In terms of the broader digital marketing landscape, there’s few things trending hotter than video content. From branded YouTube pages to dedicated on-site video series, this form of content does offer a unique way to connect with your audience on a variety of other platforms. But is the path of video really the future for email marketing? Before you buy into the fervor surrounding this approach and realign the direction of your email content on a whim, let’s look at the facts that support the cases for and against video’s role in the inbox. From here, you’ll have a proper answer to this question and all the guidance you need to make the right call for your brand.
Why Bother with Video in the First Place?
To start the discussion off properly, iMedia Connection’s Zach Watson cuts through the hype and gets down to the cold hard facts. In his look at this subject, Watson notes that there’s plenty of reasons to support the argument that video has a spot in the future of email marketing. Specifically, brands that used video content in an email campaign saw a 55 percent increase in click-through rates, in addition to a 41 percent jump in social shares and forwarding to friends and family.
On top of this, Watson also found that viewers who received email content with video selections as the centerpiece spent 40 percent more time with the emails in question. Putting all of these findings together equates to roughly a 40 percent increase in monthly revenue for the brands and marketers living on the cutting edge of inbox operations.
Fighting Back Against the Limitations of the Inbox
So after reading that, it’s time to jump in on the video content craze head first, right? Not exactly. According to Adam Baetu of Business 2 Community, there’s plenty of reward to this approach, but there’s just as much risk if you don’t utilize the appropriate methods and tactics.
Essentially, Baetu pinpoints a few major problems with the usage of video selections in the inbox. First up is the fact that implementing video content with the wrong script or templates, as well as automatically assuming auto play on these videos works for your audience, can lead to a poor user experience in the inbox. Additionally, linking back to auto play videos on your page can end up being just as bad for your brand.
However, the final issue noted by Baetu – lacking the time or ability to refine and optimize these emails – is potentially the most damaging of all to the case for video in your next email marketing campaign. Trying to go along this path on your own can lead to a variety of unforeseen bugs and technical roadblocks that you neither have the time nor the expertise to handle with all the other responsibilities of the workplace tying up your days.
Optimizing Your Video Content Approach
Thankfully, there’s a few things you can do to capitalize on the surge toward video content, all without losing your sanity or neglecting the constant stream of work that’s always stacking up back at the office. First, if you plan on developing your own email templates and selections, try to use HTML5. Even if it’s not your preferred developmental tool, this language serves as the golden standard for a huge number of email clients and helps limit the exposure of your audience to a poor content experience.
Outside of using HTML5, make sure to reconsider your stance on auto play videos. While it might seem like a great way to get your call-to-action (CTA) on screen in a hurry, a sudden blast of sound and video from an unknown source isn’t always the most pleasant sensation to associate with your content.
Speaking of CTAs, it’s actually a good idea to front load this portion of your content near the beginning of the video. Baetu points out in his research that only 25 percent of viewers stick around for the whole video, so you’re much better off trying to capture their attention as soon as they hit play.
Of course, if all of this sounds too complex to handle on your own, there’s nothing wrong with calling in the experts. Facing down a momentous amount of frustration and wasted time can easily negate all of the benefits of this approach, so why not save yourself the hassle and reach out for the helping hand of a professional team? If you can do this, there’s nothing stopping you and your brand from taking control of the inbox with a stellar suite of video content and promotional messages.