Interested in boosting your email marketing click through rates by 200% or more? Of course you are. What smart marketer would turn away from an opportunity like that? Nobody. Nobody at all. Video is the answer you’re looking for.

The numbers seem too good to be true, but research from a range of providers has shown CTR increases of 200%, 300% and even a whopping 583% in the case of Hubspot. There’s no way around it. People love video. That’s why using video in your email marketing is a no-brainer. Here are the eight most important tips for video email marketing:

Eight Tips on Video Email Marketing

  1. Assuming you already have the technology and know-how to create your video, one of the most important tips is to keep it short, so that people watch it all the way to the end. As many people using Twitter’s Vine app have found, short is beautiful.
  2. Decide on your message. Your video can be a tip, a demo, a testimonial or even a personal message – all of those can lead to a great response. Here are some examples to spark your imagination:Random funnies (video credit Old Spice):

    Tips & customer reviews (video credit CURLS):

    Press releases (video credit Underwater Audio):

    Explainer videos (video credit SquareHook)

  3. Using humor can help you build a connection with the email reader, as Hubspot did to achieve the remarkable results highlighted earlier.
  4. Place your video early in the message, so more people will see it and play it. To make the most of this, Experian recommends a “waterfall approach” which detects the email technology people are using and delivers the appropriate visual experience.
  5. Autoplay can be a real turnoff for some people, so if you must do it, keep the sound off, says Reel SEO. Better yet, avoid it altogether and simply link to the video with an attractive still from it. This will also work well for those who don’t want to watch the video immediately.
  6. Don’t embed the video in your email; that can drive away those with flaky internet connections and can also play havoc with your email delivery rates. Instead, use that thumbnail we mentioned earlier to send people to an optimized landing page for your video and host the video offline. Don’t forget to include a text link to your video too so people can still find it even if they have disabled images.
  7. Wherever you host your video, it’s also a good idea to host it on YouTube, the world’s second largest search engine, or on Vimeo, as Knowledge Reservoir did with their Tetris-based textual video. That gives you the option of getting your video to a wider audience than just your list.

    Knowledge Reservoir – Tetris from Clear Island on Vimeo.

  8. While you can’t market without a call to action (CTA), the best place to put this is towards the end of the video, as in this example from Ragan Communications. This video went out with the headline “Click here to see why Mark is standing in an alley” and it doubled Ragan’s usual CTR.

Is Video Email Marketing Right for You?

Is video marketing for everyone? Not at all. It’s a good idea to check your analytics and see how people are accessing your site. If you have a high proportion of mobile device users, video is sure to be a winner. If, on the other hand, your list is using an outdated browser on the desktop then they are not ready for video email marketing. This checklist from Reel SEO can help the decision making process.

One of the issues marketers have faced to date is that email software needed third party plugins to see video and including it could send emails straight to the spam filter. But that doesn’t have to happen any more, especially with the advent of HTML5, which most modern email clients support. Recent research from Email Experience suggests that:

“As of June 2011, an “average” B2C marketer could expect to deliver “full” video in email to approximately 37% of the list, animated .GIF video to 50% of the list, and static image to 13% of the list”

That adds up to 87% of the list who can get video in some form, making it a good strategy to try.

Finally, once you have sent your email, check the analytics by your email marketing provider to see how your CTR has improved and what types of videos get the best response. This will guide you in creating future video emails and leveraging this technique for the best marketing punch.

Your Thoughts

Have you used video in your email marketing? If so, let us know about your results in the comments below!