Video email has come a long way. In fact, thanks to HTML5, it’s now possible to have a video play directly in email on a variety of devices and apps (though it’s not universal yet). Like peanut butter and jelly, video and email are better together. Video boosts email click-through rates, adds an enticing interactive component to communication, and makes email feel like less of a chore for your audience. In this guide, we’ll show you why and how you should be using video and email together to accomplish your marketing goals.
Despite competition from emerging tech like rich-media SMS and professional chat apps like Slack, email continues to be a popular and effective means of communication. In fact, millennials spend more than six hours a day in their inboxes!
But as the volume of email being sent and received increases, readers will need more motivation to open your messages and scroll through your content. Using a video will help make your email stand out and pique the viewer’s interest.
Video can have a positive effect on email conversions. Some data suggests that including the word “video” in a subject line boosts open rates. Our own study told us that video thumbnails increase click-through rates up to 40%.
And while the word “video” may imply that consuming the content in your email will be less work for the recipient, it can also help make your email more engaging overall. By gathering clicks on your thumbnail, you’re able to direct readers to a landing page where there’s even more context, giving your viewers the opportunity to learn more about your product or dig deeper into your content.
When deciding how to incorporate video in email there are many factors to consider, including your goals for the email, technical limitations, and the overall user experience — just to name a few.
Start off your video email marketing campaign by asking a fundamental question: What’s the goal of your email?
We generally find ourselves discussing these two options:
- Option A: Encourage the reader to visit our site and read, watch, or do something.
- Option B: Encourage the reader to consume content and take action within the email.
In the past, the goal of most of our emails was to get people to leave their inboxes and consume content on our website, for multiple reasons. We wanted recipients to comment and start discussions. We wanted them to share a link with their friends. We wanted them to read another article, watch another Wistia video, and ultimately sign up for more content or our product, all while learning about video marketing. This used to be possible only by getting people to your website.
But now, many email marketing tools offer interactive forms and widgets within the body of the email, so don’t rule out option B if your ultimate goal is conversions.
Given that email is the primary vehicle we use to stay in contact with our audience, it’s proven to be the most effective way to get our videos in front of receptive eyes. Since 2011, we’ve been using this magical combination to cultivate a growing audience.
This is how we combine the superpowers of video and email to build Wistia’s audience:
- We compose an email that includes an attractive link to a video on our website.
- We send that email to a loyal audience base.
- An enthusiastic percentage of that audience shares or forwards our email.
- Through these shares, new viewers discover our content.
- If new users find our content useful, they sign up for our emails, too (fingers crossed).
- Our audience grows!
By harnessing the power of both email and video and using them hand in hand, we’re delighting our readers and made lots of new friends (er, readers). Of course, this tactic is also dependent on consistently delivering timely, helpful, and engaging content, but that’s a lesson for another time.
“If copy is the brains of your email, video is the personality. Users are far more likely to click a play button than they are to read a paragraph of text. That’s because humans are inherently lazy and would much rather be spoon fed an idea than have to read it themselves. So we’ll always include a video in an email where possible.”
Ruairí Galavan, Content Marketing Manager, Intercom
With multiple opposing voices and new technology entering the discussion every day, it’s hard to stay on top of options and best practices regarding video and email. By now, many of you have probably seen a video or a GIF embedded directly into an email in your inbox. If you haven’t, that might be because your email client doesn’t play well with video. In these cases, the sender most likely set an image as the default option, or, worst case scenario, the email arrived at your door looking like HTML roadkill.
With the goal of expanding our audience and ultimately encouraging conversions, we have found certain email and video tactics are particularly effective:
- Let people know there’s a video (subject line, email text, play button on a thumbnail).
- For informational or brand emails (welcome messages, thank-you emails) have the video play directly in the email.
- Choose an enticing thumbnail from your video to include in your email (hint: friendly faces attract clicks).
- If you want viewers to take an action on your site, and video analytics are important to you, send people to a landing page after they click.
- Keep the number of calls to action limited.
- We’ve also found that a friendly play button atop an enticing image is a highly effective invitation, especially when the text in the email is direct and concise.
We imagine that most readers’ inner dialogues go something like this: “Looks like there’s a new Wistia feature. Hmm. Do I have time? Wait. Is that guy going to do magic tricks?!” Click.
You can generate traffic to your website quickly and efficiently by including an appealing link in your email. Unlike a video playing within an email, a video playing on a company’s website is surrounded by complementary elements. Why settle for giving your audience a taste when you can provide them with total immersion in your brand?
Video embedded directly into email can be an effective method for engaging your audience — as long as most people can view it.
Embedded videos are immediately interesting to look at and make your emails look “alive” and personal. Take, for example, a video voicemail delivered to a customer’s inbox. There’s a friendly face delivering the message, without asking the reader to click around or read paragraphs of text.
An embedded video is also a fantastic branding tool; it shows off your creativity and knack for visual design and sets the stage for building a deeper customer relationship
If you’re thinking about giving email embedding a try, remember that HTML5 video is only supported by some email providers. Many email services and devices now support HTML5 video, but there are a few notable exceptions, including Gmail and Android devices. Take stock of your audience data to see what client most of your customers are using, and analyze whether it may be worth it for you. According to Email on Acid, video compatibility in 2019 looks something like this:
- Apple Mail: Plays video within email
- Outlook for Mac: Plays video within email
- Samsung Galaxy (mail app): Plays video within email
- iOS 10+ (mail app): Plays video within email
- Gmail on desktop, Android, and iOS devices: Shows a fallback image
- Outlook 2016 and earlier: Shows a fallback image
- All Android devices besides the Samsung Galaxy: Shows a fallback image
Note that many email clients show a fallback image when a video is embedded. To create an optimal user experience for everyone, it’s critical that your thumbnail image is able to stand on its own with the rest of the design for the email.
Soapbox is Wistia’s webcam and screen-recording tool, and it’s a game changer for using video and email together. With Soapbox, all you need to create a great video is our Chrome extension, a webcam, and something to say. Hit record, and then edit to share your webcam, your screen, or a split-screen view.
Since it’s so easy to record and edit a custom video in Soapbox, you can use video as a communication tool, keeping the conversation alive with product updates and walk-throughs that the recipient can watch wherever, whenever.
You don’t need to know how to code to share a Soapbox video in your email. All you have to do is copy the thumbnail link right into your email provider (or email marketing tool if you plan to send to several people).
Animated GIFs can be a great, accessible alternative to embedded video, if you’re looking to give your emails some extra spice without fretting over client compatibility.
The one thing to remember is that file size matters. GIFs won’t animate in an email until all of the frames are loaded, so larger file sizes can create a subpar experience. If you’re lucky, an oversized GIF might pause on the first frame. Conversely, it could appear completely blank. Since many (if not most) of your readers will open your emails on a mobile device, it’s best to limit your use of large GIFs. In their 2019 post on optimizing GIFs for email, Campaign Monitor recommends keeping files to around 1MB in size.
One of our favorite styles of GIF is the cinemagraph, which shows subtle movements through layering. In a cinemagraph, a mostly static image is animated by a looping video in one part of the frame. It’s entrancing to watch, leading people to linger over cinemagraphs longer than other images. In fact, cinemagraph-creation tool Flixel reports that cinemagraph advertisements generate 5.6x higher click-through rates than static images.
Airbnb has been known to use cinemagraphs in their emails — check out this adorable, bubble-filled example:
Since less than 10% of the frame is in motion, the GIF almost presents itself as a still shot with a delightful, bubbly surprise.
“We were amazed about the videos on our homepage and wanted to bring one into our emails. With the launch of the new homepage, it was the right time to do it. We did it to surprise and delight our travelers directly in their inboxes. An animated GIF was the easiest way to do it, we selected the sequence and then sliced it to the minimum frame to make it fit in our email.”
Lucas Chevillard, Email Marketing Coordinator, Airbnb
Animated GIFs have been around for a while, but, like Krazy Straws, they haven’t lost their appeal. We’ve continuously experimented with sharing GIFs in email over the years — here’s one of our most recent examples:
For this particular email, our goal was to showcase what you could do with Adobe’s latest feature, Content-Aware Fill. And what better way to give viewers a glimpse into what our post will cover than to actually show them what they’ll end up learning how to do?
“Like Wistia, I’m a proponent of relying on GIFs to provide motion in email. While HTML video in email can be immensely powerful, it more often than not lacks in providing a net benefit over GIF-based approaches. Part of the reason is the lack of strong client support, but the stronger argument against the method, I think, is the cost incurred on mobile subscribers; for the biggest mobile carriers like Verizon and AT&T, the days of unlimited data are long gone, having been replaced by restrictive, low-cap plans.
Any way you slice it, video incurs a file size cost that’s higher than many GIFs. That means, when you send an email to your subscribers that includes HTML video, you can literally cost them money if they’re near or beyond their monthly cap.
For simple motion, the use of CSS3 animation is the better option, particularly because of low file size impact and wider support than HTML video. For more complex motion, GIFs are still king in the world of email.”
Fabio Carneiro, Lead Email Designer & UX Designer, MailChimp
When sharing GIFs in emails, the image quality isn’t exactly optimal, of course, there’s no sound. There are many factors that influence a reader’s decision to open an email, but we certainly don’t think trying something new like incorporating a GIF will hurt!
If you haven’t already gathered, we are really passionate about the relationship between email and video. That’s why we decided to give you some free templates to get you started. Whether you’re just starting to experiment with the dynamic duo of video and email, or you’re already grooving, we hope these templates will inspire and empower your efforts.
We designed and built each template from scratch, based on our experience to date. They’re set up so you can easily replace components with your content and make changes to fit your needs. They’ve been mobile optimized and put through Litmus’s testing tool to ensure cross-browser compatibility.
The future is looking bright for video and email. After all, two of the biggest trends in email right now are personalization and interactivity, and video fits the bill for both. Whether you choose to include full videos in the body of your email, animated GIFs, or colorful thumbnails, there are a number of techniques when it comes to video that can help make your emails more dynamic. When you incorporate video into your email strategy, you stand a better chance of becoming a source of inspiration and creativity for readers — not an unwanted interruption.
At the end of the day, your audience subscribed to your mailing for a reason; they like what you’re doing and what your company has to say. So, why not give people a reason to get excited about your content by featuring a video in your next email marketing campaign — we bet your audience will be eager to share it!
What is Design and how it influences your company
Today there are thousands of companies in the most varied sectors competing for the same territory. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to gain some awareness and attract customers. To stand out from the competition you need assets
Today there are thousands of companies in the most varied sectors competing for the same territory. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to gain some awareness and attract customers. To stand out from the competition you need assets. Aces. A good card. Let’s talk about one in particular. The design! Design as a holistic approach, capable of solving problems not only stylistic, but of all types. You can make your product unique, create a culture associated with your company and influence your investors and customers.
How Design Influences Your Company’s Brand and Culture
A company’s culture is based on beliefs and values. These are communicated through various points of contact. They change perceptions, behaviors and understandings. Contact points must be genuine, they must be exclusive to your company. The thinking and research behind design can help you create the story of your business. A competent designer plays a decisive role in planning your strategic decisions and in building that same culture. The sooner the results are defined, the faster it will grow in the right direction.
When you know what your company stands for, it’s simpler to build your brand. This goes beyond the logo, the look of the website or the products: the brand is the value that your customers and investors get with you.
How Design Influences the Product Experience
In the past, it was possible to achieve success almost by chance. But luck has been losing ground in the business scenario. The democratization of the internet has opened the door to creativity. We have people capable of getting a product up and running faster than ever. Competition is fierce. The standards for what is considered a successful product have also changed over time. Currently, customers expect a great user experience on the first click, on the first contact. As smartphones and tablets spread – with people searching for everything on these devices – potential customers’ expectations soar. Tolerance levels have also changed.
If your website is not visually appealing, if your application has a complex and buggy interface, you can be sure that you will lose customers in a matter of seconds. People want simple technological experiences. And design plays an extremely important role in ensuring the satisfaction of its customers. At pixelinmotion the designer understands market standards and is already familiar with what the customer wants. With this knowledge, you will be able to create a solution from scratch, which will make your product more valuable compared to the competition.
At pixelinmotion, we believe in this philosophy of proximity. Our approach to design is attentive to trends and will be able to boost your company to stardom. Get to work!
How to Use Video Data in Your Next Retargeting Campaign
Retargeting is a common marketing technique that serves ads to people who have visited your site or specific sections of your site. This tactic is a great way to remain top of mind with people who have already expressed interest in your brand. Many people treat every visitor to their site the same way, serving the same ads to everyone. Retargeting is a more nuanced approach that serves more relevant ad content based on behavior — thus providing a better experience.
With Wistia, we’ve made it super easy for you to hone in on your niche audiences by using Facebook, Instagram, Google, and YouTube to create different user segments based on actions that people take on your video.
Many businesses still haven’t taken advantage of the ability to segment visitors based on video behavior. Videos help potential customers build emotional connections with your brand, and people who have that connection are more likely to purchase in the future. In other words, when someone is willing to watch your 2–3-minute product video, there is a better chance that they’ll sign up for an account when prompted.
We’ve found that, on average, viewers who complete our product video are 15–20% more likely to convert than passive visitors.
“Viewers who complete our product video are 15–20% more likely to convert than passive visitors.”
Implementing segments like this within your retargeting campaigns allows you to reduce spend on less effective segments (like our homepage segment) while focusing on visitors who are farther along in your sales funnel and more connected to your brand.
Wistia allows you to keep track of key events like video engagement, video form conversions, channel subscriptions, and more. Once you connect these events with your retargeting provider, you’ll be efficiently serving up ads in no time!
The first thing you need to do is set up your integrations and then start creating segments in your retargeting provider. We’ll review how to do this across our four integration partners — Facebook, Instagram, Google, and YouTube.
Facebook & Instagram
Facebook acquired Instagram in 2012, and since then, the two have become one, making it super easy to advertise across both platforms.
First, we’ll quickly walk through how to set up the integration with FacebookAds. You can do this in your Wistia account under the account drop-down — you’ll see “integrations” as one of the options from this screen. Under the “promotion integrations” section, you’ll find “Facebook Ads.” Select the “connect” button to begin the process.
It’s important to note — you’ll need to log in with a Facebook account that has access to your Facebook Ads account and accept the user permissions. That’s it! Voila — easy peasy.
With the integration live, Wistia will begin to send viewer event data for any video you have embedded on your website to Facebook. Now you can get started targeting your ads with Reach & Retarget!
Facebook and Instagram give you several options for video-related “events,” including:
- Percent watched
- Seconds watched
- Played Video
Once audiences are enabled, they will appear in the Audiences section of your Facebook Ads account. You can also log back in and create new audiences any time after the integration is live. You’ll do this by creating a “custom audience” and using “website traffic” as the data source.
On the Wistia side, we’ll also provide a few recommended audience segments in the “promote” section of your channel. If a segment feels relevant, simply select “enable” to set up the list.
Keep in mind that these pre-populated audiences are just suggestions — you’ll be able to set up many more variations of these in the Facebook Ads platform. This flexibility is really where the integration is most useful; it allows marketers to easily define and create custom audiences based on viewer behavior.
Google and YouTube
Similarly, Google acquired YouTube in 2006, so you’ll be able to easily manage ads across both platforms within Google Ads.
To set up this integration, you’ll need to connect Wistia to your Google Analytics account. Navigate to the account tab and select “integrations” (just like you did for the Facebook connection). Remember, you’ll need to be an account owner or manager to connect the accounts. From there, select “Google Analytics” and follow the prompts to connect the two platforms.
To feed this data into other Google properties, you’ll need to do a little work in your Google Analytics account — but we’ve got you covered!
In your Google Analytics account, head over to the admin panel. From there, you’ll see the main screen with several options; select “Google Ads Linking.” This workflow will allow you to send analytics data over to the Google Ads platform. And, since YouTube ads are managed through the Google Ads platform, you’ll be able to leverage this data across both platforms without any additional work.
If you’re curious about how a specific segment is performing, you can set up custom audiences in Google Analytics, which can also be sent over to Google Ads for retargeting. Alternatively, you can set up unique custom audiences directly within Google Ads.
Once the integration is live, we can start to send event data to the Google Analytics account that you’ve connected. The following events will be tracked:
- % Watched
- Conversions (i.e., Turnstile submissions)
- Clicked Links (i.e., CTAs or annotations)
- Time Watched
You’ll see a few suggested audiences in Wistia and can turn those on or off at any time. But remember — these are just a few ideas to help you get started. Get creative with your audiences and segments to really unlock the power of retargeting!
Ok, great, you have your integrations set up, and the data is rolling in. Now what?
Connecting your accounts is the easy part. The next step is to roll up your sleeves and start creating your custom audiences. Here are a few specific examples of how you can use video retargeting throughout the conversion funnel.
Build brand affinity with video series
Are you promoting a new show or video series? If so, nurturing folks to finish an episode and the series is a great way to keep viewers engaged and build brand affinity.
You can take two approaches to this. First, retarget folks who started but did not finish an episode. To do this, set up a list on each episode for viewers that did not complete a defined percentage of a video (<75%, as an example). Then, serve this segment ads reminding them to finish. The best part? With Wistia’s resumable video feature, viewers will be able to pick the video back up right where they left off. Pretty cool, huh?
The second approach is to retarget folks who did finish an episode to encourage them to continue their journey with the next episode. To do this, set up a segment based on video completions, and serve these viewers ads for your next episode.
Nudge prospects with helpful resources
Video can do so much more than simply drive awareness for your brand; it can be a powerful tool to help nurture folks through your sales funnel. An example of this would be to use retargeting to provide helpful and timely resources related to the problem that your product or service solves.
This segment could be folks who convert on a video (fill out a Turnstile form). For example, you might gate a webinar or robust video asset on your website and then retarget those viewers to take the next step in your conversion funnel, perhaps downloading a related asset or viewing a product demo.
Drive leads for super engaged viewers
Are you looking to drive qualified leads from your videos? If so, Wistia has you covered. The exact equation for how you qualify leads will vary — but the same logic still applies. To do this, decide on what specific actions you view as “qualified.”
Let’s take folks who watched a high percentage of a high-intent video. For example, if viewers complete more than 75% of a product demo video, you could retarget them to set up a call with a solutions consultant for a personalized walk-through.
These are just a few examples of how you can get creative and set up custom audiences for retargeting. The options are only limited to your imagination. Meet with your team to decide on a few key segments that make sense for your business, and start building your lists today!
Best Video Marketing Ideas For Festive Season 2020
The way content was created earlier has now changed completely, and innovation is now becoming the key in today’s content creation.
About 78% of people are watching online videos on a weekly basis and 55% daily, it is a big opportunity for brands and corporations to focus their marketing strategies more towards creating videos.
Video engages your audience more effectively than text content, and they can understand the message you want to deliver in a much easier way.
With videos, your audience can learn about what your business is doing in their daily life rather than reading blogs.
Your audience prefers to watch the video over text content as it takes less time than reading text content, and the flow of engaging with content remains constant. Thus, focusing on video is crucial for marketers in 2020.
Are you planning to jump to create video content for your brand? Learn these best video marketing ideas to do wonders in 2020.
Best Video Marketing Ideas For Festive Season 2020
1. Get Sales With Shoppable Videos
Sales are the most important aspect for any business especially when it is the festive season. This season brings an opportunity for the brands to leverage the consumer intent to make more purchases and gifts.
Shoppable videos are the videos where users can buy the products in real-time directly from the video.
As a brand, you can create shoppable videos using a visual marketing tactic called visual commerce platforms that allows you to curate video content, tag products, and publish the shoppable video gallery on website or online store.
2. Engage Audience With Storytelling
In 2020, marketing strategies are more focused on storytelling as it connects business with real-life emotions.
Storytelling delivers the purpose of business and what value they are giving to their customers. Whether it is text content or video, storytelling is an effective way to gain the loyalty of your customers and build their trust in a brand.
However, reading text is a tedious task; video with storytelling has a greater impact on your audience. Not only your customers will engage with your content, but they also comprehend the message easily.
3. Create Short Videos With Message
Nobody wants to waste their time, especially when they are engaging with a brand’s marketing content. Keeping your video for a short duration for all platforms, whether social media, website or any place where your customers interact with you has a great impact on your business.
Shorter videos also increase the possibility that the audience will watch an entire video rather than leaving in-between.
When people see a video is too long, they even don’t like to click on it or if it is an ad they skip and do not watch it.
In order to connect with your audience in 2020, you have to focus on creating shorter videos about 5 seconds to 2 minutes.
Also, remember that lengthiness of video depends on the platform where you are sharing the content.
Thus, it is found that shorter videos help in boosting brand awareness and engagement among online audiences by 30%.
4. Make Mobile-Friendly Videos With Vertical Watch Option
As people are watching more videos and using mobile phones instead of computer screens, demand for vertical videos that can be watched directly from mobile phones has increased.
75% of mobile users say they like to watch vertical videos instead of horizontally on the mobile experience. It is because, in vertical videos, the audience gets a full picture on their screen, and there is no extra content.
Thus, make sure to create videos for your brand promotion and marketing that is responsive to any screen and can be played vertically.
5. Make An Engaging Video With UGC
User-generated content is the essential component of the marketing strategy in 2020. It is helpful in building trust by letting know your new customers about what your existing customers are saying about your brand.
User-generated content is effective because it is created by your customers themselves, and you do not pay them a single penny to create it.
You can curate user-generated content using social media aggregators and make a video that tells your new customers about your happy customers.
People talk about your brand over social media in various forms of content, whether images, text, or videos, you can collect these UGC videos and compile them to make a single compelling video to promote your business.
6. Create Video That Convert Audience
As a marketer, you have to make sure that the video content you create brings conversions. Not that it just delivers the message, but it should be compelling enough to drive traffic to buy your product.
Create value in the content so that your audience feels connected and like to take the next step to make purchase decisions.
Video is the essential component of the marketing funnel and makes your customer journey effective to make a purchase decision.
Make sure the video should not be promotional but contrary a value that your audience needs to buy your product and solve their problems.
7. Don’t Forget To Create Stories On Social Media.
As you publish your brand’s marketing video on various platforms, social media is the crucial network that you should focus on. These days social media platforms have added features in which you can add stories which are small videos that your followers can watch.
These stories are effective in telling your audience about the daily activities and create entertaining content to engage with them.
Instagram has 500 million active users who interact with social media content regularly. Now other platforms also have story features that make possible that you connect with your audience wherever they are. Thus it is a great opportunity to post stories on social media to interact with your followers regularly and tell them about your presence.
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