Video in Email: Is It Right For Your Business? (Part 1)

Posted by John Pollard 

Video in email is nothing new. Marketers have been using some form of video in email for a long time. But with growing acceptance of HTML5 and with the rise of video in online content, advertising, and within social networks, you may be finally ready to take the plunge and incorporate videos into your email marketing program.

It is easy to get caught up in the promise of video increasing your revenue. But before you start putting videos in your email, take a step back and determine if using video in email will help you reach your business goals.

Should you use videos in your email program?
The answer is: maybe. Yes, I hate that answer too, but using video the wrong way for your business may not give you the results you want. Many companies have been using video in email for years with a lot of success, while others have tried it with limited success. Industry studies and anecdotal evidence supports the idea that using video in your email program is effective.

  • According to Syndacast, using the word “video” in an email subject line increases open rates by 19 percent, click-through rates by 65 percent and reduces unsubscribe requests by 26 percent.
  • A Forbes study found that consumers prefer video content over other content choices, and 1 in 4 consumers lose interest in a company that does not incorporate video content in any of their marketing channels.

Before you start placing videos in your email, have a conversation in your next marketing meeting about pursuing a video strategy. Below are some discussion points to help you decide if it is right for your business.

  • Does using video in your email fit your business model? What is the potential value to your prospects and customers? Do you have the right people and technical resources in place to execute successfully? Can it give you a competitive advantage?
  • How can using video in your email help you reach your business goals? Video in email is typically associated with marketing to increase sales, but can it help you cut costs too? 
  • Does using video in your email fit in with your marketing strategy?  Video in your email may help drive prospects and customers to your website, social networks, or your branded YouTube channel. Since video can be used outside the email channel, it’s important to synchronize it with your overall marketing strategy. Also, if you participate in YouTube’s AdSense revenue sharing program, a possible side benefit is an increase in revenue that may be able to help offset some of your video production costs.
  • Do you have budget available? Your budget may dictate when you can start testing as well as which methods of video to pursue.  You can always start with a modest budget in the beginning and test the results to see if it is worth a budget increase in the future. With customer-created videos, your costs can also be minimized.

Does adding videos into your email program align with your business and marketing strategy? In my second post, I’ll walk you through the key steps of planning to help ensure success.

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About John Pollard

John is a Senior Knowledge Strategist at Return Path. He is dedicated to building and maintaining knowledge and content assets to help marketers maximize the value of their email programs. John believes that sharing knowledge feeds the imagination, fosters collaboration and empowers people to grow and evolve. He has been in the email marketing industry since 2008 and has consulted numerous businesses and ESPs on deliverability and email optimization. Prior to joining Return Path, John worked in the finance industry with roles in business analysis and system administration.

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