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September 14, 2010

Video Email – The Future Of Communication

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I know the concept of video email is quite new. Imagine receiving a birthday video email, information on a property you were seeking, or advanced notice of a new car model with a video of it in the email. Certainly providing links to videos on emails is becoming common, and many marketers do that. So why not take the next step?

What You Can and Cannot Do

First, right now, embedding a video in an email is not possible. One day it might happen, but right now email servers don’t have the necessary software for this. This means text links or graphics.

Research suggests that using a graphical representation of your video and then providing a direct link to the video email is the best way to achieve video emailing right now.

The Case For Video Emails

In an article by Mark Brownlow, “Video email: current practices”, he discusses the research on video emailing. There are some interesting statistics.

Looking at this statistic, it is obvious that video is now acceptable to most Internet viewers. “According to comScore, US Internet users viewed 14.8 billion online videos in January, with YouTube alone scoring over 100 million unique viewers in that same period.” Finally video has come of age, and we are all conditioned to use it.

Comparing emails with or without a video link – “When not linking to video his click through rate is between 20-27%…when linking to online video it’s consistently between 51-65%” says Anna Yeaman. We know that a video link receives a much better open rate than a simple text message.

With an image in the email, views are 5-10 times as many!

Campaign Monitor reported that: “the screen grab was clicked on more than 5 times as often as the text link.”

Mark Brownlow says of his own email campaigns: “In my own newsletters, a video image attracts between two and ten times the clicks that the accompanying text link gets.”

Do you get this? If you have a properly constructed image in your email, 5-10 times more people will click on the link and view your video. If you are in sales, information dissemination, or advertising what would you pay to have 5-10 times more people view your message?

Direct Video or Video With a Link

When considering video email, there are three possibilities;

1. A text link.

2. A video thumbnail.

3. The video plays within the email.

Video Text Link

We are all familiar with text links pointing to videos. These are common in emails now. The challenge is that the link is usually a bunch of numbers and meaningless symbols and not very sexy! The author puts a catchy headline in there to entice you to click. Now you get about double click through rates when you direct your emails to a video, so it is pretty good compared to sending them to a text blog entry for instance.

Video Thumbnail

A Video thumbnail is where you get a picture to click on in order to play the video email. A really well produced image looks like a play button. When you click on the image it opens up a browser and plays the email seamlessly. When using a video thumbnail like this, the research suggests a 5-10 times better response than a standard text link! This is huge.

It is not intrusive, as you only see the video if you click on the link. We believe this is the best way to use video email right now, and the research backs us up. Compared to an email with a simple text link to a blog post, you are likely to see a 10-20 times greater open rate. This is phenomenal.

Video Within the Email

There is an email company or two around now that will send an email with a video in it. While this seems great, imagine receiving 20 emails and every time you click on one a video starts paying! I think this is intrusive, and many are likely to get angry at the invasion of their personal space. As well, with most of them you need special software or plug-ins to view them.

Because of this in your face aspect, I would suggest that the best form of video email now and into the future will be the thumbnail version, where with the click of a mouse a high quality video plays seamlessly.

What Video Email Service Should You Use?

I think by now you can see why I am so excited by the concept of video email. It is exciting, new and I believe in the same space as TV was when it first appeared. Right now video emails are not that common. This means sending a message this way is very likely to get opened. As people become more familiar with the technology, expect even better response to video emails and reduced openings of more traditional text links.

After I was Introduced to Video Email, I did my homework to see what was available.

COMF5

Formerly hello, hello, this company has been around for a while. The cost is $39.95 for up to 5,000 email addresses and bandwidth is limited to 40GB. There is no commission payable at this level and to earn residual income you need to pay $99.95 a month.

Their video templates are fairly ordinary and in my opinion, unattractive.

Deliverability is fine. There is no mention of free autoresponders.

EYEJOT

This is a free service if you want to send videos less than 1 minute long. You can upgrade to a 5 minute service for $99.95 a year with tracking. No referral commissions are payable, and there are no autoresponders.

Once again, the actual video template is fairly ordinary and not eye catching. Nevertheless, for a free service, providing you only want to send short messages to people you know, it would be okay.

There is no video conferencing and the basic service can’t be loaded onto YouTube, etc.

JIVE SYSTEMS

At $99.95 a month this is a premium service. You can have up to 60 minute videos, although I am not sure why you would have one that long in an email! There is a free trial, but you have to enter credit card information to do it.

There is no compensation plan, but they appear to have good training. For most people this may be a little expensive, but it appears to be one of the better services.

They suggest the $99.95 price point is for a limited time to increase urgency.

TALK FUSION

Talk Fusion offers a very easy to use interface, enabling video emails to be on their way in less than 5 minutes from the first mouse click. The templates are great and they will even design a professional template for you with the Executive package.

Talk Fusion has a very professional web site and autoresponders and video conferencing. One great feature is the ability to put your videos on your blog and social media sites. The autoresponders include a subscription form you can place on any website. Subscribers are automatically sent a pre-established video and or text email message series. This is very effective in communicating with prospects or customers.

There is an affiliate plan and after an initial joining fee of $175 a month, your monthly spend is just $20 for up to 1,000 clients on your mailing list.

This product has recently had a makeover and features beautiful templates, high deliverability, ease of use, and a very nice feel. With so many video formats, the ability to upload many formats seamlessly is very important.

One more thing – you can combine different video segments in the same email. For instance you could have a video introducing a customer to a new property for sale. This could be a personalized message of 15-30 seconds. Then you immediately switch to the second video, a tour of the property you are offering. At the end you could splice in a third video with a call to action.

Conclusion

Video Email is the new emerging technology in video. Right now you can capitalize from this new wave. Television used to get tremendous response from their ads when it first started. The same is true of video email right now. In future years when it becomes more common, the results will probably diminish, so why not take advantage of it right now.


John Gaydon is an MLM and internet entrepreneur. He currently operates 4 profitable businesses. He has a University Marketing Degree and many years of corporate experience. You can read more of John’s articles on his blog at www.johngaydon.com or contact him direct at john@pems.com.

10 Responses to “Video Email – The Future Of Communication

    avatar Kate says:

    “First, right now, embedding a video in an email is not possible. One day it might happen, but right now email servers don’t have the necessary software for this.”

    What are you talking about? I’ve been receiving emails with embedded videos for years.

    avatar Flywheel says:

    John thank you for your positive review of our service (jiveSYSTEMS).

    To clarify, we are in the 3rd and final beta release of our service.

    We limit our intake during each beta period to ensure we provide the best quality service possible to our members.

    The benefits of signing up during the beta period include a discounted membership to jiveSYSTEMS and free upgrades and access to all new features of our system for $97 per month for the lifetime of their membership.

    avatar Flywheel says:

    Also, why does my avatar have a sad face? I am not sad, I am happy.

    The blog doesn’t seem to be pulling my gravatar????

    avatar Jenn O'Meara says:

    Nice thorough recap of video email capabilities and services.

    Another service you should add to your list is Flimp Media (http://www.flimp.net). The FLIMP Platform enables users to deploy video email campaigns. Additionally, the content can be shared via social media and through direct integration into websites or blogs.

    Also, marketers interested in learning more about video email campaigns may want to obtain a copy of the 2010 Video Email Marketing Survey and Industry Trends Report. This joint survey conducted by the Web Video Marketing Council (http://www.webvideomarketing.org),ExactTarget and Flimp Media provides insight into video email tactics and trends.

    avatar Gene Beard says:

    Tom,

    Since you have asked let me give you an answer and an alternative to what’s already been suggested.

    If you are branding yourself or your business you won’t want to use Youtube. Remember that each of your videos there will have “like” suggestions on the right hand side. Do you really want to send a potential client to a site that has your competition’s video’s posted?

    MyVideoTalk is another company that offers you video email, your own video channel (like Youtube without other’s videos) that’s branded to you, live video broadcasting woth a PowerPoint presentation and so much more. Plus they do have an excellent compensation plan. You can check out http://gene.myvideotalkpro.com/ if you want to learn more.

    avatar Tom Aikins says:

    I love this idea. Do you need to have some kind of service to do this? What would happen if you just included a YouTube link? Would that be as effective?

    avatar John Gaydon says:

    Hi Tom,

    I use talk fusion. Youc an check it out on my blog. Using a thimbnail that is enticing makes all the difference to getting your video email watched!

    avatar John Gaydon says:

    Well, now we have even more options for video email. Hopefully my article will be a catalist for many more people using this. I ahve certainly stirred up a lot of discussion.
    Talk fusion is adding a high level video conferencing and webinar presentation function. There is a webinar tonight http://www.ultimatewebinarsystem.com

    As for embedded video, people find it annoying, and you can do it byt you need special software according to my research.

    avatar Virtual Character says:

    YouTube would also be a good choice right? It’s free and people know that this would be a reliable video. Just send them the video link and some message in the email

    avatar John Gaydon says:

    I think some people just don’t get this. A good video email has an image that invites you to click on it. At my wb site you can see an example of a Talk Fusion template. The design is very professional and I believe that is what makes the difference in clicks. A link just isn’t the same.

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