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The Video Email Marketing Bible – All You’ll Need to Know


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Email marketing has been around for ages, and with good reason – To this day, it stands as one of the most effective outreach channels business owners have at hand.

A solid campaign can help you promote your brand, stay in touch with prospects, and nurture them into becoming customers. And when you combine it with fantastic video content, you can spice up your sends and improve engagement — all while increasing both open and click-through rates.

In theory, at least.

The reality is that managing an effective video email marketing strategy is a tricky task – You need to know how to use the format so that your efforts meet your goals! Doubly so if you aren’t as experienced with the tool!

So, today, we’ll tell you all about embedding video content in your email campaigns, as well as the best advice to improve your results with it!

Adding Video to Your Emails – What For?

As the name implies, video email marketing simply refers to strategies that use video content in your email campaigns. Its main purpose is to increase subscriber engagement, but also to help you stay connected with prospects, reach out to new audiences, and promote your brand.

Marrying video and email is a common video marketing strategy that many brands implement to make their sends more intriguing, engaging, and original. However, do keep in mind this doesn’t necessarily mean having videos playing right inside those emails!

As a matter of fact, marketers usually paste a video thumbnail or .gif in the email that redirects the recipients to an external page. This is mostly because embedded videos aren’t supported by most big email service providers, like Gmail and Outlook.

So, the first thing you should know is that the quickest and safest way to start adding video to your emails is through including custom images or GIFs  – usually taken from the video – to entice people to click and watch.

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What Makes Video Email Marketing Such a Powerful Tool?

As effective as an email campaign can be, people receive dozens of emails every day. So, it’s critical to find ways to cut through the noise and stand out from the competition if you want results!

With gorgeous video content, you can turn a plain and simple email into a more compelling, impactful, and interesting experience. Helping you pique the viewers’ interest and motivate them to open your messages – Even by simply adding the word “video” in the subject line, you can boost open rates from 7% to 13%.

Furthermore, a video thumbnail can help you increase click-through rates up by 40%.

You see, people don’t read emails the way they read something printed – They quickly scan the message and focus their attention on bright and colorful elements. And, is there anything more enticing than a customized and gorgeous video thumbnail placed right in the middle of a branded email?

On a similar note, you can’t rely on long chunks of text to get your message across. In fact, the ideal email copy length is between 50 and 125 words, which can be quite limiting when you have a lot to say.

However, with video, you can condense all the important information in a short amount of time! All while keeping your email’s text light, short, and sweet.

Last but not least, sending videos through email can also give you metrics on who views your videos and who doesn’t. Providing valuable insights to understand which recipients are engaging with your content and, most importantly, to what type of content they tend to respond to.

Using Video Email Marketing Like A Pro: 6 Simple Ways

Ok, now that we know how beneficial video email can be for your business, it’s time to move to the fun part. Here are 6 simple ways to effectively use video for email marketing!

#1 Design & Implement Landing Pages that Work!

Remember what we said about using video to redirect recipients to an external site? Well, this shouldn’t be just any site, but an optimized landing page. Unlike regular web pages, which are typically created to encourage exploration, landing pages are purposely designed to convert visitors into leads, or at least prompt them into taking a given action.

For example, say you are promoting a new product, so you send an email with an embedded video thumbnail that redirects subscribers to a landing page. There, they’ll find all the information related to it – a gorgeous product video, the list of features, customer reviews, and, most importantly, a clear CTA to persuade them to buy it.

So, rather than making your leads watch the video within the email, sending them to a page that provides more context can be far more beneficial. Especially to leads that are at the end of the sales funnel and only need a final push to become customers.

#2 Leverage the Power of Local Events in Your Strategy

If you run the type of business that likes to host events to bring new customers in, developing a video email marketing campaign around them can help you spread the word big time.

Whether it’s a small event for ten or a big conference that gathers people from across the globe, sending the invitation via email is super effective. Doubly so when it’s personalized and includes an appealing and gorgeous video to catch the viewer’s interest.

You can create a piece summing up other events, create a series of testimonials with past attendees or participants sharing their awesome experiences, or have the people behind your business inviting prospects and encouraging them not to miss it. The possibilities are endless, really! Just make sure to choose whatever suits your brand best!

Video Email Marketing

#3 Make it Part of Your Sales Process!

Ok, here’s when you can make the most out of the info you get from email marketing. If you segment your subscribers –  and you most definitely should  – you can use video content to accelerate the sales funnel and close more deals. It’s pretty easy.

People online crave for some sort of connection, particularly from brands they like. So, you or your sales staff can record a simple but personalized video –  even directly from your computer  – and send it to hot leads in a matter of minutes. Yielding a powerful impact and improving your chances of them taking action!

Best thing? There are plenty of tools to help you do a great job.

For example, Wistia provides an easy-to-use feature called Soapbox. Basically, it’s a webcam and screen-recording tool that allows you to record a video, edit it, and then copy the thumbnail link directly on the email!

#4 Testimonials & Customer Stories: A Goldmine of Potential

Testimonial and customer story videos are super effective when it comes to convincing prospects of the value of a product or service. Explaining why most business owners always care to include them in their marketing strategies.

There’s something about watching a real human talking candidly about their experience with a brand that’s very compelling, persuasive, and trustworthy. So, why not take advantage of that and send those stories directly to your leads’ inboxes?

Once again, we recommend segmenting your subscribers and focusing on leads that are on the verge of buying! Do that, and the prospects of closing sales are going to be much higher.

#5 Don’t Forget About Existing Customers!

As a business owner, you can never lose sight of your existing customers. In fact, you should strive to build meaningful interactions with people that have already bought from you once –  that is, creating customer delight content.

Marketing-wise, there are many different things you can implement to enhance your customer’s experience and keep them coming for more. Even more so when you combine video content and email marketing.

From giving them special discounts to sending personalized video messages on their birthdays, the idea is to nurture that existing connection. Going above-and-beyond in the customer experience to keep them satisfied and, ultimately, ensure their loyalty to your brand.

Combining email and video for customer delight campaigns is just a match made in heaven.

Video Email Marketing

#6 Make Your Emails Come Alive with GIFs

If you’re just starting out with video email marketing, using GIFs is a great way to quickly spice up your sends and make them more dynamic. GIFs are short, fun, and engaging animations that fall under the image category. Hence, they can be easily added to your email templates without worrying about compatibility or loading problems. (More on this in a minute.)

Whether it’s a simple CTA button that changes color, some fun words moving around the page, or sparkly candles on a cake, a bit of movement is enough to push the boundaries of email design and take it to the next level. Helping you to surprise the reader and motivating into clicking your content.

Even more so, you can custom-make your very own branded GIFs using an online creator to maintain your video email marketing on-brand feel!

Video Email Marketing

How to Embed a Video in an Email

In case you’re wondering how to embed videos in email campaigns, there are two main methods: including them directly in the email template or using a video thumbnail. Let’s see how it works in each case.

Embed Videos

This is a great alternative for engaging your audience because they can watch the video without leaving their inboxes… if it loads successfully.

As mentioned briefly before, the thing with videos directly embedded in the email is they don’t usually work. Mostly due to security or spam reasons and because not all email clients can support the format, that is, HTML5.

So, if that’s the case, the recipients will see a “fallback image,” – which is a still image that looks like a video and redirects the user to another page. Sometimes, they might even see a broken image error, further impacting the user experience negatively. This is why we highly recommend checking which email providers most of your audience uses, and analyze if it’s worth doing it or not.

Or just play it safe and go with the alternative.

Video Thumbnail Images

As an alternative to embedded videos into emails, marketers usually add a video thumbnail image within the email that links to a landing page where the piece lives. You can either do it yourself or use an online video platform, like Wistia or Vidyard.

If you go for the DIY approach, you’ll have to design a thumbnail and add a “Play” button to it. That way, people will know it’s a video and click on it. Once you create the email, you’ll have to include the thumbnail image and add the link to where the video is located.

Video Email Marketing

You can also embed video thumbnails to your emails with a video platform. These are developed to help businesses host, create, manage, and share videos. Providing great analytic dashboards that show video performance metrics, like heatmaps with audience viewing behavior.

The best part, though, is that these platforms work with most email marketing providers, such as Drip and MailChimp, to name only two. So, they allow you to track who clicked and viewed your videos from your campaigns. Something that will help you make better decisions about what types of content your subscribers like the most.

All you’ll have to do is choose your video from your account (prior checking if it’s correctly embedded in the landing page), and paste the link into the HTML editor of your email marketing provider. Most hosting platforms also give you the option to customize the thumbnail so that you can adjust it to your email’s design.

5 Types of Marketing Emails You Can Improve with Video Content

From new product releases and tutorials to newsletters and event advertisements, when it comes to video email marketing, the sky’s the limit.

To help you get inspired, though, here’s a list of 5 popular types of marketing emails that you can take to the next level using video content.

#1 Welcome Emails

The first contact with prospects usually finds them unprepared to receive a sales pitch, let alone ready to close a deal. Instead, you should greet them with a warm welcome message. One that puts them in the center of the conversation and introduces them to your brand.

Take into account that these are prospects that willingly gave you their emails. They are interested in your brand and what you have to say to them. So, take the opportunity to give a first good impression with a lovely and simple video, and nurture the relationship to move them forward to the buying stage!

Video Email Marketing

#2 Newsletters

Email newsletters are great for staying in touch with both prospects and existing customers. Many brands use them weekly or monthly to educate their audience about their businesses, make product announcements, advertise upcoming events, share company news or inspirational stories, and so on.

With a fun video, you can enrich a newsletter email and provide much more context to what you’re trying to communicate. Helping you capitalize on your marketing efforts and get your message across more effectively. All while making the experience much more entertaining and enticing, of course!

Video Email Marketing

#3 Lead Nurturing Emails

As a marketer or business owner, one of your main goals should be finding ways of turning leads into customers. Mind you; this is a lengthy process that requires targeted campaigns built with analytics and a lot of research.

However, a customized and personalized video email strategy can help you with that process, big time. Essentially, you’ll have to wisely use video content to raise brand awareness, educate prospects about your company or product, but above all, build trust.

Depending on your company and target audience, your lead nurturing campaign is going to be one thing or another. For example, let’s say you sell fruit juice blenders and you developed a strategy with a series of three emails to nurture leads.

You can start by sending an informative blog post with the benefits of organic fruit juices and embed an educational video to expand on the topic. Then, invite them to a live video event with a specialist that’ll share tips on how to prepare healthy juices with your mixer. And to wrap up, you can send an email featuring a testimonial video with happy customers sharing their experiences with your product!

The idea is to use video email marketing to consistently provide video content that your leads are going to find useful, valuable, and appealing. That way, it’ll be easier for you to guide them down the sales funnel and eventually convert them.

#4 Stand-Alone Emails

Often used to notify subscribers about a limited offer or a special event, these are one-time distributed emails that are not part of a campaign. To be effective, stand-alone must include persuasive and engaging content, with a clear and very specific CTA.

Besides the offering itself, you can upgrade the send and include a compelling video to get your point across. For example, if you’re giving a discount, you can also embed a product demonstration video to help leads understand the value of your product. Doing so can encourage them to find out more about it and even buy it!

Video Email Marketing

#5 Re-Engagement Emails

If your subscribers’ metrics show that a portion of them has been inactive for a while, that’s Ok – It’s completely normal. As a marketer, this means that you’ll have to get creative and think of ways of shaking things up to reconnect with them.

That’s what re-engagement emails are for – Bringing your business back to your prospects’ minds! Luckily, there are endless ways you can do that with video email marketing. You just need to find the approach that matches your brand’s identity and type of customer.

Maybe you can use an emotional tone and send a sweet video saying that you miss hearing from them. Perhaps you’re the type of business that likes to add some humor to their messages, so you can include a funny GIF. Or maybe your brand is more straightforward, and showing subscribers all they’ve been missing lately is the way to go. Whatever fits best with your business!

Video Email Marketing

Tips and Tricks to Enhance Your Video Email Marketing Efforts

Before we wrap things up, here’s a list with some key tips to make your video email marketing a powerful tool in your next campaign!

  • Enable autoplay with sound off: There are few things more annoying than being suddenly startled by loud music when visiting a website or opening an email. This is why turning your video’s sound off is a must-do However, make sure to enable the autoplay so that viewers don’t have to click two times in a row to view your content: on the thumbnail image added to your email and then in the landing page.
  • Add the word “video” in the subject line: Tell in advance to your subscribers that there’s a great piece of content waiting inside the email. Doing so is going to make it stand out from the rest and increase your open rates. So, don’t hesitate and write an enticing and persuasive subject line that includes the word “video”. For example, “Learn with this Tutorial Video how to dye your own hair!” or “Learn how to dye your own hair [Tutorial Video].”
  • Place your video after the email copy: When implementing your next video marketing campaign using video, don’t forget to place your videos right after the copy. If, for whatever reason, the thumbnail or the video itself doesn’t load, your readers will still know what topic you’re covering. As for the email’s copy, make it solid, convincing, and concise.
  • Include captions: This goes hand-in-hand with what we said earlier – Most of the time, people watch videos with their sound off! It’s critical, then, to make sure your message gets across effectively even without sound. So, we highly recommend adding captions to all your pieces!
  • Develop a video series: A nice strategy to help you boost your open rates can also be creating a series of short but exciting videos. This is going to give your campaign consistency while keeping your audience intrigued and trying to anticipate what’s coming up next.
  • Mind your CTA: It can be pretty easy to get caught up in the excitement of using videos in your emails – We love videos too! However, you can’t forget to place proper CTA. It probably happens that a part of your subscribers won’t watch your video or even read your copy, and that’s fine. But that’s precisely why an enticing and persuasive CTA button it’s so important! So, whether it’s a contact form, a free trial, a discount code, or social media links, make sure it’s actionable and prominent.

Parting Thoughts

When you combine one of the most popular communication channels with the most effective marketing resource, you get an incredible tool –  Video email marketing. With it, you can increase subscriber engagement, spread brand awareness, reach out to new audiences, and nurture your relationship with customers.

But using video for email marketing purposes is more than just embedding a nice piece of content to a random email and delivering it to your list of subscribers. From technical elements to more strategic aspects, there are many things that you should account for to develop an effective campaign.

However, if you follow the points and topics discussed in this guide, we promise you’ll be one step closer to getting wonderful results. So, don’t wait another minute and start analyzing how to implement video and email together. You’ll get nothing but off-chart email metrics!

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