While inbound marketing and social media have gotten most of the press the past few years, email is still a critical channel for B2B marketing. In fact, studies showed that the majority of businesses planned to increase their use of email marketing this year.
Of course, more doesn’t always mean better. Without the right content to support your campaigns, you’ll never get the results you’re looking for (no matter how many email blasts you send out).
Enter online video.
In recent years, video has become an incredibly powerful tool for B2B email marketing. Obviously, the popularity of video with online audiences has been well documented, and 73% of content marketers now use video as part of their overall strategies. It’s no surprise that this would include email as well.
So the question is – how can video help with your email marketing?
Higher click-through rates
It’s been reported that 61% of B2B marketers view click-through rates (CTR) as the most valuable metric for measuring email marketing success – so it only makes sense to focus on ways to improve those numbers.
If you can ask me (and I’m hardly alone here), the subject line of an email is far and away the most important factor when it comes to open and click-through rates. Believe it or not, some studies have shown that simply including the word “video” in an email subject line can increase CTR by as much as 7% or higher.
In addition to video being extremely popular with today’s audiences, including it with your email messaging can also help distinguish you from the competition. Let’s face it – people are inundated with a LOT of emails these days, and most of them pretty much look the same.
Video can add a new element to your emails that help set your message apart from the pack. For example, you can include a video thumbnail within the body of the email, with a call to action link to view it. Best of all, the visual component can actually shorten your emails, replacing text with visuals and enabling you to get to the point faster.
Better message retention
Video can also increase the impact of your email messages (after all, what good are higher CTRs if the content people click into doesn’t draw them in?). Any expert will tell you that human beings generally retain information at a much higher rate when they can see and hear it.
Forrester Research has actually stated that in terms of retention, one minute of video is equal to 1.8 written words. That’s probably a tad hyperbolic, but the point is valid: video + email = more impactful messaging.
Powerful content and event promotion
Finally, video can be useful way to drive conversions for your other marketing assets. Let’s say your company is hosting an upcoming webinar or in-person event. It makes sense to promote registration via email marketing, but instead of just sending a text-based message, you could create a video “trailer” to share with your audience.
In the case of a live webinar, this could be as simple as a short presentation that covers the title of the event, the topics to be covered, the date and time, and a link to register. You could even have the webinar host or speaker narrate the video for a personal touch that adds credibility to the message.
You could also experiment with “teaser” videos to promote text-based content like eBooks, whitepapers or reports. For instance, instead of just sending email recipients to a landing page to download your latest eBook, you could once again include a short video “commercial” that highlights what they’ll learn inside.
As you can see, there are lots of different and creative ways to use video to bolster your email marketing efforts. If you’ve already made video a priority for your content marketing strategy, why not add email to the mix? You might be surprised by the results.
About the Author
Brendan Cournoyer is the Director of Content Marketing at Brainshark, a sales enablement platform provider that helps companies more effectively prepare employees, engage with key audiences, and advance business opportunities. For more musings on the world of content marketing, SEO, and more, follow Brendan on Twitter @brencournoyer.