Millions of people around the world are watching YouTube every day. Wouldn’t it be awesome if your emails had that kind of engagement? Well, they can. By simply adding video into your email marketing, you can turn those boring messages of yours into entertaining experiences for subscribers. Proof? MarTech Advisor says that adding videos to your email content can boost click rates up to 300 percent.
Still. be forewarned: If you want to use video in your email marketing, there’s a right way (versus a wrong way) to do it. By following the best practices for using video in your email campaigns I’ve described below, you’ll likely see better engagement, which of course can lead to more traffic to your website and increased conversions.
Here’s how to use video in your email marketing.
Add “video” to your email subject lines.
Imagine spending time creating an awesome video for your email marketing campaign, only to find out that your email messages aren’t even getting opened. What a waste of effort! If you want your email subscribers to watch the videos in your emails, you first need to let them know they’re there by adding the word “video” to your email subject lines.
A great email subject line will grab the attention of your email subscribers and encourage them to open your message. If those users see “video” in the email subject line, they’ll know that they’re getting something extra special from you. In fact, according to MediaPost, when marketers used the word “video” in an email subject line, open rates rose 7 percent to 13 percent.
Embed the video into your email.
It shouldn’t be hard work for your email subscribers to watch your videos. So, instead of having users click a link that leads them to a landing page to watch your video — an extra step — embed the video directly into your email. This will save users that extra click and improve the user experience. Increasing the number of views your video will receive in turn increases the odds that your subscribers will convert.
Many email marketing services make it easy to embed video directly in your emails. Some can even pull a thumbnail image from your videos from YouTube or Vimeo as well as overlay a “play” button icon on top. This is important because without this icon, some of your email subscribers may mistake your video for an image.
Speaking of thumbnails, let’s move on to the next tip.
Use an eye-catching thumbnail.
Even if your video is directly embedded into your email, if it looks boring, users won’t watch it. That’s why it’s important to use an eye-catching thumbnail. The thumbnail is the first thing users will see and it’s what will encourage them to hit that “play” button. So, it needs to include some interesting imagery and text that grab the attention of your subscribers.
Check out this example from Patagonia. The thumbnail is dramatic and eye-catching. The company also uses text on the thumbnail to describe what the video is about.
Image source: Useproof.com Blog
Remember to create an original thumbnail using your own images or stills from the video. If you use stock photos, your subscribers will see right through it and it will come across as inauthentic.
Set up your video.
Patagonia’s video above also demonstrates the importance of setting up your video. Don’t just throw a video into your email without any explanation. You’ve got to let your subscribers know why they should watch the video and what it’s all about. If they know exactly what they’re getting, they’ll be more likely to watch. So, set up your video in the email.
Above or below the embedded video, include a short description of what the video is about, what users will get out of watching it and a strong call to action.
Try using GIFs and cinemagraphs.
Aside from traditional videos, don’t forget about using GIFs and cinemagraphs in your emails too. GIFs and cinemagraphs are just as entertaining as videos. Plus, users don’t have to click “play” in order to view them.
What’s the difference between a GIF and a cinemagraph? A GIF is typically a short frame of a video or animation on a loop. Cinemagraphs on the other hand, were created by two photographers, Kevin Burg and Jamie Beck, and are a mixture of video and photography. They’re like living pictures and the quality is top notch.
For example, check out this cinemagraph.
Image source: Cinemgraphs.com
Cinemagraphs are an art form, so you’ll probably have to hire someone to create one for you. But, GIFs are fairly easy to make using free online tools like Giphy and are sure to impress your email subscribers.
Over to you.
Email marketing isn’t dead; but yours needs a makeover. Adding video to your email marketing will breathe new life into your campaigns. Remember to track your results and analytics so that you know if your video strategy is effective and to find ways to continue to improve it for the best results.