It’s pretty dam powerful. When it comes to speaking directly to people en masse, it is without equal.
Yet video email marketing is often completely overlooked, most opting for social platforms to demonstrate their wares. If I had a nickle for every time I’ve heard someone say ’email is a dead medium’, I’d have…ok I might have a handful of nickles and I wouldn’t know what to do with them because I don’t live in the States but regardless, people do say it. And they couldn’t be more wrong.
Quantity and quality, simple as that.
Email: The Oldest And Still The Best
Email predates the internet. Standards for email encoding were proposed as early as 1973 during the early phase of ARPANET (Advanced Research Projects Agency Network), the precursor to the global web that we know today.
The birth of the term ’email’ is difficult to pinpoint because people in the early 1970s were referring to fax transmissions as ‘electronic mail’ but we do know that when ARPANET metamorphasised into the Internet in the 80s, the core functionality of modern email was born.
And for a long time, email reigned supreme.
Then social media reared its head.
Social networking had been gaining momentum for years with the likes of chat forums and MSN Messenger, but it wasn’t until the advent of Facebook and Twitter in 2004 and 2006 respectively that social networking made it’s mark and became the buzzword of our generation.
Then people sort of forgot about email.
Or more precisely, it fell out of fashion.
But something strange had happened. Email had become more engrained in our social psyche than we were fully aware of. We had developed a level of trust in it and were paying more attention to it than we were admitting to ourselves.
But before we go on, let us first talk numbers. Big numbers.
Worldwide Email Accounts and User Forecast (M), 2014–2018
That’s almost a billion more than the number of Monthly Active Users (MAUs) on Facebook and Twitter combined, which sits at around 1.87 billion . In fact, according to SenderBase, Facebook and Twitter activity makes up less that 1% of all the emails sent every day.
In 2013, it was estimated that every web search made on every search engine every day equated to a mere 1% of daily email traffic, and all pages viewed every day on the entire web used only 25% of the bandwidth used by emails. Now I know this is an old statistic but the fact is nothing much has changed in the last 3 years. While social networking accounts have a higher growth rate, that rate is predicted to decrease over coming years, whereas the growth rate of email is holding steady a 6%.
Worldwide Social Networking Accounts and User Forecast (M), 2014-2018
Email is the predominant form of communication in business and even though consumer email accounts make up 77% of the total, the remaining 23% generate the majority of email traffic with around 124 billion emails every day.
Finally, global revenues from email marketing have been steadily increasing from $8.1 billion in 2012 to over $12 billion in 2016.
Still think it’s a dead format?
Na, me neither. But it’s not just numbers that make email so powerful.
Straight to the point
So that’s quantity but what about quality? Well email has numerous advantages over social in this respect:
- Most of the time, people are on social networks for escapism. We don’t like to be sold to in this state of mind. Users expecting memes and status updates about eating baked beans for lunch don’t want to be pestered by business pages or advertising, whereas we expect offers via email and are actually more tolerant of them as a result.
- The constant battle for ‘Inbox Zero’ means we have to delete emails to clean up. Once an email is deleted, it’s gone, whereas social posts and messages can technically sit there forever. There’s nothing worse than deleting an email and realising you need it a week later and this causes people to consider the information they are thinking of deleting more carefully.
- Emails sit in an environment that it is the sole focus of, whereas social networks are packed with distractions.
- Social network users may go days or even weeks without logging in, but you’ll find most people check their emails daily, if not several times a day.
- People hate spam and junk mail so tend to be quite guarded about giving out their email address, only registering it with things they are genuinely interested in. Therefore, if you have someone’s email, that you acquired through legitimate means, then it’s likely they’ll actually give a crap about what you have to say.
- Social media is a compartively new trend and as such a lot of older audiences are still not using the likes of Facebook and Twitter. This probably goes some way to explaining the difference in the number of user accounts. So email speaks to a much wider cross section of society.
- As social posts are displayed in realitime, it’s very easy for your post to get lost in the noise. Email doesn’t require you to be there and then. Like an obidient dog, it sits and waits patiently for you to pay it attention. Good email.
- Posts and tweets are public addresses, they speak to the masses and it’s very easy to deem someone’s announcement to the world as irrelevant to you. You can still send emails en masse but they are more 1-to-1. Or at least we treat them that way. We feel the company or individual is speaking directly to us.
So it’s fairly safe to say once again that emails are awesome. There’s plenty of them, people care more about them and they’re just as easy to use as the alternatives.
Video Email Marketing Works
We now know that emails are not short on numbers and we generally pay a lot more attention to them than we realise but how does this pan out when using video email marketing. Well the simplest way to demonstrate this is to look at the results from online studies conducted by large research and marketing companies.
According to High Q, simply using the word ‘video’ in the subject line of an email increases the number of people who open the email by up to 19%.
The same report also states the inclusion of the word ‘video’ in the subject reduces the unsubscribe rate by 26%.
ReelSEO conducted a survey last year called the 2015 B2B Video Content Marketing Survey in which they discovered that over 50% of businesses are already using video email marketing.
In Forrester’s As Seen In The Inbox paper, they report that including a video in an email can increase the click-through rate by 200%-300%. In fact, we have experienced this phenomenon to a much greater degree.
Below is a screenshot from our mailchimp account that we use for some of our autoresponder series. You can see the first four emails in a series of ten. The first email simply had our showreel and nothing else, whereas the following emails were packed full of useful information in text format. You can see the click through rate is 7.4% for the first email with the video but drops down to just 1.1% for the emails with no video.
Furthermore, the first and third emails have the word ‘video’ in the subject and have open rates of 56.5% and 61.5% respectively, whereas as the second and third didn’t and have open rates 45.8% amd 43.6%.
Ring any bells?
To Sum Up
Just to be clear, I’m not saying you should drop all other marketing channels and focus on email.
That would be foolish.
Marketing on social networks is big business for a reason, if done correctly it can have amazing results.
The point I am making here is that video email marketing is a channel that is often overlooked by businesses but considering the accessibility of video these days and the positive effect it has had on email marketing campaigns for others, it’s worth giving it some serious consideration as one element in your overall marketing campaign.
Video production can certainly be a more time-consuming and costly way to market your business than other forms of traditional marketing but that’s the very reason search engines are showing such favour to those who do create videos. It shows you are dedicated to providing high quality and unique content for your clients, their users, so obviously they want to reward you for your hard work.
However, there are ways of driving the perceived cost of video production down and so maximise your ROI.
If you have produced video content, embedded it on your website, created blog posts about it, posted it across your social touchpoints and got the influencers onboard, it couldn’t hurt to send it out to your email ‘black book’ as well.
What’s the worse that could happen?