Digital Marketing
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Is this the right approach to video email marketing?


Recently, I’ve become more curious about the video email marketing landscape. I know there are services out there that offer video email marketing but why am I not receiving email with video? I’m subscribed to about 100 different email newsletters from various retailers and thought leaders. I can’t remember the last email I got that included a video. As I look deeper into this, I began to understand why. These challenges will have to be overcome before video email marketing become mainstream.

Email marketing has been around for a several decades now. This marketing channel is one of the most profitable digital channels available. In 2011 the Digital Marketing Association (DMA) reported that email marketing produced  an average ROI of $40.46 for every dollar spent. Understand that this is an average. In ecommerce, the ROI is a lot higher, especially when you have an experienced email marketer that understands retail on staff.

The first challenge marketers will have to overcome is production. The video creation process framework is similar to that of most projects but in this case you are dealing with more people which requires more management of resources. Yes, production costs like software, cameras and other various equipment have significantly come down in cost, it still takes experience and skill to properly produce a video. However, give the rapid growth of online video, more and more marketing teams are hiring people with video production backgrounds. In addition, Adobe Creative Cloud is available as a monthly subscription that makes access to world-class software like After Effects CS6 and Premier CS6 attainable for the self-taught and the budget conscience marketing VP.

The second challenge is hosting and distribution. Most email marketers want that video to play in the email. Unfortunately, we aren’t there yet. HTML5 is being adopted but most email clients like Yahoo and Gmail don’t play HTML5 video within the email. Email marketers still have to approach this the old fashion way by capturing a screenshot, placing it in the email and linking it to the page where it’s embedded. Some companies, like Wistia, make it easy to embed video in an email without having to do a screenshot. By using a service like Wistia, Vimeo, YouTube, and others, they will process your video into a number of different formats so it play on a number of different devices.

The third challenge is maybe we aren’t using the right approach to video email marketing. Over the last few years social media has pushed marketers beyond traditional marketing. Today, we are creating campaigns that target people based on interests they have publicly shared. And we already know that the best marketing delivered via word of mouth. So why are we trying to put video in an email? Don’t get me wrong, email is a great protocol, but it’s ment to sent notifications and long text messages. Video email marketing needs a platform for itself.

So, how will video email marketing go mainstream? When there’s a video email platform that makes it easy to send and receive video and email messages. I’m not talking about chat. What I am envisioning is a platform that allows you to send and receive video messages like you were sending an email. You see, most chat platforms do support video but only a handfull actually allow you to leave a message. ooVoo and Skype support leaving messages but it’s impossible to “market” to these users because they are chat platforms with strick permissions controls. Gmail and Google+ Hangouts are great but there’s no way to leave a message when a call is missed. So, this leaves the door open for someone to create a platform addressing this need.

Do you see video email marketing differently? Share your perspective with me in the comments section below or connect with me on your social network of choice to discuss. I welcome it!

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About Greg Hyer

Greg Hyer is a digital marketing and social selling strategist and instructor.


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