No other marketing medium can communicate as quickly and effectively as video. Therefore, using video in your email marketing makes a lot of sense if you want to try to increase conversions, brand awareness or help educate your customers.
Approximately half of the marketers who used video in email campaigns saw increased click-through rates, increased time spent reading the email, and increased sharing and forwarding. (Source: eMarketer)
There is one little thing…
Sending video in email is still a tricky business even though marketers have been trying since the late 1990s. In this post we’re going to go over some of the ways to get around the difficult issues with sending video in email. It seems fairly obvious that video email marketing will be more common in the future – so we might as well get used to it now!
If effectively planned and managed, video email marketing can be a powerful tool for tapping the growing Internet audience. Let’s go over how to do video email marketing effectively and learn how to embed video into your email message!
The Benefits of Video Email Marketing
Video emails stand out from other email communication. The advantage of sending video emails is that it hooks the viewers and speeds engagement with them. Below are additional benefits of video email marketing:
- Gets Across Easily – Videos are significant for your marketing plans as they draw the attention of viewers. Subscribers find them more interesting and active in comparison to plain text. Therefore, a video email is likely to make more impact on viewers.
- Time Saving – Video emailing saves the time of both senders and receivers. It gives information on a product or service in less time and makes complex subjects easy to understand.
- Penetrating Marketing Tool – Videos can go viral quickly and have an impressive way of saying things and delivering messages. Viewers respond more positively to a product after watching its video.
- SEO Rejoice – The super benefit of video email marketing is improved Google search ranking. We all know an online video can become popular and draw more attention. It can lead to more sharing on social media and, therefore, more of a boost to the brand.
Here are a few best practices and things to think about as you’re getting started:
Plan Your Campaign
Before you begin, ask yourself: why this campaign? This is important as it will help you to set your objectives clearly. For example, to create awareness, to announce events, to generate leads, etc. Refer to the guidelines below when planning your campaign:
- Outline your campaign with specific marketing strategies.
- Do thorough research. Figure out your competitors.
- Identify your target audience.
- Chalk out your marketing budget and stick to it.
- Prepare your to-do list and go step by step.
Shoot Great Videos
Use good video recording equipment to get excellent results. Go for a good selection from DSLR, which is known for good image quality, speed, quality optics and manual controls. Apart from this, you can also use video recording apps which can also help you shoot excellent video. For example, Camera Plus Pro helps in advanced video recording on any iOS device, along with other features like video filters, zooming and pause support. The hi-definition 8mm vintage camera gives your video a retro style.
Keep It Short
Large videos do not intrigue an audience. Remember, if your video lasts a number of minutes with a long speech, you will lose your audience. That’s why large videos are a strict no-no. Also, they require too much time for attachment. Keep them interesting and short, between one and two minutes.
Share It for More Impact
Host your video on popular platforms like YouTube or Vimeo to give it more sharing and visibility. These platforms are absolutely free and have proven to be great for driving traffic, generating leads, and building your brand.
Test It Out
Always get your video tested before you send it across different channels. For this, you can first share your video with your friends and peer group before making it live. You can ask them for their suggestions. Their response could be the genuine feedback you need to make further improvements.
Video Email Marketing Tips
Use the tips given below to make your video email a significant tool in an effective marketing strategy:
Create a Series of Videos
A single long video often gets dull, so try breaking it into a series of smaller videos. It keeps the audience excited and anticipating what’s next.
For example, Evian’s Baby Series has become very popular with the public. Each episode intrigues the audience. The videos show babies doing funny things, such as roller skating, dancing, swimming, etc. More importantly, all the videos are keeping Evian’s “Live Young” concept fresh by using fun and excitement.
Test Using the Word “Video” in the Subject Line
Try using the word “video” in your subject line. It may make your video email attractive and more users are likely to click on it. And, if they do, half of your job is done.
Call to Action
The call to action (CTA) is very important in video email marketing. You will want your viewers to take an action and encourage them to share the video with their peer groups and friends. Therefore, keep it clear, immediate, and actionable, or else it will dilute your message. If you are using it in your email text, keep it in the first paragraph. You also can include it at the end or during the video. Below are some effective features of CTA:
- CTA is the best way to encourage your viewers to act; therefore, use it clearly.
- Place social buttons or a contact form at the end of the video.
- Consider using a sense of urgency. For example: Hurry up! Or, Limited seating!
- Don’t forget to follow up with your viewers.
- Gather contact information from viewers.
No to Autoplay
Many of your viewers do not like it when a video plays right away. Give them their space and allow them to click on it themselves.
A single tap is preferred over double tap as one does not need to open a new browser for it and tap a second time to play the video. The feature is an advantage for mobile users.
Interviews and Customer Testimonials
Customer testimonials regarding products and services are valuable. Your potential customers might like to know the views of existing customers. You also should share some nice interviews in the video that can build up customer interest in your products/services.
Add a Personal Touch
Users find videos with a personal touch impressive and convincing. A video does not necessarily need to talk about the brand directly. You can build trust and encourage users to engage with you by using emotions and adding a personal touch.
For example, the Dove brand made use of the negative perceptions many women carry about their looks. The video was an instant hit across many countries because it was powerful in bringing out women’s emotions when they saw how beautiful their faces were drawn by the sketch artist. Click here to watch this video.
How to Embed Videos in Your Email Marketing Campaign
Embed Video with MailChimp
Video merge tag on MailChimp helps in creating video screenshots in your campaign. The screenshot is linked to the original video on YouTube, Vimeo, or other such social sites.
A general video merges tag appears as *|YOUTUBE: [$vid=XXX] |* for YouTube and *|VIMEO: [$vid=XXX] |* for Vimeo. Here, XXX represents the ID placed at the end of the URL of the particular video. For example: Use nS5N08BNvXU in place of XXX for http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nS5N08BNvXU. So, finally the video merge tag becomes *|YOUTUBE: [$vid= nS5N08BNvXU] |*
To learn more about how to embed videos in MailChimp, visit this webpage.
BombBomb is another service to help with your video email marketing. They host and send the emails for you – so that you can avoid any technical difficulties and associated headaches.
TailoredMail will upload, encode and embed your videos into your campaigns for immediate sending. They also track each individual subscribers viewing behavior, such as how many times they viewed, how much of the video they viewed, their sharing behavior, and what device/platform they were using.
Constant Contact, AWeber & Infusionsoft
Both Constant Contact & AWeber suggest using an image of a video and linking that image to a hosted video. This simply gives the appearance of a video within the email and avoids any issues of the email receiver’s email client
stripping out video code.
Here’s how to do just that for both Constant Contact and AWeber:
Infusionsoft offers a solution to insert YouTube links easily, which will then take your email subscriber directly to the YouTube video for viewing. To learn how to do that, read this support article.
HTML5 is the latest popular language for embedding videos into emails. It offers significant benefits with rich media experience to viewers. With features like improved functionality and the video playing feature within web pages, HTML5 creates great interaction with the user. Another reason HTML5 is an advantage is that iOS devices do not support Flash.
The great news is that Apple Mail 4, 5, or 6, iPhone Mail, iPad Mail, and Outlook support HTML5 videos. According to recent new surveys, 75% of developers already are employing HTML5, and about 35% of mobile traffic is due to HTML5 videos.
Animated .GIF and .PNG Videos
Animated .GIF and .PNG (Portable Network Graphics) videos are open standards like HTML5. These formats help in playing immediately when the user opens the email. They download simultaneously while being played.
.GIFs are effective for images with simple graphics, limited colors, text images (like logos), etc. .GIFs usually are limited to 256 colors. But, it supports animation, so it is good for email design. Also, these files can be compressed into a smaller file size. Animated .GIFs do not support animation the way Flash files do, but allow you to add movement without much programming or coding. You can use jQuery to generate animated effects.
.PNG is great for clarity, color depths, and transparency. These have a smaller file size, as compared to .GIFs. .PNG images also support short text descriptions, which help search engines search for images. Unlike .GIFs, animated .PNGs support 24-bit images and 8-bit transparency.
Both formats are unable to support sound, but the video images definitely can drive higher clicks as compared to static images. The points below will give you a fair idea about using .GIF and .PNG videos:
- It adds more value to your video along with the message.
- It supports the message with a subject line and also text in the email.
- It does not require HTML coding language or video encoding language.
- Many current media servers support .PNG format including Catalyst, Maxedia, Hippotizer, and MBox.
- If you want to include animation, use .GIF for getting best results. It is also an obvious choice for clip art, simple logos, icons, flat graphics, etc.
- .PNG works very well where transparency is required.
Practices to Avoid in Video Email Marketing
- Do not use “Click here” types of phrases. Avoid the word “Test” in the subject line.
- Avoid using too many exclamation points.
- Do not use UPPERCASE for writing all your content.
- Avoid dazzling colors like bright red, inky blue, etc.
- Do not use less text with an HTML email. This can be seen as spamming because spam filters cannot read images.
- Do not send to multiple recipients in the same company. It will be considered a spam attack by email firewall.
- Do not design an HTML email in Word, and do not export the code to HTML because of spamming.
Currently, the online market is buzzing excitedly about upbeat trends in video email marketing that is drawing a lot of attention from viewers as well as marketers. For better email marketing results, sales people should study the web analytics and user engagement behavior affected by video email marketing. And, if you follow the points discussed in this post, you definitely can plan things well for your business.
About the Author: Alan Smith is an avid tech blogger with vast experience in various IT domains. He is associated with SPINX Inc., a Los Angeles, California, company specializing in website design, web development, and Internet marketing. Follow Alan on Google + and Twitter.