Email deserves sales reps’ respect.
It’s still our go-to communications tool when reaching out to cold leads and when nurturing those closer to conversion.
But when reaching 5% click-through rates in email campaigns is considered a major accomplishment, it might be time to start thinking out of the box. To smash that sales quota, that number is not going to cut it.
It may have killed the radio star, but video has the power of launching that CTR percentage to the stratosphere.
In-email videos: An introduction
For most of the 2010s, in-email videos pretty much translated into sending YouTube links via email.
Then, along came video hosting platforms.
The latter brought about an interesting new twist:
Embedding video in email.
As most email providers adapted to this new technology, suddenly marketers and sales reps could add an actual embed code to an email.
Today, the process is incredibly simple:
Once you’re done recording a video, you upload the file to your account. Then, all that’s left is to select the embed code that suits your email provider.
Good video hosting platforms will almost certainly offer embed codes for Gmail, Yahoo, and Outlook, along with a number of other email providers (e.g. MailChimp, Constant Contact, and GetResponse).
Here’s what these emails typically look like:
When a recipient clicks anywhere on the video image, he or she will be sent to Patagonia’s site, where they can immediately watch the video.
An awesome tool for marketers, emails with embedded sales video will require more of a personal touch to truly be effective.
Luckily, good video hosting platforms facilitate just that.
With nothing more than a webcam, you can quickly create a to-the-point introductory video and send it out to your contacts or leads.
Good video hosting platforms offer you the opportunity to create animated video thumbnails.
When recipients open the email, the video will play predetermined sections of the video in a loop, in GIF form:
Leaving a funny, quirky voicemail can sometimes be more effective than actually getting your cold lead to answer his or her phone. Making a strong, unsolicited impression can either set the grounds for more receptive future calls, or even motivate your contact to get back to you.
Think of your contacts’ inbox as their voicemail.
With them more than likely being on the receiving end of hundreds of daily emails, you’re going to want to get your message to pop.
Try to imagine yourself in your lead’s shoes.
He or she has to actually sift through these mountains of virtual mail…
Imagine how effective opening an email and finding one of those GIFs can be.
Even if your contact has no idea who you are or what you’re offering, a video thumbnail is 40-50% more likely to be clicked on, compared to an ordinary CTA or link.
Take it further by tracking engagement
Behind every successful salesperson stands a dedicated marketer.
Marketers (with the help of marketing automation platforms) feed sales reps with leads and contacts based on prior, encouraging interactions with content.
When a lead opens an email, the number of unique clicks and visits are critical in gauging how sales-qualified he or she is.
Given that in-email videos generate much greater engagement, wouldn’t it be amazing to see exactly how your contact interacted with them?
The good news is that there are tools out there that can provide you with these valuable insights. They typically are offered as part of a more advanced subscription plan with a good video hosting platform. Some tools are available for free, however, and can be installed as a Chrome extension.
In either case, the process of recording and uploading videos is similar. All you’ll need is a webcam. Once you finish recording yourself, you’ll be given a link which you then can paste within your email. When your contacts click on the video thumbnail within the email, they’ll be sent to a designated, predetermined landing page where they can watch the video.
Here’s where things get interesting:
You will know how many times contacts clicked on the video, how much of it they watched, and whether they completed watching it.
These tools provide you with a user-friendly dashboard, that becomes very beneficial when you start expanding the number of videos you send.
That way, you can measure the success rates of various videos, replicating or expanding on the elements of those that worked.
Here’s a look into Shazoom’s ACTIVITY tab:
By and large, your contact base is well aware of email automation. Adding a last name and signature to a generic email does little to dispel the readers’ impression that what they are being fed is not automated content.
That’s why it’s so important that you are prominently displayed in the video thumbnail.
Doing so effortlessly conveys a much-needed level of personalization to an otherwise mechanical process. It makes little difference if they are sent to the same video that all the other email recipients are sent to. This humanized approach is often the difference between an email that was merely opened and one that was clicked through.
The benefit of adding the word ‘video’ to your subject line can’t be stressed strongly enough. The latter results in an almost 20% increase in open rates.
Clickbait, even if effective, can lead to a loss of credibility. In this case, it’ll only serve to enhance your credibility among your email recipients.
In addition to video thumbnails, good video hosts also enable you to set the video to be played automatically once the email in which it appears is opened. This can be particularly effective if your sales message can be delivered visually.
With the sound off, think of ways to demonstrate your value add by holding up cue cards with short, snappy messages.
Yoni Yampolsky is a marketing manager at Cincopa. A powerful digital asset management and hosting platform, Cincopa enables users to tap their videos’ true conversion potential.