Using Videos in your Email Marketing Campaign

As many of my blog readers and customers know, I am a big proponent of utilizing email marketing as part of your mix to distribute an online video created to market or promote your business, service or product. It is a great tool to touch base with your existing customer base and if that video is done creatively, is a simple and easy way for your customers to pass your message on to friends.

I have been giving regular seminars with Zak Barron of Constant Contact about how best to integrate email marketing with online video. One of the statistics I use is one I got from the Email Standards Project where their research showed that a “…screen grab was clicked on more than 5 times as often as the text link.” Of course being a video production company I latched onto these stats and used them to my benefit. I’ve seen these statistics used as part of Email Marketing Reports and also in a discussion I had on the Constant Contact User Community Forum…but then I wondered…what would my own research find? We already knew from our own monthly newsletters that we were getting really high click-throughs compared to industry standards and most were going to the new video that we sent out every month. Most of those click-throughs on our e-newsletters were also clicking on the screen-grab JPEG image (see “screen-grab sample image above) which “looks” like it will play but actually links to the video on our website rather than using the text link to that same video. Here were our cumulative statistics for our open rate and for our click through rates for 12 e-newsletters which amounts to several thousand emails going out:

Cumulative Open Rate: 48%

Cumulative Click Through Rate: 44%

So then on two occasions we decided NOT to include a video with a screen-grab link in our e-newsletter and instead sent out informative articles, upcoming events or blog posts. All good content…just no video. Our statistics for these two e-newsletters were:

Cumulative Open Rate: 47%

Cumulative Click Through Rate: 16%

It wasn’t a full 5x as often but including video in our campaigns was a very significant 175% increase in click-throughs when video content was included. Another really interesting fact is that our open rate remained virtually the same which basically means there is a 64% decrease in the number of click-throughs on our e-newsletter when we do not include video.

I hope you find these statistics as interesting and useful as I did. Now my head hurts from all that math so I’m going to have to get back to doing something creative but with these statistics in mind…have you included video in your email marketing campaign? What have your results been? Please share your own results by commenting below or pinging this blog post.

Twitter Etiquette 101

OR how following a new person on Twitter should be treated like a first date.

So, I’m a happily married guy and fully admit I’m not up on the latest trends of the dating scene. But somehow I doubt that walking up to someone you’ve never met and saying “Hey babe, what’s your sign?” or “I play the field, and it looks like I just hit a home run with you. ” is a way of charming someone and it probably won’t get you a second chance…maybe a drink in the face though. Don’t be that guy.

With that in mind I’ve recently noticed a really annoying trend occurring on Twitter where I will follow someone and I get a direct message back from them with some lame sales pitch or directing me to a “free gift” for following them. Why on earth would your first personal contact with me on Twitter be a direct sales pitch? Really? I hardly know you. What would ever possess you to think that this would work.

Twitter is all about building relationships and interacting with the community at large. If I follow you on Twitter and like what you have to say, I’ll start seeking out your tweets. If you continue to provide interesting conversation, content and ideas to the flow of Twitter…I’ll check out your profile on my own and if I want to learn more about what you do or the services you offer, I will contact you. OR if I pose a question on Twitter and your business has the solution…that is the perfect opportunity to engage me and tell me how your product or service is the answer to my dreams.

If I send a direct message to someone when they follow me it’s a casual “Hey thanks for following me! I look forward to reading your tweets!” Just something friendly to acknowledge that I do appreciate you following me because…well…I do appreciate everyone that follows me. Everyone uses Twitter differently, but I would have to guess that no one is logging on to Twitter to hear everyone’s “elevator sales pitch”.

So please…don’t be “that guy”. Like all those cheesy bar pick up lines that don’t work and are insulting to peoples intelligence – starting a conversation with someone using a sales pitch is a sure way to turn them off and get a virtual drink in the face in the form of an “unfollow”.

Tale of Despereaux: Movie & Graphic Novel

Reading The Tale of Despereaux graphic novel with my dog Adelie

Usually my blog posts are about social media and using online video for your business. But as you know I occasionally take a break to talk about pop culture. Well there is no better reason than when two friends put out a really cool graphic novel that is tied in to a big motion picture release.

Matt Smith and David Tilton have illustrated a graphic novel interpretation of The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo which is a tie-in to the Universal Pictures motion picture that is being released December 19th. The graphic novel is out now though…and in my unbiased opinion is absolutely fantastic.

The story is about a misfit mouse who prefers reading books to eating them, an unhappy rat and a servant girl – whose stories all are tied with that of the castle’s princess. If you have kids, they will love it. Even if you don’t have kids…you will love it.

Graphic novels are an amazing way of seeing a visual interpretation of a great story. Definitely check out the graphic novel before you see the movie.