What’s the Deal with Video in Email Marketing?

Posted by Scott Cohen On April 18, 2011 in story time I 0 Comments

There has been a lot of talk lately (again) about the benefits and drawbacks of using video in email marketing. While there is no debate about the power of video as a media channel of its own, there is significant debate over whether or not video can viably be integrated with email marketing.

I’ve been curious about video in email myself, so I decided to go to the source to get some real information about video’s effectiveness: Rory Carlyle, the Director of Online Marketing at BombBomb, a video email marketing company.

Inbox Group: What do you think are the positives of using video in email?

Rory Carlyle: There are tons of positives for using video—it just has to be leveraged thoughtfully. Video-in-email is the next step for interactive marketers regarding the email channel. It’s becoming the standard medium for news and sharing information all across the internet—it’s only logical for email to follow suit.

Video assists email in removing the barriers of text-based messaging, improves user engagement, simplifies the messaging, and puts a face as well as a voice in front of the company.

IG: It’s easy to say that, but do you have any data that supports your argument?

Rory: Absolutely. We’ve had clients use video as a trial against their standard subscription to one of our competitors. They used the same email template, just added video through our system. The increases were phenomenal:

  • 300% uptick in clicks
  • 50% uptick in conversions

We’ve even had a client test video vs. traditional HTML for a fundraiser. The video provided a 75% increase in donations over static text.

IG: If that’s the case, why don’t more companies utilize video in email?

Rory: I think there is a perception that the videos have to be “Hollywood” before they can be used. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Also, companies often simply don’t have the knowledge about types of cameras to use, lighting effects, editing, etc. That lack of knowledge combined with the “Hollywood” perception has caused adoption to be a bit slow.

Another potential drawback is how to leverage the unique exposure video can provide for companies. Video can be a double-edged sword—if it’s too salesy, over-produced, unoriginal, or inauthentic, that negative attention is emphasized 10 times as much within an email.

The trick is to film with a personal, authentic, attempt-to-connect type approach, regardless of quality of video or budget.

IG: So, what would you say a company should keep in mind when considering moving toward video in email?

Rory: Companies need to realize that video and social are “humanizing” the corporate marketing approach. Creating fresh, personal, unique video to connect with consumers is easy—if we would just get out of our own way!


Thanks Rory for jumping into the fray and offering valuable ideas and data about the effectiveness of video in email.

My take: Video is definitely worthy of testing against your existing email templates. It can be particularly effective in reviving older templates and re-energizing your creative juices.

Cheers, Scott

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