The Truth About Video Email Marketing

Look in your email inbox, and on any given day you’re likely to find several emails that feature videos. They can range from informational/educational to simply entertaining. But what is all the fuss about? Does video email marketing really lift response rates? Can anyone use video in their email marketing? What are the best tactics (or best practices for that matter)? Let’s find out!

Video Email Marketing Statistics and Reports

  • Simply including the word “video” in an email’s subject line saw an increase of 7%-13% in overall click-through rates (CTRs) in 2011, according to Experian’s 2012 Digital Marketer Benchmark and Trend Report. Embedding a video in an email generated an average conversion rate 21% higher than emails containing a static image alone.
  • And Videoretailer.org reported that using the word “video” in the subject line of helped achieve increases in open rates of up to 20% vs. no “video” in the subject line.
  • The 2010 Video Email Marketing Survey and Industry Trends Report revealed that video was used with email marketing by 50% of survey participants, and an additional 24% were considering the use of video in their email marketing programs.
  • Video in email can increase click-through rates by as much as two times to three times, according to David Daniels, former principal analyst at Forrester Research and current principle at Relevancy Group.
  • Holland America conducted an A/B test with an animated .gif video in email vs. a static image. The video segment resulted in 100% higher click-through rate, reported Liveclicker.
  • According to Marketing Vox, 63.9% of 5,000 people watched to completion a video sent by email.
  • In a Get Response study of 800,000 customer emails, those containing video received, on average, 5.6% higher open rates and 96.38% higher CTRs than non-video emails.

Video Email Marketing Tactics and Examples

Depending on your budget, several options exist for creating videos in emails:

  • Embedded video, which is provided by companies like Bomb Bomb. But keep in mind that embedded video will not work in all email clients.
  • Animated .gif videos. See this example from Style Campaign, which is executed brilliantly but this format also has its limitations.
  • A static callout linking to a web-hosted video, like the examples below, is by far the most common tactic.

The video featured in this Williams-Sonoma email demonstrates how to use a product (and clearly labels it as such):

Video Email Marketing Example

Cosmetics retailer Obagi creates continuity in its emails with a video series that touches the emotions, sharing one woman’s struggle with acne and how she overcame it – in time for her wedding – by using Obagi products.

Using Video in Emails

Video Email Marketing Best Practices

No matter what format you choose, if you decide to take the plunge, you should follow these best practices for video in emails:

  • Video expert Justin Foster, in a webinar for the Email Experience Council titled “Video Email: Why, When and How,” said it’s important to call out the video in the subject line, use a play button in the video player/player image, and highlight in the email what happens when the video is clicked.
  • Make the call to action a text link for subscribers who have blocked images.
  • Keep full video length with audio to less than 3 minutes, animated .gif videos to 30-45 seconds.
  • Make sure the first frame of the video is acceptable for email clients that show static images only.
  • Ensure that the amount of bandwidth required by the subscriber is not more than 150-200kB/second.

The key takeaway to using videos is email

You have to decide whether video in email is right for your brand, your subscribers, and your budget. Video can add a personal element (such as a message from the president), it makes your emails more interactive/engaging, and it can be repurposed for other channels, such as YouTube and social sharing sites.

If fear of the unknown is holding you back, many resources are available to guide you through the process. A few factors to consider before selecting an email video provider include video quality, video storage capacity, mobile video recording and mobile playback.

About the Author: Scott Hardigree is Founder of Indiemark. Connect with him everywhere, here.

6 comments

  1. Hey Scott – just a heads up that as of the past few months, Movable Ink offers the slickest implementation of video-in-email (yes, I’m biased BUT yes, it’s also true — we’ve heard this feedback directly from marketers who have done head to head bake-offs with other providers).

    The technology serves full video whenever and wherever possible, and automatically “degrades” to animated gif or static images with play buttons based on the recipient’s email platform capabilities (capabilities chart available here: http://blog.movableink.com/post/41794353865).

    Our version also enables marketers to take their campaigns up a notch by pairing video with time-targeting and geo-targeting solutions.

    A few recent examples of marketers using video in email can be found here: http://pinterest.com/movableink/video-emails/

    More information on the solution available for download on our homepage: http://www.movableink.com.

    Best,
    Jordan

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