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TailoredMail Sees Video in Email as Next Logical Step in Marketing

Email marketing’s essential function hasn’t changed – the sender wants to reinforce a brand while encouraging the recipient to buy, preferably right away. The capabilities of modern digital devices and internet connectivity have been pushing everyone to try and deliver more in terms of content, which includes marketing messages. People are able to not only receive richer content but can do so on portable gadgets as well as personal computers.

This may be leading to the next step for email marketers, the video-in-email component. One proponent, TailoredMail, thinks it’s time more ecommerce pros consider the potential.

In 2012, Experian found better open and conversion rates for emails with “video” in the subject line. Considering the massive upswing in the number of people adopting smartphones and tablets with support for video, one might suggest the potential audience is even greater now than two years ago.

TailoredMail announced a video-in-email technology that increases customer click-through rates between 500 – 800 percent over static images. What is the maximum-length a video can be before it starts to see a fall-off in engagement rates? What impact does personalization have on click-through rates? Accurate analysis is critical in order to customize effective email campaigns, TailoredMail says, and its solution tracks a wide number of fields.

TailoredMail CEO Matt Highsmith shared his viewpoint on video in email in an interview with EcommerceBytes.

EcommerceBytes: What kinds of consumer behavior indicate a demand for video marketing by email?

Matt Highsmith: There are three significant indicators that are driving this. First, almost half of all email marketing “opens” are now coming from mobile devices. As the overall penetration of smartphones becomes pervasive, so is our use of these devices to catch up on daily email.

Second, video use on a mobile device now exceeds 53% of all data usage on the device, according to the recent Cisco Visual Networking Index (VNI) report.

Third, our own clients who have used video-in-email have seen a minimum of a 500% increase in click-throughs/views versus their average click-through rate, definitely suggesting that the consumer responds extremely well when video and email are combined.

EcommerceBytes: Which brands/retail segments have been seeing success with video in email marketing?

Matt Highsmith: Every TailoredMail client who has been incorporating video into their content mix has seen dramatically increased engagement rates versus their average open, click and sharing rates. Restaurants and food-related companies have used the technology to share recipes, while retail storefronts are leveraging their TV advertising assets to reach a broader audience via video-in-email.

Other clever uses that have achieved large response rates are editorial overviews, where a member of the company talks to the audience, to provide a brief synopsis of key messages within the email – which puts a nice human-touch into an otherwise text-heavy email medium.

EcommerceBytes: Which key performance indicator does TailoredMail hope to best solve for marketers who opt to try video email – click-through, conversion, increased average order values, for example?

Matt Highsmith: A key breakthrough which TailoredMail is providing, is the ability to granularly see, compare and even automatically trigger some marketing actions based on how much of, or how many times a video is seen by a specific person.

While emails do “convert” sales, the vast majority of an email-subscriber audience is still pondering whether to buy or not. As such, now having the ability to alert your sales team if someone watches – say – 80% of a video, or to automatically send the viewer a tailored follow-up email campaign based on that implied interest, can really take lead nurturing to a new level.

Additionally, our belief that the ability to personalize videos to a person’s specific interests or profile will create higher conversion, sharing, view-to-completion and average order rates.

EcommerceBytes: How much time and money would a new marketer need to invest into setting up a video email campaign with TailoredMail, assuming they have a suitable camera already?

Matt Highsmith: Video-in-email is included in the TailoredMail email-broadcasting price, which starts at $250/month. As for getting started, a person could use their built-in web camera or smartphone camera to record short face-shot messages that can be uploaded to TailoredMail, and dynamically sent via email in under 5 minutes.

Look for other already-produced video assets within your company and weave them into your content strategy. Only include video that directly complements the primary goal of your email campaign, as a video can “take over” the attention of the audience.

David A Utter on LinkedinDavid A Utter on Twitter
David A Utter
David A Utter
David A. Utter is a freelance writer based in Lexington, KY. He has covered technology topics from search to security to online business and has been quoted in places like ZDNet and BusinessWeek. He considers his appearance on NPR's "All Things Considered" with long-time host Robert Siegel a delightful highlight. You can find him on Twitter @davidautter and on LinkedIn.