Did you know that email is your gateway to increase video views?

Despite announcements of gloom and doom which repeatedly predict the demise of email, it remains one of the most powerful ways to connect with colleagues, prospects and customers.

Specifically it can also be a great way for you to get more people to watch your video.

Email and video – an amazing combination

Combining email and video makes for a powerful cocktail which you can use to both increase email readership AND boost video views.

There is just one more thing you need to know for all of this to make sense. It’s about the click-through rate.

The click-through rate is one of the keys to higher video views

The click-through rate, often referred to as CTR, is the percentage of people who click on a link to get to a destination you propose. This will be your video (or a report or a landing page).

For email, the average click-through rate is 2.63%

For a Facebook post, the average click-through rate ranges from 0.22%–1.4%

For a Tweet, the average click-through rate is 1.64%

Source: See under References, at the end.

As you can see, that’s quite a difference!

With the above in mind we are now ready to share with you two experiments, conducted recently (2016) by Hubspot, a well-known US based digital marketing platform.

Experiment No. 1: Boosting video views with email

A thumbnail picture as referred to in the following paragraph is like a book cover. It lets a viewer see a quick snapshot of your video.

An email (for example a newsletter) containing an enticing video thumbnail that links to your video, can increase the click-through rate to your video by more than 20%.

Source: See the Resources Chapter at the end

To make this happen in your organization, follow these simple steps.

  • Select a compelling thumbnail picture. We talk about this here How to create strong thumbnails that boost video views.
  • Overlay a play button and a timestamp showing the video length.
  • Insert the video thumbnail picture into your email message.
  • Attribute a link to the thumbnail picture, pointing the reader to the platform where the actual video is located.

Tip. Some people embed the video file straight into the email message. While this is technically feasible, email messages with embedded videos tend to be labelled as spam by your organization’s spam filters. So, we recommend that you refrain from embedding video files. Because you run the risk of missing out on a great opportunity: a potential +20% click through rate!

Experiment No. 2: Increasing email readership with video

Hubspot discovered that emails with the word “Video” in the subject line are likely to boost email message open rates by 19%.

Keep in mind that open rates are not the same as click-through rates. An open rate tells us how many people opened the email message (for example the Newsletter) which we sent to them.

Tip. We like to position the word “Video” at the beginning of the sentence and surround it with square brackets.

Too good to be true? There is only one way to find out. Repeat the experiment in your organization!

Subject: [Video] How to get started with your Corporate Video

Just do this:

Make sure you activate the analytics in your email marketing platform. Send out one half (50%) of the messages with and the other half (50%) without the word “video” in the Subject line.

Then compare the email open rates and observe what happened. We’d love to hear from you! Please drop us a line in the comments when you are done.

PS: You can, of course, conduct a similar experiment to help you select the best thumbnail picture. It will be the one with the highest click-through rate.

Many ways lead to Rome

In an information overloaded world, simply sticking a video up on a web page is not good enough. Even if your video is wonderful and does everything right, high video view rates depend on many other factors. This article has described a couple of them.

On the other hand, maybe you are super-busy with your “day job” and all this talk of videos, emails, thumbnail pictures and click-through rates is not for you.

If so, or even if you simply want to ask a question, why not give us a call? We are glad to help and make things happen for you.

References which provided information for this article.

We are inspired by people and companies we know and trust. We recommend, without hesitation, these articles for further reading and deeper insight.

Hubspot: Email and video experiments

Mailmunch: Email marketing versus social media performance

Mailchimp: Email click-through rates by industry

Quora: What is the average click-through rate on a Facebook Wallpost

Hubspot: 14 ways to increase your click-through rate on Twitter