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How to use video to increase your email marketing effectiveness

According to the Content Marketing Institute, 81% of B2B marketers send email newsletters, making it one of the top three types of content marketing in the B2B space. And 9 out of 10 B2B companies use email engagement as a way to measure their content performance. If you are relying on your email newsletter as a key source of leads, then even a slight increase in open and click-through rates can make a big impact.

Turns out that including video in your email marketing can increase click-through rates by up to 300%.

Read on for how to start including video in your B2B marketing emails, and some best practices for getting the most opens and clicks.

How to use video in your B2B email marketing

  1. Use video to shake up your newsletter content
  2. Add a video announcement for an event or new product
  3. Show off product functionality with a video or GIF

Use video to shake up your newsletter content

If you send a regular email newsletter, adding video can help delight your readers and keep them opening the emails whenever they hit their inbox.

A video can present your content in a new way. For example, do you have an existing video that speaks to the topic of that week’s newsletter? Include the video as a piece of supporting material. It doesn’t matter if the video seems “old” to you. If it’s relevant to the content you’re sharing now, reuse it. Many of your subscribers won’t have seen it.

If you don’t have an existing video, you can create a short video yourself with key points or quotes from your newsletter. Services like Vimeo Create or Canva (which has a free plan) make it easy to create simple videos with stock footage and text without needing video editing chops. While simple, these videos are eye-catching and engaging.

When we started adding more video to our emails, we saw an 85% increase in click-through rate in emails with videos compared to text only emails. Yes, as a marketing agency that sells video, I can’t promise that you will see a similar increase in your audience. A video is our product. Regardless of what you sell, you can take advantage of the fact that people simply want to watch video. When people were asked how they’d most like to learn about a product or service, 69% said they’d prefer to watch a short video.

You already have an engaged audience who open your newsletter. Serve them with content that people want.

Add a video announcement for an event or a new product

When making a big announcement over email, such as an upcoming event or a new product launch, a video can increase engagement and excitement.

For an event announcement, think about the mood you want to convey to your readers. A video teaser can convey emotion much more effectively than text alone. A video is also an easy asset for people to share to spread the news among their network. People are twice as likely to share a video than any other type of content.

Video is also key for launching a new product. A list of features and benefits is great in the written copy of your email, but people want to see the thing in action! Depending on the product and your email list, this video can either be a product walkthrough or a high-level teaser (think Apple product videos). Or use both! Start with a teaser announcement, then share a full walkthrough when the product is ready to purchase.

Show off product functionality with a video or GIF

Ok I know a GIF is not technically a video, but it can have a similar beneficial effect on your emails. A GIF is engaging, fun, and has no sound to worry about if your prospects are opening the email at the office. For most B2B marketers, I’m not suggesting including a dancing Shaq in a sales email (or hey, maybe you could try that! I don’t know what your audience is into). What I am suggesting is a custom GIF made out of an existing video.

A product video likely has a section you can grab to illustrate a feature you’re highlighting in the email. With a GIF, you aren’t relying on the reader to click to watch the video. It autoplays right there, showing off your fabulous product. During the video editing process, ask your video team to create GIFs for you to use in emails. It’s an easy way to get extra mileage out of your video content.

If you want to show off more than a specific feature or two, then including a complete product video may be more effective. Use a GIF with a play icon on it to prompt readers to watch the video.

MassMutual // Values;

Best practices for adding video to your emails

  1. Use the subject line to let readers know there’s a video treat inside. Using terms like “Watch our video” in the subject line typically increases open rates. But as always, A/B test with your audience to see what they respond best to.
  2. Consider giving readers two ways to watch the video. Depending on your email platform, you may be able to embed the video in your email, instead of requiring a reader to click and open the video in a new window. Note that not all email clients (aka your recipient’s email provider) will play a video embedded with HTML5, so if you choose to embed, make sure you have a link as well.Add a “Watch the video” CTA that leads to YouTube or your landing page. This also makes the video easier to share or bookmark to watch later.
  3. Include a complete written message in the email as well. Not everyone will want to watch the video, and you want to provide value to everyone who took the time to open the email.





Picture of Guy bauer, founder of umault

Guy has been making commercial videos for over 20 years and is the author of “Death to the Corporate Video: A Modern Approach that Works.” He started the agency in 2010 after a decade of working in TV, film and radio. He’s been losing hair and gaining weight ever since.

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