Reinventing the over $3 billion email marketing segment is a feat that on its face appears impossible, but that’s just what Salesforce claims to have accomplished with its latest raft of Marketing Cloud email enhancements. Among them are copy and messaging insights and interactive tech courtesy of Rebel (which Salesforce acquired earlier this year), along with AI-informed content suggestions driven by Salesforce’s Einstein technology.

“Marketers have more channels than ever before to reach customers — from social media to digital advertising to new mediums like voice-enabled devices and beyond. It can be difficult to know what to prioritize,” wrote Salesforce VP of product marketing Bobby Jania in a blog post. “[We’re focused on] productivity updates for marketers to more efficiently personalize email campaigns and improve customer engagement.”

With respect to Einstein, Salesforce’s machine learning platform that powers 6.5 billion predictions daily (up from 4 billion in May), there are improvements on the email content selection, copying, and messaging front. Einstein Content Selection, which was previously available in preview, automatically recommends assets to use throughout messages that are tailored to customers’ preferences and behaviors. As for Einstein Copy Insights, it uses natural language processing

Salesforce Einstein Content Selection

Above: Einstein Content Selection.

Image Credit: Salesforce

(NLP) to find the most engaging words and phrases for email subject lines, text messages, and social media copy to attract customers.

A third Einstein-powered feature — Einstein Messaging Insights — complements the previous two by notifying marketers when email journeys or messages are underperforming (or overperforming) and recommending actions to improve their effectiveness. Specifically, it presents correlated factors contributing to low performance (such as a generic subject line), and it recommends engagement-boosting tweaks like pushing back the send date.

Salesforce interactive emails

Above: Interactive emails.

Image Credit: Salesforce

Beyond Einstein, a suite of features from the Rebel team will enable the creation of interactive emails, which let recipients take action directly within an email to gather feedback. (They’re akin to AMP for Gmail, which lets users browse image carousels, fill out forms, and more from their inbox.) They’ll launch in pilot early next year with Salesforce’s Email Studio, a product that enables marketers to build personalized messages, and Journey Builder, a drag-and-drop canvas for configuring activities and wait periods.

Salesforce Journey Template

Above: Creating a Journey Template.

Image Credit: Salesforce

Coinciding with the launch of the new Einstein capabilities, Saleforce is debuting two capabilities designed to bolster email marketing journey template creation. The aptly named Journey Templates supports the sharing of journey templates across organizations, which Einstein improves by recommending better performing content, text, or journey paths. On the testing and validation side, new features automatically identify errors prior to launching a campaign (like as a missing name associated with an email address) and identify items in need of fixing or adjustment.

It’s all no doubt music to the ears of Salesforce clients who lean heavily into email. Despite the fact that the average marketing campaign can take up to two weeks to develop and deploy, 81% of small and mid-sized businesses rely on email as their primary customer acquisition channel. That’s because email is the top ROI (return on investment) driver for marketers, with a return of $42 per $1 invested, according to a recent Salesforce survey.

“Innovations in marketing automation continue to speed up the process, and now artificial intelligence (AI) can optimize everything across images, copy, and optimal send-times to improve customer engagement,” wrote Jania.