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Why Marketers Must Replace the Campaign Calendar

Title design reading: Why Marketers Must Replace the Campaign Calendar
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Rip Up the Campaign Calendar

Since the dawn of email, marketers have ruled their strategies by the campaign calendar. Tight deadlines make for stressful mornings and late nights, but marketers have their eyes on the prize and will get their campaigns out the door no matter what.

While that approach gets the job done, the ultimate goal of email marketing is to build ongoing conversations that foster lasting, loyal customer-brand relationships. But when marketers are held to a campaign calendar, they can end up sending messages that talk at customers rather than with them.

This is the case because email marketing calendar creation is usually based on a few data points and a whole lot of guesswork, where customers receive messages on what is ultimately an arbitrary date and time—not the content they need, when and how often it suits them most.

The Current State of the Campaign Calendar

One of the primary issues with the campaign calendar is the fact that it attempts to serve the entire customer list in the same way when really, customers’ needs and preferences are far too diverse to do this effectively (even with segmentation). This results in a more generic email that achieves short-term goals, but doesn’t contribute significantly to long-term success. Take a look at this email, for example.

Both the email banner and the hero image are dedicated to kitchenware, as the team has a special promotion scheduled on the calendar. While promotions are one of the most fool-proof ways to drive a conversion, this message isn’t reaching its potential; after all, what about the customers that aren’t interested in kitchenware, or would be more likely to convert at a different time? When marketers rely on the calendar alone, they don’t have the tools or flexibility to take these factors into account and truly serve customers individually.

Kitchenware email

Clearly, the calendar approach in this email causes key customer engagement opportunities to be missed. Marketers need to switch things up to make the most of their email channel by learning more about their individual customers and generating meaningful conversations that drive lasting loyalty.

Why the Campaign Calendar Is Hard to Discard

Laid out like this, it seems pretty clear that the campaign calendar is not a marketer’s best option. But while every brand wants to be customer-centric, there’s a reason why most end up being brand-centric in their messaging.

Brand-centric messaging isn’t as effective, but it’s more realistic to achieve; after all, you only have one schedule to abide by and one set of goals to appease. With true customer-centricity, the net is cast so wide that it’s truly impossible for marketers to juggle everyone’s preferences and needs. What marketers need is a method that minimizes manual efforts and tasks.

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How to Get Rid of Your Campaign Calendar

The path to ripping up your campaign calendar for good lies in two tasks, and both are supported by AI. The first is decoupling campaigns and creatives.

How AI Decouples Campaigns and Creatives

Why is it so important to separate your campaigns from your creative assets? While campaigns run for a set period of time—especially timely ones, such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday—creative assets have the potential for a much longer shelf life. Instead of treating your creatives as single-use, AI can help you reuse them strategically for a far greater ROI.

Rather than pulling in the same creative for every recipient in a campaign, solutions like Da Vinci AI will use content decisioning to determine what asset will resonate most with the customer while taking marketers’ guardrails into account. From there, if a customer doesn’t open or interact with an email, the AI will reuse the asset for future sends. Take a look at this in action with the emails below.

Let’s say a client deployed Wendy's version of the email at 6AM on Tuesday to their full file of 5 million. They saw a 10% open rate, and had the option to manually redeploy the exact same email to non-openers. But because  this was a monstrously manual and time-consuming task, the email was never sent again, resulting in a final engagement of 500k customers.

Da Vinci 6 am sends

With Da Vinci, however, the story changes. Here, the hero image lives in the brand’s creative library along with 50 other options, and the AI determines the most relevant asset for each customer. After the first send, the AI automatically redeploys to non-openers and non-clickers based on preset reuse rules. The end result? An audience of 1.5 million is reached, gaining far more engagement with less manual effort. 

It’s a triple win: AI eases marketers’ tight bandwidth, provides personalization that truly engages customers, and helps brands’ investments go much further.

The Unmatched Scalability of AI

Content decisioning is only one way that AI enhances marketers’ workflows. A sophisticated, automated solution can also scale:

  • Personalized send times are made possible with AI. Rather than the rigid schedule laid out in a content calendar, Da Vinci AI will deploy emails at the various times and cadences that suit every customer’s preference.

  • Deep dives into data can be completed more efficiently than ever. Not only can the AI analyze images and language to determine what elements resonate with customers, it can also create limitless nuanced profiles that are completely unique.

  • Instant generation is an immediate win for scalability. Subject lines are not only created in a flash, but are tailored to each customer to fuel higher engagement.

When AI is included, the ability to step away from the campaign calendar skyrockets, and the results are undeniable. Just take a look at Bloomingdale’s.

The Da Vinci Boost Behind Bloomingdale’s

Bloomingdales personalized best sellers

Bloomingdale’s generates their batched emails with Da Vinci’s personalization and automation. Here, AI decisioning automatically determines which items each retail customer should see in “The Best Sellers List” based on a balance of short- and long-term goals. Without any extra lift, the send time and cadence is tailored to each customer, ensuring the right message at the right time.

Say Goodbye to Your Campaign Calendar for 2024

It’s time to replace your campaign calendar with AI-powered personalization that engages your customers and fosters long-term connection. Learn more about the Movable Ink’s AI solution Da Vinci and hit the ground running next year.

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