What’s the Role of Video in an Email Campaign?

video_emailFor years email marketers have been using colorful images in emails to raise engagement and to make their campaign emails visually striking. Now that bandwidth limits and Internet speeds have risen, many forward-thinking email marketers are looking to video to grab their reader’s attention.

            Studies have shown that a campaign email that includes a video usually has higher open rates and click-through rates than standard emails that contain only text and images.

So why not include video in every campaign email?

It turns out that videos are a somewhat fickle tool. First off, in can be very difficult for many companies to produce enough high-quality video content. Video can be very expensive to produce, compared to other options such as images and text. Creating videos often tends to fall by the wayside at many companies as other, more seemingly pressing issues arise. Also, many traditional marketers remain skeptical that videos in campaign emails will really improve engagement from readers.

Another major hurdle for the wider distribution of video in campaign email is that many popular browsers still don’t support video in marketing emails. Gmail, Outlook 2010, AOL, and Yahoo! all don’t support video in campaign email. However, this issue will most likely be resolved shortly as browsers and email platforms continue to improve in sophistication.

Despite these hurdles there has been positive feedback from marketers who have chosen to include video in campaign email. A study from eMarketer reveals that, “fifty-five percent [of marketers] reported higher clickthrough rates, 44% saw an increase in the amount of time subscribers spent with an email.” These numbers make the obstacles to including video in email seem less daunting.

If you have the time and the funds to include video in campaign email, then do it! Just like any other email campaign you must be sure to continue to pay close attention to what content works and what doesn’t. Remember to keep content fresh, interesting and engaging to keep opens high. Relying on the inclusion of video alone to boost engagement would be a serious mistake.

If video is still a little bit outside of your wheelhouse – or price range – don’t fret! There are many other ways to increase the visual appeal of your emails. A simpler alternative is the animated gif, in fact many marketers are using these animated images with a great deal of success in their own right.

In the end the only person who can decide whether or not video is appropriate for a campaign is the individual marketer. Is now the time to start sampling video in your email? Or will you wait until more browsers and clients include embedded video support?

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