September 5, 2013 E3

The Missing Element That’s Ruining Your Email Marketing

Video email marketing is one of the most underutilized yet highly effective means of communicating with (and selling to) customers and prospects. Most businesses engage in some form of opt-in email marketing, but these same companies often aren’t getting the most for their money when it comes to inbox messaging.

So what’s missing?

Video can take your email marketing to a whole new level, increasing engagement and ROI.  But according to a survey of marketing executives conducted by The Relevancy Group, 75% of marketers aren’t using videos in their email campaigns. Three out of four marketers are ignoring this highly effective strategy, leaving the door wide open for savvy marketers to swoop in and start generating more business.

Video Email Marketing Increases Engagement

Adding content that “moves” increases engagement in an email message.  Extensive testing has shown that even simple GIF animation can increase engagement and conversion rates. Video creates an even richer experience for the subscriber, which ups the dial even further on engagement and conversions.

The reason video works isn’t complicated. People just like video more than they like reading.  Video is easy to consume and far more entertaining than reading words on a page. Video is easier to share with friends and colleagues, and it’s easy to remember and return to. But in order to be engaging, your video email marketing campign must provide value. You have to grab the attention of your audience right off the bat, provide them with useful and/or entertaining information, and give them a call to action. Creating video for video’s sake won’t do much for your email marketing efforts.

Video Produces Real Returns

According to the Relevancy Group survey, video email marketing works. The executives surveyed reported a 55% increase in email click through rates when they started using video. But that’s not all. They also reported a 41% increase in sharing and forwarding of emails that include video and 44% reported an increase in the amount of time users kept the email messages open.  That’s an incredible increase in engagement with the addition of just one element.

And that increased engagement translates into increased sales and revenue. 25% of the executives who use video email marketing reported an increase in sales and an increase in average order size. And independent research by The Relevancy Group supports those findings. They found companies that use video email marketing post higher monthly revenues than their competitors – 40% more, on average.

So why aren’t more people hopping on the video email marketing train?

Technical Barriers to Delivering Video

The traditional method of delivering video content through email is to tease the video, then ask readers to click through to a landing page where the actual video is hosted. There have been legitimate technical reasons for this – video files were simply too big to include in a marketing email and the plugins required to deliver them, like Quicktime and Flash, often flagged subscribers’  junk folders. And when the videos did make it through, that extra step came a cost. Click through rates weren’t as high, because subscribers had to wait for the link to open, then wait for the video to load before they could see the content. This caused many subscribers to lose interest before the video even started.

But that excuse has gone out the window thanks to the near-universal compatibility of HTML 5 and progressive playback.  Now, a third-party plugin isn’t necessary to deliver your videos through email, and users don’t have to download the entire video before watching, they can stream while it buffers.  The constant improvements in deliverability and user experience have made it easier than ever to make video a part of your email marketing campaign.

Companies Don’t Know How to Use Video

The Relevancy Group study asked the executives who don’t use video email marketing why they aren’t including it in their playbook. The most common answer? Lack of available content. Digging a little deeper, these companies simply don’t know how to create videos that will engage their subscribers. Video is something that is very easy to get wrong, which is why a lot of companies ignore it all together.

But if you get it right, you can give yourself a huge edge over your competitors. And your team doesn’t have to be experts on video production in order to get it right. Partnering with a video production company that understands how to produce short, effective videos for email marketing is a great way to cut your learning curve. Professional production companies create professional-quality videos, and the better your videos look and sound, the more trust you’ll gain with your audience.

You can see live examples here how big brands are successfully using video email marketing.

What’s stopping your company from utilizing videos in your email marketing efforts? Let us know in the comments section below.

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