Even though email marketing is one of the most reliable channels to interact with your potential customers consistently, the medium does little to address a huge challenge attached to it: Getting (and keeping!) your audience’s attention.
Most people receive A LOT of emails every day and, let’s be honest, that increases their chances of ending up in the trash folder without even been open! So, marketers and business owners are left looking for ways to address those kinds of situations.
Ways to capture their audience’s interest long enough to deliver their message!
Enter the new kid on the block: video email marketing. In our rapid-paced world, video seems to be the “flavor” that most audiences are responsive to today, and it can be combined with email marketing to great effect – boosting engagement and conversion rates.
And today, we are going to talk about how all that works. Strap on!
Why You Should Adopt Video Email Marketing
Simply put, because for millennials and centennials – the lion’s share of internet users – videos are one of the most effective platforms to consume and deliver content.
These demographics hate waiting, and their spans for effective attention are rather short. Videos give you a versatile way to approach your audience and introduce them to your message while bypassing a lot of the shortcomings that plain-email strategies have.
Moreover, videos can also help to build stronger bonds with your customers, creating friendly experiences that bring them closer to your brand. After all, it is easier to convey feelings with a video than with a simple and frozen image or a wall of text in your email.
Stats Don’t Lie
That said, as lovely as all of that above sounds, there’s plenty of data to back it up.
For starters, just using “video” in an email’s subject can significantly bump your open and click-through rates, according to Digital Marketer’s benchmark and trend report.
Then, you have the issue of retention and accessibility. About 65% of people are visual learners, meaning that emails with visually engaging content will usually outperform their counterparts – as they have an easier time connecting and delivering your message.
Combine that with the overall power and appeal of video marketing content – pieces like explainer videos, testimonials, and the like – and over 60% of customers are more likely to buy a product after watching a video about it… and you start to get a pretty good picture of how effective this combination can be.
However, it’s time to move on from the “why” and get a bit more into the “how” of it all.
How to Include Videos In Your Email Marketing Campaigns
You have several alternatives in this regard. Each one with its own strengths and weaknesses.
The most seamless way to embed videos into emails would be to insert an HTML5 code in the email body text. This option offers a rich audiovisual experience for the recipients, as it allows for video playback within the email itself.
HTML5 video is supported by iOS devices. This is a super benefit, as this operating system does not admit Flash Player.
So, for all iPhone Mail, iPad Mail, Apple Mail 4, 5, and 6 and Outlook Mail for Mac customers, HTML5 works perfectly.
The bad news is that the vast majority of email providers – Gmail and Android clients included – don’t support HTML5, receiving a fallback image instead of a video.
GIFs and PNG Videos
Both GIF and PNG videos are open formats. This means that they can store digital data that, even though it is maintained by standard organizations, can be used by anyone.
Their main advantage is that they are immediately played when the client opens the email because they get downloaded at the same time that they are being reproduced. They do not support sounds but can significantly boost the customer’s clicks and engagement, compared to static images.
GIFs are short video clips created from still images animated together in a single file. They take less time to load because they are smaller, and they are supported by most email clients.
If you want to include simple graphics or logos, GIFs are a good idea. Although they do not show animation like Flash files, they are an easy way to place videos without a lot of coding.
PNG videos are smaller, and they allow users to include short text descriptions. This is useful when it comes to helping the search engines in the images’ quest.
Video Image with Links
A simple alternative to the ones above is to put a single image containing a link to the video hosted on a separate platform, like the company’s website or YouTube channel.
This may seem like an easier option, but there are a couple of points to take into account: when you host your video on an external platform such as YouTube, all the clicks that your video receives will add traffic to this website instead of yours.
Also, the external platform can go offline or remove your video and severely hinder your email campaign. Whenever possible, it is always better to host the video on your company website.
Best Practices for Using Videos in Your Email Marketing Campaigns
The thing is that it’s not just about adding any video to your emails and call it a day. There are plenty of strategies you can implement to increase your video email campaign’s effectiveness.
Here are some of them.
Make Your Videos Short
Ask any skilled video company out there about it, and they’ll all tell you the same thing: As video pieces go, the length shouldn’t exceed the 90-second mark whenever possible. Any longer and retention drops dramatically.
That means creating concise pieces that don’t meander around your core message. However, do know that it isn’t the same as abandoning all flair! Effective marketing pieces use the power of storytelling to break down even complex topics into bite-sized chunks your audience can easily consume.
Disable the Autoplay Function
Let’s imagine that you are in the middle of an important meeting, and you receive an email that calls your attention. You decide to open it, and…music starts playing. Potentially embarrassing, right?
Sometimes the customer opens the email in a public place or in a situation that requires discretion. Having your videos autoplay with sound can be annoying and lead to the client’s lack of interaction with future emails.
Place Your Video After (at least) a Bit of Text
Wondering why it is worth doing this if we are emphasizing the power and importance of videos in your email marketing campaigns?
Putting it after the copy is vital because if for whatever reason the video does not work (due to bad internet connections, problems when embedding the piece, etc.) or the person opened the email but can’t watch the video just yet, the text can prime them for it! No to mention, deliver a bit of the message you want to get across.
The primary purpose of an email marketing campaign is to get your subscribers to do something. What that “something” is will vary from brand to brand, like buying a product, sharing information on their social media platform, or visiting your website.
But regardless of the particulars, you’ll want your audience to do something once they interact with your email’s content.
Whatever the reason may be, call to actions (CTAs) are crucial for that to happen. Figure out what it is you want them to do, and make sure it is appropriately-but-clearly suggested in your email’s copy and your video piece.
Videos allow you to connect your audience with your message in a way that no other type of content can, and emails connect your brand with your potential customers better than most other channels.
In reality, this marriage was meant to happen! But you do need to know what you are doing (and do it right!) if you want to reap the full potential of a strategy like that.
By applying the advice we went over in this article, you’ll have plenty more opportunities to do just that, and give your email campaign a much better chance to achieve your goals.
Time to go out and start making awesome video emails that make your audience stop and listen. Best of luck!