Not too long ago, many predicted that email was dead as a marketing tool. There were lots of reasons given for this – inboxes were too stuffed; people did not like to read text anymore, text and SMS messaging, and social media were “trumping” email communication, and so on.
The predictions did not bear out. Email marketing continues to be a profitable marketing venue, returning an average of $38 for every $1 spent. Of course, this kind of ROI means that a company has a good strategy and is realizing a lot of opens and conversions from its email campaigns.
The Rising Demand for Marketing Videos
At the same time, email appears to be alive and well, it is evolving, in order to engage target audiences. And those audiences can be fickle. One of the most prominent evolutions in email marketing has been the use of video, and for good reason. Here are some stats from an end-of-year consumer survey from Wyzowl, recently published:
● 96% of Internet users have watched an explainer video about a product
● 84% state they have been persuaded to buy a product or service after watching a video about it
● 74% say they have bought a piece of software or app after watching a video about it
● 66% said they prefer watching a video rather than reading about a product or service.
If you have been “on the fence” about the need to include videos in your email marketing campaigns, these figures should convince you.
As you consider how to add video email marketing into your campaigns, here are a number of “how-to” tips that you should find helpful. They include best practices for crafting your videos and then some tools/services to use to successfully embed video in your emails.
1. Setting the Goals
Every marketing campaign has specific goals. You may be trying to show the value of existing products; you may be introducing a new product; you may be reaching out to those who have looked at what you offer but have not yet purchased. And you may have a segmented list of potential customers who have never been contacted before.
Each campaign and each target audience will be unique. And as you consider using video in your email marketing, you may need to accept the fact that you will be crafting more than one video for your goals and for your audiences.
Suppose you want to target the segment that has visited your site, shown some interest, but has not yet made a purchase. In this case, you might solicit videos of happy customers using your product or service, putting these together in a combined video, and sending it out just to that segment. A very different video might be crafted for those who have not visited your site and shown no interest yet. This might be an explainer or “how-to” video showcasing the value of one or more of your products/services.
2. Setting Tone and Style of Your Videos
If you are a seasoned marketer, you have spent a lot of time developing profiles of your customers. You understand their pain points and their needs, and you also understand what they will appreciate in terms of humor, entertainment, and even inspiration. When you create your videos (and scripts), keep this in mind.
One of the best examples of an explainer video that is mindful of all of these things is that of Dollar Shave Club. Its audience is primarily millennials, and the entire video keeps that audience in mind – focusing on a specific pain point, and a style of humor and entertainment that resonates.
Just as an aside here: this video cost $2500 to produce. And it went viral within hours, catapulting this company to a multi-million-dollar business.
3. Keep it Short
While customers prefer video to text, they also prefer shorter. As you craft your videos, make sure that they are as short as possible, focusing on the critical information you want to give. The Dollar Shave Club Video above was less than 90 seconds.
WD40 is a well-known household product, one that was originally used for such things as squeaky hinges or to loosen tight screws, bolts, etc. Over time, it moved from the garage or basement into the home, as new uses were discovered for the product.
WD-40 has taken full advantage of these unfolding uses, many of which have been discovered by users of the product. And, it has created short videos to showcase all of these uses.
If you have new uses for your products or services, craft a video for your current customers, so that they are motivated to re-purchase. As long as you keep your brand in front of their eyes, they will think of you when they need the product you offer.
And your video can and should be short. The WD-40 video above is less than a minute.
4. Make it Professional but Not Too Much So
Credibility is important to consumers. If you have a fully polished, professionally created marketing video, and your audience is not a sophisticated one looking to buy expensive jewelry, you will miss the mark. Using customers or even yourself as a business owner will have far more impact.
Nevertheless, it should not be shoddy. Use good equipment or a professional producer to create it.
Fortunately, you have a lot of options for video editing software and apps that can turn a “ho-hum” production into a much more professional one. Find one that has filters, zooming, pause support, etc.
If you know that you are not good at the nuts and bolts of video production, hire a professional to shoot it.
5. Put the Word Video in the Subject Line
This cannot be emphasized enough. Consumers’ inboxes are stuffed with marketing emails – usually with subject lines that speak to discounts, special sales, etc. Yours will be different if you use the term video – and your chance for opens will be greater.
6. Consider a Video Series with Stories
This has been an effective tool for a long time. Think about the Geico gecko or the Aflac duck. Consumers react positively to their little adventures. Consider coming up with a theme for a video series, even if it a series of interviews with happy customers using your product.
7. The Script is as Important as the Visuals
Your script is where your brand shines through. Again, the language and tone of the words must match your brand and your audience. Consider the difference between the language and tone in a video for Rolex watches and one for Red Bull.
Where does your brand fall in this continuum? If you know your audience, and you have other marketing text that has been successful, then use that same tone and style in your script.
8. Watch Where and How You Place Your CTA’s
These can be tricky. And it depends on the type of conversion you want. One important point here – Having only a single conversion per email will keep your viewer focused on only one task. Where do you place them in a video email?
The answer is not simple, and you need to test their effectiveness. Here are a couple of options:
● Place the CTA button(s) within the video itself.
● Place the CTA button(s) at the end, after the consumer has been engaged.
● You can place them in a small amount of text at the beginning of the email, but that will “force” the viewer to go back. You want to make it easy to share and purchase.
9. Incorporate Some Psychological Triggers
There are many – fear of missing out, social proof from other customers, creating a sense of urgency, and more. These can certainly be incorporated into a video. Look at your other marketing campaigns’ use of these triggers and see how you can get them into your videos.
These nine tips should give you a foundation for your video email campaigns.
Now on to the nuts and bolts of crafting and embedding those videos.
How To embed Those Videos
You are not “out there” all alone, trying to create a video and then figuring out how to get it into your emails. You have access to any number of video editing software, tools, and services that can do this for you.
1. Mailchimp: Mailchimp has a video merge tag so that you can take videos you may have created and published elsewhere and get them into an email message.
2. BombBomb: This is a service that will not only host but will also send your emails for you. This eliminates technical difficulties.
3. Wyzowl: A service that will create professional videos for you and then get them embedded into your emails.
4. Writing Judge: A professional writing review service that will provide recommendations for services that have the best script-writing departments.
5. Adobe Premier Pro CC: This is a fee-based but easy video editing software with a free trial for starters. This is a great editing software for Windows and Mac, with lots of automatic features.
6. Adobe Premiere Elements 2019: This is a great all-around video editor that helps users at all levels of expertise. It’s really easy to use with lots of features and a free trial. It is easy to add sound through this software.
7. KineMaster: this is probably the best video editing software for Android devices. It is free and offers a huge number of features, including the ability to add handwriting and text annotations. You can try out up to four audio tracks.
8. Corel VideoStudio Ultimate 2019: This is definitely the best choice for beginners. It will walk you through all of the features and elements you can use to create and edit your videos. It has a music and special effects library and a walk=through, step-by-step guide for novices.
9. Pick the Writer: This professional writing review service gives users the factual information they need when they look for writing help. You can spend a lot of time researching writing services, or you can come and find one that will meet your needs.
Are there more? Of course. Do some research on the video creation/editing tools out there, and choose those that will work for you. Make choices about the types and content of the videos you want to create, evaluate your level of expertise, and then use or find the outside expertise you need to embed those engaging videos into your email campaigns. If you are a newbie to this, of course, it will require some work and a learning curve. Videos are a lot more complex than mere product photography.
Make No Mistake About It
Video is a compelling marketing technique. And it is obviously the preferred venue of consumers. While you may have to spend some time bringing yourself to a level of expertise, there are lots of resources out there for you to do just that. Start adding video to your email marketing campaigns and you will likely see a better ROI.