There is a temptation to forget about the potential of email marketing campaigns. We get carried away looking too far forward and we forget about the power of one of the earlier life-changing aspects of the Internet. Email is still widely used. Having people sign up to your mailing list gives you instant access to their personal inbox. All you have to do is construct your emails in such a way that your audience actually wants to open them in the first place, and click through them to your website in the second place rather than getting stuck in their inbox.
There have been some interesting statistics of late which have clearly shown that combining online video with email marketing can have powerful effects.
Recruiting people to your mailing list
How many steps does it take for someone to sign up to your mailing list? This is an important question. Do a little test. As someone who is a stranger to your site to take a look at the homepage of your website and tell you how they can sign up to your mailing list. If they can’t work it out quickly, you have uno problemo.
Make it obvious how people can sign up to your mailing list. You can do this by paying attention purely to design and placement. You can also think about incentives that will draw people to the mailing list sign up button. If getting people on your mailing list is a priority, consider using an engaging web presenter who can show your visitors exactly where to click (see below image of web presenter pointing towards a field on the web page). More importantly, tell them what they will gain by doing so. Give them good reasons to sign up to your mailing list.
It is good practice to send a welcome email immediately when someone has signed up. They have just shown enough interest to sign up and while they are hooked in you should be aiming to use a creative welcome email to build on this initial amount of positive engagement.
When people sign up to your mailing list, it is also an opportunity for you to gather more information about them so that you can target your emails more effectively. This could include asking questions around content preference e.g. video. You could do this by having them complete some extra details on an initial form, when you first gather their email address. Or, in the welcome email you could ask them to complete registration by completing a short form. Be aware that there is always the risk that this will put people off and they will fail to complete registration.
Frequency and timing of emails to different devices
A little common sense won’t go amiss when considering how frequently to email your list and what time of day to do it. Firstly, there is no point sending out emails on a weekly basis if you have nothing new to say. If you are using your mailing list to showcase your video content, it would make sense to utilise the list every time you have a new video to share. Marie Forleo has a very basic format for introducing her readers to new video content. She doesn’t embed the video into the email but uses a static image and a text introduction to the content. It could be that embedded video in the email would be more convenient for the user, but it is likely she has made this choice to encourage click throughs to her website and also to aid deliverability.
Over the past year there has been an 80% rise in people checking their emails on smartphones and tablets. The first thing to take away from this stat is that it is worth investing in mobile templates for your email campaigns. The next lesson is in relation to user behaviour. Research has shown that phone usage peaks throughout the day. iPad usage peaks in the evening, as does home computer usage. People also spend longer on their devices in the evening.
This means that you should be thinking about the time of day that you send particular content out to your list. Sending a video which is a few minutes long during the day will be counter-productive. You should save this content for evening mail outs when people are at home and more likely to be able to watch video and have sound etc (i.e. when they are not in the office). Save shorter text/image based emails for during the day when you have a quick message to get across.
Barriers to using video in email marketing campaigns
Video in email marketing is only just catching on. There have been issues in the past which have created barriers.
- In the past an email with video was likely to get filtered and not make it to the target inboxes.
- As video in email isn’t quite standardised yet, not all people will have email accounts that will be able to play the video you have included.
- Because videos are generally bigger files they can take time to download. Users can become impatient and delete your email without knowing what you were trying to say to them.
- If a video plays within an email, you won’t be able to gather the valuable click through information you would get by pointing them in the direction of your website to view a video.
Using video on email landing pages
If you aren’t ready to use video in your email marketing, or if you feel it isn’t right for you, you should consider using video on your landing pages. Using the right video in the right place at the right time will reduce your bounce rate and improve your conversion rate. If a user clicks through your email, they are demonstrating an interest. Once they hit your landing page you need to hold their interest and direct it efficiently so that they don’t become bored or confused and leave your website.
Web presenters are an innovative way to grab the attention of your audience. They also enable you to present your visitor with an efficient call to action, rather than them looking around your website for what they need. Depending on your conversion goals, corporate videos might also be a useful way to engage visitors who come to your landing page via an email marketing campaign. Corporate videos can be used to entertain, inform, advertise, or help – so think about what you are trying to achieve on your landing page and create/place videos accordingly.
You may also find our article on using video to reduce your website bounce rate useful.
The future of using video in email marketing
The 2012 Digital Marketer Benchmark and Trend Report stated that the inclusion of the word ‘video’ in the subject line of an email will boost click-through rates from 7-11%. Supposedly, emails that contained an embedded video achieved a 21% higher conversion rate than emails that contained static images alone. The future of email marketing and the integration of video can only be considered alongside the rise in mobile technology and smart phones. The same 2012 report found that 28% of smartphone users watch video on their phones in a typical month. This is combined with a culture in which most professionals check email on their smartphones.
Some of the age old concerns about using video in email marketing apply less and less because of the expansion of high-speed Internet. It is possible to have a static image as a back up in place of your videos so there is less need to worry about users who might be unable to view a video. So we know that people love video and that people also depend on email; putting the two together can only yield exciting results.