Now that the holiday season is over, it’s time for marketers to look forward to the year ahead. Last year we threw out a game plan for how to approach your year-long marketing campaign. This year, we’re going to try something different; we’re going to look at how you can think differently about email marketing campaigns this year.

Get Real: Create a Video Connection

One of the hottest social media trends of 2016 has been video. This time last year, Forbes predicted visual marketing would be one of the hottest upcoming trends – and they were right. This year alone we saw Instagram bring on the ability to host videos, and Facebook Live became a social media favorite. Add to it Twitter. One of the biggest attractions on Twitter was the ability to view video clips directly on the platform. While that was a feature Twitter already hosted going into 2016, the social media giant realized that Twitter-hosted video views were up by 50%. That in part prompted the company to extend video playtime from 30 second clips to 140 seconds.

So what’s the market for videos moving forward? Analysts forecast that by 2019, an estimated 80% of all internet traffic will be videos. According to Forbes, that’s growth rate that’s up by 64% from 2014. All this really begs the question: how do you implement all this in your email marketing campaign?

The reason that video works so well is because it is the most real version of you that your audience is going to get. It’s the closest you can get to tangible in a remote space. Video email is a sensory filled experience, sight and sounds that allow your users to construct a full picture rather than pieces of a picture through just images and text.

How you can take advantage of it is by directly uploading video into your email campaigns through Benchmark’s video-friendly back-end email campaign dashboard. You can also link to the social media URL, including Twitter or Facetime. If you’re opting for the latter, remember that two steps tend to be more challenging to get your audience to commit to. People prefer instant access and if you can’t give them that then offer the incentive to click. Why should they click on the Facebook Live video, or what was the big deal about your Twitter clip? The answer could be anything from a reveal to the type of dialogue that share triggered.

Go Back for Seconds: Tap into Unopened Emails

There’s a saying that it’s always easier to keep a client than attract a new one. The same principle applies to your subscriber list. For every campaign, there’s a percentage of subscribers who fall into the “unopened” category. This means they haven’t clicked on your email campaign, which also means they probably didn’t even see it or they have glossed over it during a quick inbox scan.

That glossing over isn’t a slight against you or your brand. It’s a simple numbers game. There are about 109 billion emails and about over 100 emails per day per person. If we study our own pattern of behavior we know this isn’t too far fetched. First, we may intend to look over an email when we have a free moment later. And yet, that moment never comes as we get distracted with other high priorities.

Second – and this is important – we tend to give priority to direct emails rather than those we know are campaigns (especially if you’re using Gmail email filters).
This is where you come in as a marketer. First, do the legwork and start with a bimonthly or monthly approach depending on how often you send out campaigns. See who tends to not click emails or which ones they’ve missed. Benchmark’s Targeted Emailing feature does with just a few clicks this and so does Automation Pro automates this process as well … not to mention this can be accomplished with the data from the Reports provided by most ESPs. Next, send out a personalized email to that individual letting them know you’re interested in connecting with them the info they might need. Instead of linking back to the campaign, link to the landing pages you were using emails to drive traffic to. Instantly, your email to a subscriber is far more personal and reconnects the subscriber with the brand through a human element. In other words, a direct person-to-person connection.