It seems like everyone has an email marketing campaign. At any one time, you could have an inbox full of emails from Target, your local bakery, and even your friend’s travel blog.
Email has become a go-to method for marketers to advertise to customers. But when every business under the sun sends out marketing emails, it becomes hard to differentiate yourself from the competition.
How then can you make your business’s email marketing efforts more effective? One word: video.
Many marketers make paltry excuses for why they do not use video in their email marketing. The biggest excuse is that they do not have any video content at all, let alone any video for email marketing. Many marketers think that video will “take too long to make,” that “it’s too expensive,” or “simply not a priority.”
Video has never been easier to make, and the costs of creating professional video content are well within many budgets, especially considering how effective it can be. Businesses need to make video a priority—nearly 80 percent of all internet traffic will be video by 2021, according to Cisco. That means you will miss a golden business opportunity if you shun video in your email marketing campaign.
Why is video in email such a high priority now? About half of marketers that used video in their email marketing campaigns saw an increase in click-through rates, increased reading time, and increased engagement. Wistia found that emails with a video received a staggering 300 percent higher click-through rate than emails without video.
That last point is a big reason why the number of businesses using video in email jumped from 36 percent to 46 percent just this last year. In other words, video in emails is an excellent way to distinguish yourself and gain an edge over your competition. We’ve got three tips for including video in your next email marketing campaign.
Create a Captivating Video or Video Series
The most important (but overlooked) step is to create a captivating video. Video at this stage is not designed to sell, but to entertain and engage the audience.
A vast amount of the email people receive is some company selling something, but rarely do these emails focus on the customers’ needs. Think of an area where you have expertise, and align this with the customers’ needs.
Be sure to keep your videos short! Two minutes or less is the sweet spot for videos in emails.
If you have longer content, then try to break it up into smaller chunks to create a series. Video series can be a powerful way to engage your subscriber base and have them actually look forward to your emails. You can create tutorials, behind-the-scenes tidbits, or even educate and inspire your audience.
Deliver something your audience will want to watch. If you don’t know where to start, check out this Entrepreneur article about creating quality video content.
Embed a Video Thumbnail Directly in the Email
Once you have a captivating video to send out to your audience, how will you get them to view it? Embed the video directly in the email!
However, one problem you’ll face is that many inbox providers are not compatible with embedded video. This means you will have to embed videos in your email campaigns by integrating with services like Mailjet. This service will automatically detect the device, operating system, and email client in order to deliver the best option to each.
If your emails are still not displaying the video to most of your customers, you have other options. You can use animated GIFs to bring attention to your video content. Think of these GIFs as short previews of the video itself, like when you scroll over a YouTube video with your mouse without clicking. Remember: The point of the video or GIF is to bring attention to your website, not the email.
Always Think Mobile
Just about everything in our interconnected world, from Netflix to email, is accessible through our mobile devices. Catering to mobile users is vital for today’s businesses, especially considering mobile data traffic is expected to increase nearly sevenfold by 2021.
The notoriously hard-to-reach Millennials used mobile devices 223 minutes per day in 2017 alone. Clearly, mobile users will drive the success of your video email marketing campaigns.
For video in email marketing, there are a few things to remember. First, embed small, mobile-optimized images that will display on both small and big screens. Responsive email design helps with reading on a small screen, so don’t be afraid to hire a web developer to help get your video and email content sized correctly.
Second, do not put your videos on autoplay. This is considered one of the most annoying features of the modern web, and online publications are going as far as creating guides on how to fight against this scourge.
Third, optimize the mobile-email-to-website customer experience with video. The idea is to reduce the number of steps between opening the email and purchasing your product.
For example, a retailer email may show a call-to-action that links to a huge category of shirts. This can overwhelm the customer. A short video displaying three to five options with a clear CTA will be far more effective, especially if the email is tailored to the customer’s tastes. The goal with mobile is to provide the least resistance possible for the customer when they receive your email in their inbox.
What Are Your Video Email Marketing Goals?
Before starting any email marketing campaign, you need to identify your goals. What are you trying to accomplish with the videos? Who is your target audience? Creating the right content that is tailored to your goals will lead to a successful campaign.
Your videos don’t need to be 10-part, epic series about your business conquests. They can be short snippets that leave the viewer wanting more. If you link to your landing page, using auto-play may be appropriate, since the viewer is already interested in the video content.
People don’t want to spend more time than they have to reading email. Help them out by creating an engaging video that captures their attention and keeps them interested.