Using ChatGPT for email marketing

The obvious application here is copywriting, but emails don’t exist in isolation. They often work best in a series of communications such as a Welcome sequence, so we will take an example of this to put ChatGPT ‘through its paces’.

For me, effective marketing copywriting boils down to creating relevance for particular, audience, engaging them, and persuading them to take action to the next step. So, within these examples of Email marketing, I won’t just ask ChatGPT to generate a copy, I’ll look to understand why that copy has been created. Here is a simple checklist which shows the prompting approach I have developed.

1. Set the Context

It’s an essential practice to start a new conversation to clear previous dialogue and once you have set the context, this is retained through the course of the conversation and you can return to it if you save the dialogue.

Here, you can see I’m specific in my prompt explaining the context. The product I’m promoting is an office cleaning service.

Using ChatGPT for Email Marketing 1

I’m not impressed by these Subject lines TBH, they are ‘marketing happy talk’, which I’ll explain how to improve upon below.

2. Define the task and goal

What do you want the AI to do for you?!  Here I want Subject line ideas, but specifically, the goal is that these are for marketing and welcome emails for new prospects.

Here are some other examples of goals from a useful list of 120 Best CHAT GPT Prompts for Marketers and Students.

  • “Write a persuasive email to increase attendance at our upcoming event”
  • “Create a follow-up email to send to potential clients after a meeting”
  • “Generate a thank-you email to send to customers after a purchase”
  • “Write a promotional email to introduce our new product or service”
  • “Create a reminder email for an upcoming deadline or meeting”

3. Define the Chatbot’s role or tone of voice

It may be sufficient to set the context as shown above, but some have recommended you can improve the quality of the prompt by asking ChatGPT to act as a defined role or with a particular tone of voice. So, for example: “Act As an Email Marketing Copywriter”. I didn’t find this useful in my use, you can set the context other ways, no need to over-prompt!

4. Ask follow-up questions to improve the response and context

The first subject lines shown above are OK, but are quite generic. They reminded me of what Steve Krug called ‘Marketing Happy Talk‘ in his book ‘Don’t make me think’  i.e. quite bland and generic fluff which is not engaging for the audience. I don’t think an experienced copywriter will write: “Say Goodbye to… Top-Notch”. Doesn’t work for me.

So next ask I asked to refine to give improved alternatives relating to someone in B2B switching to another service. These are much more specific.

Using ChatGPT for Email Marketing 2

5. Ask for alternatives you can select from

The prompts above show how you can specify the goal, but you will end up with more effective creative if you ask for a number of alternatives.

I initially asked the AI for alternative subject lines as above and then alternatives for the body copy as shown below. Then you can choose from the best or use AB testing to see which works best for your audience.

Using ChatGPT for Email Marketing 3

6. Specify your copy limits

The subject lines above are perhaps a little overlong, but could be OK for an initial test.  You can also usefully specify the number of characters. It’s cool that for Google Ads for example, that ChatGPT knows the limits (although it was only trained up to 2001, so bear in mind they could be out-of-date).

Using ChatGPT for Email Marketing 4

7. Learn From the AI

As you use ChsatGPT, use it as an opportunity to learn practices by asking it why it has done things in a particular way and what they are based on. Don’t just treat ChatGPT as a black box, ask it why it has chosen particular approaches. Here I ask it why it has structured the email as it has. This is the type of explanation you would get in a book or course on email marketing from an expert, great since it can help inform your own copywriting approach.

Using ChatGPT for Email Marketing 5

8. Find the source of the recommendations

You can take this one step further by asking to learn from experts in this field. Here we see some good recommendations. Not sure about Neil Patel as an Email marketing expert though…

Using ChatGPT for Email Marketing 6

On LinkedIn, Email copy specialist Chase Diamond has some more ChatGPT prompts for email copywriting.

We’ll now look at some of the best recommendations of prompts for other digital marketing channels. Some of the best compilations are from those curated and shared by Alex Velinov, the CTO of Tag Digital based in Glasgow in his two popular prompt lists on LinkedIn (ChatGPT for Marketing List 1 and List 2) , linking to different specialists in their field. I’ll highlight which I think are some of the most useful of these grouped by digital marketing channel.