A Guide to Using Video in Email Marketing
More and more people are asking about inserting video directly into their email campaigns. It seems that the popularity of sites such as YouTube is sparking the interest of marketers who want to know how to effectively use the medium and add that extra visual stimulation into their email marketing.
Visual stimulation is always a plus in any marketing program, but doing it upfront is the more challenging piece. In many cases, I’ve heard marketers say that having a video in their email campaign is beneficial because the visual stimulation keeps people interested and moving forward to the Web site. Unfortunately, in many cases placing video in an email can have your message filtered out of the inbox. You have to consider that email clients are always working to ensure only relevant and legitimate information is being passed on through an email, and with a video there is no way to analyze the type of content that is being streamed.
Yet if video mailing is important to you, there is an alternative to consider. You can opt to take a screen shot of your video, and hyperlink it to the actual hosted version (see example to the right). By doing so, recipients understand that there is an actual video, and on your hosted page you can also gather the Web analytics information to track which group of people actually took the time to watch the whole video, and who just navigated away.
Be mindful however, that this screenshot will act as any other image would in an email, and make sure to always have descriptive alt tags that explain a video is available, in case your user doesn’t download images.
Don’t be afraid to test this method. And if you find that a simple call to action works better than a screenshot, then follow your recipients’ lead and stick with the CTA. Besides, you can always revisit the use of video and test it again at a later point in time.
For more email marketing video tips, read Jeanne Jennings’ article on ClickZ: Four Tips for Including Video in E-mail.