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7 things you MUST know before using AI for emails

18th April, 2024

7 things you MUST know before using AI for emails

Is AI the best thing since sliced bread or the worst thing since sprouts?

 

This AI-generated romcom certainly made me want to bleach my eyeballs.

 

But when it comes to email, AI’s a bit of a sprout sandwich.

 

Some potential rewards, perhaps, but an awful lot of risk too.

 

We’re helping a range of organisations figure out if they should use platforms like Microsoft Copilot and ChatGPT for email writing.  And if so, how to do it without creating ‘mediocrity at scale’.

 

Our advice?  Tread carefully.  Fast, frictionless email already exists – it’s called spam.

 

So we’ve created 7 commandments to think about before using AI for email. You might find them useful too: 

 

  1. AI is a tool, not a teacher: Most first drafts of emails written by AI are stick-a-fork-in-my-eye dreadful. You have to know what a good email looks like to have any chance at success.
     
  2. Ask the right questions: Not ‘How can AI help me write emails?’  But ‘What do I want to achieve?’ and then ‘What are the best tools and techniques to help me do that?’  AI might form some of the answer, but so might training, templates or other tools.
     
  3. Humanity sells: Human connections build relationships.  Every email should feel human and personal, even if AI has done some of the heavy-lifting.
     
  4. The process of writing can be crucial for critical thinking skills: Know where and when to use AI in writing, and when you need to do hard yards.  As Shane Parrish says: ‘Clear writing gives poor thinking nowhere to hide.
     
  5. Human oversight is non-negotiable: To protect your brand and your reputation.
     
  6. Not all AI platforms are created equal: some are better (or less awful) at email than others, depending on how you use them.  Experiment as much as you can.  
     
  7. Faster isn’t always better: Churning out 80 emails a day isn’t productive if you then spend 5 hours chasing for replies. Faster email drafting is only worthwhile if it’s better email drafting.  

 

If you’re experimenting with using AI for email, we’d love to hear your experiences – good or bad.

 

And if we can help you navigate these tricky waters, just hit reply to drop us a line. 

accenture
UBS
Ricoh
Euromoney
University of Cambridge

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