It's easy, in a digital marketing campaign, to lack a personal connection with your audience. When done poorly, campaigns can even feel like they've been automatically generated by a sketchy algorithm.
Of course, some channels feel more personal than others, and email is a great spot to show your customers that you're more than an algorithm. Especially during the pandemic, small businesses are using email to stay connected with their clients. But email strategies live or die by open and engagement rates. Regardless of how compelling your message is, it won't matter if people aren't opening your emails and engaging long enough to internalize it.
One way to boost engagement: put video content in your emails.
Video can be a heavy lift, so don't waste time on the tedious tasks associated with archiving, promoting, or transcribing your videos. Here's how to automate your video post-production tasks.
How to use video in your email marketing campaign
There's a reason you don't often hear about "viral texts" or "viral pictures," but you're inundated with "viral videos." Audiences are naturally drawn to this format, and it's reflected in email: while reports cite varying numbers, it's clear that video increases both open rates (by letting folks know there's a video inside) and click-through rates.
They prove their worth through metrics, but videos are also a great way for you to build trust with your audience and help convey your message clearly and concisely. They allow you to show instead of tell. Plus, depending on your style, videos can allow your audience to see the real people behind the brands they love.
Here are a few tips from some of the top video production companies on how to use videos to boost your email campaign.
1. Choose the right type of video
You need to be sure your video matches your intent. For example, company culture videos are great—it gives your customers a glimpse into the values your brand represents—but you wouldn't include them in a product launch announcement. Here are some video types you might want to try out in your next newsletter.
Explainer videos are short, animated pieces that explain how your product or service can benefit them. Unlike traditional ads, explainers offer a creative way to promote your brand while also giving a valuable solution to your viewers. Here's an example of an explainer video my company, Yum Yum Videos, made for Blume Beverages.
Product videos are great if you want to announce the launch of a new product or just need a simple and direct piece that lists your service's main benefits. And to make it more interesting than a simple product demo, you can also show your product being used in context. Here's a recent example for a training mask.
Customer testimonials resonate with audiences because they can see themselves in the story of your current customer. Since they show honest interviews with the people you've helped with your product or service, you're reaching out to your potential customers through what amounts to word-of-mouth. Here's a customer testimonial video that Zapier put together.
2. Keep your video short
There's an old Spanish saying: "lo bueno si breve, dos veces bueno"—good things, when short, are twice as good. The same can be said about videos: people aren't watching these on their commute to work—they're clicking to them from an email they didn't plan to spend much time on.
Try to keep the videos you send in emails under the 90-second mark to ensure your audience stays for the whole show. If you need more time, you can create a series of short videos and send them to your customers regularly.
3. Send viewers down your funnel
Every successful marketing video ends with a clear call to action (CTA), which signals your audience on where to go next. Whether you're looking for traffic to your landing page, want folks to buy a specific product, or just want viewers to follow you on Instagram, you'll need to end your video with simple instructions.
It's easy to forget this part when you're putting a video in an email since the email itself probably has a CTA as well. But you still need to include it for the folks who opened the email and clicked the flashy video without reading the email itself.
4. Present your video in a way that makes sense
Some email newsletter platforms, like BombBomb, make it easy to include videos in your email. But most email marketing tools aren't compatible with video embeds, so the easiest way to include videos in your email is to just insert a thumbnail image and have it link to the video on your site or whichever video hosting service you use.
That means you need to design a compelling thumbnail or an animated GIF to attract even more clicks. Just be sure to put a play icon on it, to be sure your audience knows it's a video.
5. Always test before you send
Testing your email before sending is standard practice, but it's even more important when you include video. There are more technical issues that can pop up, and if the video doesn't work, it's worse than just having a typo—it means people can't access the content you've sent them.
The pandemic is changing the way we communicate, and in these uncertain times, offering a more personal connection is valuable both for your customers and your business. Pairing your emails with the right videos can help foster that connection while still providing your contacts with the content they want.