It’s not news that video is at the forefront of marketing these days.

From creating videos for your website to hosting Facebook Live sessions, this marketing tool has transformed from a nice-to-have to a must-have if you want to effectively engage with your audience and build a loyal following who will be more apt to purchase from you.

Video-based marketing is a great way to stand out from the multiple messages people get in their inboxes every day, not to mention how effective it is on social media.

This article focuses on using video in your email marketing. Keep reading for the technical parts of utilizing video in your email marketing and the creative aspect for some inspiration.

I’ve talked about using video many times in the past, but in case you’re still not convinced or didn’t think to use video in your email marketing efforts, it’s time to pay close attention. According to a study done by SuperOffice, including video in emails led to open rate increases of six percent (the average open rate across industries is about 25 percent).

Some other benefits of video marketing:
• It saves time. You can create short, engaging pieces of video much more quickly than it will take you to write an 800-word blog. It also gives info to your viewer in an easy-to-understand way.
• It can help SEO. Your Google search ranking can improve if your footage is viewed and shared by enough people.
• It’s cost-effective. You don’t need CGI effects or animation to make something great. A video can be much more affordable to produce than a blog or ad.
• It grabs attention. Especially when added into your newsletter, a video captures your audience’s attention and compels them to want to watch.

First, the Technical Part of Video Email Marketing

Before you start brainstorming ways to use video in email, you need to know how it plays in different email clients.

There are over 30 major email clients, including Gmail, Microsoft Outlook, Apple Mail and Yahoo Mail, and some of them don’t support the requirements for using email with video.

Traditionally, marketers would use HTML5 (Hypertext Markup Language) to code HTML video directly into an email, but recipients with certain email clients aren’t able to play it. Many popular email providers will only show a fallback image, and your marketing message will be lost in the crowd.

Fortunately, some of the popular services like MailChimp, Constant Contact and AWeber make it easy to share across all providers by using a screen capture image of your video and linking it to your original content on your blog, YouTube, Vimeo or similar sites.

This gives the appearance there’s actually video in your email and avoids technical issues with your email provider.

Instead of having to learn HTML5, there are also 3rd party services that can create a video snippet for you to include right in the body of your newsletter. In fact, I did this in a recent newsletter of ours!

Check out Playable to embed a short video in your next newsletter. Playable will replace the video with an image of your choice if the email service provider doesn’t support the video technology.

>> Learn more about the features of our favourite email providers.

No matter what eNewsletter tool you use, it’s crucial to test your campaign before you send it out. You’ll need to have accounts on all of the popular email platforms so that you can see how your footage works in each of them.

Sound like a lot of work? Trust a professional marketing company that’s been helping clients create successful eNewsletter campaigns since 2003.

Next, Make Sure You’re Mobile

According to Hubspot, mobile opens accounted for 46 percent of all email opens. That means you have to ensure you’re keeping smartphones in mind when you’re email marketing with video.

Fortunately, eNewsletter providers such as MailChimp and Constant Contact let you test and see how your messaging will look before you send it out.

It’s still important to keep the file size as low as possible so the video doesn’t need to buffer to start playing. Mobile devices don’t have the fastest download speed.

A good tip is to take a 10 second snippet of your video to use in the newsletter. That snippet can then link to the full feature on your blog.

Also, always make sure autoplay is off, especially on mobile. Most people don’t appreciate having something start playing (often noisily) as they sit in the office or on a bus; they prefer to click on Play themselves.

Now, On to the Creative Part

With the technical stuff out of the way, let’s look at how you can actually create content that will engage your viewers and get you more visitors to your website.

You need a plan with clear objectives or else you’re just sending content out into the world and hoping it will be seen and loved.

Why are you creating this campaign? To generate leads, brand awareness, followers…?

Once you’ve identified your objectives and goals, you can start thinking about actual email, and the content you want to produce.

As mentioned, host the full-length video in a blog post, landing page or even on social media and then plan to incorporate a “sneak peak” of that video in your email marketing campaign, linking to the full-length version.

Here are six tips and inspiration to get you started:
1. Use the word “video” in your subject line to make your message stands out.

2. Promote an event. Let’s use a law office as an example. We created a short video using Wave.Video for one our clients, A Family Law Firm, to promote an upcoming seminar they were hosting.

3. Offer tips. When it comes to email marketing with video, users want short, digestible clips. A “Top 5” or “4 ways to improve” will get more attention than a 2-minute creation of you trying to explain a product.

4. Create a series. This is a great way to keep people engaged with your expertise, as long as what you’re providing is valuable to them. Stay away from a five-part series on your latest offering. Instead, solve a problem.
Using the law firm video marketing again as an example, you could set up a list-building campaign and do a four-part video series on ways to prepare for a separation or divorce:
• Part 1: DIY or hire a lawyer?
• Part 2: Filing the necessary paperwork
• Part 3: Dividing assets
• Part 4: Supporting your children

5. Make tutorials. Your product or service solves a problem, so how can you showcase this to your clients? Educate your viewers with a short explanation around how your product or service will improve their lives, using real-world examples.

6. Think outside the box. Now, we don’t all have the budget outdoor company Patagonia does; however, look at how they’ve integrated amazing footage into their email campaigns. It doesn’t focus on their surfing gear, but it’s relevant to their customers.

Whether you’re a life coach shooting some footage while you’re on vacation or a wellness provider offering viewers a glimpse of your dinner prep process, get creative and get shooting!

Email marketing with video can be incredibly powerful, increasing your open rates, engagement, leads and sales substantially.

However, not every email should contain one. If you start using this marketing tactic every time you send out an eNewsletter to your subscribers, they’ll stop paying attention. Think of it as one way to stand out from the crowd, but don’t neglect your other tactics.

Crafting an eNewsletter campaign with video (or without), choosing the right email provider, testing and monitoring open rates and engagement is a tough job. And, it needs to be done well or else you’ll end up alienating and losing subscribers.

Susan Friesen, founder of the award-winning web development and digital marketing firm eVision Media. Visit www.ultimatewebsiteguide.ca and download your FREE “Ultimate Guide to Improving Your Website’s Profitability – 10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum Results”.

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