7 innovative ways to integrate video in email marketing

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Email marketing and video content. The numbers are in and the experts agree they’re the perfect blend of marketing magic for 2022 and beyond. This begs the question, what happens when you put two of the most highly effective strategies together?

Video marketing statistics

At the start of 2021, the video was already taking over much of the online space. In 2022, we’ve seen that trend hold true and continue growing. At least 98% of businesses say video converts the same or better than other content.

You can’t talk about video marketing without mentioning TikTok, Instagram Reels, and YouTube Shorts. Short form-video accounts for more than 73% of videos online that are two minutes or less.

However, long-form video content will never go out of style. Over 70% of YouTube viewers search the platform looking for videos that solve a problem they’re experiencing at home, school, work, or in extracurricular activities. Most of those problems aren’t solved in two minutes.

Email Marketing Statistics

Email has always been one of the most cost-effective marketing channels available and that’s not about to change. In the loud and clogged online marketplace, we have today, your email marketing is more valuable than ever.

It’s a platform-free, ad-free, direct-to-buyer access point that requires nothing more than their address and their attention. Across the globe, the email marketing market was valued at $7.5 billion in 2020 but is projected to increase by more than $10 billion dollars to approximately $17.9 billion by 2027.

It’s already ringing true with 78% of marketers reporting an increase in email engagement over the last 12 months. A third (31%) of B2B marketers report that email newsletters are the most effective way to nurture leads while 90% of content marketers say email engagement is the number one metric they monitor for content performance.

The Marriage of Video and Email

More than 23% of brands are already experimenting with interactive elements in email and another 32% plan to start. Wistia, a video hosting software, revealed that video content in email newsletters led to a 300% increase in email click-through rates.

Simply typing out the letters for “video” in email subject lines can increase open rates by as much as 19%, and reduce unsubscribes by 25%! These are not complex strategies and yet the monetary return and the impact on positive engagement are exponential.

Creating Strong Video Content

Now that we’re on board with using video content in your email marketing, let’s dig into what makes strong video content.

1. Identify Your Target Audience

In order to create video content that appeals to prospects, you need to know who you’re talking to. Get familiar with your target audience and what makes them tick.

Create a detailed customer avatar that includes relevant data such as:

  • Demographics
  • Interests
  • Gender
  • Income
  • Industry
  • Goals
  • Obstacles

Poll your existing client base. What do they care about? What are their hobbies? How did you help them? Why did they buy from you vs. the competition? Use what they tell you to develop a content plan.

2. Develop A Content Plan

You must have a comprehensive content plan for your campaign to be successful. Occasionally, you can throw out a raw video and get good results. More often than not, you need to create a solid, structured plan that is designed to move your business toward long-term campaign goals.

Always lead with value. Solve their problems, answer their questions, and meaningfully engage or entertain them. Show your ideal customer that your product or service is the solution to their brand.

3. Draft A Script

Whether this is a voiceover video or you’re the face in front of the camera, it’s imperative that you have a detailed script. Nothing is worse than getting caught on a rabbit trail and not reaching your intended destination.

Depending on the type of project you’re producing, this number may vary but plan for 120 to 200 spoken words per minute of video. Use clear language that’s easy to understand and easy to communicate. If you’re developing long-form content, include any necessary on-scene instructions such as when to use a prop, when to point a right, or when to look at a different camera.

One of the most essential elements of creating video content is to include a strong hook right away. You only have a few seconds to captivate the viewer and inspire them to make it to the end.

Here are a few hook suggestions to test:

  • Do something surprising
  • Deliver value within the first few seconds
  • Tell a compelling and interesting story
  • Use your body and facial expressions as you talk to keep their attention
  • Show up as you, not your brand, and make it more personal
  • Start with a “What if…” scenario that will pique their curiosity
  • Always use dynamic text overlays and closed captions
  • Be funny and tell a relatable joke or story
  • Share an intriguing or little-known fact

4. Production

Create a plan from start to finish that encompasses every step along the way. Include the setting, the talent, the necessary equipment, the transitions, and any props or tools.

If you’re just starting out, a smartphone camera will be fine! Be sure to film in a style and format that best matches where the content will live.

As you refine your process and improve the quality of your videos, a good camera will give better results. Or hire the production out to a professional team who will be ready to point and shoot.

If possible, use your production opportunities wisely and film more than one piece at a time. This is an efficient use of time and resources and allows you to batch edit later as well as pre-schedule your content to be released later.

5. Editing

This is the meticulous stage near the end. Here, you’ll add any captions and text overlay, music, and graphics, enhance the lighting, cut to remove dead space, and add any additional features. For YouTube content, design end-scards that include links to more of your videos or other website pages.

If you’re taking the DIY road when it comes to editing your videos, here are a few editing tools that will make this process much easier:

  • OpenShot
  • Lightworks
  • Movavi Video Editor Plus
  • Magisto
  • Fastreel

7 Ways To Integrate Video Into Your Email Marketing Campaign

1. Leverage The Subject Line

Remember the statistic that using the word “video” in the subject line increases open rates by 19%? Tell the people what you have for them inside, they just have to open it.

If you’re using email marketing software, you may also be able to program the preview text to include more details about your video or to give the reader more reasons to get excited about your video.

2. Provide Value Via Video

In the same way that you would write blog articles to enhance your search engine optimization for topics related to your brand, create video content to nurture your existing audience to make the next move.

Educate them with tutorials that get them a quick win or solve a pesky problem that’s common to your industry. Provide step-by-step tutorials on a process that frequently trips people up.

Offer your top tips and tricks to make their job easier and answer common questions you get from other prospects and customers. Inspire them with a success story full of practical insights and motivational details.

3. Send Episodic Content

Keep email engagement high and develop a series of emails that go out in sequence. Start with a strong hook in part one and provide enough of a sneak peek to get them excited for parts two, three, etc.

Don’t forget to use subject lines and previews to remind them where they’re at in the sequence and promote what is still to come.

4. Case Studies and Happy Client Testimonials

Data-driven case studies are highly effective at inspiring trust and credibility with your target audience. But anyone can jot down a line or two as a testimonial. Capturing a video testimonial or client story is far more powerful and sharable.

Be sure to ask them to answer the right questions:

  • What was their state before working with you
  • How was the process of working with you
  • What is their state now
  • What tangible benefits did they see from this partnership

5. Personalized Videos

This is a powerful email marketing strategy and even works well for cold outreach. Use online software like Soapbox or Loom to film a personal video that captures your face and your screen.

This is an easy way to introduce yourself and address a reader personally. Make a strong and memorable connection that shows how invested you are in their success.

6. Use Video In Automated Emails

Marketing automation software is essential to automate your processes and help you manage your time. Use videos in triggered emails and increase open and click-through rates.

Develop custom videos for any or all of these emails:

  • Welcome or onboarding
  • Purchases
  • Abandon cart
  • Transaction confirmations
  • Standardized customer support

These are videos you can create once but put to work for you again and again. This strategy shows you’re willing to go the extra mile and provide an enhanced customer experience.

7. Include A Clear Call To Action

In addition to visually appealing images, graphics, or GIFs, the call to action should be abundantly clear. Make a psychological or emotional connection by appealing to triggers such as scarcity, fear of missing out (FOMO), salience, and future framing.

The Technical Details

Email Marketing Software

Gmail and Outlook are great for single emails that go to one person. But when it comes to mass email marketing, a reliable and easy-to-use email management tool is critical.

Many platforms will allow you to easily paste a link directly to your hosted video from Vidyard, Vimeo, Vidyard, YouTube, Wistia, or Facebook straight in the body of your email using pre-coded boxes or frames.

Test these email platforms and see which is the best fit for you:

  • HubSpot
  • Active Campaign
  • ConstantContact

Image and GIF Links

If you have to send your readers out of their inbox to view your video, how you do this must be compelling enough to inspire action. It’s easy to link a section of text to a video but it’s hardly the most dynamic or effective method to drive traffic to your website or video.

Take a great photo and easily use it as the foundation for an exciting design in Canva. Even better, design a custom GIF using footage from your video with free tools like Imgflip and EZ Gif.

You can choose the precise frame you want to highlight in your GIF as the image your readers will see. Then Imgflip or EZ Gif will then generate and download your GIF. Now it’s as easy as copying and pasting or dragging and dropping into your email.

Or combine the two methods together to design an animated play button over your image and link the image to your video. Take a screengrab of the preferred section of your video and upload it to Canva.

Choose any project size and click “more” from the menu to the left of the workspace. Giphy and Canva are automatically connected so you can simply search “play” or “play sticker” and add the one you like best.

Now you’re ready to download the file as a video and upload to EZ Gif or Imgflip. This will generate a GIF with a custom URL that’s ready to copy and paste via the “insert an image with URL” function.

Integrate Video in Email Marketing For Better ROI

Video and email together are the perfect marriage of marketing tools. You can deliver content straight to your target customer in a format that they prefer with no ad spend. There’s never been a pairing so effective!

Take these strategies and implement them into your next email marketing campaign and compare it to previous campaigns.

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