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Driving Email Marketing with Video

by Jay Durgan

As of February 2013, only one quarter of marketers use video in email marketing. Tapping into this widely underused strategy is a great way to set your brand apart from the crowd. Your target audience may be used to searching for video content from brands on YouTube or viewing it on Facebook or Instagram. But what if they also had it delivered right to their inboxes? It doesn’t get much more convenient than that. With high quality videos and engaging email formats, you’ll be driving email marketing with video in no time.

Start with a killer subject line

Eight out of ten people who read an article headline never actually read the article. Email subjects are no different. If you can’t pull people in right away, they’re going to hit the delete button and move on with their days. Include content in the subject line, focusing on keywords. Whenever possible, limit the subject to 40 characters, front-loading the message so that your target audience is guaranteed to see the most important part of it. Avoid repeating sender information and using recipients’ names, symbols, and special characters. Create a sense of urgency and keep the message clear. It can be tempting to opt for wit over clarity, but a clear subject line gets over 540 percent more clicks than a clever line. Save the jokes for the body of the email.

Create a thumbnail image for the video link

Video files can take up a lot of memory. Instead of embedding videos right in emails, make a thumbnail image or splash screen of a video to use in an email. Take care to select an image that is representative of the content and that makes users want to click through and see more. You can also add text to a thumbnail to provide more information about the content. Some companies create consistent text for their splash screens so that their videos are instantly recognizable. For example, Chef Jamie Oliver adds a vertical yellow text bar with his food channel name to the left side of his thumbnails.

If you’re using a channel like YouTube or Facebook to upload your emails, you’ve already created these thumbnails and can simply use them in emails as well. The thumbnail will take users to a specific video landing page. Linking a video to a thumbnail image as opposed to text is up to five times more effective.

Tailor video content to the sales cycle

Depending on a prospective customer’s current position in the sales cycle, his attention span can vary. When you’re sending emails to top-of-funnel leads, keep the content short. You want to attract new contacts and lead them into the sales cycle without overwhelming them with tons of information. For prospective customers who are further along in the cycle, think about including videos with answers to frequently asked questions, customer testimonials, and demonstrations of how specific products solve real customer problems.

Ultimately, the purpose of driving email marketing with video is to cultivate and maintain lasting relationships with customers. Video alone is not enough. You have to craft motivating subjects and structure the video content appropriately so that you increase your click through rate (CTR) as well as your return on investment (ROI).

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