Artificial intelligence and email writing

Have you ever stared at your full email inbox and wished you could wave a magic wand to write a reply to each one? While that future has not yet arrived, artificial intelligence is already making its mark on some aspects of email writing.
Robot hands typing on computer keyboard
How do you write better emails with artificial intelligence?
Find out how AI is becoming an increasingly commonplace tool in the email writing process.

What is meant by artificial intelligence?

Artificial intelligence (AI) has been a buzzword for the past few years, not only in fields where you’d expect to find it, like robotics, but also in areas like education and healthcare. To put it simply, AI is when computer systems are used to simulate human intelligence, thinking, and behavior to perform tasks or solve problems. For example, your email spam filter uses AI to filter out spam messages based on certain data and patterns, and is able to “learn” what kind of mails are considered spam. This machine learning is made possible by the computer systems using algorithms to analyze data and recognize patterns. And in recent years great strides have been made in a kind of machine learning called deep learning, with is based on artificial neural networks that imitate those of a human brain.

AI writing – the future is now!

In 2020 a new AI writing technology known as GPT-3 was unveiled by OpenAI, an artificial intelligence research institute. GPT-3 caused a minor online sensation as it was revealed that it could create advertising copy, blog posts and short fiction pieces that often couldn’t be distinguished from texts written by humans. And it was only a matter of time before companies starting harnessing GPT-3 to automate certain tasks – including drafting work email.
Known as AI writers, such tools can take several bullet points, like:
  • thanks
  • project going well
  • call u Tues 10 am or later
  • OK?
and use them to automatically draft an email reading: “Thanks for reaching out! We are making good progress on the project and I’d love to find a time to fill you on the details. I suggest a call on Tuesday at 10 or later. Let me know what works for you. Best regards… “

Pretty cool, but is it really useful? You could imagine a tool like this saving a few minutes of time as you tackle that full inbox, but it’s hardly a gamechanger. However, AI writers are growing in popularity in a specific field: email marketing. It takes a lot of work to create and write the copy for an entire campaign, including initial outreach and all the necessary email follow-up. For people whose entire job revolves around writing emails, AI can be the key to greater productivity.

Five ways AI can help improve emailing

Create personalized emails

AI can be used to integrate data from sources all over the internet. So it can be used, for example, to automatically write a personalized email opening for a cold email based on the recipient’s business email address and social media or LinkedIn profiles.

Help you remember things

AI can analyze an email and make recommendations based on the content. So it can be used to suggest and send reminders for follow-up appointments, for example. Or if your message contains the words “attach” or “attachment”, it can warn you before you send it off without the attachments.

Improve your email writing

Well known spelling- and grammar-checking programs like Grammarly have now enhanced their  apps to provide suggestions to improve the tone and professionalism of your emails or other texts.

Classify emails

For companies whose employees engage directly with customers via email, like customer service representatives, AI technology can be used to evaluate and identify the intent of customer emails. This can be used to categorize the messages, prioritize them and forward them automatically to the right person.

Checking the spam score of outgoing mails

Some platforms used by email marketers can evaluate mails before they are sent to see how likely they are to be blocked as spam. Some tools even check the email as it is being drafted and highlight issues that increase its “spamminess”.

Can I already use artificial intelligence to improve my emails?

AI email writing tools aimed at email marketing are becoming more widely available and affordable. In 2021, the monthly prices of AI writers ranged from US$25 to US$99 for a certain number of lines or words of email sales or marketing text – and some had free plans as well. And as mentioned above, AI is also being integrated into all sorts of email programs and grammar apps to help you write more professional emails. Given the rapid advances in AI technology, AI writing is certain to become increasingly accessible.
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