If you’re like me, then you already know that email marketing still brings in the numbers to keep it a highly relevant marketing tool. Despite what some people think, email is still alive and thriving, thanks to the 3.8 billion email users that rely on it on a daily basis. So, if over half the planet is using it, why not look for a way to boost what it can give you?
That’s precisely why I’m writing this. Since I first started my explainer video production company, email has been right there helping me every step of the way.
From boosting the open and click-through rates to boosting brands, humanizing and improving client retention. Including video content has been a boon for my company’s email campaigns, and it can be for yours too! You just need to use it wisely throughout your marketing efforts.
Of course, that’s easier said than done. Which is why I want to share some of the tips I’ve learned over the years on how to combine video with email for maximum effect.
But first, in case you aren’t fully convinced yet, let’s take a closer look as to why you should use video in your emails in the first place.
Benefits of Using Video Email Marketing
There are 2 types of benefits you’ll get by using videos in your email marketing campaigns. There are measurable benefits and there are qualitative benefits. Playing your cards right will get you both.
Some Measurable Benefits:
- Using the word ‘video’ in your email subject line will increase your open rate by 13%. That’s right, video can spark your audience’s curiosity just by name-dropping it!
- Putting a video in your email can boost your click-through rate up to 300%. Since most emails don’t embed the videos, people will click on your video links to watch them.
- Video email marketing has an ROI of 280% higher than that of traditional emails. The combination of email and videos can yield better results in terms of brand recognition, leads and even sales.
Some Qualitative Benefits:
- Videos are more engaging than plain text. People prefer to watch a short video than read a couple of paragraphs. Besides, videos have more impact with their images and music.
- Videos are more ‘shareable’. In other words, people are more likely to share an interesting video with friends and family. This helps your content go viral, allowing your message to reach people that aren’t even getting your emails in the first place.
- Videos can make your brand more relatable. They can show the human face behind the company to your audience, boosting their trust in you. Additionally, videos can put on a display of your funny side and provide a way to engage on a deeper, more emotional level.
How to Get the Benefits of Video Email Marketing
All of those benefits mentioned above seem pretty sweet, right? And you are probably wondering what you should do to get them. Well, there are some things you can (and totally should) do when combining videos with your emails.
Here are some of those tips I’ve learned and tested over the years.
Be Mindful About The Videos You Use!
Though I’ve been talking about videos in general, not all videos work the same when included in emails. That goes for a number of things but for simplicity’s sake, let’s round them down to 2:
- Video Quality: Using video to market a company isn’t a big secret – A lot of companies are doing it already! So, if you truly want to stand out in the video email game, you need to give your best. That means that the videos you use should look sharp, be creative, offer fresh takes, and have the right tone for your target audience.
- Video Type: Not every type of video works the same with email. How-to videos, whiteboard animations, product spotlights, and customer testimonials are probably the best ones that fulfill a number of goals, from explaining what you offer to build trust.
Take your time to choose which videos you’re going to include in your emails. They have to be perfect in tone, duration, and quality. Getting all those right from the get-go is no easy task, so think it through before hitting that send button.
Be As Personal as Possible
We’re living in the era of emotional marketing, where people react to brands and companies that relate to their personal stories. That’s why you have to know your target audience and use that knowledge to talk to them directly.
There’s a number of ways you can accomplish this:
- Address Your Audience in The Subject Line. Reports have proven that emails that use the recipients’ names in their subjects have a higher open-rate.
- Use Your Audience’s Stories. Your video and the email around it should be about your audience and the issue that brought them to you. Put yourself in their place and explain what you offer as someone that had the same problem and found a solution to it.
This feels like something you should take into account when shooting the video, but it also matters when creating the email. Since both video and email should be treated as a single piece of content, everything about your video email should point in the same direction.
Be Clear with Your Call to Action (CTA)
Everything you do in marketing has an ultimate goal. You may be after more social media followers, increasing sales, improving brand recognition, or a boost in web traffic. It doesn’t matter (well, it DOES matter, but you know what I mean). The thing that matters most is that you have a crystal-clear goal in mind, so you can shape your video-email around it.
What do you want people to do after checking your video out? Just watching it shouldn’t be the answer. You should capitalize on the audience that took the trouble of traveling from their inboxes to your video.
How? By showing them what you want them to do using CTAs.
There are lots of ways to accomplish this, you can use links as annotations or on your descriptions, invite them in the video itself to subscribe, host your video on your e-commerce site. Placing those CTAs might be tricky sometimes, so try out and A/B test different strategies to find out what works best. You can put them in the middle of your video, in the end, use images or text – as always with email marketing, the best way is to try and adjust.
Want an extra tip on CTAs? Here it is: Take people from their inboxes to a landing page tailored to fulfill your goal. Of course, the most important element in that landing page will be the video, which should take the spotlight. But you can take the opportunity to surround it with great descriptions, nice titles, some additional imagery and, of course, a button or contact form.
The landing page can even rank itself in search engines and be used in other marketing efforts!
Just be sure to avoid the 2 biggest sins when using video landing pages combined with email: be sure the transition from email to video is as smooth as possible AND don’t put the video on autoplay (lots of people hate that!)
To Embed or Not to Embed?
Finally, we reached the most discussed point surrounding video email marketing nowadays. Should you embed the videos in the email or put a placeholder image that takes your audience to a site to watch them? If you’ve read this far, then you might already know where I stand on the subject.
But here are some things worth considering before I give you my opinion.
- Embedding a video is now possible, but it’s still very limited. Some years ago embedding a video in an email was simply impossible. Today, some email services allow you to do so (thanks in huge part to HTML5). And though that means that you can go for it, you should keep in mind that most email platforms still can’t play videos (with Gmail as the biggest example)
- An embedded video can improve the audience experience (as long they can see it). The case for people defending embedding the video in email is that they are providing what the audience wants right there, without any additional steps. The people that advocate for the contrary believe that the metrics that come with embedding the video on a different page are enough to avoid putting the video in the email.
- It all depends on your audience. Not everyone will be able to see your video if you decide to embed it. That’s because of the devices they use to access your emails. Mac and iOS users will surely be able to watch them, but Gmail users won’t. It’s up to you to decide if you are willing to lose some people to provide what’s perceived as a superior experience.
Isn’t there a middle ground? Sure. You can embed the video and create an image (animated image is your best choice here) to be displayed in case the video can’t be shown. You’re addressing both possibilities in the best way and with a just a little extra work!
So – should you embed or not? If you’re willing to do that extra homework (and even lose some people that can’t watch your video), then go for it. If not, then definitely go with the old way.
To Sum It All Up
Believe it or not, email continues to be video’s best ally, and vice versa. That’s because it provides a direct channel to your audience to bring them exactly what they want to see in the comfort of their own inboxes. That’s why so many people are more willing to open an email that promises them video content in its subject line.
On top of that, both video and email collaborate with each other to combine their strengths. While videos provide a clear and concise way to deliver your message, email gets you to your audience’s doorsteps.
That unbeatable combination is probably what explains why video email marketing is more successful than traditional email marketing.
I know that that’s the reason why I’ve been using it for years – because it works! But hey, don’t just take my word for it. Just go right ahead and try it out!
About The Author: Victor Blasco’s an audiovisual designer, video marketing expert, and founder/CEO of the explainer video 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. Connect with him on Linkedin and Twitter!