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Will artificial intelligence (AI) replace copywriters?

The million-dollar question keeping copywriters up at night, right? Let’s look at why copy specialists (and email marketers) shouldn’t be worrying about their shuteye just yet.

Greek gods with a pen creating the letter "A" and a rubber duck sitting at a computer with the word "Ai" on the screen.



Do you remember the first time you heard about OpenAI’s ChatGPT? The shiny new tool that promised to write copy for you in seconds. While initially skeptical, we’re betting that when you first entered an AI prompt into the natural language processing tool you were taken aback and what you saw.

Sure, the copy might have been a little rough around the edges, dry and lacking character, but it certainly was passable – especially for the type of content you’re typically tasked with creating.

Then it probably sank in. It took this AI writing tool less than 10 seconds to create something I’d need an hour to do at best. Oh dear, I’d better update that LinkedIn profile…

But here's the thing, after playing around with other AI copywriting tools such as Jasper and Gemini, we started to notice something. While they might be amazing at churning out drafts in rapid time, they still lack a certain something. You know, the human touch that makes copywriting not just informative, but engaging.

Which got us thinking – will AI replace copywriters entirely? Spoiler alert: It won’t (not just yet, anyway). And here’s why.

6 reasons why AI will not replace copywriters (yet)

#1 AI lacks creativity

While there’s no doubting that AI writing tools are impressive, they lack that spark of human creativity that copywriters bring to the table. Fundamentally, they do not have the capacity to generate new, original concepts.

What AI excels at is analyzing massive amounts of data to identify patterns and churn out similar content (in seconds). However, this leads to generic and unoriginal outputs. They can't break free from the data they've been trained on and conjure up truly new ideas. Only people can make those intuitive leaps and emotional connections between customer pain points and brand solutions and most importantly, put them into words.

“What great content writers need and do, why they exist, is to find the story, to find the pain points and then bridge it to a product or solution. This is then presented to audience at the right time, at the right pace, with the right tone.”

Austin Distel, CEO at Jasper AI

#2 People don’t want to talk to an AI

Ask yourself this question, would you want to read a piece of content that you knew was 100% generated by an AI writing tool? Unless you were searching for a quick answer to a factual query, the answer is probably no.

The same can be said about your audience. People want to read original content with some kind of thought put into it. They don’t want to communicate or interact with a machine. Just look at the blowback a handful of New York City restaurants received after trialing virtual staff from the Philippines.

Also, the format or template in which AI writing tools follow to churn out content is redundant and a little repetitive. It’s like one of those phishing emails we’ve all received.

We need you to send over your account details NOW as there’s been a system blackout and without them, you’ll lose all your money…

You can spot it a mile aways as it’s something that you’ve seen a hundred times before. And in time, people will begin to recognize AI-generated content’s generic, cookie-cutter format.

So, if you’re brand becomes associated with this lazyapproach to content, then your audience will begin to form the same opinion about you, too; if they can’t be bothered to put the time into producing genuine content, why should I make the effort to read it? Will this same attitude be reflected in their product? In their customer service? In fact, do I really want to engage with this brand at all?

Slick CEO and email expert Kay Peacey emphasized the importance of the human touch, and how it injects authenticity, empathy, and a deep understanding of customers into email marketing in her Email Camp session.

#3 AI can’t empathize with your audience

When people feel like you can relate to them, that you understand them, the natural byproduct of that is they feel that you can help them. That they can trust you.

Arguably, this is the most important pillar of any customer/brand relationship. Once trust is established customers will come back for repeat business, they’ll be confident enough to recommend you to colleagues and perhaps even stick by you through a potential crisis.

The problem with AI is it can’t relate to people; it can’t lean on genuine past human experience and then naturally weave it into the copy. For the moment, that emotional intelligence, that human touch, is unique to copywriters. And people always respond better to content that feels real and relatable.

So, while AI-generated, data-driven campaigns are undoubtedly powerful, they can't fully replace the vital role you play. You know your goals, your audience, and your brand. People are still needed to humanize AI recommendations in a way that truly speaks to your customers.

#4 What about strategy?

Copywriting is so much more than simply putting pen to paper and scribbling away. Think about the all the tasks that perhaps go unnoticed in the background but a vital in writing high-quality content:

The setting up goals and objectives, defining a target audience, the brand messaging and tone of voice, the ideation, planning, structuring, distribution, and amplification of content. The list goes on…and the fact is AI simply can’t do all of that. You can’t put it in a room with clients or stakeholders and ask it to delve deep, at an emotional level, and get a real feel on how to take a business forward.

It takes a human to understand the big picture and craft a message that aligns with long-term goals. Only then can you start to plan out and build an effective content strategy and eventually, execute upon it.

#5 It still requires human input

One of the biggest limitations of AI copywriting tools is that fundamentally, they’re built by us. By people. The machine learning algorithms churn out copy based on human inputs and are therefore tied to the same limitations we are. AI-generated copy doesn’t just appear out of thin air.

In order for it to produce something useful, you have to know what you want the AI output to be. And this of course is where it gets tricky. This requires a deep understanding of content marketing strategies, customer pain points, long-term goals, etc. In other words, a lot of critical thinking.

So, although AI copywriting tools are mightily impressive in what they can do, it will be a long time before our AI counterparts march into offices (or homes) and take over a human copywriter’s job.

#6 Without copywriters, there’s no brand

A major part of what human writers are trained to do is take a brand voice and write copy that speaks directly to an audience. This is actually a very difficult skill to master.

Again, AI writing tools are only as good as the inputs we feed them. Imagine you’re writing an onboarding email to new clients for an email service provider. Your brand voice is playful, yet still educational. Let’s see what ChatGPT can cook up for us:

An example of AI-generated content struggling to write to brand voice

Really ChatGPT, the coolest corner of the internet?

As you can see, there’s perhaps more “play” than “educational” in this take on the ESP’s brand voice. There’s still a long way to go yet.

Also, defining a brand voice is about making sure you sound unique and different from your competitors. That way customers recognize you, for you. However, a fundamental flaw in AI writing tools is that they use existing copy to generate their outputs. That makes truly original content impossible for them to produce.

How AI can help copywriters

While AI won’t replace copywriters, that’s not say it can’t be useful in content creation. There are many areas these tools can help out:

  • Brainstorming ideas: Writer’s block is real. Sometimes, it feels like your fetching water from an empty well when trying to brainstorm ideas. Whether it’s coming up with new email subject lines, blog post titles, ecommerce product descriptions, or a social media post, AI-copywriting tools can quickly conjure up some ideas to get you started.

  • Offer a different perspective: AI can offer fresh takes and unconventional phrasings that you may not have considered. This can again be useful for sparking new ideas and perhaps taking the content in a new (improved) direction.

  • Market research: Generative AI tools can streamline the market research process by analyzing online conversations, reviews, and even social media posts to give you a quick outlay of an industry or topic.

So, instead of fearing it you should embrace AI. Think of Grammarly – a tool that came in and revolutionized, well, grammar and punctuation. The last time we looked there were still editors, right? The same could be said for SEO platforms such as SEMrush or Ahrefs. The fact that a tool can generate hundreds of keywords in a matter of seconds hasn’t made SEO strategists suddenly irrelevant.

The same will be true for copywriters. Being a thought leader and using your expertise to create high-quality content is what’s going to separate you, from your competitors.

“This might burst your bubble, but no. AI will not replace human writers. It’s a tool, not a takeover. It’s here to support you. The truth is a human brain needs to be the direction for great content writing, and that will never change.”

Austin Distel, CEO at Jasper AI

Bringing AI and people together

So, hopefully we put to bed any fears you may have had of a robotic-led AI army takeover. People will always prefer communicating and dealing with a real person, which is why a human-centric approach is so important.

However, that doesn’t mean we need to call upon our inner luddite. To truly scale and ramp up the effectiveness of your campaigns you’ll need to lean on technology too.

At Sinch Mailjet, this is something we’re continuously striving towards – bringing you the latest technology in AI email marketing to supercharge your email strategy while helping you layer in that human touch. Our brand-new AI Copy Generator is testament to that.

If you’d like to try it out, simply log into your paid account and start using it right away. If you don’t have a Sinch Mailjet account, create yours now, upgrade, and start building AI-powered customer-centric campaigns today!

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