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Email Marketing Musts: Adding Video to Your Messages

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You want more customer engagement, but you don’t know exactly what that means in terms of practical application. Have you ever considered video message? Video in email sounds a bit complicated. What about compatibility across email platforms? What about file size limitations?

video message

Won’t users be annoyed by you sending a multi-gigabyte file to their personal email? Here’s how to get the job done, and keep prospects and clients happy.

You Don’t Have To Send Them a Video Attachment

Most email clients limit the file size you can send to them. So, if you have a 2GB file, forget about it. Plus, you don’t want to send video as an attachment. With phishing and spam becoming more of a problem than ever before, users are generally apprehensive about opening email with file attachments, unless it’s from people they know. Even then, users tend not to open emails with attachments unless they are expecting to receive attachments – like documents to sign or a family video.

Convert Your Video For The Best Web Experience

You’ll be hosting the video that you send via email on the web – specifically, on your website. Because of that, you’ll want to use a program to optimize the video message for viewing on your site or upload your video to a video hosting site that automatically converts the video to the right format.

The benefit of using the YouTube Converter app is that you can choose how the video is optimized and for which devices. The benefit of using a video hosting or sharing site is that it’s easier to manage – you don’t have to do any of the configuration yourself. Consequently, you are forced to accept whatever format the hosting site uses.

Include a Text Link To The Video Message

Instead of emailing the actual video, you could embed a link to the video right in your email. Most email clients handle images just fine. But, you want the image to be what is essentially a snapshot of your video. It should also include the “playback” button. In other words, users should be led to believe that, if they click on the little video still, it will play.

In reality, the still contains an embedded link to your website where the video is located. Take users to the page where the video is hosted and enable an “autoplay” feature so that users’ expectations are met.

Include The Word “Video” in Your Subject Line

To let users know that they’re receiving an email, write the word “video” in the subject line. This might seem like overkill or unnecessary, but test after test shows that users respond favorably to being told what’s inside the email they’re about to open.

It’s a courtesy, and it also sets expectations from the start. Users don’t feel like you’re “hijacking” their email by “sneaking in” videos or images that they may not want to see. For some users, including “video” is the single-most important factor in getting your email opened. Some people may not want to open an email unless you have a video message to show them.

Mostly, these people would be prospects hoping to learn more about your company, product, or service. They want education, but they also want an interactive format. Video gives them both.

Support Both Mobile And Web-Based Formats

It’s a mistake to support just one device. Apple is not the only consumer device out there. Neither is Android. So, make your video message, and website, beautiful across all platforms. Also, make sure you’re supporting both HTML5 and Flash.

Some devices, like older Android ones, still support flash. And, Adobe still provides a flash player for Droid users. At the same time, many newer devices are being optimized for HTML5. It’s a markup language that supports embedded video using the <video> tag.

Not all browsers support this, however, many newer ones do.

A Word About Setting User Expectations

When embedding video in an email, realize that some users will be annoyed by including an embedded link in the email. To these users, you’re tricking them by not providing the video right inside the email.

This brings up a potential downside to using this method of embedding video in email: you’re taking users away from their email client.

This might hurt your credibility, especially if your site is also riddled with advertisements that automatically play without user consent. Even when you don’t use auto-play ads, the experience can be annoying.

An alternative is to use an email autoresponder and marketing system like GetResponse or InfusionSoft, which can intelligently embed video right in the email without actually attaching the video to the email. If done correctly, the video will play right inside the email, and the user won’t have to leave the email client. If done incorrectly, however, the video won’t play, and the user-experience is degraded.

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