10 Winning Rules for Improving Your Email Marketing With Video

Using video in your email marketing can double your click-through rates – if you do it right.

When Ragan Communications introduced video into its email marketing campaigns as an experiment, the B2B publisher and training company discovered that emails with videos embedded on a separate landing page improved click-through rates to .51 percent, compared to .25 percent for text-only emails. (Open rates remained nearly static: 7.7 percent for video emails and 7.87 for text-only.)

If you’re ready to try the hottest new tactic in email marketing, here are ten ground rules that’ll help make your campaign a success.

1. Less is more

Internet users have short attention spans, so keep the video to 60 seconds or less. Statistics universally show that video viewership drops dramatically after the one-minute mark.

2. Embed thumbnails

It makes sense to want to embed a video in the body of the email, but that’s not the way to go. Embedded videos create deliverability and technical hurdles. Instead, embed a thumbnail of the video that serves as a link to the video.

3. Send click-throughs to landing page

Publishing video on YouTube is a great idea, but don’t send click-throughs there. Have the video on a landing page where you can provide a better brand experience and calls to action.

4. Make it universally compatible

More email is opened on mobile devices (38 percent) than desktops (33) or webmail (29). Let everyone see your video by making sure it’s compatible with Flash and HTML5.

5. Do testing

Don’t rely on the results of other video email marketing campaigns. Track open rates, video plays, and completion percentage.  Use A/B testing to find what works best for you.

Using a thumbnail of the video in an email is often best because many email providers can’t support video.

6. Add calls to action early and often

Remember that Internet users have short attention spans? They do. Use calls to action early and often otherwise you might miss someone who decides to ditch the video before the end. Offering an incentive, such as free shipping, with the call to action improves click-through rates.

7. Include ‘video’ in subject lines

A study showed that emails that had the word “video” in the subject line increased click-through rates between 7 and 13 percent.

Want to write killer subject lines? Click here for a guide!

8. Remember the importance of layout and text

Your video is polished and ready to go. Time to blast the email, right? Hold on. Take a minute to polish the text and layout accompanying the video. Some people won’t watch the video and good text and layout will still get your message across.

9. Advertise content

Don’t make someone guess what your video is about. Provide an outline at the start of the video that shows what will be discussed and why it matters to your viewer. Also, focus on the content, not minor imperfections. The mistakes make the video real and relatable.

10. Make video complementary

Not complimentary. Complementary. Use videos to enhance the content in your email. The best videos humanize the business, highlight main points, and reinforce calls to action.

For more email marketing tips, check out the Vocus Blog’s new Email channel!

Image: DavidErickson (Creative Commons)

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