Do you feel like your email campaigns, which you believe to be A+, keep disappearing into the abyss because no one seems to be opening, or, better yet, responding? Well, chances are those feelings are valid. And, I know, because I’ve been in your shoes.
Your click-through rates start dwindling, or maybe the Spam button gets hit one too many times, creating a ripple effect all the way into your conversion rates. So, what’s the solution to increasing the effectiveness of your message? Video.
It’s the answer you’ve been searching for to help awaken your sleepy customers from their annoyingly cramped inboxes and retain their attention. In fact, Forrester reports that when marketers include video in email, the click-through rate increases by 200%-300%. Say what?!
I bet that stat got your attention. Yet, it can be tricky to know exactly where to start to triumphantly weave video into your emails. Lucky for you, however, that’s exactly why I’m here. I’m about to give you the ultimate guide you’ve been searching for, providing you with all the beginner-like information you need on how to include video in email marketing campaigns to amp things up a notch.
But, even after adding this guide to your marketing arsenal, there’s one critical component to ensuring you avoid another random “hey there” email and dropping off the radar: thoughtfully crafted email sequences. And, they’re not the easiest thing in the world to write, which sucks up even more of your precious time. Stay tuned below to learn the secret developing attention-grabbing, conversion-worthy email sequences in minutes.
The Ultimate Guide on How to Include Video in Email Marketing Campaigns
The Pre-work—Before You Add Video Into the Mix:
1. Identify the goal of your campaign.
Avoid jumping the gun. I know it can be exciting to get going on using video in your email, but this is the most important step to guide your campaign in the right direction. Not to mention, it makes it that much easier for you to measure the success of all your hard work. So, don’t let it go to waste.
First, go ahead and ask yourself these questions to embark on goal setting:
- What action(s) do you want your subscribers to take? This defines your call to action and the overall purpose of your email.
- Why should your subscribers care? How will they benefit from receiving/taking action on this email? What’s in it for them? Think in terms of whether it increases their knowledge of your product or service, saves them money, etc.
- Who are you sending your campaign to? This one is as straightforward as they come, but an important one nonetheless. Are you focusing on a niche group within your overall target audience? An example would be customers who have shown interest in your brand—let’s say they submitted their email to download a free eBook—but have yet to show you their wallet.
- How will you measure success? While open rates and click-through rates are important, you should focus on the overall goal of your campaign. Did you hope for a number of webinar registration sign-ups from your call to action? Measure your success based off of that number in particular.
This’ll help you kick start the process of incorporating video into your emails for a winning campaign.
2. Determine what kind of video you’ll be using based off that goal.
There’s a flood of options when it comes to the types of videos entrepreneurs like you have the opportunity to sprinkle into their email marketing efforts.
Here’s a good sample list to help get your creative juices flowing:
- New Subscriber Welcome: have an automated email that goes out once someone joins your email list? Throw in a video! Welcome them and give them a snippet of what they can expect to receive in their inboxes from here on out.
- Behind the Scenes: pull back the curtain to show your readers just how exactly a product is made or even take the time to introduce a new staff member. Project Repat, a company that makes quilts out of your favorite t-shirts, does it best—taking their customers and prospects behind the scenes.
- Event Follow-Up: just come off of an event high and want to share a recap with your subscribers? This is your chance, and it’ll also encourage those who didn’t attend this year to do so next year if it’s something you’ll be repeating.
- Client Testimonials: I’m sure you have plenty of rave-worthy testimonials living on your sales pages. Why not bring a few of those to life through video? Reach out to some of your customers who’ve offered up feedback, and see if they’d be interested in recording it using their computer or other device (keeps things budget-friendly). Already have video testimonials? Give yourself a pat on the back, and drop ‘em into your email!
- Teaser of a New Product or Service: releasing something new and exciting into the world? This is a great way to generate buzz. Tease your audience and spark their curiosity ahead of time. After watching, there’s a greater likelihood they’ll be sitting on the edge of their seats waiting for the release.
- Product Tutorial: show off your expertise and connect with visual learners by throwing a helpful tutorial into the mix. This helps to show your product in action and educate your audience even more.
- Your Story: unsure of where to begin with using video in email? This is a great place to dip your toes in the water. Share what motivated you to start your own business. Your values. The problem or need you are looking to satisfy. It showcases your passion and helps humanize your brand.
- Make a Message Pop: if you’re looking for a creative way to just say “thank you” or send a holiday greeting, your best bet is to use video. It makes a simple message stand out from what would’ve otherwise been a text-only message.
Remember, no matter what you choose to do, always tie everything back to the overall goal for your campaign.
3. Shoot video that sets you apart from the rest.
Now, I’m not going to get all technical on you here. But, the main point I want to get across is, if you’re filming video yourself, use some quality recording equipment in order to achieve the results you’re hoping for. It doesn’t need to be Hollywood-level, but the production value definitely matters. Reason being, 62% of consumers are more likely to have a negative perception of a brand that published a poor quality video.
With that being said, get a decent DSLR camera with a tripod. And, if you’re not looking to take on that investment just quite yet, you can rent a professional camera, lenses, and all that good stuff—without breaking the bank.
4. Get real and honest feedback.
Campaign goal brainstorming: check. Filming: check. Time to upload and share? Whoa, whoa, whoa. Not so fast. I suggest before you take that precious step, you share your video with a small sample of people—friends, family; you name it—to get their honest feedback.
This’ll save you the heartache of sending something out to your subscriber list that wasn’t quite ready for prime time yet.
5. Share to your preferred video platform.
Once you get the feedback and make any necessary edits, it’s time to push it out to your preferred video platform for greater sharing opportunities and visibility among your audience. Think YouTube or Vimeo. And, these platforms are free!
The Good Stuff—3 Ways to Include Video in Your Email Marketing:
1. Embed It to Play Within the Email—BEWARE!
Many think this is the easiest route to take when it comes to including video in email campaigns. And, while this method makes it convenient for the subscriber, as they never have to leave their inbox, it’s not always a safe bet. So, let me explain.
Embedding video into email is accomplished with HTML5. To avoid going all techie on you, the main thing you need to know is that not every email client (like one of the biggest ones: Gmail) supports it just yet.
To help you better understand, take a look at this graph, which identifies the email clients that support embedded video versus those that only support silent animations (GIF or PNG video) or static images.
With 62% of email clients now accommodating HTML5, you might feel you’re in the clear. But, if a subscriber using a non-HTML5 accommodating email provider lands on your message, they won’t be able to view your video. Ouch. That could hurt big time.
For that reason, I suggest before anything else, you check your email analytics to see which email clients your subscribers use. Maybe you’ll get lucky and be able to give this method a go. And, if not, there are some creative workarounds to avoid the embedding issue entirely. Ready?
2. Animated GIF.
As long as you haven’t been living under a rock, you probably know GIFs are all the rage. Brands love to use them (like us!) and people love to view them. And, despite them being stripped down from a traditional video, it only takes a few frames (3-4) to make your static image appear to move.
Yes, GIFs are a great tool to tell a story in a creative way through email marketing. The downside? Outlook 2007 and 2010 don’t support them. Womp womp.
But, there’s a workaround if you’re a B2B entrepreneur where most of your clients are Outlook users: make the first frame of your image also a static image. That way, when they receive it, there will be no alarms sounding, as it’s still technically the same message. Check out this example.
And, don’t worry—there’s no need for you to be a graphic design guru to start creating your own GIFs. Here’s a helpful tutorial that’ll get you going.
3. Static image with a play button.
I saved the best for last. Using a static image with an overlapping play button that directs subscribers to the host page for your video is the easiest (and oftentimes safest) method. That’s because most (if not all) email clients support images.
Here’s an example of how it’s used by Birchbox.
When you click the play button or the “Get the May Box” call to action button, you’re directed to a landing page that gives customers the full video, showcasing what they can expect to receive.
…Ultimately, You Should Stick With Methods #2 or #3.
- A: You want your entire audience to get in on the action of watching your video. Not just a small selection of your subscriber list.
- B: You’ll be getting your subscribers away from their inboxes and onto your site, setting yourself up for greater conversions and the chance for your readers to encounter more of your can’t-miss content.
- C: You can set the video to autoplay on your landing page, so once your subscriber gets there, they can watch without having to do any more work.
Your Bonus for Sticking Around—Best Practices:
- Test out using the word ‘video’ in your subject line—it can boost the click-through rate by up to 19%, increasing the rate at which your audience interacts with your website.
- Always tailor your tone to match your ideal reader—know when to be formal or friendly, employ humor, etc.
- Offer up a deal or scarcity within your video—after all, people sign up for emails to receive the hottest deals and information.
- Make the video the primary visual element in your email—after all, they tend to be more eye-catching than text-heavy messages.
- Highlight the value of watching the video in your email copy—your subscriber should know exactly why they should take the time to watch your message. Is there a special deal inside? Will it save them time or money?
- Include a relevant call to action—something as simple as “Watch the Video” will do.
- Ensure the video content is an appropriate length—this all depends on your ideal recipient of the email, the content, and the context. But, 2 minutes appears to be the sweet spot.
- Encourage video sharing—include social media sharing buttons to make it easier to pass the message along because 92% of mobile video consumers share videos with others.
- A/B test different versions of your video email—helps to optimize your conversion rate. 10% of subscribers get version A, 10% get version B, and 80% get the version with the best response.
If You’re Still on the Fence About Using Video in Email—Explore the Benefits:
- Humanizes your company. When you include a video in your marketing efforts, you’re inviting your audience in to learn more and feel more connected with your brand. Not to mention, it gives them the chance to see the human face behind it all. It’s way more effective when compared to standard stock photography and bland content.
- Saves time for both the sender and viewer. If you have something complicated to share about your product or service, a video can save you a ton of time explaining, thus, losing the attention of your audience. As a result, subscribers won’t have to spend their cherished time reading a huge chunk of text. It’s a win-win!
- Captures attention + harnesses emotion. People say a picture is worth a thousand words, but imagine how many a video is worth. I mean, we do live in a world filled to the brim with distractions. But, you don’t have to let that hold you back. Video has the power to reel in your customers and seriously tug on their heartstrings (an appropriate amount, of course). And, people prefer video. In fact, 59% of executives would rather watch video than read text. While, 4x as many consumers would rather watch a video about a product than read about it. The numbers don’t lie.
- And, video email marketing offers a return 280% higher than traditional emails. Need I say more?
Stuck on how to avoid sending your videos out with sporadic emails to your subscriber list?
I used to be right there with you. That was until I realized the importance of a thoughtfully crafted email sequence. But, writing them can oftentimes be an arduous task. Lucky for you, however, it doesn’t have to be that way. Meet your new copywriting companion: ScriptDoll.
It’s a sales copy engine dedicated to helping entrepreneurs like you compose persuasive sales content. Once users create their product portfolio and answer a handful of painless questions, ScriptDoll will drop those answers into thoughtfully crafted content scripts that sell—sales letters, email sequences, you name it.
Here’s why ScriptDoll is so beneficial to entrepreneurs like you:
- Frees up your time to put focus towards more productive tasks—simply complete your product portfolio, answer a handful of painless questions regarding your target audience, product details, features and benefits, and more, and ScriptDoll turns your answers into enticing email sequences in a matter of minutes.
- Solves the content flow dilemma for you—when should you share a value-added piece of content? Call attention to your audience’s biggest obstacles? Hit them up with a sale? Throw in some scarcity to light a fire under their tail? The software’s email sequence scripts answer these tricky questions as it develops the flow of emails for you.
- Keeps the content flowing with a distribution schedule—you won’t need to spend hours trying to figure out when it’s appropriate to send another email. ScriptDoll’s email sequence scripts inform you of the right time to hit the send button, avoiding a horde of unsubscribes or, worse, getting marked as spam.
Grab Hold of These Benefits Today—Join ScriptDoll Now!
Whew. We covered a ton, today. But, snaps for you because hopefully you’re feeling empowered to start mixing video into your email marketing. No excuses—you’ve got the knowledge on how to do it to amp up your efforts and perk up your audience. Not to mention, you now know of a tool that’ll help you avoid going MIA with your campaigns, encouraging subscribers to let you stick around in their inboxes.
Entrepreneurs like you are raving about ScriptDoll—relieving them from the struggles of writer’s block to create powerful video sales letters with little to no effort. We hope you’ll join them and look forward to you getting the results you’ve been searching for. They’re ready and waiting for you.
Have you experimented with video in your email marketing efforts? If not, is it something you might consider using in the near future? Let us know in the comments section below. We’d love to hear from you.