Video and email go together like ketchup and eggs. Some people love it, while others are a bit confused by the concept. Personally, I’m a fan—of both! Adding a little acidity from the tomato-based ketchup to a nice scramble hits the spot every time, but I can understand the controversy. Ketchup is traditionally paired with burgers and fries, so grabbing that squeeze bottle for breakfast breaks up that routine. If you’re looking to get out of your everyday marketing routine and spice things up, exploring the use of video outside of YouTube channels and social platforms may be the way to do just that.
We all know how effective and captivating video is in marketing. According to HubSpot, 87% of businesses use video as a marketing tool in some capacity. If you are one of those marketers who has played it safe with video keeping your content limited to website landing pages and social platforms, it’s time to marry these two beautiful marketing tools.
What is video email marketing?
Video email marketing does not necessarily mean that your email receivers will be playing videos without leaving their inboxes. In fact, marketers often use video email marketing in the capacity of linking a video thumbnail image within an email to a landing page where the video lives.
“Due to spam and security reasons, embedded videos are not supported in email across most major email clients,” says HubSpot.
The other thing to consider if you are trying to go the technical route of embedding a video directly into your email is that it might not work for all email receivers and could default to your fallback image (assuming you have one set-up). In order to be safe, it’s easy and effective to create a video thumbnail image, paste that into your email, and link the entire image to a landing page where your video lives.
Here’s an example of an email I received from America’s Test Kitchen of what this looks like:
While that image might look like a video, it’s actually an image with a fake play button that links to a gated landing page that requires me to sign up for a course to access the video content.
Why is using video in email effective?
Did you know that the average office worker receives 121 emails per day? What could be a better way to stand out from the noise then incorporate some engaging video content into these emails? But how effective is video email marketing, really? I’ll let the statistics speak for themselves…
Wistia, a video software company, found that using video in email led to 300% increase in email click-through rates compared to emails without video. Even just using the word “video” in your email subject lines has been found to increase open rates by 19%, and reduce unsubscribes by 25%!
Data shows that video in email is effective, so what are you waiting for? Here are some effective ways to start incorporating more video content into your marketing emails today.
1. Set up a video landing page with a powerful CTA
As we discussed above, embedding a video to your email receivers to watch right within that screen is not typically the best option due to restraints put in place by many email providers. Turn that frown upside down, though, because this is actually a good thing! Why? Think about it: You likely want your email subscribers to complete a specific action, and that doesn’t involve them staying in their inbox. Another thing to think about is how a video within an email would play on mobile—no video is better than a bad video.
“The bulk of video-in-email support is on iPhone, where the video will take over the whole screen while it’s playing. So while your viewers are watching, they’re not also seeing that CTA,” says Brendan Schwartz, founder and CTO of Wistia.
The bottom line? Embedding a video thumbnails image into your email and then linking to a landing page where that video lives is likely to be much more beneficial.
Take this example below from Scorpion Legal Marketing.
Rather than keeping their leads restricted to watching a video within the email itself, leads are directed to a landing page to find not one, but two calls to action that will push them further down the sales funnel.
2. Market your local event with video emails
Does your company host monthly happy hours for your local customers? Perhaps you run a brick-and-mortar athletic store that holds weekly free yoga classes to bring in new customers? Whether you are hosting a small local event or a larger global conference, why not create a video email campaign to spread the word?
Promoting events through email is effective because it is like sending an invitation right to someone’s mailbox. It just makes sense! And what better way to get your audience interested than by intriguing them with a stunning video. Whether it’s a professional video recapping last year’s event or a short-and-sweet video of an inspirational yoga teacher at work, video email is a powerful tool to push those on-the-fence attendees through your doors.
HubSpot continuously does this well promoting Inbound, their annual marketing and sales conference held in downtown Boston. As a frequent past attendee, I can recall being drawn in often by their impactful use of video in email. Check out the example I found in my inbox below.
I love how they personalized the email with my name and included not one, but two CTAs in the email. Not only are they providing me with content to watch from the 2016 event, but they are also encouraging me to register for the upcoming event. This is effective because providing quality video content from a past event can motivate those who missed out to register for the next event. The only way to strengthen this email would be with a beautiful video thumbnail!
3. Incorporate personalized video emails into your sales process
Yes, I know this blog post is for all you beautiful marketers out there, but let’s be honest: a big part of effective marketing is helping fuel your sales team. Sales teams are often busy in their day-to-days trying to hit quotas, so sometimes they need a push from their friends in marketing. Since marketing and sales are so closely aligned, why not work with your sales folks to motivate them to marry video and email, as well? If you can show your sales team that using video with increase their deal closing numbers, they’ll be in!
Recording quick video even directly through your computer and then sending it out to a hot lead only takes a matter of seconds, yet doing so can be insanely effective in terms of upping response rates.
Check out this example from BluLeadz, a marketing agency based in Florida. They decided to use video and email together to speed up the buyer’s journey and found that doing so led to a 36.9% higher close rate when using personalized videos with email!
Wistia came out with an awesome product called Soapbox that makes creating these quick videos even easier. It’s a Google Chrome extension that allows you to record your screen and yourself simultaneously! Then, you can edit the video to show just yourself, your screen, or both, and send it over to your lead.
4. Send out customer story videos to your leads
All too often marketers make the mistake of talking too much… Yes, we understand that YOU, the marketer, who is being paid to market, thinks the business you are marketing is the best thing since sliced bread. Duh! Isn’t it more effective to let your happy customers do the promoting for you?
There is no better way to do this than with video! When your potential customers can see a real human talk about their experience in a genuine manner the chances of trust developing and a sale occurring are going to be that much higher. What better way to deliver these powerful customer testimonials then directly to your leads inbox?
Take this example from TouchBistro, a POS solution for restaurants. They took a powerful customer story, turned it into a video, and showed how their software actually delivered financial results for a customer. If that wouldn’t convince a restaurant owner to buy the product, I do not know what else would.
5. Use video email marketing to upsell current customers
We’ve talked a lot about the pool of leads you are currently pursuing, but what about your current customer base? What are you doing to keep the revenue coming in from them—and more importantly what are you doing to increase the revenue coming in from your current customer database? The probability of selling to a new prospect is between 5 and 20%, while the probability of selling to an existing customer is 60 to 70%, according to the authors of Marketing Metrics.
In many cases, your best market is the one you already have. This is especially true when it comes to email marketing with video, because these customers are the ones who are most likely to take the time to watch a video you send out since they are already invested in your brand.
To do this most effectively work with the email expert on your team to segment your customer base in terms of what products they have already purchased, which should help you determine the highest potential upsell opportunities. For instance, if you sell a variety of financial tools and you know that investors who buy one aspect of your product are likely to get value from purchasing another system that you sell, then create a video showing them that the financial growth potential they could have if they opened their wallet a bit wider. This could be through a testimonial type video, like the one above, or a fun video you create in house, but just make sure to use the time wisely while you have their attention.
6. Add a GIF to your video marketing emails
The thing about video consumption is that short and sweet almost always wins. With our world full of distractions like Instagram and Snapchat, attention spans continue to shrink so sometimes cutting the video all together may be the best move for a certain email push. In this case, opt for using a GIF instead, which is essentially a short and fun animation that can be easily inserted into your email template since the file itself falls under the image category.
Whether it’s some words jiggling around on the page, a funny dance move, or a cartoon firework display, get creative with your design team to spice up your emails and spark the interest of your audience.
Take the example below that I received from The Loft. Rather then sending me a boring old picture of a model in a raincoat, they brought the clothing to life for me with a fun GIF. The effort of making a GIF is definitely worth it, because it got me to click through and browse their spring selection.
While adding a video component to your email marketing workflows might seem like extra work, hopefully this post showed you that marrying video and email is worth the added effort. Before you know it, your email metrics will be going off-the-charts!