In our constantly changing, quickly expanding world, the format of video speaks more to the changing attention span of the average person than the traditional written word. This transition, though a gradual one, is becoming more apparent each and every day. Consumers in all industries crave clear information that they can digest quickly, with the least engagement on their part as possible. While there is an infinite myriad of content that can be conveyed through text, the simple fact is that video is more visceral, quick, and accessible than the best-written paragraphs could ever be. Just take a look at how film is the dominating medium when it comes to entertainment, whereas literature is being quickly left behind. Regardless of how you feel about this global progression, hopping onto the ever-accelerating video train is important for all email marketers looking to maximize their subscribers’ involvement.
Promoting your Products Through Video
When it comes to product-related emails, particularly when good timing is a strong factor, the implementation of product promotion videos can be a strong tool to drive high sales rates. According to Business 2 Community contributor Kristen Dunleavy: “Use a product promotion video to illustrate how your product is used or to simply add a fun, engaging element to your emails. When Pet Supplies Plus used a video in their email campaign to promote a coupon for cat litter, they saw total open rates of 84.8%, nearly doubling their typical open rates and making this campaign one of their most successful ones to date.”
Maximizing consumer experience sometimes requires subscribers to take a few steps toward cementing their involvement with marketers’ products or services. Advanced processes, such as logging in and setting up an account, can be explained in the most optimal way using video. Additionally, depending on what you market to your customers, video can make using your product or service much easier. “Include your how-to video in your email onboarding series so customers can refer back to it whenever they need it,” writes Dunleavy. “Consider including video shortcuts so people can jump to the exact topic they have questions about, like Shopify does in their video tutorials.”
Testimonials are an often-used tool to build customer trust, and display the extent to which your product or service can benefit them. In most cases, testimonials shown through video are more readily absorbed by consumers, and will convey the message to them in a clear, concise way. “Aim for videos about two minutes or less in length that speak directly to the benefits of your product or service,” offers Dunleavy. “Storytelling is key for testimonials, so focus on your customer’s desire, challenge and how your company provided a solution.”
A modern trend that is clear in any direction we look is consumers’ desires to be offered short, easily-digestable content. Attention spans are decreasing, and savvy email marketers will take advantage of this trend. For that reason, animated GIFs are an extremely useful tool. They require even less engagement than traditional video (simply playing on a loop as soon as the email is opened), and contain the bare essential content needed to convey your message. “Using an animated GIF adds an element of delight to a campaign that isn’t typically possible with static email designs,” writes Litmus contributor Jason Rodriguez. “A number of campaigns use animated GIFs for humor, and do so with great success. Buzzfeed, a strong proponent of embracing the GIF, has seen their email program grow from a single newsletter in 2012 to 14 different newsletters at the end of 2013.”