People are always looking for the next great thing in email marketing, and these days much of the talk involves social-networking integration.
But there is one other technology—video, long considered taboo in email marketing—that can be integrated into your campaigns.
Now that email and online media have gotten much more sophisticated, however, the following video-email myths can be laid to rest and the taboo broken.
1. Video emails will bounce most of the time
As long as an email follows the general best-practices of email marketing, a video email is not likely to bounce.
Email clients and Internet service providers blocked videos during email marketing's infancy, but adding videos the proper way will prevent your email from landing in recipients' spam folders.
2. Email-marketing companies won't embed video in your emails
By hanging on to this old trope as an excuse not to use video, you could be holding back your campaigns a great deal.
Most email service providers (ESPs) have developed solid ways to integrate video into email marketing campaigns.
Some ESPs simply use a screenshot with a play button to link to the actual video, some will open a mirror image of an email in a Web browser so the video can play, and others will play an animated graphic interface format, or GIF, instead of the actual video.
3. Email videos do not work because no one watches them
Cue the rim shot. That myth almost reads like a joke these days. YouTube is the second-largest search engine and the third most-visited website. Online video is booming. With video cameras on cell phones and mini high-definition video cameras, the popularity of Web videos is at an all time high.
Video emails have even become something that people look forward to on a slow workday. An enticing video email is often more memorable and exciting than a standard email, so what's holding you back?
4. A promotional commercial is the only type of video email worth sending
The opportunities for video in email are vast and untapped. Instead of being fixated on producing a straight commercial, remember that customer testimonials in video form can be powerful and effective marketing tools.
The best part of using testimonials is that thanks to the prevalence of webcams you can easily get your customers to record and send in testimonials via email.
The bottom line: You can successfully integrate video into your email campaigns in countless ways that will have a positive, as well as immediate, effect.
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The next time someone tells you that a video-email marketing campaign will bounce, welcome that person to 2010. If you're told that an ESP won't embed the video, prove that person wrong. Show that person the play counts on the videos you're sending via email, too, and all the types of videos you've made.
Remember, an email with a great video is more likely to be passed around via social-sharing options, which is another reason why video-email marketing is a viable marketing method.
As Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman of the television show MythBusters say at the end of most of their experiments, "This myth has officially been busted."