by Joe Forte
Email marketers understand that the subject line, including key words within it, are vital to obtaining higher open and click-through rates, but what is just as important is a clear call to action.
It could be a phrase or sentence, a video, or a single word, but a clear call to action is the primary determinant of whether the email recipient will click on your email or delete it forever (and possibly block others you may send in the future).
I would argue that email marketers who want to improve their click-through rates should use video. If content is king, then your video content is that king’s golden crown.
Video Increases Click-Through
It used to be that video content in email marketing was considered something of a trend, but in recent years it has become something more of a standard technique than merely yet another fading fad.
The first thing that will strike you about using video in your emails is that it will massively increase your click-through rate.
Different people learn differently, and using video is a good way to reach those who are visual and aural learners. Some people are very interested in music, for example, because they are primarily stimulated by sound (as opposed to physical touch or sight); others watch a lot of movies because they are primarily stimulated by sight, which is often considered the most important sense and the one that most people are powerfully drawn to.
Still, video alone is not enough in an email, of course. You need to include some text, especially an attention-grabbing headline or header, if you want people to click.
The person who already wants to click on your email or call to action within it is already a good prospect; you have attracted her attention and she wants to know more. So bravo, your CTR has just increased, and that is a good start.
But here comes the hard part: turning that single click into actual ROI—i.e., sales due to your video call to action.
Web-based distributor Shoeline.com increased Web sales conversions 44% when it started using videos for the showcasing of its products. That goes to show you the power that online video can have in your marketing and growth.
Integrating Video Content Into Your Emails
The inclusion of video in emails has been reported to double or triple CTR—certainly nothing to scoff at! So businesses that incorporate video into their various and sundry campaigns are way ahead of companies that do not.
Videos can take up a large amount of memory and space, so instead make a thumbnail image of the video to use in your email. That small image will be the link that takes your prospective customers to your site and the specific video landing page. Thumbnail images linking to videos have been found to be up to five times more effective than just text links to videos.
(Try to avoid videos that are very large. If they must be large, try some form of cleanup and compression with video editing software, or find someone who can do it for you. If it is a particularly long video, break it up into sections.)
When selecting your video thumbnail, chose the image that you think would make recipients most likely to view it. Also make sure it is something that actually pertains to the main themes of the video. Consider adding text to your thumbnail images as an additional way to drive action.
Now, even though video thumbnails are important, make sure to drizzle in a few text links to your landing page as well, since for many recipients the images in emails are blocked.
Commit to Landing Pages for Video
You can funnel all your prospective customers to a dedicated video landing page via your video email thumbnail link.
Consider having your main or first video on the landing page to auto-play so that it instantly captures your customers’ attention and they don’t have to waste time clicking on anything. However, don’t overuse this feature; making your videos instantly start can get irritating and may cause viewers to leave the page.
If you’re an online retailer, some useful features to add on to your video landing page are “add to cart” and “buy now” buttons. With those tools you should be able to initiate and track customer activity immediately.
Videos on Other Landing Pages
You can also use videos on other landing pages that you create—i.e., not just landing pages on which the email recipients expect to find a video because they clicked on a video thumbnail. This way, you can incorporate multiple videos into your campaign without cluttering the email with video thumbnails.
* * *
The ultimate purpose of email marketing is to reach out and build a lasting relationship with your customers. Inclusion of videos and video thumbnails in your email, and calls to action leading to a landing page, will increase your CTR as well as your ROI.