Let's face it - we are all bored of clicking on our email inbox and finding it filled with thousands of unwelcomed advertisements. In fact, most people will probably only open a couple of seemingly interesting ones before trashing the rest (and finish reading even fewer!)
Don't get me wrong, email campaigns remain some of the most powerful marketing tools available - Capable of reaching customers directly and taking advantage of data behavior.
The problem, though, is that with the advent of social media and higher connection speeds, text-based content is quickly becoming obsolete. Particularly within the context of marketing.
It has simply lost its appeal in today's hectic, fast-moving world. But what can you do about it? Ask any video company worth their salt about it, and they'll be quick to tell you that the answer lies in combining the effectiveness and reach of email with the appeal and engagement of video content.
But instead of taking that bit of popular advice at face value, I feel it's useful to take a closer look and see what makes that such a killer marketing combo. Shall we?
The clients you are trying to attract haven't got the time – nor the will – to read a full marketing spiel each time they open up their email app. Not like they used to, at least. To make matters worse, it's not just your email that they have to tend to!
People's inboxes are flooded with all manners of advertisements, newsletters, and totally legitimate proposals from Nigerian princes! All of which your campaign has to contend with to get users' attention.
And even if/when they do check your email out, its content still has to make enough of an impression to set itself apart from the dozens of others being opened. In this context, it's fairly clear that most email campaigns can benefit from ways to stand out from the crowd and leave a lasting impression on their target audience – And nothing achieves that better than video content.
In fact, the combo is so effective that most marketers worldwide regard it as having some of the best ROI out there, with some studies clocking increments of up to 73%
Moreover, according to MarTech Advisor, just using video in your emails can increase click-through rates up to an astonishing 300%, and just adding the word "Video" to an email's subject line can raise its open rate by nearly 20%.
Now, beyond just stats and numbers, well-made marketing videos, like whiteboard animations and testimonials, can go a long way toward helping your marketing objectives. Making interactions between your potential customers and your brand more efficient, effective, and engaging.
Like any other marketing tool, you need to use videos in emails wisely to get the most out of them.
So, before jumping straight into an email video campaign and figuring it out as you go, there are a few things you should know about from the get-go.
It would be easier to just put an embedded video in the email, right? The problem is, depending on the device, not every email provider allows it. Gmail – the biggest email service provider – being one of them.
So, creating an attractive thumbnail that links to the video's source and mimics a video player, will organically prompt people to click and watch your video.
It's also strategically convenient – if you direct people to watch it on your website, you can gather valuable user behaviour data. Whether it's to check how much of the video they have seen or if they've shared it, you will find the information useful for future campaigns.
You can also use GIFs and Cinegraphs as thumbnails to make it more appealing, giving your email a more playful and eye-catching appearance.
To keep the customer interested and deliver your message entirely, marketing videos must convey a clear message as straightforwardly as possible.
As a general rule, two minutes or less should be more than enough to cover entire ideas without losing the viewer's engagement.
Just because video and email go well together doesn't mean you should just paste your video there without any context whatsoever!
It's recommended to write a few lines of optimized copy in the email to accompany your video. That way, it won't look like spam and will give the customers a glimpse of what they're about to watch.
It's essential that this brief text expresses a message in itself, just in case the client opens the email but doesn't reproduce your video immediately – increasing your campaign's performance either way.
Autoplay mode might be an unpleasant surprise for some, but in truth, it's what viewers expect when they click on a play button to be directed to the page.
Something as simple as having to click twice might be frustrating and could potentially cost you viewers. A possible middle-ground is to enable autoplay but without sound to avoid being invasive.
Feedback is always welcomed in any marketing campaign. Each case is different, as is each audience, so constantly measure, analyze, and try out different alternatives at smaller scales to find out what works best before launching your strategy officially; better known as A/B testing!
Regardless of the stage of the buyer's journey, your campaign is targeting, you'll want your video piece to organically prompt them to act with call to actions to move them further down your funnel.
In video email marketing, CTAs can involve visiting the brand's website, sharing the content on social media, or even buying a product online. It is often included at the end of the video, but it can also be in the body of the email in some form.
As for making effective CTAs for your campaign, you can take a page from Neil Patel's playbook. He explains that CTAs have to reflect their benefit for the customer to optimize their effect. Meaning that phrases like "Buy now" or "Hire our services" are too explicitly lucrative, and for that reason, not as engaging as, for instance, "Make your business grow."
Moreover, Patel suggests incorporating a sense of haste when encouraging the clients to act. Including words like "today" and "now" can accelerate their decision-making process, benefiting the effects of the campaign.
Take your time and tailor the CTA you'll employ on both your video and your email's copy, and you won't regret it!
Video content can breathe new life into email campaigns - Its positive effects are plenty. The thing is that if you want to enjoy all the benefits, you need to do the work and do it right.
A low-quality video will most likely send the wrong message about your brand, and probably start interactions with potential customers with the wrong foot. In those instances, something that was meant to save you some money may very well end up hurting all the time and effort you dedicated to the campaign in the first place!
Even more so than if you hadn't cut corners in the quality department.
When it comes to video marketing, presentation, and quality finish is everything, so find a skilled company that can create the video you need at a budget you can handle, but don't think you can get away with subpar pieces. The customers know better.
If there's a particular area where video email marketing excels, it is to boost customer engagement. It's precisely that aspect of it that has made it a go-to strategy when brands want to foster awareness, conversions, and overall engagement.
That said, as mentioned before, each campaign has different audience. So, the "ideal" type of video for yours depends not only on your target audience but on the stage of the buyer's journey they are at.
If you are aiming to attract leads and raise brand awareness, commercial ads and animated series may be what you are looking for.
Since video can connect with the audience and pick up subtle undertones in ways no other type of content can, it gives you the perfect opportunity to build brand identity, leaving a lasting impression on the viewer.
If you are trying to progress an audience that's sitting in the consideration stage, explainer videos might be just the piece your campaign needs. If, on the other hand, you are focused on the latter stage and need to foster consumer trust, testimonial videos, and company stories can go a long way.
Lastly, video content has proven to be incredibly effective when launching or introducing new products or services to new audiences. For these campaigns, tutorials and explainers have proven to be a reliable tool that consistently delivers results. In fact, watching a video of a product makes people 64% more likely to purchase it.
There's plenty of data out there to justify the interest, effort, and investment of adding video content to email marketing campaigns. That's a well-known fact by now.
However, when it comes to marketing, the "how" you go about implementing a strategy is usually as important as the fact that you are implementing it in the first place!
As you work on developing your company's next email campaign, use the ideas and tips we've talked about today, and find ways to implement them into it. It might require a bit more extra effort and planning, but I promise the results will be more than worth it!
Until next time, Be creative! - Pix'sTory made by Victor Blasco
Victor Blasco is an audiovisual designer, video marketing expert, and founder/CEO of the explainer video production company Yum Yum Videos. Besides running the business, he’s a lifelong student of Chinese philosophy and a passionate geek for all things sci-fi.