Include Video in Emails for Increased Click-through Rates and Revenues

Monday, May 13th, 2013
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More and more of our clients are discovering the power of video, which has become inexpensive and easy to produce. You are including video on your website home pages and “how to” pages, as well as on your product detail pages in your online stores. You do so because you know that video is an effective way to engage and educate your customers, which of course leads to more customer loyalty, more sales and higher revenues. So why not send video in your email promotions and email newsletters? Not only is it engaging, it’s well suited to the mobile devices on which many of your customers are now viewing their emails.

Many marketers, including our partners at Mail Chimp, report that click through rates in emails with video increase dramatically – in a mail chimp email sent to 1.2 million people that included both text links and a video link, they found that click rates on text links averaged around 4-8 %, but the video received 62.8% of all the clicks. Mail Chimp’s partner Wistia reported that they did a split test using two identical emails with identical content, except one had a video as the top piece of content and the other had an illustrated graphic. Factoring out any variation in open rate between the two emails, the email with video performed over 300% better than the email without it!

Adding video to your emails is simple… sort-of. Attaching a compressed video file to your email is likely to land your email in your recipients’ junk boxes, so that’s a pretty unsatisfactory method. And most email clients don’t display embedded video at all – they either disable the video or strip it out altogether. So what’s the trick? Simply link to a video instead.

You could do that with a mundane “Watch the Video” text link, but we suggest creating a more compelling call to action. To make your email appear as if the video is embedded and thereby increase your click rates on the video, simply upload the video to youTube, Vimeo, Wistia or your video host of choice, grab a screenshot of it and embed the image of the video into the email, linking it to the site where the video actually resides.

To really slick it up, with Photoshop or some other graphic program you can add the little play arrow that typically shows up in the center of the image indicating click to play. Or you can temporarily embed the video on a dummy page on your website, and take a screenshot of it from there, which will include the play arrow without fiddling with a graphic program.

This makes it look as if the video is embedded in the email, tells folks to click and play in a familiar and intuitive manner, and increases customer engagement – all the while making you look sophisticated and cool 😉

When adding these images to your emails, don’t forget to include alt image text (“Click to Watch Video” or something like that), since many folks do not have images turned on in their email clients. If you don’t include alt image text, they will see a big blank space where your video link is supposed to be.

Nexternal’s integration with Mail Chimp makes it easy to include video in email promotions and newletters, especially through Mail Chimp’s integration with Wistia, which also provides all sorts of useful reporting on each video send. Nexternal customers can also embed video in the long descriptions of product detail pages. For more information please contact your account manager.

Pamela is a Senior Account Manager at Nexternal and works in the Napa Valley office. She is passionate about helping her clients succeed. With 20 years' experience in the wine industry spearheading business development and marketing for various wineries including her own, plus previous years practicing general business law, Pamela is well qualified to provide the service and guidance to her clients that sets Nexternal apart from other eCommerce providers.