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Boost DMR Rates -- Get Video

Direct marketers know when they make communications relevant, response rates shoot through the roof -- often improving by 10 times or more. And online marketers know that Web video is one of the most engaging marketing methods, often doubling conversion rates. So why don't more direct marketers combine the two concepts and use relevant video in their campaigns?

The answer is twofold. First, most direct marketers are wary of how much it will cost to produce individual relevant videos for each target segment. Secondly, they worry that they will create all this great video content, and then not know how to integrate it into their existing, large-scale direct marketing programs. It is possible to cost-effectively create a relevant video for each target segment, and it is possible to easily integrate those videos into your data-drive direct marketing campaigns -- you just have to follow a few strategies.

One thing is certain: it's crucial to begin using relevant video in your direct marketing campaigns, because video is not just a brand-booster, but also a powerful driver of sales. A recent Kelsey Group study found that 55% of people who view a video visit the company's Web site; 30% visit a store; and 24% make a purchase as a result of watching the video -- and these are statistics for generalized marketing videos, not relevant ones.

How to Cost-Effectively Produce Relevant Video

Most direct marketers achieve relevance in email and direct mail by versioning offers and creative to speak more effectively to a segmented audience. CRM data is used to identify each segment, and create a mailing list for each versioned creative. However, applying this same tactic of brute-force versioning to create a relevant video for each and every segment is impractical, because of the increased creative and production costs inherent in video.

For these reasons, many direct marketers assume that pushing the envelope on their data-driven direct marketing to include relevant video will be costly and complicated, and back off to simply include one generalized video for all segments, or no video at all.

But there are ways to create relevant video cost-effectively. One way is to use one of the hosted-software products for direct marketers that are explicitly designed for creating and authoring relevant video based on your pre-established segments. However, even without specialized software, you can simplify the process of creating relevant videos by following these simple tips:

  • Use the power of voice(over). Leverage any existing video you have, then augment it with relevant and versioned voiceovers. Unlike full-production video, voiceover is inexpensive to create. In an hour of studio time, you can create multiple versions of a voiceover -- enough for each dozens of different videos.
  • Work the stills. Voiceover alone cannot create a relevant and engaging video; you need the eye candy. Applying pans and zooms to still images provides an excellent and inexpensive alternative to shooting actual video footage, and the effect will feel like full-motion video when mixed in with existing video footage.

How To Integrate Relevant Video into Your Direct Marketing

While integrating relevant video into your direct marketing programs can be more expensive than executing a simple direct mail and email program, the ROI impact will certainly make up for the added costs. Once you have created a relevant version of your video for each segment, you need to make sure these segments see the video. The best way to do that is to introduce microsites into your program, which serve as the vehicles to host your videos.

Each postcard or email you send out to targets should include a link to their personal microsite where they will find the relevant video, as well as special offers and more information on products or services likely to interest them. Here's how to get started with microsites:

  • The brute-force tactic. A simplified approach to microsites is to create separate landing pages for each segment, each one hosting special offers and a relevant video for that segment. Leverage your marketing automation system to print the URLs of these microsites on personalized mailers, and embed them in targeted emails. This method is fast and doesn't cost much. The downside is these microsites are only partly relevant to each target audience, as they must speak to a broad segment.
  • Achieve the one-to-one. Alternatively, you can create individualized microsites that are unique to each recipient. There are a variety of marketing software products that can help you achieve this level of sophistication. The advantage of getting more personalized is that you enable a one-to-one conversation with each individual, taking full advantage of your CRM data and delivering unique recommendations based on a higher number of variables. On a personalized microsite, you can host your relevant videos, provide more information about specific products and services, and include calls-to-action that include special offers of unique interest to each individual.

Relevant video doesn't have to be daunting. Once your customers get a taste of this type of one-to-one engagement, they'll thank you for it by dramatically boosting response and conversion rates.

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3 comments about "Boost DMR Rates -- Get Video ".
  1. Steve Noble from VideoAdMan.com , September 23, 2009 at 3:42 p.m.

    Excellent article. I provide video consulting and production services and will send my customers to this article. Very well done. Great point of view.

  2. Reid Williams , September 29, 2009 at 4:19 p.m.

    Randy, can you share the source or more details about the Kelsey Group data you cite. I visited their website (http://www.kelseygroup.com/research/user-view-study.asp) and it lists different, and lower, numbers. I'd rather have your figures to back me up, but only if they're accurate.

  3. Randy Spurrier from Nimblefish , October 1, 2009 at 4:33 p.m.

    Thanks for your comments! Kelsey Group spoke of those figures at the ILM:08 Conference last fall. Perhaps they will update them this year at ILM:09 in early December.