AI and email systems

When I first joined Breville / ChefSteps, I already had a lot of experience with automating email systems. As the artificial intelligence industry began to enter its current golden age, new AI tools were being released to the public every day. Here are just a few of the dozens of ways I used AI to revolutionize how the company handled email marketing:

  • Generate complete marketing emails, automatically.

    If you’ve tried to get good copy out of ChatGPT you know it’s nearly impossible. Getting copy in your brand voice, with your company’s latest product or services referenced and linked to is another layer of difficulty entirely. I built a series of tools which allowed fully formed emails including image galleries, copy, tracking codes, etc., to be produced in mere seconds.

    These emails included brand voice and authoritative knowledge on the main topic, but also all other company recipes that were referenced. It’s important to note that GPT-4, still isn’t a good enough writer to be left unsupervised. Its writing is pretty good for a first draft, but where your brand is concerned, you still need a talented writer to do some heavy lifting. This probably won’t be the case when GPT-5 is released, if its progress over GPT-4 is in any way comparable to GPT-4’s progress over GPT-3.

  • Integrating website database with email database.

    This is just one example of how I used AI to turn regular time-sink tasks into things that were fully automated: ChefSteps puts out new recipes every week. In order to share those recipes in emails, marketers used to have to find and download the website images, resize them, host them on a new platform that wouldn’t crash when 20,000 people opened their email simultaneously, link them to the relevant webpage and make sure that every single link contained all manner of analytics tracking codes. Recipe titles had to uniformly fit the branding style guide, etc. As you can imagine, this is very inefficient and labor intensive. So I designed a system that does it all. Automatically. Whenever a new recipe was created, the AI created ready-to-go widgets that could be dropped into the email in mere seconds.

  • Automated reporting. NO. It’s not what you think.

    ChefSteps had weekly all-hands meetings where employees would contribute an update on their progress to a group powerpoint presentation. This could be extremely time consuming, as it required each employee to go into their personal work environments, hunt down images or numbers, and make screenshots and graphs, etc. You know how it goes… little tasks can eat up an hour or two of your day.

    I designed an AI system that would automatically sort through all my emails and sift out the final drafts from the test emails. It then took a screenshot of just the above-the-fold part of each, standardized their ratios, shrank them down, and then automatically updated them onto my slide in the group powerpoint presentation. I then had the system download the spreadsheets containing email open and click rates, and had the AI convert those numbers into graphs, which again, it posted into the powerpoint presentation.

    Now, an hours-long headache turned into a single button click.