Best practices: How to generate leads with video email
Small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are always looking for ways to help their limited marketing budgets go further. When it comes to lead generation, they also are looking to stand out from the crowd.
Video email can serve both needs; it is a cost-effective marketing tool, and it differentiates businesses that use it.
Video draws attention because it puts a human element into a typical marketing message. Video also keeps the audiences’ eyes on the message for longer. Smaller companies have embraced platforms such as YouTube in an effort to deliver the video content they create. The problem with using sites like YouTube, however, is that it’s not easy to get your target audience to your message. The same goes if you’re simply posting your existing videos to your own Web site.
Video email is one way to bring your video message to your prospects and engage them right in their inbox. It’s an important part of a more interactive marketing process, stimulating the audience to engage with your company and increase the number and quality of your leads.
The good news is that many marketing automation solutions available today make the creation of dynamic video email easy in a simple point and click process. Solutions such as Agile CRM automate the process of email creation and guide users through the addition of video, whether it’s a link to YouTube or a company Web site, or an embedded video file. (Customized landing pages can prevent problems with email clients that don’t work with embedded video.)
Following are five tips that SMBs can use to leverage video email for lead generation.
Tip #1: Pick an easy-to-use platform
Choose a marketing automation solution that features a drag-and-drop email builder that includes video capability. Be sure the solution will run easily on your current system with an SMTP email account, your company’s own mail server or a dedicated hosted web server. From here, some affordable email builders such as Agile CRM’s allow you to either include links to your existing videos, or record new ones right from the desktop. Be sure to add an engaging thumbnail to the initial email rather than relying on a blurry still shot from the video or just text, as this will improve your click-through rate.
Consider using an animated GIF as this still image for the video, too; you then can bring movement to the image even if you can’t include the actual video in the email.
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Tip #2: Personalize the video experience
You’ll see better open rates and build a more engaging customer experience if you personalize the video email. Software-as-a-service-based solutions can import your contact data or mailing lists, which allows you to customize fields with recipients’ names, organizations, locations or even previous purchases. You can even segment your video email marketing efforts and direct different target audiences to different videos. Of course, Agile CRM helps out there, too.
Tip #3: Include a call to action
While you certainly want a great video that your target audience will watch, you’re trying to generate leads, not just impress people with your video production skills. When you do create a video, include a call to action (CTA) that prompts a response from your recipients. It might be a text bubble in the video that encourages viewers to subscribe to your YouTube channel or read a related blog post. It might be an active comment section that prompts the viewer to share his or her experience or expertise, or ask a question. Be sure you have a process in place to act quickly on any responses your video email generates.
Tip #4: Create a video email gate
Since the goal of video email is to gather leads in a cost-effective way, you may wish to ensure you’re capturing information from the recipients of your video. This may involve bringing prospects who click on your video thumbnail to a landing page, at which time they will need to enter their information onto a form before the video plays. Some marketing automation platforms will automatically create a contact record for a lead in your CRM once the viewer fills out the field. This can help track the rest of the prospect’s viewing behavior once they have watched your video. To avoid putting viewers off, however, keep the amount of information you are collecting short, and consider offering an option to view without entering data. Agile CRM’s landing page builder can help.
Tip #5: Track your success
By using marketing automation solutions to create video email, you will have a full set of analytics tools (see an example of Agile CRM’s email report tracking here) at your disposal so you can keep track of when emails are delivered and opened, and how often links are clicked. It’s also a great way to measure your return on investment (ROI) for your marketing and video production efforts.
Once you’ve begun using video email for your marketing and lead generation, keep it going: the goal is to produce a regular series of videos that will keep your target audience engaged. With creative and timely content, you can even help turn your audience into promoters for your brand by encouraging them to share your video content with colleagues and friends.