Startup Claims It Can Automate Copywriting Process, Leaving Copywriters Time To Finish Their Novels

All that junk promotional mail that ends up in your mailbox or e-mail inbox is presumably written by a human being. But many of these items are just variations on themes that have been played so many times that you could teach a machine how to write them. Which is apparently why some investors are putting their money into a startup that aims to automate the copywriting process.

The Persado platform “maps the marketing language that applies to your brand, parsing words and phrases into emotional, descriptive and formatting values,” and then uses that info to craft “millions of variations” of a marketing message before settling on the one that most suits your business’s needs.

It’s not that different from the traditional copywriting process, though you probably won’t have to listen to the computer grumble about how it’s wasting its degree from Bowdoin or how no one appreciates the work that goes into all of this.

“We have never lost to a human,” Persado CEO Alex Vratskides tells the Wall Street Journal’s Venture Capital Dispatch blog. “I’m a mathematician , and I can guarantee you, it’s like a computer losing to a human on a chess game, even worse than that…It incorporates a lot of randomness to get there, it’s like getting a needle in a haystack. We built the haystack. The human brain does not work this way.”

This apparently isn’t just a patent or a pipe dream, at least according to the suits at Citi who have already been using Persado to churn out copy for marketing e-mails for their credit card business.

The bank claims that the marketing messages spit out by the Persado copywriter — who never wanders over to your desk while you’re busy and asks you to come to its poetry slam on Thursday… again — have resulted in 70% more recipients opening their e-mails from Citi, and a 114% boost in the rate of readers who actually click through.

Of course, it’s worth noting that Citi has an interest in touting the quality of this method, as the bank’s Citi Ventures group helped lead Persado’s $21 million Series B round of funding.

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