- Posted by Nigel Edelshain
- On May 23, 2016
- Email marketing, Video
Email marketing consistently shows one of the highest ROIs of any marketing platform—up to 4,300 percent!
Video, meanwhile, drives engagement and action on social media and landing pages. Adding it to email is a logical next step.
Unfortunately, inserting a video into an email isn’t like adding one to your website or Facebook page. Different email clients treat video in different ways. If you try to embed a video player in the message body, it simply won’t work in most popular clients.
That doesn’t mean you can’t use video in your email marketing, though. Here’s how to do it.
Why use video in email?
It makes sense that video would increase engagement in email, and the numbers back up that conclusion. According to Syndecast, emails with the word “video” in the subject line have open rates 19 percent higher than emails that don’t. Click-through rates are 65 higher, and unsubscribe rates are 26 percent lower.
Another study by Adestra found “video” to be one of the most effective B2C subject line keywords, increasing open rates by 27.6 percent, increasing click-through rates by 96.6 percent and decreasing unsubscribe rates by 39.8 percent. That’s a big impact for one little word.
Video in email: three options
In a perfect world, you’d be able to embed video in email just as easily as in anything else. In the real world, the lack of standards among email clients makes this an option not worth exploring deeply. Apple Mail is the only mainstream app that fully supports embedded video; the others offer limited support at best.
Given the lack of support for embedding, linking is the next best option. Linking video in email usually means taking a single frame (with a screen capture, for example) and superimposing a play button over the image. You can then embed the image in a message and link the image to a video page on YouTube or an embedded player on your website.
While not a glamorous option, linking video is not without its benefits. Linked videos are good for driving traffic to your video channel or website because users can’t watch them without clicking. And video clicks are easily trackable with your usual email analytics—just look at how many people clicked on the link.
Popularized by online retailers like BuzzFeed, GIFs are an emerging option for adding animation to email. GIFs have been very successful in the retail space, and companies like MailChimp have used them to create tutorials for new or upgraded user interfaces. Hospitals can do the same thing with their online patient portals.
While GIFs are more widely supported by email clients than embedded videos, newer versions of Outlook will only show the first frame. If you go the GIF route, it’s vital to include any headline and call-to-action text in this frame.
Making the most of video
Announce it in the subject line
All the stats above were based on emails with the word “video” in the subject line. Users like video—let them know what to expect when they open your message.
Promote video with video
It’s always a good idea to show users exactly what you can offer them. If you want readers to subscribe to your YouTube channel, make a video that shows the benefits of subscribing.
What kinds of video?
There’s no shortage of ways you can give subscribers value with video. The kicker? Most of these are ones you could shoot with your smartphone.
If you’re segmenting your list (and you should be), you can make a series of specialized welcome videos for each of your service lines that tell patients about the exact services that matter to them.
Health and fitness tips
Email is a great way to reach patients with tips for staying healthy, whether it’s ideas for keeping seasonal allergies at bay or simple exercises that can be done at home or at a desk.
If you’re on Facebook, you’ve probably seen recipe videos all over your news feed. All you need are short clips overlaid with text instructions or a simple voiceover track.
What makes your staff and services special? Short 60–90 second interviews answer that question and don’t take much time to make or view.
Video testimonials are a powerful tool in healthcare. They’re the #1 type of video prospective patients are looking for according to Google’s hospital selection research.
Whether it’s a whole new facility or just an upgrade, show patients how your hospital is continually improving healthcare in your community.
Don’t let patients struggle to find test results or other information online. Use screencasting software to record your mouse movements and include a walkthrough video in every email reminder.