More On The Video Boom: Choosing The Best Content For Video In Email

  • by August 18, 2009
In our Aug. 4 post, we started a conversation about the benefits, trends, and methods of using video in email. While evolutions in video capabilities are certainly exciting, it's the video content that makes the developments engaging and worthwhile. After deciding how you'll deliver video to your subscriber inboxes, the next step is picking the content that both makes sense as video and adds value to the experiences of your particular subscribers.

Dynamic approaches to email creative always make emails stand out in crowded inboxes, and a stellar video offers something fresh. We've been keeping our eye on the sorts of content that top brands have been delivering through video messages.

Here are some content categories that can make a strong impact through video:

New-Product Demos. J&R dedicates a section of its emails to product demo videos that show off key features. This technique may inspire more subscribers to convert, taking them closer to the in-store shopping experience by letting them see products in action before purchasing. Demos of new technologies may appeal especially to non-techy subscribers who have difficulty visualizing features represented through text and still imagery.



Instructional & Educational. Williams-Sonoma gives subscribers a tour of its wreath creation, offering homey appeal with some DIY flare. The knowledge of the where and how can solidify subscribers' confidence in product quality, in addition to strengthening their relationships with the brand by imparting knowledge.

Interviews. interviews students, parents and teachers about back-to-school needs, offering email subscribers a relational perspective to other shoppers. While it's possible that subscribers may question whether or not the people in videos are actors, our experience shows that testimonials work wonders. Smith-Harmon client Verizon recently used a video gif in this newsletter in an effort to leverage that testimonial power.

Reporting. Ralph Lauren shares video from Wimbledon history, reporting on "Ralph Lauren in Action." This adds content of interest to the subscriber base, providing entertainment along with a marketing message. Video offers a unique opportunity to give subscribers behind-the-scenes glimpses into your brand's action-packed activities (beyond action-packed online shopping, that is).

Branding. Abercrombie & Fitch promotes a casting call with a branding video, serving both to capture new models and to keep young subscribers feverish for A&F fashion. Regardless of whether the call is actually successful in finding the future faces of A&F, it implies a give-and-take connection between the subscribers and the company and conveys the essence of the brand in an interactive way.

Promotional Tie-Ins. Office Max supports its "Power to the Penny" sale with funny Penny Prank videos, engaging subscribers while showing that the company is about more than just sales. Humor, when brand-appropriate, never fails to make emails more appealing.

Making Video Your Own

How your brand wields the power of video in email dictates the response that this more-than-trendy channel returns. If you aren't sure how your subscriber base will react to the new media, go ahead and test small segments of your list. Your subscribers will let you know what they think through your metrics, through direct feedback and/or through increased sharing. We hope these examples inspire you to determine how your brand can best leverage content by putting video into action in future campaigns.

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