E-mail: Adding Video: Trouble or Nirvana?
E-mail marketing, at its essence, is a targeted missile strike. A quick and precise action with measurable results, right? Adding more payload to the e-mail can increase your chance for success or steer you toward self-destruction. Adding video to your e-mail campaigns can sometimes feel this way, too.
While video in e-mail continues to be a Holy Grail of sorts for many in the direct marketing industry, the quest for achieving e-mail and video integration nirvana can be an elusive one. While the desire is well-founded—given e-mail's opt-in nature, the potential for huge ROI, and the channel's cost-efficient way of communicating to some of your best customers and prospects—adding video into that immediate equation can be challenging and often backfire.
In a nutshell, e-mail ain't the Web. Its limitations can be significant. And even the most proven methods of simulating video in e-mail (like video gifs and animated gifs) are not bulletproof and sometimes prove to be a bad experience for a segment of your audience.
On the other hand, you could see a pop in your response rates or other key performance indicators. Michael Harvey, BrightWave Marketing's director of creative services, says: "Simulating video playback with streaming animated gif technology provides a more dynamic experience for your e-mail audience. For the average user, the novelty of seeing an unexpected animation or video in their inbox leads to a higher level of engagement and a more memorable interaction with the marketing message. It's a great tool for cutting through visual clutter and directing attention to the main call to action."
Balance Appeal With Effectiveness
So what if you have some compelling video assets to leverage, but you don't want to run the risk of alienating your audience or are unsure of delivering a message that may not work for your entire subscriber list?