“AI” is all the buzz today. Marketing teams and business leaders are talking about it and know they are supposed to need it. Email advertisements use the word in everything from selling “smart” deliverability to dynamic content and list optimization. Yes, even we at eDataSource have begun to incorporate AI into our technology and marketing-speak. Therefore, it’s fair to ask: “What makes AI-powered IntelliSeeds® different from other traditional and ‘smart’ seed solutions?” Let’s take a closer look at our pioneering IntelliSeeds® on the IntelliX AI Network®.
A History of Innovation
Founded in 2003, eDataSource was launched with the idea of providing in-depth insights into the world’s email marketing programs. Within those first few years, our Email Analyst solution was covering over 10,000 of the world’s largest brands (it has since grown to covering over 300,000) and has given marketers a glimpse into their competitors’ email world that they never had before.
Fast-forward to the year 2011 when eDataSource pioneered the use of the world’s first and only Consumer Network for inbox placement and email engagement monitoring. For the first time ever, marketers had actual real-time deliverability and engagement insights directly from consumer inboxes. This technology proved to be so insightful that in those early years eDataSource’s Consumer Network became the provider of choice for most of the world’s largest deliverability monitoring companies.
Since 2011, eDataSource has continued to bring new and innovative solutions to the market, including detailed campaign insights from Cloudmark®, real-time competitive brand comparisons, the industry’s first email list overlap, real-time email program audits covering over 100 best practices, the industry’s only integrated DMARC solution (included at no additional charge) and over 1,000 additional features and improvements.
In late 2017 one of our engineers asked, “What if we could provide accurate deliverability metrics, but without using the consumer network?” That one question led us on a path that would soon prove to be providential in its timing.
Shifting Privacy Landscape
In mid-2018, just as we had begun to explore the use of Machine Learning (“AI”) to generate realistic user engagement models, user journey models, and email categorization, Google announced major data usage restrictions. The world of email deliverability monitoring was shifting. Thus, in December of 2018 we launched the groundbreaking IntelliX AI Network® and IntelliSeeds®.
A Closer Look at IntelliSeeds®
As most email marketers know, all major email providers filter email based upon engagement. IntelliSeeds® were created to realistically simulate user engagement at Gmail, Outlook, Yahoo, AOL and other major mailbox providers. While some “smart” seed providers create a very limited number of engagement “buckets” based on outdated subscriber engagement data, IntelliSeeds® are different. IntelliSeeds® use daily-generated machine models covering every engagement percentile across all categories of email. Millions of possible combinations are modeled and executed every single day to fully emulate real consumers’ email engagement.
Using our consumer network of over 1 million active subscribers, the AI generates an engagement model that looks at:
- Historical engagement behavior
- Present engagement behavior
- Time of year
- Work hours
- Type of email (promotional, transactional, newsletter, etc.)
IntelliSeeds® are then assigned an engagement “percentile” they represent and engage with email according to this behavior-type. Once an IntelliSeed® determines that it needs to engage with a message, it will read that message, read and delete, delete, or leave the message alone based upon the percentile of the population that this particular IntelliSeed® represents. There are also actions that we never allow IntelliSeeds® to take, for example, marking a message as spam or moving a message from spam to inbox. And since these engagement models are generated daily from actual consumer data, our IntelliSeed® network provides the most accurate deliverability monitoring available, including covering all the segments that a traditional seed provider would cover.
Some have asked, “Aren’t IntelliSeeds® ‘bots’ that interact with the mail providers?” Well a bot is merely a piece of software that automates some action. However, and this is important, using bots to monitor email delivery is not new. The truth is, all seed providers (traditional and smart) use “bots” to interact with the mail providers.
We are quite proud of the automated controls, tripwires, and dynamic scaling we have in place to ensure we are upstanding netizens in our efforts to provide accurate deliverability monitoring. This technology was developed in coordination with key leaders in the deliverability and compliance world as a natural and necessary evolution of traditional seed monitoring.
No doubt, AI is a buzzword in the industry, but when used correctly AI can be a wonderfully powerful tool. The IntelliX AI Network® and our IntelliSeeds® have been proven over the past seven months to provide innumerable insights that otherwise would have gone left hidden and unseen. The fact that hundreds of our clients are using IntelliSeeds® and the IntelliX AI Network® to monitor the deliverability of their triggered email campaigns in some pretty creative and innovative ways is a testament to the power of our AI network.
Our team is hard at work on many new developments and applications still to come from our IntelliX AI Network®, including the launch of Email User Journeys this fall. Stay tuned as we continue to innovate and revolutionize the email industry.