Here’s How You Use Video to Power-up Your Email Campaigns

Let’s face it, some email campaigns run the risk of coming off as boring and easy to ignore. 

It’s not anyone’s fault! But with a million pieces of flashy content coming to our eyes each day, email is not the most exciting type of content. However, that’s not to say it can’t be a fantastic and reliable marketing tool!

It has been around since the beginning of the Internet, and it’s still a dependable way to keep in touch with your audience, and even reach new people.

But it’s time to make them interesting again. No more boring newsletters or long-winded walls of text! Instead, brands should use the power of video content to level-up their email campaigns.

As most skilled video companies can attest, audiovisual pieces make marketing content as dynamic and engaging as it can be – and yes, that includes newsletters and email pitches.

The idea here is to make your mailings so appealing that your subscribers can’t help but open them and see what you have to say. And with video? That becomes much easier!

Video and Email Campaigns – A Match Made in Heaven

A great piece of video content is engaging and compelling. So, it’s only natural that adding them to email improves opens and click-through rates. 

Increases opens, you ask? Yes, just by adding the word “video” in the subject line of an email, your campaign’s open rates can increase by as much as 19%. Moreover, well-targeted videos are very intriguing for sure – and for proof that you need to look no further than how they improve click-through rates!

Just adding the thumbnail of a video in a newsletter’s body, clicks are increased by more than 50% on average. With just a thumbnail! What that tells us is that people are interested in watching engaging video content — I mean, they’re happy to click-through just by having the promise of a video.

Lastly, a video-email strategy brings along a few additional perks that are nothing to scoff at! Adding video to email campaigns can have a positive impact on site traffic (because of increased click-through rates), and bump those average session durations as people remain there longer, watching your content – Both things that can help your SEO efforts. Sites with video content get 41% more search traffic than those who don’t use it.

What Types of Videos Work Best?

There’s not a one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to marketing, and the same goes for email campaigns and video creation. While there are many types of videos you can draw from, choosing the right one is essential to get the results you are after.

How do you choose the best type, though? By defining the email campaigns primary marketing goal, and its location on your buyer’s journey. Depending on the stage of the buyer’s journey you’re targeting – and what you are trying to accomplish with them – some videos will be better suited than others.

For example, your email campaign might be intended to appeal to customers in the awareness stage of the buyer’s journey, in which you’re looking to introduce your brand to new people; or maybe you could be trying to convince a lead to make a purchase (targeting the decision stage). 

 For every single one of these goals, there’s a video type that can help you and your email campaign succeed! 

1 . Explainer Videos

When you’re looking to describe your product or service to an audience, and want to help them identify with your brand. Explainers come in particularly handy when your offering is complex or intricate, and needs to be conveyed in simple, understandable, and relatable ways.

Explainers are animated videos that can be made in a variety of styles — live-action, cartoon-like animation, whiteboard animation, motion graphics, and so on. Just choose the one that fits better with the rest of your visual communication, and go on from there! 


2. Commercial Ads

Another great way to introduce your email subscribers to your brand is by using commercial ads. Ads are engaging, catchy, and short videos that can be placed in your mailings as an introduction to your products, campaigns, or company in general — and they work wonders! 

The proof of that is how long they’ve been around — first on television, and now on websites, social media, YouTube channels and so on. These can be live-action, scripted videos; or animated videos with characters that stay in your audience’s minds through storytelling. 

Both options are great, and can go a long way to help your brand and product reach out to new audiences!


3. Product Videos

If your email marketing campaign focuses on the consideration stage of the buyer’s journey, then make sure to go with product videos — These put all the focus on your product’s attributes, and what they can do to solve your prospect’s pressure points.

With product videos, your audience gets a glimpse into the benefits and qualities of whatever it is you want to provide them with and what its special features might be. Most importantly, a well-made product video will have people seeing themselves enjoying these benefits and special features – Bringing them closer to take action.


4. Testimonial Videos

Sometimes, your email campaign will be geared towards helping indecisive leads take the plunge. 

For the decision stage of the buyer’s journey, you can power up your email marketing campaigns by using videos that establish a bond of trust between your audience and your brand… Enter testimonial videos!

Testimonials are basically a recount of the experience your previous customers had with your product. They are so effective because customers will trust their peers more than they’d trust you about your product’s effectiveness.

For potential customer struggling with last-minute resistances, few things will be as compelling as watching an honest opinion that comes from someone who’s had the same struggles they have, and managed to solve already.


5. Product Reviews

Product reviews are as good as product videos but with a twist — they’re made by real customers. A somewhat combination between product videos and testimonials, these videos provide true and honest insights that can potentially persuade leads enough to become customers.

These reviews should be fan-made and curated by your brand, which makes it all so transparent that your subscribers will be amazed by the trust that you have in the quality of your products!

If they see that you trust your product so much that you’re willing to share fan-made reviews in your email campaigns, they’ll trust you instantly. And more trust means more sales.


6. FAQ Videos

When your leads are not sure whether they should make the purchase or not, FAQ videos are there to save the day. 

More often than not, the thing stopping leads from buying your products are the myriad of questions that come prior to a purchase. FAQ videos are the perfect pieces to dispel any doubts and reservations that potential customers might still hold in their minds.

If you can zero in on the most relevant questions your audience has, an FAQ video can be amazing for sparkling trust in your audience and bolster your email campaign.


7. Behind-The-Scenes Videos

When your intent is to use your email campaign to keep in touch with your audience, adding candid, day-to-day snippets of video to them can be a game changer.

Behind-the-scenes videos give you the chance to reveal the human side of your business, one that’s not usually shown but that people are eager to know about – Making your email communications irresistible to your audience


Tips and Best Practices!

Now that you know about the types of videos you have at your disposal to enhance those email campaigns, it’s time to move into the nitty-gritty of it all. Including video in an email can be both innovative and tricky – You need to do it right for the strategy to work!

1. Don’t Embed — Link It

Even though video content can be highly effective when combined with the scope and reach of a solid email campaigns, most email services (like Gmail, Outlook, and most others) won’t allow you to embed videos directly within an email. 

And even if you go with an email provider that does allow you to do so, your audience’s ability to actually play these videos will vary by platform and device!

If you want your video to be seen by everyone, you want to use a one-fits-all solution, which is to include video as a link instead of embedding it.

Actually linking to a video is even more helpful to you than it would be to embed it, btw. This way, you gain access to get valuable analytics information when people access your video. Things like how much of the video your audience has watched, or which parts they skipped. 

You can then use all this data to further personalize future emails, or create even more engaging videos.

That said, simply copy/pasting a link to that video won’t have the impact or reception you want! Which is where thumbnails come in.

2. Use Attractive Video Thumbnails!

So, your video needs to be linked instead of embedded, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t link it creatively. 

You want to give your audience the feel of immediacy. The feel that they can just click on your content and start watching. You accomplish this by making a custom thumbnail to serve as your video link’s anchor.

Craft an engaging thumbnail for your video by using a still image from the piece, and adding a “play button” overlay to it – Mimicking the outline users have grown accustomed to seeing in platforms like YouTube and Vimeo. Once that’s taken care of, link your video to this image. Simple as that!

You could even go a step further and select short fragments of your video to recreate as a GIF for your email. 

GIFs are fun, engaging animations that can serve as an introduction to your video piece. Unlike embedded videos, GIFs can be uploaded in all email platforms, because their file type falls under the image category!

Using GIFs is a great way to reinforce the idea of video content, even if you’re not showing it entirely, and you can even make your own by using an online GIF’s generator. Just don’t forget the “play” button!

3. Include The Word ‘Video’ In Your Email’s Subject Line

We touched on this already at the beginning of the piece, when we discussed the stats that make video in email campaigns such a great combo. However, it’s so important that it bears repeating: Just including the word “video” in your email’s subject line can increase opens by 19%. 

So, do exactly that!

People are expecting to receive interesting and engaging content in their inboxes, and if you don’t let them know that the email you sent contains precisely that, they won’t even bother to open it.

Forget about suspense! Let them know up-front that your email contains a brand new cool or useful video for their enjoyment, and your campaign will perform better because of it.

4. Put Some Love into Your Copy as Well

Your video is here to optimize your email, but email’s text content should support the video as well!

Use it to introduce your content and to communicate the main part of your message, just in case the video doesn’t show up immediately on your audience’s devices. You can also provide valuable context to the piece they are about to see, or link to other useful resources and information that might become relevant once they’ve seen the piece.

5. The importance of a CTA

When you’re launching an email campaign, you must keep in mind that the ultimate purpose is to inspire your audience to take some kind of action. Which is why strategically placed CTAs are so vital, and should be added not only to the copy but to your video as well.

Add a clear CTA at the end of your video, and use it to invite your subscribers to take action: watch another one of your pieces, download eBooks or other materials, or, at least, share the video with their peers if they found it amusing or useful!

Here’s a warning, though — don’t overdo it! CTAs are important, but you should keep them clear, straightforward, and unobtrusive. If you include more than one, make sure that they both follow the same goal.

Let’s Sum It Up!

Used correctly, video content has the power to boost up your email campaigns — and it’s 100% worth the effort. It’s the best way to connect with your audience and make your email more appealing and open-worthy! Something of particular importance nowadays, with people being constantly bombarded with content everywhere!

You need to make sure that your email is interesting enough for your subscribers to want to open it, and let them know right away what they can expect if they click into your mail.

Start by setting your campaigns main goals: Why are you sending your newsletter? 

Depending on what stage of the buyer’s journey you’re trying to boost with your mail, you’ll be able to identify which videos will work best. Create a piece, include it in your email, and send that puppy out!

Take your time, study your audience, and make the pieces complement each other. You’ll be able to craft a bulletproof email campaign with the help of video content before long!

Guest Post Author BIO

Victor Blasco

Victor Blasco’s an audiovisual designer, video marketing expert, and founder/CEO of the explainer video company Yum Yum Videos. Besides running the business, he’s a life long student of Chinese philosophy and a passionate geek for all things sci-fi.

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