A Guest Post by Michael Deane
Email has come a long way since that “qwertyuiop” message sent by Ray Tomlinson, its inventor, back in 1971.
This channel of communication, although already in its middle age, has survived the emergence of other, more interactive, and immediate messaging tools. Moreover, email marketing is still one of the most popular marketing strategies, mainly due to the fact that it’s unobtrusive and cost-effective.
Stats say that email generates $38 for every dollar spent on it, while 73% of millennials prefer to communicate via email for business purposes.
On the other hand, video is the marketing industry’s darling. It is no wonder when it accounts for one-third of online activity while 54% of consumers want to see more video content from their preferred brands.
Now, imagine how powerful the synergy of these two strategies is and what it can do for your email marketing efforts.
Let’s discuss all the benefits you can get if you combine email and video and how to use this amalgam to boost your click-through rates.
What Are the Benefits of Video in Email Marketing?
There are many reasons why video works like a charm in email marketing. Apart from easily hooking the viewers and getting them to hear your message, this visually-oriented strategy comes with a number of other advantages that will improve your numbers significantly.
1. Avoid Trash or Spam Folder
While it’s true that email is a popular marketing and communication medium, there’s the other side of the coin that can curb its performance.
The thing is that, due to its somewhat tarnished past, email usually falls victim to harsh spam filters. Namely, in the early days of the internet, email marketing consisted of sending unsolicited generic email blasts. This practice was the reason why email marketing used to be much maligned. It also resulted in introducing sophisticated spam filters to keep excessively promotional and spammy messages from users’ inboxes.
You can avoid this by being particularly careful about the way you compose your messages, using reliable servers, and cleaning your email list by using tools to verifying it.
There’s a more strict filter that you need to overcome – your recipients. If they don’t like your email, if they consider it boring, irrelevant, or just meh, they will send it to trash or spam.
However, the engaging and compelling nature of video can transform your outreach and prevent your emails from ending up in the spam folders of your recipients. By simply including the word “video” in your subject line, you’ll increase your open rates by 7%-13%.
2. Build Trust and Loyalty
Video helps you establish a connection with your recipients and build trust with them.
Watching a video is much more engaging than reading the written text, as it’s in a way putting a face to the name. By creating a video in which you or a member of your team talks about your latest features, you will humanize the entire approach and make it more personal.
Your recipients will be able to actually see who they’re doing business with.
And since the success of email marketing heavily relies on personalization, video can introduce this quality and boost your open and click-through rates.
3. Improves Your SEO Rankings
Search engine optimization (SEO) is something that makes a big difference when it comes to your website traffic.
And guess what? Search engines love video because their users love it too. People tend to stay on pages that contain videos longer; they’re more engaged and compelled to explore the website further, as well as convert. And Google and other search engines know that.
The result is that video content scores better rankings.
Video is capable of generating a lot of social media shares, and though these aren’t a direct ranking factor, they’re still very important.
In other words, when you send a video to your audience, you significantly expand its reach, and many people get to see it, as well as subsequently share it with their social media circles.
4. Saves Time
Despite different technologies and tools available to us nowadays, we live in a world of hectic schedules and distracted people. If you take a look at your own inbox, you’ll find that it’s packed with a number of messages.
The same applies to your recipients. Stats say that an office employee receives 121 every day.
Video is a tremendous time-saver. Instead of reading your email and a lengthy blog post you sent them, your prospects can have it all condensed into a 2-5 minute video.
5. It’s Memorable
Given that it’s multisensory, video can communicate a message in an auditory and visual manner too.
Besides that, it uses colors, music, sounds, and motion, thus appealing to viewers’ emotions and connecting with them.
Finally, there’s no better way to educate your audience or showcase all the features and benefits of your product or service than through video. What people watch stays with them longer than the information they learn by reading a blog post.
Types of Video to Use in Your Email Campaigns
Now that we discussed the benefits of video in email marketing and explained its importance, we should tackle the topic of the types of video that you can use for your email campaigns.
The point of the video you share with your audience is to add value and be relevant to them in a certain way. This means that you can’t hastily whip up a clip just for the sake of having one in your email.
Let’s list some of the best types of video that will increase your CTR and drive traffic to your website or landing page.
1. Customer Testimonials
An example of a customer testimonial video from ASIMUT Software
Consumers are more likely to trust each other than brands.
That’s the reason why you should ask your happy customers to put in a good word for you and shoot a testimonial video. This tactic works better than blowing your own horn and talking about how cool and amazing your product or service is.
Such an approach makes your message genuine and natural. It’s much more effective to encourage your existing customers to talk about experiences using your product or service in their own words without all the polished, marketing speak and incomprehensible jargon.
2. Event Announcements
Share a sneak peek of the internal and external events that your company hosts. That’s an excellent way to include your prospects into your corporate culture and spark their interest to find out more.
Send them an email with a short recap of your past corporate event when you’re announcing a new one in order to show what they would be missing out on if they don’t register for it.
Besides, such a video can serve as social proof that will show how fun and well-attended your events are.
3. Product Launches
When you’re about to launch a product or roll out a new feature, it’s a great opportunity to send video teasers to your subscribers.
To step up your email marketing, make this promotion exclusive and don’t share these videos to other communication channels as that will show your prospects that they will get some extra value if they subscribe to your emails.
The teasers you send to your audience should explain the benefits of your new product or feature and how it will improve the lives of those who use it.
It’s obvious why video works much better than text as it’s more interesting, digestible, and engaging.
4. Welcome Videos
Whenever somebody purchases your product or service online, signs up for a free trial, webinar, or newsletter, you should use the opportunity to welcome them.
This is an excellent way to build a connection with that prospect or customer right from the start and engage them.
When it comes to those you want to encourage to make a purchasing decision, such a video message can be a clincher as it’s easy to digest and it reinforces your unique value proposition.
For those who have already made a purchase, you can leverage onboarding videos to help them learn the ropes effortlessly and continue to use your product or service.
5. How-To Videos
The best way to build loyalty with your prospects is by helping them solve some of their common pain points.
How-to videos that offer step-by-step procedures and guides for learning how to, for example, create a compelling video, repair a bike, use a certain app, cook something, you name it, are among the top searches on the internet.
Isn’t it logical that your target audience will be very interested in watching a how-to video that can help them learn something they’re interested in? Knowing your audience well, and understanding their needs is essential for this approach.
Having a clean list is another factor that plays an important role in the success of your video (and any other) email campaign, so don’t hesitate to use some reliable tools to find email addresses of your prospects.
Also of critical importance for increasing your CTR, is to verify those email addresses as well. This is critical not only for CTR but also for your delivery rates and whether or not your message gets put into someone’s SPAM folder.
Video in Email Marketing Tips and Best Practices
Here are some useful tips and best practices that will help you make the most of your email marketing video.
1. Keep It Short and Sweet
Video in email is effective only if it doesn’t last longer than 5 minutes. When it comes to the top of the funnel, the limit is even lower – up to 90 seconds. That way, you’ll make sure that you have your recipients’ attention from start to finish.
Focus on providing value to your prospects, and you can do that only if you’re to the point and straightforward.
2. Don’t Forget a Call to Action
Just like any other marketing message, email video requires a call to action that will take your recipients to a web page, a dedicated landing page, a form, a social media channel, or anywhere you think is useful for generating traffic. If you don’t add a CTA, they will be left wondering what their next step should be as well as what you want them to do.
It’s best to add a CTA both in the accompanying email copy as well as within the video content itself.
3. Don’t Bury Your Video in the Email Copy
By putting your video near the very end of your email, it’s possible that your recipients won’t notice it. Some of them will stop reading before they reach it, and all your efforts will be in vain.
Make it prominent by placing it at the top of your email so that it’s the first thing your prospects see when they open your email.
4. Include the Accompanying Text
You can’t simply send a video in your email without any additional text that will give a recap of what it’s about and why your recipients should watch it.
Besides, spam filters tend to perceive emails that contain only a link or video as spam.
By including relevant copy you’ll pass the spam test and encourage your prospects to watch the video.
5. Use GIFs
Another way to offer your recipients a glimpse into what they will see in your video is by using GIFs.
Technically speaking, GIFs are considered images – although they’re in reality short clips. They can last a couple of seconds and showcase an interesting scene from your video.
So, even if your video isn’t embedded within the email, a GIF will add some action to your inbox and make it more dynamic. And that’s exactly what makes people click.
6. Should You Embed Video in Your Email?
While this is a pretty handy way to get your prospects to watch your video without having to leave their inbox, you should know that not all email clients support this feature.
And your recipients would be annoyed if the video you sent them failed to start.
If you want to avoid this possibility and still don’t want to just send a bare link, you can resort to creating a still image from the video together with a play button.
This way, you’ll also capture the attention of your recipients and get them to click.
7. Experiment With Cinemagraphs
A cinemagraph is an image that looks like a looping video, but some of its elements aren’t static.
This technique adds an illusion of movement and makes this format attractive and compelling.
Just make sure that your cinemagraphs are well-designed, and you’re good to go.
8. Include Video to Your Signature
This is a clever way of always having a video in your email message, which is why this trick works great for ongoing promotions.
This procedure also requires you to create a high-quality thumbnail, add a play button, add it as an image to your signature, and insert a link to the video in a predefined section.
Your recipients will be curious to see what exactly you shared in your signature and will be prompted to click.
Video has been all the rage in the digital marketing industry and it works exceptionally well with email marketing because its dynamic and engaging nature increases click-through rates and drives traffic. That’s why you should jump on this bandwagon and start creating high-quality videos that will delight your audience, and make sure to comment below letting us know the results!
Michael has been working in marketing for almost a decade and has worked with a huge range of clients, which has made him knowledgeable on many different subjects. He has recently rediscovered a passion for writing and hopes to make it a daily habit. You can read more of Michael’s work at Qeedle and connect with him on Twitter.
Also published on Medium.