The oldest application on the web is about to again be at the forefront of innovation—and small and medium businesses stand to benefit greatly from it.
We are talking about email, which has been around since 1972, well before the Pentagon’s ARPANET morphed into the web as we know it. Today email is going through a renaissance as a powerful marketing tool, but plain old text and images just won’t cut it anymore: the future of email marketing is video.
Email is a powerful tool for managing customer relations—B2B marketers say overwhelmingly that it is the most successful tool at their disposal.
But it’s also a crowded field.
At the end of 2015, there were 2.6 billion email users in the world; almost one human alive in three, sending more than 200 billion messages per day. For many business users, that translates to more than 100 emails received per day. Even the most compelling content can get lost in the crowd if it doesn’t stand out immediately.
The good news: Making your email stand out isn’t hard. Video is a powerful way to do just that, and adding it to your email campaigns doesn’t have to be difficult.
“Video is an essential tool to have in your content marketing toolbox,” small business lead generation expert Brenda Stoltz says. “Including a video on a landing page can increase conversion by 80 percent. Video in an email can increase the click-through rate by 200 to 300 percent.”
The Year of Interactive Email Marketing
Marketers agree that 2017 will be the year of interactive emails, messages that ask customers to perform an action. With transactional email, average revenue per email can be six times greater than the industry average, according to Experian. Video adds to that: eMarketer data shows that four times as many consumers would prefer watching a video about a product or service as opposed to reading about it.
Video in email has, in fact, been a thing for quite a while — it appeared first in 2009. But while videos have become a huge part of our everyday Internet experience, they aren’t commonplace yet in our inboxes. That’s because video hasn’t typically been easy to integrate in email messages, but things are changing fast: Apple’s iOs 10, for example, now supports video in email. Given that one email in three gets opened on an iPhone, according to Litmus, that’s a huge development.
But how does an SMB harness the potential of video email and translate that into higher customer engagement and rising sales?
Your CRM software is the key to achieving that — and Agile CRM has the right tools to let you use video easily as part of your email outreach.
Agile CRM’s email designer lets you record video directly, or link to an existing one, with a simple button and drag & drop. No programming skills needed, and no coding. You can then include the video as part of a bulk campaign, or — especially if it is a personalized video for a particular customer — you can send it through direct email. Agile CRM makes it easy to segment your customers, so you can decide who gets what.
Any video you record lives on a customized landing page, thus preventing any issue with email clients that may not play well with embedded video (not every client has implemented video in email yet) And because customers respond better to personalized messages, the landing page can be customized with their name.
A clear call to action, for example with a “Schedule Appointment” button below the video, makes it easy for customers to interact with your company seamlessly, too. CTAs in video emails add an interactivity factor that can drive engagement and make emails shareable, a key element in an online environment where users experience the world through an increasingly social prism.
CTAs in email also work better than traditional social media: according to Campaign Monitor, you are six times more likely to get a click-through from email than from a tweet. And no less an authority than international consultancy McKinsey has found that email is 40 times better than Facebook and Twitter combined at driving new customer acquisition.
The Future Is Mobile
Agile CRM will also help you cope with the trend toward increasing use of mobile platforms. More internet traffic came from mobile than desktop in 2015 for the first time, and with worldwide proliferation of smartphones, that trend is not slowing down. Agile CRM’s email templates make adapting to mobile screens seamless by streamlining the appearance of your emails and making CTA buttons easy to use on touchscreens.
That simplicity makes Agile CRM perfect for small and medium businesses, whether they’re looking for B2B or B2C solutions. In the B2B space, the number of organizations using marketing automation software climbed 11 times in just three years between 2011 and 2014. And B2C marketers who use automation say their conversion rates are as high as 50 percent, according to eMarketer.
“Video is becoming more and more popular as an effective component of content marketing,” says marketing expert Grant Lingel.
Agile CRM makes it a snap to marry the proven results of email with the power of video. And that’s a good thing, because video is the next evolution of email.