For as long as email marketing has been alive, it has been taunted, mocked and labeled as dead. The arrivals of social platforms, cloud-based technologies, and other communication channels have all threatened to de-throne the inbox in an attempt to be more ‘relevant’ to the end user. However, email technology has grown to be ubiquitous in the online world as the channel of choice for most marketing departments. So-much-so, large corporations are gobbling up email service providers to incorporate them into marketing platforms and CRMs.
Watching the industry transform from independent ESPs and start-ups to corporately powered juggernauts has been amazing to witness. The email industry has persevered through government regulation, investor scrutiny, client-side acceptance issues, company acquisitions, consumer aggravation, uptake of rival technologies, and it still provides substantial revenues for established and fledgling organizations. The résumé is impressive for a technology that’s been dead since the mid-2000’s.
So, why is video email such a hard decision for marketers to embrace? My guess is they have been told since the idea’s conception that it will not work, and many organizations don’t take serious stock in video production skills for their employees. Video production is predominantly associated with TV-like commercial development and costly budgets.
Emailing Video to the Inbox
The opinions on whether or not email should contain video are broad. Some feel that email technology is best left alone while others are pointing at video as another way to strengthen email marketing’s position as digital ROI champion. Campaign Monitor did a great job summing up the availability of inboxes that natively accept video in email. Interestingly, the top three email clients all except and play video in the inbox.
Top 3 Email Clients
- Apple iPhone
- Apple iPad
- Apple Mail
Apple clearly dominates the list, but that’s perfect for video in email users. As email client usage has shifted from traditional desktop installations to cloud-based software and smartphones. Ultimately, consumers will decide how video evolves inside the inbox, but the current industry indicators show that video provides continual opportunity.
Liveclicker’s RealTime Email technology works within each of these email clients, identifying the level of video support in each client, and displaying the appropriate image, animated .GIF, or embedded video. On average, 52% of all RealTime email recipients can view video inline or full screen – leaving 46% with animation and a tiny 2% with a static image linked to the video. Liveclicker provides moment-of-open personalization to deliver the best possible experience for every recipient.
End User Experience with Video in Email
It’s hard to make the assumption that video in email is detrimental to user experience holistically. The negative slant seems to cover the ideas that users have to watch a cumbersome video within a text-based email, monitor mobile data usage for streaming, navigate past auto-play videos, or deal with technology updates out of their control. When truthfully, end users respond positively to video in email.
Marketers also make comments around the call-to-action in a video email getting lost by allocating the first click to a video rather than a text link. Again, the results show that end users like video. Applying a video in an email allows recipients to access the content instantly with an audio/visual component. Traditional text-based emails require end users to read through before consuming the entire message, also subjecting the message to each user’s reading comprehension.
Mobile technology is also a big factor in helping the end users consume video on a prolific level. Smartphones and tablets are arguably used to consume video media at record levels. The addition of streaming movies/shows, live events, online education, FaceTime, social media, and YouTube puts video into the hands of virtually everyone. Consumers gravitate and are being conditioned to use video as the content medium of choice. It seems like a natural occurrence to provide video in email as another way to deliver content.
Pilot a Video Email Campaign for Proof
The only way to see if video in email is the right tool is to use it. Testing a video in email campaign can be simple as creating a one-off video and segmenting a portion of email subscribers to test validity. Video can be captured via webcam, smartphone, portable camera, or professional equipment. Today’s devices are typically HD and ready for quick use. Screen capture software can also create actionable videos to share. Here are a few video ideas for a pilot:
- New product/feature release
- Event announcement/Pre-registration
- Messages from Founder/CEO
- Provide tutorial for clients
- Personal communication to clients/prospects
Get started with Video Email
Liveclicker provides industry-leading video-in-email technology to top brands and industry leaders across the globe. Online video is fast becoming the most utilized content on the web and currently sits at about 50% of all media consumed on the Internet. Video will continue to grow in usage and is expected to be at almost 70% of consumed online media by the end of this year. It’s time to look at video marketing seriously, particularly as a differentiator in email; your subscribers will thank you for it.
Contact us today for more information!