[How to] Use Targeted Video with Contextual Email Marketing

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Adding video to an email can be a game-changing event for marketers. While many email professionals shy away from the technical complications that video in email can bring to a marketing program, they lose sight of the messaging influence that video delivers to consumers. A recent Forrester report says that including a video in an email can boost click-through rates 200-300%; combine this engagement increase with the fact that over 55% of people online watch video daily and it’s evident that people are happy to interact with video consistently.

Historically, video content has had a hard time fitting in with the email industry due to technical constraints. In the last few years that has changed; email has embraced video as inbox and device technology catch up with media demand. Mobile devices have played an enormous role in online media consumption, also paving the way for increased amounts of video in the inbox. Today, email has evolved even further; real-time targeting is possible, tailoring content display at the moment the email opens.

Learning how to Target Video in Email

At Liveclicker, our RealTime Email platform uses pre-existing (CRM) and real-time (moment-of-open) data to render hyper-personalized content for each email recipient. Sending one video file to an entire list is email suicide; there are too many clients to get it 100% right with one file. To prevent any issues with video delivery, RealTime Email automatically detects the client the email is opened in and delivers the best possible media file type. Additional targeting can be configured to display a variety of different video options contingent on the openers:

  1. Device-in-Use – Device targeting is a great way to ensure 100% delivery of video media to an email list with Liveclicker. When the email opens, RealTime Email registers the device the email is opening on and delivers the most functional media file for that technology. An example of how this works in a real campaign would be an email list with a broad variety of email client diversity – a retail company with a huge email base of blended demographics. Email clients like AOL, Outlook (desktop), Outlook.com, Gmail (mobile and browser), Android (phone and tablet/various OS versions), etc. are all represented. In years past, this was a segmentation nightmare. With RealTime Email, one video uploads for encoding and when the email deploys, and each device receives the media type that works best for it. An older Outlook desktop client would get an animated gif automatically, whereas mobile devices and Apple Mail play video in the inbox.
  2. Current Weather – Current weather is a great way to target video promotions to the inbox, especially if there are multiple videos to use for differing weather conditions. Companies like car parts manufacturers, outdoor lifestyle retailers, travel websites, home repair, and sporting goods could all use contextual email technology to display different video offers based on the local weather where and when the email opens. An example could be a national outdoor gear provider is sending out a quarterly promotion to their entire email list, and they have four separate product videos for new clothing lines they carry. Each new item has some weather-specific use case for hot, cold, rainy, windy, etc. Once the email is ready, known first name data personalization is used alongside real-time weather targeting to send a product video contextually related to each opener’s weather forecast.
  3. Time of Day – Using time is an excellent method to engage email openers with contextual video content; urgency is very compelling. Time of day promotions can increase engagement tremendously with repeated opens and clicks throughout the campaign duration – adding video only makes it more interactive. Imagine a retailer using time of day video targeting to release deals online, and a different video was rendered in a single email template every 3 hours with a promotion code that worked for specific items on its ecommerce website. Engagement would go through the roof!
  4. Real-Time Location – The location of an email open for a single recipient can infinitely vary due to changes in things like the season of the year, time of day, the day of the week, traffic patterns, travel delays, moving house, lifestyle changes, etc. Known data like street address, zip code, and phone number do not accurately reflect the recipient’s relative location one hundred percent of the time. RealTime Email uses an opener’s position the moment the email is opened to display video personalized for that region. Each time that email opens, location reestablishes, and content is redisplayed.
  5. Known data (CRM/ESP) – this is pre-existing customer data from a customer relationship management tool or email service provider such as:
    1. Purchase history – leverage purchase history to dictate display of LiveVideos containing product or service information
    2. Gender – create gender-specific targeting to personalize LiveVideos for recipients at scale
    3. Previous email behavior – tighten email relevancy with intelligent analytics. Use past email behavior to dictate the next video for recipients. An electronics retailer could use previous email click patterns to dictate which Playstation 4 game video to show in the next newsletter as an example.

Keep in mind; this list isn’t a comprehensive summary of video targeting by any means. There are unique LiveVideo applications for every business using email today. Real-time video personalization can be done with or without CRM/ESP data and deployed at 100% scale using Liveclicker’s forward-facing segmentation. These examples are to show some ready-to-go scenarios that incorporate video targeting into everyday campaigns.

Benefits of Real-Time Video Targeting in Email

Using Liveclicker, emailing video is far less complicated and stressful than most know. The basics of delivering video to each email client are automated; one video upload equals all email clients covered, the leading image for the video can be customized before the send, multilingual subtitles can be added for the hearing impaired, GIFs are delivered to non-video email clients, and all this is before we add any LiveVideo targeting rules. The benefits of real-time video targeting start with:

  1. Complete list segmentation is possible without any usage of previously known data
  2. LiveVideo personalization at scale can be done using any of the real-time time targeting triggers
  3. Video-in-email can be as interactive and real-time as other online video-capable channels
  4. Campaign development time is significantly reduced with software-based automation
  5. Heavy list segmentation is replaces with intelligent, real-time content personalization

Video in email is not only here to stay – it’s ready to make bigger waves. Our clients have done studies to validate the power and saw dramatic changes in their own campaigns. Don’t hesitate to begin your exploration; we think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the results.

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