than half of the world’s population—over 4.2 billion people—are active email users. Projections show that by the close of 2026, this number will surge beyond 4.7 billion. With over 60% of email recipients deciding to open an email based on the subject line alone, guessing what will garner opens and, most importantly, conversions is not a gamble enterprise brands can afford to take. In this post, we’ll show you how Generative AI is used to create email subject lines, the benefits of the technology, and best practices for marketers. 

What is Generative AI for email marketing subject lines?

Generative AI for email marketing subject lines refers to the art and science of creating subject lines for email marketing campaigns by using generative artificial intelligence or GenAI technology. Users will input prompts such as “30% off,’ “limited time offer”, “new arrivals for summer,” etc. in order to generate a subject line–and often email body copy too that meet the goals and messaging of the email marketing campaign. 

Think beyond open rates with Generative AI for email marketing subject lines

Though popular Generative AI tools can write conversational copy instantaneously, many of those models are simply trained to understand a prompt, and generate something that sounds like natural language. While the messaging may sound good, there is no guarantee of performance as the AI models have simply been trained on content from the entire internet. At Persado, we’ve designed a specialized form of Generative AI for digital marketers that allows them to leverage a knowledge base trained specifically on real world enterprise communications instead of the entire internet. 

Motivation AI is different from tools like Chat GPT. It knows what words and phrases will make customers take a desired action (i.e. make a purchase, complete an application, book a trip or upgrade, redeem credit card points, etc.) because it’s based on a decade’s worth of messaging performance insights from Fortune 500 brands. While open rates are a significant metric in email marketing, high open rates don’t necessarily drive revenue or ROI. 

Persado’s suite of enterprise GenAI solutions using the Motivation AI knowledge base include: 

  • Essential Motivation: A self-serve GenAI language hub for digital marketers across industries. It enables marketing and e-commerce teams to generate the highest-performing digital marketing messaging across channels including email subject lines, email body copy, SMS, website, social media, and more. 
  • Dynamic Motivation: Uses user-specific data attributes and Persado Generative AI to deliver personalized language in the online cart and across the website and email to reduce cart abandonment and convert browsers into buyers. When applied to the online shopping cart, brands typically see a 3-5% increase in e-commerce revenue.  

Persado Generative AI allows brands to optimize email subject lines for higher conversion rates. Subject lines inspire customers to take action to increase revenue that can be directly attributed back to marketing. If for some reason, brands are only interested in open rates, they can still optimize email subject line language to do so. But, Persado Motivation AI makes it possible to increase conversions, and thus revenue.  

Why brands should use AI-generated subject lines in email marketing 

Determining which language will entice your audience to convert is a vital aspect of a brand’s email marketing strategy. But unfortunately, it’s not always obvious what will work. Even experienced marketers don’t pick the highest-performing copy around 70% of the time

For example, a Persado client’s control message from a digital marketing campaign promoting a sweater sale that read, “For Fall: Select Sweaters 40% Off,” did not convert as well as the Persado AI-generated message that said, “From Us To You—30% Off.” Although the discount percentage was higher in the control message, the words did not appeal to their target audience the same way the second did. And so the customer got more conversion offering less discount – a double win!

Persado GenAI creates the highest-performing digital marketing messaging across channels including email marketing

Crucial additional benefits of machine learning and AI-generated subject lines include: 

Data crunching: AI marketing software can sift through a treasure trove of data, including past email campaigns, customer interactions, and industry trends. This enables it to identify patterns and keywords that resonate with your audience.

Real-time pattern recognition: Machine learning can pick up on patterns or changes in consumer sentiment and behavior faster than humans can. Here’s an example of how Persado Generative AI picked up on changes in consumer sentiments across customer acquisition campaigns in financial services. 

Personalization: AI isn’t only capable of creating generic copy. When you layer in machine learning it can also tailor messaging to individual audiences. By analyzing each audience’s preferences and behaviors, AI can suggest copy that will perform best. While Generative AI can only be used to come up with the message, AI models overall can understand audience preferences to language and serve the right messaging to the right person with the help of an algorithm. 

Learning and refinement: The beauty of AI is that it can continue to learn. By ingesting more data and as humans continue to refine it, over time, the AI models improve their recommendations to maximize results.

Best practices for enhancing email marketing with Generative AI

Here are some best practices for getting the most out of your email marketing strategy with Generative AI. When using Persado Motivation AI, brands can significantly improve campaign effectiveness and customer engagement as well as garner efficiency gains. 

Know your audience

Understand your target audience’s preferences, behaviors, and pain points. Generative AI can generate subject lines that resonate better when you’re specific about who the audience is. Learn more on how to optimize conversions through segment marketing

Set clear objectives

Define the specific goals of your email campaign, whether it’s sales, bookings, upgrades, sign ups, etc. This clarity will guide the AI in generating subject lines aligned with your objectives.

Embrace scalability 

Generative AI allows brands to create more copy faster than ever before. With more content available, it’s possible to market to more audiences, test out more variations, and expand different channels including email marketing. 

Leverage data insights

Take note of which AI-generated email subject lines drive the most conversions. Also, note what isn’t resonating with your audience. Change messaging and strategies based on these insights. 

Experiment with variations

If you prompt it, Generative AI can provide multiple subject line suggestions. Persado Essential Motivation provides multiple suggestions automatically and predicts which ones will perform best. Don’t hesitate to experiment with different variations and conduct A/B testing or multivariate testing to determine which ones actually perform best. 

Maintain brand consistency

Ensure that the subject lines generated by AI align with your brand’s voice and style guidelines. Consistency in messaging helps build brand recognition and trust. While Persado, for example, easily adapts to and accounts for your brand voice, other solutions do not. Also it helps to be detailed regarding brand voice. For example, when brand guidelines specify to omit certain words, AI can easily understand that. But, when brand guidelines are vague and say “brand voice should be fun and juvenile,” it’s up to humans to collaborate with AI to get the brand voice across. 

Personalize where possible

Personalization AI can significantly boost both open rates and conversions. Wherever possible, try to incorporate real-time personalization elements into the customer’s experience.

Optimize for mobile

Keep subject lines concise and attention-grabbing, as many recipients read emails on mobile devices. Ensure that subject lines are effective even on smaller screens.

Stay updated with AI advances

AI technology evolves rapidly. Stay informed about the latest advancements in AI to ensure you’re using the most effective tools and techniques.

Human collaboration

While Generative AI is a powerful tool, don’t underestimate the value of human creativity and expertise. Collaborate with AI to enhance and refine subject lines, infusing them with a human touch for a personalized and effective approach.

Motivation-aware Generative AI

Essential Motivation is the only motivation-aware self-service Generative AI solution powered by a decade’s worth of machine learning insights gathered from Fortune 500 companies. It helps brands generate the highest-performing copy across digital channels including email marketing subject lines, email body copy, SMS, website, push notifications, social media, and more all in real-time. 

Persado Essential Motivation provides Generative AI for email marketing subject lines in a self-service model

These subject lines aren’t just hunches. They’re data-driven forecasts of what will yield the best results. Brands can consistently increase marketing ROI using email marketing subject lines based on copy that has already driven conversions in the market. Predictive content can also be implemented across other digital channels and within email body copy. 

To learn how to use Generative AI designed specifically for digital marketing messaging, request a risk-free trial of Persado Motivation AI.

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