Using Video in Email – Facts, Figures and Benefits
YouTube, with over two billion videos viewed daily, is a great indication of the high degree of engagement that is associated with videos. According to a recent study of over 1 billion video emails by email marketing firm GetResponse, results revealed that emails containing videos achieved 96.38% higher click-through rates and 5.6% higher open rates compared to non-video emails. That’s an impressive figure to say the least and should go a long way towards converting those who are still sitting on the fence regarding the potential scope of this medium.
It has been said that video email is much more personal than text campaigns. The reason for this, according to HuStream (conversational video apps) is simply because video email is more ‘human’. In fact, their sources go so far as to say that video is 7% words, 38% voice and tone and 55% body language. It’s no wonder then that it has also been said to be more ‘engaging’ of a target market. People are no longer dealing with websites, text and automated responses; they are coming face to face with another human being. This simple gesture can instil a sense of trust and goes a long way towards building customer relationships and brand loyalty.
We’ve looked at a number of reasons why video is proving to be so beneficial to email campaigns;
- It’s simple to use – You can create, upload and send out a video email in as little as 15 minutes
- It generates ‘buzz’ – Web video is a ‘hot’ topic at the moment, people like to forward and share them and it’s easy to get a video to go viral.
- It’s proven to increase the CTR of an email campaign – This is, of course, a huge factor of success for any email strategy. According to a survey by the World Wide Marketing Council, 73% of marketers surveyed said that integrating video with email marketing increased their CTR. The same survey went on to state that 50% of marketers now use video in their email campaigns and an additional 25% are considering it
- It’s more readily viewed and enjoyed than text – This is because it’s much easier to assimilate the information and message being conveyed and also because people are inherently lazy – they would much rather watch a tutorial or review than actually read one
- It makes you stand out from the crowd – Although video email campaigns are increasing in popularity, it’s still far from mainstream, giving you an automatic competitive advantage when you use it
- Simplicity – You can convey a complex marketing message very quickly with video
- It appeals to both a younger and older generation – This, according to ComScore which showed that the highest percentage (21%) of people who engaged with video were those aged 2-17 years. The second highest percentage (18%) belonged to those aged 35-44 years
- It’s highly influential – As stated by the Publishers Association, 76% of respondents found video to be influential and 52% of people had taken some form of action as a result of video
- Videos have higher page ranks- A study by Forrester showed that videos are 50 times more likely to show up on the first page of any given search
Despite all these impressive figures, video email is still considered to be in its infancy and this is evident in the fact that there are really only two different ways that one can incorporate it in their email.
- Static Image (Click to View) Video – This is the most simple and popular solution. A static image taken from the video is embedded in the email campaign. This image normally has a large ‘play’ arrow that, when clicked links to the real video which is hosted on a landing page or even a social media site such as YouTube. The advantages of using this solution are that there are no certification requirements, it’s widely supported and compatible with all email clients, it has established best practices and there are rarely deliverability issues. The downside is of course that users have to click through to view the actual video and audio, so it is important that the image you select clearly depicts the content of the video, which will help ensure that the subscriber follows through.
- Optimized video GIF (video in email) – The advantages to this solution are much the same as using a static image but it has additional benefits. The video is displayed directly in the preview pane or email and it doesn’t require downloading prior to viewing. The downside of animated GIF however is that there is no audio, it can take time to load, it requires embedded images, your subscribers email client might not support it, and it’s often expensive to produce and deliver.
Of course you need to remember that when using any form of video in your email, best practices still apply. This means that the video still needs to add value to the recipients experience (what do they get out of it?), contribute directly to the campaign objectives (more clicks, conversions, page views?) and it must be in line with other emails and campaigns you send in terms of brand recognition and corporate identity.
The ultimate measure of video email success lies in the audience engagement time and there are a number of factors that affect this; permission, interaction and attention. If you get the balance right, it can result in increased content consumption, increased brand awareness and an increased conversion in call to action rates.
Using video in your email marketing campaign engages your subscribers on a new and much more personal level, and results of its success are clearly and easily measured. There is no doubt that 2011 will see a lot more marketers adopting this practice in future email campaigns.
Editors Note: The study was conducted by email marketing firm GetResponse.