January Newsletter

Combining Video and Email

Video has quickly become the hottest way to deliver content on the internet. As compared to just a few years ago, today’s internet videos are easier to integrate, better quality and with more and more users connecting with a high-speed connection, easier to deliver than ever. Manufactures are showing product demos online, real estate agents are serving video walk-throughs of properties; with a little imagination the possibilities are endless.

So how does this integrate with your email marketing campaign?

The first thing to remember is that you cannot embed videos in an email. It simply won’t work. The technology that drives email programs has not caught up to internet browsers. But that shouldn’t stop you
from linking to your video content. Few links are more compelling than links to video, so don’t skip them just because you can’t directly embed video in your email.

Let’s take a look at an email with good technique.

This is a simple postcard style email and it’s used very effectively. Not only is the video link icon backed-up with text just below it, there are two links in the body copy. This email will certainly generate some clicks.

The really nice element here is the video icon. It’s instantly recognizable and it’s inviting too and that is very important. A lot of emails will use screen captures as a link to the video, which is fine if you have the ability to overlay a “play” icon, otherwise it just looks like any other image. Consequently there is very little incentive to click the link; how often do you click on images just to see if something will happen. The video icon is readily available and easily recognized and can invite clicks in a way that simple screen-captures can’t.

Consider these guidelines when adding video links in your email:

Use either a high-quality screen-capture or icon as the visual point of reference for your link.

Avoid using low-quality screen-captures that look like plain images.

Re-enforce the image or icon with an adjacent text link such as “Click here to see our product in action!”

Try to have two links to the same video in close proximity to your visual point of reference.

Build Your List while you sleep

One of the great features the ReachMail has is the Form Wizard. You can create a list sign-up form on your website that automatically adds new subscribers to any of your lists in ReachMail. Follow the step by step instructions and you’ll be provided with HTML code that you can add to your website (or newsletter). You can choose from a number of options on both the list level and the permission level. For lists, you can choose double opt-in (where an email is automatically sent to the recipient for them to confirm the signup or single opt-in where no confirmation is required. If you’re really strict you can also set it up to require an administrator to confirm the sign-up. On the list level, you can add as many fields as you like (ie. postal address, interests etc) and choose to make some (or all) mandatory. Keep in mind that you need to create the list first before you create your form. If you need assistance email support@reachmail.com or call us at 888-947-3224

Improve Deliverability by Branding your email

Who sent this? That’s the absolute first question email recipients think of when they receive an email. It may seem obvious to you but keep in mind that your recipients have to sort through dozens, if not hundreds of messages daily. If it’s not absolutely clear then the recipient reaches for the “delete” button or, horror of horrors the, “This is Spam” button. What to do?

Brand Your Email – Stephen Pollard wrote an excellent column in ClickZ http://www.clickz.com/3632346 discussing how to do it. Here’s what he recommends in a nutshell:

1. Brand the sender line. This means your company, your brand or your newsletter name, whatever you think your readers would recognize first. Be as specific as possible.

2. Brand the subject line. This is your fail-safe, in case the recipient doesn’t recognize or look at your sender line. Just because it’s there doesn’t mean people will see it, after all.

3. Brand your message copy in text as well as images. With images off, readers won’t see your gorgeous company logo. You can name it in alt text that appears inside image boxes when images are disabled, but that doesn’t always show up. Name your brand in the first line of text (the snippet or preheader line) or elsewhere in the top left quadrant of your message body to accommodate the skimpiest preview pane or mobile-phone screen.

4. Always review messages with and without images enabled before sending. Look at your e-mails the way your recipients do. How far do you have to read into them to learn who the sender is or what the e-mail is about? If you’re halfway down and still can’t answer the three Ws, revise your copy.