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How To Use Video to Power-Up Your Email Campaigns

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Email marketing has resurfaced as one of the most effective ways to reach audiences. While many companies spend entire budgets trying to improve their social media presence and get heard above the noise, email campaigns offer a more personalized and direct approach, even when it comes to new audiences.

That being said, nobody likes spam. The current rise of newsletters as an informative and entertainment medium has proven that audiences are drawn to receiving content that’s not just interested in selling or promoting something.

And here is where the video comes in.

By pairing your email campaign with a video marketing strategy, you’re getting the best of both worlds by delivering valuable and engaging content straight to your customer’s mailbox.

In this piece, I’m going to guide you through the necessary steps you need to take to boost your email campaigns with video. We’ll see how to choose the right type of video for your newsletters, what are some of the best tips and tricks used by the pros, and much more.

But first…

Why Video?

Well, I’m glad you asked.

As you probably know, time is one of the most precious goods of the digital landscape. And video is the most efficient form of communication, cramming large amounts of information into just a few seconds of animation.

Plus, video is the king of engagement. You see it everywhere, from binge-able content and video tutorials to the recent popularity of streaming platforms such as Twitch and Tik Tok. Video is the preferred format of content for all kinds of audiences.

Marketers have been using the virtues of video content on their email campaigns for a while now, and the results speak for themselves:

Choosing the Right Type of Video for Your Message

There’s at least one type of video for each of your marketing needs. So, you should start by determining your campaign‘s main goal and then work with a production team to create a piece designed to achieve it.

Here are some of the most effective type of videos for your email campaign:

New Product or Service Reveal

Newsletters are a way of showing your subscribers what you’ve been up to, and there’s no better news to share with them than the launch of a brand-new product or service. This comes in the form of a product video or demo that showcases your creation’s most important features and characteristics.

A great idea is to include your subscribers in the pre-launch phase of your campaign. That way, they get an exclusive treat before anyone else. This tactic can be especially useful for small businesses that are looking to build a loyal customer base and for brands that want to benefit from word-of-mouth marketing.

Explainer Videos

At the beginning of this article, I mentioned how audiences demand valuable content from the brands they follow, and no other type of video is more helpful than the explainer video. Just as the product video centers around the features of your product, the explainer video focuses on the benefits of your product and how it can better the lives of your customers.

Explainers are short animated pieces that usually don’t go over the 90-second mark. But suppose you need a long-form video that guides users through a lengthy process. In that case, you might want to consider making a series of tutorials or how-to videos that give specific and clear instructions on how to install your product or use it properly.

Customer Stories

Many marketers make the mistake of talking way too much. But isn’t it more effective to let your happy customers do the promoting for you? Customer stories are honest and heartful testimonials from the people you’ve helped along the way. And what better way to deliver these powerful stories than directly to your leads’ inboxes?

Customer stories are at adding a real human face to your brand, humanizing your company, and making your customers trust you more. After all, people trust other people, as simple as that. Make sure your testimonial feels as honest as possible.

Event Invites

Promoting events through email just makes sense: it’s like delivering an invitation right to someone’s mailbox. And what better way to get your audience excited than with a stunning video.

Your vid doesn’t need to be lengthy; just an intriguing animation with your event’s date and location will do most of the time. If it’s a regular sort of event, you can also create a recap of last year’s edition to attract those on-the-fence attendees.

The Three Golden Rules for Using Video on Your Email Campaign

Like with any other marketing strategy, there are plenty of ways to approach using videos on your emails to great effect. However, that’s not the same to say that some practices and principles don’t tend to outperform others!

Here are some we recommend following.

1) Don’t Embed Video on Your Email

One of the most common first-timer mistakes is to think you should embed your video on your email, just like you do on your landing page. But if you’re subscribed to a couple of newsletters, you’ll notice that most of them rather use a thumbnail linked to the video hosted online. This is because many email clients often don’t support the technical requirements needed to play a video right inside the email.

But if you think this is a limitation, then turn that frown upside down. Think about it: instead of making your audience watch a video within the email itself, you can direct them to a landing page where they can watch the video and visit your online store next (or any other specific action).

2) An Attractive Thumbnail Can Make the Difference

Using a thumbnail is the most practical form of ensuring your subscribers will watch your video regardless of the device or email platform they use. So, it’s time to design an attractive thumbnail that intrigues your audience! There are a couple of ways to do this:

· Use a static picture with a play button

This is the easiest way. You can simply use a screencap of your video and insert a play button right at the center of the picture so that your audience knows it’s linked to a video.

· Use a short GIF of your video

GIFs are the closest thing next to actually uploading your video, giving the illusion of video but with the key difference that they are well-supported across email clients. And even though some platforms like Outlook 2013 and Windows 10 don’t play GIFs, they’ll show the first frame of your GIF as a static image.

Extra pro tip: Keep your thumbnail below 200KB, or below 1MB if you’re using GIFs. There’s a chance your email will be identified as spam if it contains heavy attachments.

3) Place Your Video Below the Copy

Before embedding your thumbnail, make sure you write a brief introduction. It doesn’t need to be too long, just a few words to introduce your piece. Formatting is super important in emails. A message with just a picture will look like spam.

Conclusions

The global lockdown has made many companies rethink the way they connect with their audience. Now more than ever, audiences demand valuable content from the brands they support, and an email campaign that uses video can do that.

The pandemic has also taught us how unforeseeable the future is and how things can change from one second to the next.  While this article provides a comprehensive guide, it’s up to you to start figuring out what your own audience likes and dislikes, and what type of emails and videos are going to strengthen that bond. I wish you the bests of luck.

The post How To Use Video to Power-Up Your Email Campaigns appeared first on ReadWrite.

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How to Create a High Converting Email: Best Practices and Key Considerations

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Looking to take your email marketing game up to the next level? Here are the best practices and key considerations that will help you create a high converting email marketing campaign to win going forward in 2020 and beyond.

  • Personalization is still king

Consumers expect brands to provide personalized experiences. In fact, studies suggest that as many as 80% of surveyed consumers say they are more likely to purchase from a brand if it offers personalized experiences.

Further research suggests that the conversion rate is 10% higher when personalization is part of the email content.

Personalization is key to a high-converting email marketing campaign because subscribers want to be seen as individuals. Therefore, personalization is one of the key strategies you should employ (if you have not already) to win email conversions.

Email personalization tips that will help you increase email conversions.

  • Include each subscriber’s name in the subject line.
  • Send emails from real service representatives instead of a corporate account.
  • Include a customer’s first name in every email.
  • Consider user demographics and locations to create more personalized email copies.
  • Change visuals and copies in emails to make them more appealing to different audience segments.
  • Send out personalized recommendation emails concerning each customer’s buying history.

Here is an outstanding example of how a beauty product retailer Sephora uses personalization in emails.

 

Image Source: Sephora

  • Don’t forget about mobile experiences

As more and more consumers use mobile devices to communicate with brands and shop online, you want to make sure your emails are responsive and mobile-friendly. Studies show that mobile opens account for 46% of all email opens. This means that by failing to provide mobile experiences, you are risking to lose almost half of your audience. Further studies show that customers delete emails that do not display correctly on mobile devices within three seconds.

The numbers prove that responsive email design is an absolute must if you want your subscribers to convert. That is why you want to have a strategy in place for optimizing your emails to display well across all mobile devices. This includes not only smartphones, but also tablets, laptops, and other devices, like smartwatches.

When designing your emails, make sure to build a logical content hierarchy that will make sense across different devices. This means structuring your content blocks in a logical way that will make sense when viewed both from a computer screen and a mobile device screen, like so:

Image Source: webdevs dot com

  • Implement persuasion techniques

Implementing persuasion techniques can help you shape a more positive attitude towards your brand and lead email subscribers to make the desired action.

Let’s take a look at the best persuasion techniques and practices worth applying to your email marketing campaign.

Personalization

98% of marketers cite personalization as a major factor that improves customer relationships. Indeed, the majority of marketers implement some form of personalization in their marketing campaigns.

Yet, not all of them know that the effectiveness of personalization has a lot to do with how human brains work. Personalization in emails works because of selective attention and human ability to distinguish their names from the background noize.

Social proof

The social proof persuasion principle revolves around the idea that a person who doesn’t know how to behave in a certain situation will look at other people to imitate what they’re doing.

Humans use social proof as a confirmation that their behavior is socially acceptable, and therefore, correct. So, you can use customer testimonials, reviews, user-generated content, and other forms of social proof in your email copies to increase conversions.

Bribery

Bribery is another powerful persuasion technique you can use to increase email conversions. It is based on the idea of offering extra benefits in return for a conversion.

In the context of email marketing, you can offer discounts, contests, coupons, special offers, sweepstakes, or generally anything free and extra.

  • Artificial intelligence is on the rise

 

Image Source: Pexels

Experts from Essay Writer suggest that with artificial intelligence (AI) on its rise, it is expected to be the number one technology to improve and streamline many marketing processes, including email marketing.

While many marketers already use email automation tools, AI can take your email marketing game up to the next level.

Email automation only streamlines processes but, unlike AI, does not improve decision-making. It makes sense to use AI for tasks that cannot be performed by your fellow marketing team.

A few applications of AI in email marketing that can help you increase the conversion rate dramatically.

  • AI can help you improve deliverability by restructuring email copies, optimizing send times, and cleaning up email lists.
  • AI can help you draft email copy and subject lines by analyzing other subject lines and email copy.
  • AI can help you create smarter email newsletters by sending out hyper-personalized automated newsletters.
  • A/B test, adjust, repeat

Before A/B testing was invented, an average marketer developed its strategy, implemented it, and just hoped for the best. Luckily, modern testing methods allow marketers to evaluate the effectiveness of each email element and give you hard data on what causes conversions.

Let’s take a moment to make sense of A/B testing. A/B testing is a testing method that allows you to measure the effectiveness of each email element.

Here is how it works. Let’s say you have two identical email drafts with just one difference: the image choice. You want to know which image better resonates with your audience and causes more conversions.

You send out two versions of the same email with two different images to two different groups of your email subscribers. Then, you use data evaluation tools to see which email version caused more conversions.

The main idea behind A/B testing is sending out two versions of an email to different halves of your audience to see which one performed better. You can run A/B tests to examine the performance of the following email elements:

  • Subject lines (length, word order, content)
  • Call-to-actions (button vs. text)
  • Visuals (images vs. no images, style of visuals)
  • Copy (length, content, tone of voice)
  • Personalization (personalization vs. no personalization, positioning)

Keep in mind that proper A/B testing requires you to test only one email element at a time. This means that you need to run multiple A/B tests if you want to test out multiple email elements. This way, you will get unbiased and objective testing results.

Wrapping it up

In the world of continuously changing digital trends, it is hard to stay in line with the competition and deliver the most effective email pieces. Hopefully, these five practices and key considerations will help you create a high converting email marketing campaign.

Before you go, let’s quickly wrap up what you have learned today about creating an email that will convert.

  • Including a personalized element will make the email more relevant to the subscriber and increase the chances they will convert.
  • As almost half of the email users check their email from mobile devices, creating responsive email design is an absolute must to increase conversions.
  • When implemented correctly, persuasion techniques are a powerful way to get more subscribers to convert to paying customers.
  • AI can help you streamline and optimize your email marketing efforts.
  • Next time you run an email marketing campaign, consider conducting A/B tests to identify which email elements cause more email opens and conversions.

You can start adjusting your email marketing strategy now and win in 2020 —  and beyond.

The post How to Create a High Converting Email: Best Practices and Key Considerations appeared first on ReadWrite.

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Artificial Intelligence in Email Marketing – The Possibilities

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Email Marketing has been around since forever. There are plenty of articles any of us can read on Google about Email Marketing. Why is email marketing important? How to Master Email Marketing — and so on. The game-changer now is Artificial Intelligence in Email Marketing. Here is how artificial intelligence in email marketing can up your game.

Yes, you heard it right. Artificial Intelligence is slowly but surely taking over our Email Marketing efforts. Brands and businesses that are not aligning themselves with Artificial Intelligence in their Email Marketing campaigns have been left behind. And rightfully so. In a world when everything is evolving, why should Email Marketing be any different?

Around 80% of Business professionals strongly believe that Email Marketing is needed for stronger customer retention. Anything to further enhance its power is a no brainer people will jump on it.

Let’s dive right in and see how you can leverage Artificial Intelligence for your Email Marketing efforts.

What is Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence is a bundle of many different native technologies like Machine Learning, Deep Learning, Computer Vision, etc.

The bottom line is that all of these technologies combine. The combination of technologies helps machines (programs) perform certain cognitive tasks to the level at which humans perform them. Sometimes even at a higher level than humans themselves.

Ever talked to Alexa or Siri? Yes, Artificial Intelligence right there in your daily life. They all do what they do using Artificial Intelligence. AI is used to offer customers new products or services based on their search/viewing histories or patterns. It’s all around us, and it has leveled up so many things in our lives already.

It’s time for Email Marketing to make use of AI to enhance its effectiveness.

Why use Artificial Intelligence in Email Marketing

Like any other area touched by Artificial Intelligence, it did wonders for Email Marketing. Email Marketing can be optimized, driven, and much more effective if done right using AI. For any marketing campaign, two really important aspects need to be optimized, and AI does just that for Email Marketing –

  1. Reduce Costs – Creating and Winning at Email Marketing campaigns becomes super easy & straight forward with AI. It has the potential to save countless person-hours your team puts in for Email Marketing campaigns to be a winning proposition. Time is money, after all.
  2. Increase Revenue – AI can dramatically increase the ROI of your Email Marketing. AI-powered campaigns show an increase in the percentage of Open/Click rates. The click and open rate drive more money in from your existing campaign than ever before.

AI makes it all possible by incorporating the data points. It uses existing insights available to make every aspect of your campaign optimized for conversion. It effectively reduces the guesswork regarding small but critical parameters of your Email campaigns. We all have been guilty of the same in the past.

How to use Artificial Intelligence in Email Marketing

  1. Subject Lines

    What really is the point of going through all the efforts of putting together a campaign if no one is going to open your email? Yes, Subject Lines are the first hit point with your customers, and if you lose the battle here, your email will never see the light of the day.

    With the study of historical data of your top-performing Emails as well as your recipient’s behavior trends, AI can ensure your email is at least opened and given a thought about by personalizing Subject Lines.

  2. Personalization

    To significantly boost click-through rates, personalizing every aspect of your Email for the best experience to the end recipient does the job. And no, we are not talking about something as basic as mentioning the first name of the recipient in the first line of the Email. It is more of a personalized campaign based on the interest group of your various email contacts.

    AI determines the content type user responds to and helps you design your personalized campaigns for them, which is the most powerful optimization you can perform for your Email Marketing efforts.

  3. Optimizing on the GO

    AI can help define target data points on various parameters of your Email campaigns. They monitor these data points and continuously tweak your campaign accordingly to ensure the best ROI. Any anomalies are pointed out so the future campaigns can make use of that information effectively.

  4. Newsletters

    AI can personalize your newsletters down to the single user by curating content specifically for that particular user based on past data and trends available. This would mean you are sending out a personalized newsletter to every contact on your Email List, which can skyrocket the engagement levels.

  5. Deliverability

    To improve the overall deliverability of your email campaign so that the maximum number of emails reach their intended audience, AI can do the following for you –

  • Send Time Optimization – AI can help you optimize the best/most probable time to send an email at the single user-level, ensuring maximum open rates.
  • Mini Campaigns – AI can help segregate your main campaign and develop mini-campaigns for different recipients based on their preferences. This is a compelling aspect to increase the open and click rates substantially.
  • Clean Email Lists – AI can help clean up your Email Lists to make your campaign more effective. AI can update titles/numbers or remove out of date data automatically.

Scope of Artificial Intelligence in Email Marketing

A lot of Marketers today do not realize nor understand the power of Artificial Intelligence. If they can only understand how to use AI in their daily roles, productivity can be at an all-time high for just about anyone leveraging AI.

AI can help marketers to better utilize their time and resources by automating daily tasks. Also, with the help of data sets and results thrown out by AI, marketers can hyper optimize their campaigns and exponentially increase the ROI.

It can improve every aspect of your campaign and finetune your efforts to send out a personally curated campaign for every single target audience on your list.

As AI continues to evolve day by day, it is time to leverage this powerful tool. Every Business needs to incorporate it into Email Marketing efforts to stay ahead of the pack.

Image Credit: christina morillo; pexels

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