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Can AI substitute digital content in email marketing? Myth or sad truth?

8 min read
by Alena Parfisenko
If you’ve heard about AI and how it has rapidly grown over the past decade, the chances are - you may have already heard how easy it is to create digital content within a few keywords. Imagine thousands of arts, limitless variations, and creative approaches you can leverage in your marketing strategy.
However, more AI algorithms are growing. The more people start to worry whether an algorithm can undoubtedly help them in any marketing activities. Moreover, some wonder whether so-called” intelligent machines” will take over their working space. So just how much real potential does an AI has in the existing marketing space?
Let’s start breaking down the myths and look at the actual value of AI art generators and how you can utilize them in an email marketing strategy.

How does AI art generation work?

The most exciting and secret (at first glance) section of any AI art generator is the algorithm’s operational structure or, simply speaking, “How does the damn thing work?”.
An AI algorithm will not follow the rules to illustrate a specific art or an image to create an AI art. But instead, it will “learn” a distinctive aesthetic style or a design by analyzing hundreds and thousands of images by the time a request comes in. The algorithm then tries to generate new images per the aesthetics it has learned and according to the text prompt it has been given.
And different tools utilize different models of “learning.” Here are the most commonly used ones.
General Adversarial Network (GAN)
This particular art generation approach is made of two components: the generator and the compiler. The first one tries to produce original images, while the second contains a database of many images and "discriminates" whether the generator’s work is truly unique. The two communicate, with the generator trying to outsmart the discriminator. DALLE-E 2 typically utilizes this approach.
Convolutional neural networks (CNN)
If you’ve been in the darkness for too long, your brain will slowly start to see different patterns, outlines, and other details. Google’s DeepDream does precisely that: it finds and enhances patterns, producing psychedelic images. Unless you code it yourself, the patterns are dictated by what the creator trained the AI with.
Neural style transfer (NST)
Neural style transfer or NST is an image stylization approach. You upload an original image of your own and turn one input image into the style of another. You could enter a photo of yourself and receive an output image of you in the style of Pablo Picasso.
Stable diffusion
That is a relatively new approach that Midjorney utilizes. It is used to generate detailed images conditioned on text descriptions. However, it can also be applied to tasks such as inpainting, outpainting, and generating image-to-image translations guided by a text prompt.

What are the leading AI art generation platforms?

Currently, the AI art market has more than 40 tools, platforms, and standalone applications that can generate images or pieces of art in a matter of seconds. However, as time passed, some platforms became more distinguished from the rest. Below are the top three best AI creative tools that can match your “best AI platforms for beautiful arts” in Google search
MidJourney is by far the most popular AI art generator. You can easily access this tool by creating an account in Discord and joining the Midjourney channel. Once you get in, you won’t be able to stop yourself from making tons of stunning and incredible digital art.
MidJourney is the only tool in this list that has won an art competition by beating real artists. The detail and quality of all generated images are something you haven’t seen. It’s not your traditional “I can generate art with AI” software. Instead, it is able to create imagery that is impossible to tell whether a person or an AI made it.
Currently, Midjoruney allows 25 free images for all first-time users. You can quickly start generating images with a Discord command and a text prompt. All you need to do is give a small text.
DALL-E or DALL-E 2 is an AI image generator developed by OpenAI. You can create highly realistic images with AI in just a few minutes. It is showing incredible potential. According to OpenAI, the tool can be used to create illustrations, design products, and generate new ideas for business.
DALL-E 2’s easy-to-use interface allows anyone to create high-quality images with AI. That means professional artists will find value in DALL-E 2, and amateur artists can also use the tool.
One of the best tools offered by DALL-E 2 is its paintbrush, which enables you to add details like shadows, highlights, and more to your image. Tools like the paintbrush allow you to create complex images with multiple layers, each customized with its properties.
NightCafe is one of the big names in the world of AI art generators. It’s known for having more algorithms and options than other generators, but it’s also straightforward for novice users. NightCafe is based on a credit system, but it has a generous free tier and plenty of options to “earn” credits by participating in the community.

Is it true that an AI can fully delegate a designer's work?

Well, it is both yes and no. There is much to consider when one wants to use an AI for marketing purposes instead of a human designer.
You may be wrong if you think this move will save some money in your pocket as you need a skilled or right person who can correctly give the right text prompt to generate the right digital content. Furthermore, all AI platforms (including DALL-E, Midjorney, and NightCafe) are not free, and paywalls once you cross the free pass they initially offer.
On the other hand, AI platforms are steadily gaining more popularity among email marketers. AI can help them frame email marketing strategies more appropriately as the tool can analyze big data efficiently and much faster than a human brain does.
In our opinion, the effectiveness of AI art is rapidly growing, as the algorithms are beginning to learn and analyze more data. Perhaps in the future, a hundred years from now, we may see whether it can fully delegate a designer's work. Right now, we consider AI a powerful and magnificent addition to the marketing department.

For a concept that may take a week for a designer to fully discuss and create, a machine with the right set of keywords can develop 20 alternative designs in a mere minutes. That’s just how big the potential is for AI image generators. These are a few of the concerns that a designer could harbor. It’s hard to be a skilled human these days with the rise of machines and algorithms.
The AI digital content can raise your audience engagement, demonstrate creativity and bring positive emotions to your customers. However, the AI algorithm is still far from perfect. Not to mention that any email has closely stuck to the brand guidelines of one company.
Our piece of advice: try to use it in your company and track how your marketing strategy will perform, combine it with your designer, and experiment.

Does the Fashion industry use AI for marketing purposes?

The fashion industry has begun to employ artificial intelligence to radically alter how firms make, market, and sell their items. AI not only simplifies the marketing and selling of goods at a time when brands are seeking new, more effective ways to generate demand for their products, but it also improves the sales system and the sales process through intelligent automation, as well as enhancing the shopping experiences of consumers.
Several premium brands, including Dior, Macy's, Nike, and Nordstrom, use artificial intelligence to increase sales, promote products, and improve the consumer experience. There are several ways in which these brands incorporate AI into their marketing and management strategies.

So how can I use this AI power in my email marketing strategy?

Short answer - learn how to use the power of keywords, test your imagination and see how impactful it truly is.
Long one - try to understand how the keyword prompt works, practice, and illustrate your digital content in your newsletter. The tricky part is not in the “creation process”, but where you would use this image in your email.
If you create an email wireframe, describe what the newsletter will concentrate on and where the images will be placed - then you can try generating your visual content. If you are working on a series of welcome emails, pick up some keywords with a user-friendly, warm, and beginner approach. Below are a few examples:
The text prompt for this image was: “rendered 3d cartoon boy with a thumbs up, warm colors”
Here’s another practical example of an image that you can use in your email sent to change your main email address...
The text prompt for this image was: “an email bouncing from the blue post box, pop art”
We tried to recreate an image that you can use for your social media channels or in your Google Ad campaign. Here’s the result we’ve produced:
The text prompt for this image was: “email builder marketing promotion banner
To sum it up, as of right now AI image-generation machine can freely be used as a substitute for a designer (fully or partially) by marketers in the following ways:

  • Images in the email campaign
  • Banners in Google advertising
  • Social Media images posts
  • Stock image in the product image library (if the product has such a library)

Alas, even though the list is still too small, it will definitely become much larger. As AI image algorithms just need more time to get more advanced in producing the right images for marketers.

All in all

Email marketing is one of the most effective and easiest ways to increase traffic. It is here to stay, and AI will become its vast assistant. AI algorithms have the potential to combine data analysis, personalization, and customer preferences into one streamlined process that will have an enormous impact.

Customer relationships are no longer built on isolated interactions but on a human-centric approach. Thus, providing a personalized experience involves a lot of intelligence and informed decision-making. Incorporating AI in your email marketing strategy will help you humanize the content and analyze what kind of visual content your audience prefers.

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