Lots of people are talking about using video in email marketing. And many love the idea.
After all, video can be more emotionally engaging than a more traditional email with text and images. And, emails with video content tend to have better open, click-through and conversion rates, as well as improved engagement.
Sure, that all sounds great. But is using video in email easier said than done?
According to a recent survey by eMarketer, “Forty-three percent of marketers said they didn’t use videos in email messaging simply because they lacked the content, making it the most prominent obstacle to the practice. That was followed by the added costs of producing videos (27%), videos figuring low on the priority list (24%) and skepticism that video would improve email campaign performance (22%).”
In addition, many browsers and Web-based email clients (such as gmail, AOL mail, Outlook 2010, Yahoo!Mail) don’t yet support video in email marketing. That said, around 30% of your subscribers should still be able to view them – and that number is only going to grow as technology evolves to handle the demands of video.
However, it’s important to note that respondents to the eMarketer survey who used videos in their email campaigns did see returns on their investments. “Fifty-five percent reported higher clickthrough rates, 44% saw an increase in the amount of time subscribers spent with an email, and 41% reported an increase in the sharing or forwarding of emails.”
So, if you’re ready to try video in your emails, and have the resources to do so, then go for it! But be sure to give yourself some time for testing and trial-and-error. Like anything else that gets the coveted “next big thing” designation, video is getting a lot of hype in email marketing circles. As we’ve seen, though, it’s not just hype. It certainly can get you great results. But it’s important to determine if it’s really right for your business. Make sure it’s something that will resonate with your audience, and that you have the skills and resources (or the ability to get them) to deliver a great end product. You already focus on producing high-quality print content and graphics for your emails, right? The same goes for video, because video at its essence is simply another form of content.
If you’re not ready yet, don’t worry. Animated GIFs are a great option to get you moving in the general video direction. Many organizations are already using animated GIFS, and they are proving to be effective in their own right.
So what do you think? Are you ready to start experimenting with video in your email campaigns, or do you plan to wait until support for video in email is more widespread in Web browsers and email clients?