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Boost Email Engagement: 5 tips to help your video perform in email

Want a better click-through rate for your emails? Video can be a powerful way to capture your reader’s attention and even get them excited and engaged with your email.

It’s hard to deny video can have an impact on your email marketing, with start-up companies like Wistia managing to increase click-through rates by 300%.

So we know video can boost your email campaigns and perhaps you already have a video to launch? Great! I’ve got 5 tips to ensure your videos are effective in your emails.

1. Set the expectation

Clicking a video in an email is a leap of faith. Your reader will need to make an investment of their time and they want to know if it’ll be worth it. To encourage more clicks, we’ll need to remove the mystery.

We can start by looking at how we present our subject lines. The 2012 Digital Marketer Benchmark and Trend Report revealed that you can boost Click-through-rates by up to 13% in your emails just by including the word ‘Video’ in your subject line.

Email subject line

In the email itself, use a thumbnail image that accurately represents the video you’re offering; whether it’s a screencast, something promotional or even just a talking head. Being vague or mysterious won’t encourage people to discover your content.

I like how MUSICBED have used their call to actions to simply state what’s going to happen if I click, either, listen to the one track or listen to their full Autumn playlist. The images, album artwork and colours are also consistent across the email and the landing page of their website, so the leap from my inbox felt natural.

Musicbed email

2. Frame your videos

Vimeo have done a great job of including real world objects like iPads and computers screens around their animations and videos. For me, it eases some concerns, such as;

  • Is the website mobile friendly?
  • Will the videos play responsively?
  • Are these videos optimised for network limits on my mobile devices?

They’re acknowledging their users are on their phones and tablets and I’m assuming their viewing environment will cater to my device and even service limitations.

Using the iPad is also a very clear way to show Vimeo’s selling proposition. “Nothing on TV, we have all the videos you’ll ever want here, in the palms of your hands wherever you are”.

Vimeo email

3. Let your video stand out

A lot of effort goes into creating video content, so when you’re getting your video out why not give it the spotlight?

That could just mean a nice, big thumbnail, while avoiding cluttering your email with extra Calls to Action, articles or distractions. If you’re using video content in your emails and you think it’s going to help your audience, let them know about it and make sure it’s clear. As you can see in the example from Wistia, they have minimal text with a ‘Video Learnings’ logo to accompany their video and their CTA.

Consider using video as an opportunity to reach out in addition to your usual marketing messages and measure the results for yourself.

Wistia email

4. Make your video thumbnails eye-candy

Think of your thumbnail as a poster for your movie. Will it be funny? emotional? educational? Your thumbnail has a big job to do so pull out all the stops for it.

Do some research, hop on YouTube and see what videos are trending. What colours and compositions do they have for their thumbnails. What kinds of images grab your attention? What colours do you like the best?

These are the sorts of things you should be applying to your own thumbnails:

Youtube thumbnails

5. Make it easy on the viewer

So you’ve made the video, now it’s up to your subscribers to watch it? Not entirely.

You probably know when your subscribers are the most active at opening and clicking within your emails, but when you’re promoting a video it might be worth giving some extra thought as to when they might be most likely to watch it.

If you’ve got some great educational material to share, we can assume it’d be best viewed when your reader is likely to be at a desktop computer during the day.

For a more fun video, you might want to consider sharing it a little later, such as afterwork when people might be on the train, on their phone, looking for a distraction. These kinds of videos are also more likely to be shared, liked or tweeted while someone is on a mobile device.

Alternatively, offer a way for a user to download the video as well. We see this a lot with post-webinar and conference emails. Depending on your content, it can be a good idea to give your audience the power to download and watch it on their own terms, on their preferred device, can be a great way to get them watching.

Problogger email

What does all this mean for your video strategy?

Video is a powerful way to reach out and engage with your customers, show off what you can do and pique people’s interest. But it’s really important to think of your audience first and what hurdles they may be facing.

By taking these 5 things into consideration, you can design an awesome email to help your video content really shine for your audience.

If you have some great tips of your own or even some questions about making your video and media content perform better, I’d love to see them in the comments!

Christopher Bentley Posted by:
Chris Bentley
Media and Production Coordinator

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