Targeting, Video and Social Networking Keys For Small Business Promotion in 2010

According to according to The "2010 Email Marketing Trends Study" by GetResponse. 53.8% of respondents, said they intend to focus on Email personalization and targeting in 2010. 52.4% of respondents plan to improve message titles and subject lines in 2010. Other responses included increasing customer loyalty with special offers and gifts, identifying the best time to send emails, and using split testing. Only 10% of respondents plan to take no specific Email action.

Email Activities Planned to Improve InBox Performance (% of Respondents)

Planned in 2010

Percent Implementing

Increased personalization & targeting


Improved message titles, subject lines


Increased customer loyalty special offers


Identification of best times to send emails


Using split testing to send best content






Source: GetResponse, March 2010

Nearly 75% of respondents think behavioral targeting of email recipients, such as sending messages based on open and click behaviors, can cause a significant or moderate increase in email marketing effectiveness.

Perception of Behaviorial Targeting on Email Marketing Effectiveness (% of Respondents)


% of Respondents

Can result in significant increase in effectiveness


Can result in moderate increase in effectiveness


Not sure


No effectiveness observed


Source: GetResponse, March 2010

The study found that consumers believe that targeting messages based on a combination of customer preferences and previous behaviors is the most powerful technique in terms of improving email relevancy. "Getting personal" based on these two factors is more effective than demographics, purchasing history, or subscription date segmentation, says the report.

Techniques Planned To Implement In Upcoming Email Marketing Campaigns? (% of Respondents)

  • Interest-based preferences... 59.40%
  • Recent open or click-rate activity... 34.90%
  • Demographics... 32.50%
  • Purchasing history... 29.70%
  • Subscription date... 17.90%
  • None... 8.50%
  • Other... 5.70%

Exploring the trends and technologies impacting the email marketing activities of SMB marketers in 2010, most SMB marketers see the benefits of incorporating video into their email messages. Over 80% of respondents plan to use video emails in 2010, while in 2009 only 15.7% of responders used video in their email campaigns.


Use of Video Email Marketing in 2009; Plans For 2010 (% of Respondents):

  • Didn't use it, and do not plan to use video email this year... 19.5%
  • Didn't use it but plan to use video emails this year... 64.0%
  • Used it and plan to decrease the number of video emails this year... 0.8%
  • Used it and expect to send about the same number of video emails this year...  3.8%
  • Used it and plan to increase the number of video emails... 11.9%

Over 65% of marketers believe that video email marketing can have a moderate or significant influence on conversion rates. In particular, marketers who have already used video emails recognize the benefits on overall email marketing results. Almost 64% of those marketers claim that it results in significant rate increases!

Anticipated Influence Of Video Emails On Conversion Rates (% of respondents):

  • Significant increases... 45.5%
  • Moderate increases... 20.4%
  • No influence... 5.1%
  • Not sure... 28.9%

Expected Influence Of Video Emails On Conversion Rates, Based On 2009 User Type & 2010 Plans

User Type

Significant Increase

Mod Increase

Not sure

No Influence

Didn't use and do not plan to use it in 2010





Didn't use and plan to start in 2010





Used video e-mails in 2009 and plan to use in 2010





Source: GetResponse, March 2010

Considering the different uses of video email by small businesses, 28.8% of SMB marketers consider training courses as most effective use of video email, with Product Demos, Product Offers, and Customer Testimonials taking the next 3 places respectively. Branding came in at a far away 5th position!

Considered To Be The Most Effective Uses Of Video Emails By Small Businesses:

  • Training courses... 28.8%
  • Product demos... 22.0%
  • Product promotions... 19.1%
  • Customer testimonials... 17.8%
  • Brand image messages... 5.1%
  • None... 4.7%
  • Other... 2.5%

In 2009, the most popular social media integration tool used in email marketing was placing "follow us" links into email messages. But only one of every 4 marketers was placing links to email campaigns and newsletters on social media pages, or including a "share" option in their online communications. Over 37% of responders didn't use any social media integration tools last year. It appears that this result could change dramatically in 2010, concludes the report.

Over 90% of respondents claimed that they planned to integrate social media into their email campaigns in this year. The most popular use of social media integration tools in 2010 will be adding sign-up forms on Facebook and other social media sites. Nearly 65% of marketers surveyed hope to gain new subscribers via social media subscription forms.

For more information from GetResponse, please visit here, and access the PDF study report from Get Response through Marketing Charts here.

8 comments about "Targeting, Video and Social Networking Keys For Small Business Promotion in 2010".
Check to receive email when comments are posted.
  1. Chris Vinson from Vinson Advertising, March 16, 2010 at 11:46 a.m.

    Excellent! Very informative.

  2. LK Rushton, March 16, 2010 at 5:14 p.m.

    Video Email Marketing is the digital revolution. Creating your own video and capturing their attention vs sending your customers to external websites maintains your image.
    If you are not already using Video Email marketing - consider it NOW. Don't wait until your competition passes you by.
    Everyone will be doing it one day VERY soon.

  3. Joe Stephens from StratDV, March 17, 2010 at 9:01 a.m.

    So far in evaluating video in email as a marketing tool for my clients, I've become aware of the fact that the video will only play when opened in webmail accounts. If I'm wrong on this score I'd like someone to correct me.

  4. Jennifer Omeara from FLIMP Media, March 17, 2010 at 12:06 p.m.

    Joe -
    From a technological perspective, video can play directly within email messages. However, right now, the industry standard for video email is to incorporate both a screenshot of the video along with a link to the video. This enables the viewer to control the experience. It is also the preferred way to view video emails intended for corporate audiences. Corporations and other businesses do not want to have to deal with the bandwidth issues of video playing directly in an email message. Also, viewers do not want the video to play straight away in the video, especially if they are viewing the content in an open environment.

    Video email is an extremely effective way to reach an audience in a direct marketing capacity. At Flimp Media (, our clients have been successfully producing video email campaigns for over three years. The average video email generates 2 to 3 times higher click rates and an audience engagement rate that is 4 to 7 times higher than standard creative.

    Audiovisual content is an extremely effective way to engage an audience and to communicate complex ideas. Client testimonials come to life when a client is sharing them - product demos are more vibrant. Email is an outstanding way to deliver video content.

  5. Justin Foster from Liveclicker, March 17, 2010 at 4:22 p.m.


    There are three ways to include video in email so video actually plays in the email message itself without causing deliverability issues:

    1. Deliver video through an animated .GIF. This is supported by 75% - 90% of subscribers on most B2C lists. Non-supporting mail clients include Outlook 2007 and Apple Mail, both of which can seamlessly fail over to a static image. Because Outlook 2007 is a popular B2B mail client, using animated .GIF video with a B2B audience may yield larger segments unable to see the video in the email. For a list of current email client stats check out: Also keep in mind with animated .GIF videos it is not possible to include sound. To see several examples check out the example links at the bottom of this page: Other desktop clients do support this method of video inclusion directly in the inbox or preview pane. For example, Lotus Notes, Outlook 2003, Outlook 2000, Windows Mail, and Entourage all support animated .GIF video. Other devices that support this method of video delivery in email include iPhone and Blackberry mail clients. However, due to bandwidth limitations and processor speed issues I would not generally recommend delivering animated .GIF video to these devices and instead serve up a static image. Finally, Safari renders animated .GIF video poorly, so I also suggest dynamically failing over to a static image for subscribers using webmail clients within that browser.

    2. The second method that can be used to include video directly in the email is through the use of an emerging web standard known as HTML5. With HTML5, a <video> tag can be inserted into email much like we all insert <img> tags into email today. HTML5 is supported on the iPhone and enables marketers to deliver true in-email video, complete with audio and player controls (two features missing with the animated .GIF method). In addition to iPhone, HTML5 will also be supported on the upcoming iPad. Last, HTML5 support is built into the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, and Safari web browsers. However, webmail clients still mostly will block <video> tags, even in the newer browsers. That should change shortly and stay tuned on this development. For now, if you are going to use HTML5, the best practice is to make sure the HTML5 video fails over seamlessly to an animated .GIF video. Services offered by my company Liveclicker provide this capability without causing deliverability issues.

    3. The last method email marketers can use to place video in email is to use a certification service called CertifiedVideo. CertifiedVideo is currently the only video certification service available for Flash video and is offered exclusively through a company called Goodmail Systems. ( While CertifiedVideo is powerful in that it enables email marketers to display Flash video in their emails, it is still limited by reach. Currently AOL is the only ISP supporting CertifiedVideo which for most B2C email marketers is around 10% of their total audience (everyone's list will vary). Of course, for most B2B marketers the amount of addresses at will be negligible.

    Final point - I have to respectfully disagree with Jen O'Meara's stance that consumers don't want to see video playing in email. I believe blanket statements like that can be dangerous and should be taken with some skepticism on the part of email marketers. I don't have anything against the static image method, either. There is a time and place for different tactics. At Liveclicker we always suggest to our clients to run their first in-email video campaign for free to observe the results. While positive results aren't a given (no different than anything else), for the most part we see incremental CTR in the 5% - 25% range using video in the email compared to a control group that receives only a static image. So, rather than just state "don't include video in email" I'd offer you a more nuanced response: test it out and see how your audience responds.

    As with any email marketing technique, in-email video can be abused. I also think there is a certain novelty in today's market when using the technology that leads to unintentional misuse on the part of email marketers. However, some best practices are emerging in this area already and the email marketers that are paying attention are improving results even further. Among the best practices I would recommend:

    - Include a call-to-action that displays in your in-email video
    - Use in-email video as teasers to entice click-through. Remember the vast majority of your list will only be able to see an animated .GIF video, so the message must be compelling in-email without the aid of sound.
    - Feature in-email video as the primary visual element of the email message and ensure it is closely tied in with your subject line. Because animated .GIF videos play automatically in email, you want to make sure the people who are opening the email are truly interested in seeing the video.
    - Use video as a tool to enhance the subscriber experience rather than detract from it. Video viewing is a linear experience whereas email consumption is mostly static, even today. If there is too much clutter in your email outside the video, you run the risk of creating dissonance in the email viewing experience.
    - In general, I don't recommend creating in-email videos larger than 300 pixels wide. The reasons for this are technical in nature but suffice it to say that larger videos may not create an optimal subscriber experience when deployed with today's technologies.
    - Last, and this is my plug for Liveclicker, email marketers need to realize that technical support for video in email remains highly disjointed, even when using the animated .GIF method. Technology is needed to automate the process of video deployment in-email to ensure subscribers all receive the best possible experience given the limitations of modern web browsers and desktop mail clients.

    Justin Foster

  6. Matthew Shaw from Flimp Media Inc., March 18, 2010 at 11:04 a.m.


    The points you brought up are valid, but I still have major concerns.

    I have yet to see an email with an effective animated .gif in my inbox. In fact, I have yet to see a convincing example of video gifs anywhere on the Web. Even the examples on the LiveClicker site are, in my humble opinion, a bit grainy and jumpy -- certainly not the kind of media I'd choose to put in front of prospective customers.

    HTML5 might be an option in the future, but there are still codec/browser compatibility issues. If I read my webmail in Firefox (and if H.264 ends up being the standard for HTML5), I won't be able to see the video at all.

    Goodmail hasn't (yet) been successful in getting major email companies to support CertifiedVideo. Suffice it to say that at this moment, CertifiedVideo isn't a very comprehensive solution at all.

    Compare these with images linked to Flash video landing pages: Deliverability is a non-issue. Flash is supported on 98% of Internet-enabled computers. Video quality is left up to the publisher, not the browser's limitations. But more importantly, because the viewer is directed to a landing page, marketers are put in complete control of the viewing environment, with every assurance that the message they create is being delivered exactly how they envisioned it.

    Is any of this currently true of the solutions you posed in your comment? If so, please enlighten us.

  7. Justin Foster from Liveclicker, March 19, 2010 at 1:01 p.m.

    Hi Matthew,

    Thanks for your message. I hope I wasn't misunderstood or offensive in my last post. For all the reasons you indicated (broad Flash support, control over experience, quality up to the publisher) I think Flash video on an email campaign landing page is a great option for many email marketers. Additionally, I harbor no religion or philosophical bent against this method of using video in email.

    Joe asked a technical question, not a philosophical one, and I think my response was technically accurate. If I have made a technical error, please let me know by all means... that's the great value of dialog like this in a public forum :-) I did point out some of the limitations that still exist when showing video in email (mostly delivered through animated .GIF with no sound, variable quality among browsers and mail clients, limited HTML5 support, and lack of reach with CertifiedVideo).

    I feel that the discussion we're setting up here isn't really the right one anyway. We're setting up a "one method versus the other method" kind of battle, when the truth is that it's not up to vendors like us to decide which methods are "best" for marketers. Our role is to educate the marketplace about what's possible and create technology to meet demand. Ultimately it's the marketing practitioners that decide what methods make the most sense.

    There is a class of marketer that is still going to choose to go the in-email route despite the limitations we've both now outlined. I don't think these marketers are philosophically "wrong" or "silly" for choosing to use video in email, and I don't try to "educate" marketers out of choosing to go with in-email video either. There are lots of reasons why in-email video can make sense for marketers - otherwise marketers wouldn't be so interested in it. I can point to many top brands that have used the method successfully (HP, Disney, Discovery Channel, Holland America, Costco, REI, Verizon, etc). One of the best examples I've seen is probably the one here: view-source: (note this is an unlinked version).

    Regarding HTML5 support, while you are correct in that H.264 is supported in Chrome 3, Safari 3,4, iPhone and Firefox uses OGG, it doesn't matter in the context of email. There are technical solutions to resolving this problem because when the video asset is requested, the HTTP request includes the user agent which can be parsed out by an in-email video service like a Liveclicker. Because the user agent is parseable, it is possible to dynamically render one video asset or another, depending on the capabilities of the browser/client, including dynamically rendering an H.264 or OGG encoded video asset. Beyond this, it's possible to fail over safely to animated .GIF video for browsers that don't support HTML5. It's this fundamental capability - dynamic video asset rendering based on limitations of user agents and requesting domains - that makes Liveclicker a unique service in the marketplace.

    It is going to be quite some time until video in email is universally supported, but until that time comes there are going to be many email marketers that want to push the envelope with what's possible today and appreciate the value of a service that doesn't ignore in-email video because of the complexities and limitations. In a like vein, a broad swath of email marketers will choose not to utilize in-email video for strategic or practical reasons. That's totally understandable. I don't have a philosophical bent either way. Marketers will decide what methods to choose and I hope that those decisions are made based on facts and results, not marketing spin.


  8. Justin Foster from Liveclicker, March 19, 2010 at 2:05 p.m.

    Hi Matthew,

    I wanted to make another comment because I inadvertently left it out of the last comment.

    In-email video vs. video on the landing page is not a zero sum game. The vast majority of marketers we see using in-email video are also using video on landing pages. Yet another reason not to turn this discussion into a battle field but rather seek to figure out how in-email video and video on campaign landing pages can work more effectively together. Only my opinion.


Next story loading loading..