Enhance Your Email Marketing With Video

Online video is ubiquitous these days. Social media, advertising, and entertainment platforms are all moving to focus on video. What about email?

One of the most common questions we have received lately is how to integrate video into marketing emails. In this blog post, we’ll share ideas on how you can using video to enhance your email marketing efforts, and show you how easy Direct Mail makes it to add videos to your emails.

Grow Your Lists, Increase Engagement

For email marketers, the name of the game is engagement: how can we increase the number of people who sign up for, read, and click through our emails? Given our ever-shrinking attention spans, video can be an effective way to increase engagement with your emails:

  • Video marketing company Wistia ran a number of tests and found that including video thumbnails in marketing emails yielded a 22% lift in clicks.
  • Video platform Vimeo has tools you can use to collect email addresses from the folks who watch your videos. Videos can be great lead magnets.

We’re not affiliated with Wistia, but they do have a number of other guides you may find helpful:

How to Insert Video Into Your Email

Direct Mail makes it super easy to add video content to your email, but first you need to make sure that your video has been uploaded to a video platform. YouTube and Vimeo are both popular choices and are integrated with Direct Mail. After you’ve uploaded your video, open Direct Mail, click the “Insert Content” button, choose “Video”, and click the spot in your email where you’d like place the video.

Next, paste in the URL to your video. Direct Mail will automatically grab a thumbnail of the video and insert it into your email. You can optionally choose the style of play button that Direct Mail overlays on top of the thumbnail.

When your recipients click on the thumbnail, their video will open in YouTube or Vimeo and automatically start playing.

Can I Play the Video Directly Inside the Email?

Unfortunately, no popular email app supports playing video from YouTube or Vimeo directly in the body of the email. If this ever changes, you can be sure that Direct Mail will support this feature! Until then, the video thumbnail + play button combination should be well understood by your recipients.

If including some motion in the email itself is critical to your design goals, you can consider creating an animated GIF of a few frames of your video. The GIF can then be inserted into your email with a link to watch the rest. Here are a couple resources to help you with that process:

Be careful with this approach, as even short animated GIFs can end up taking a super long time to download. Just watch that the size of your image file doesn’t exceed a few megabytes.

Conclusion

Video content has always been popular, and the story is no different in our online world. Using video to enhance your email marketing efforts can yield a larger subscriber list and increased engagement. Direct Mail’s built-in template editor makes it easy to spruce up your emails with video content, too.

Want more info on combining video with your email marketing? Have a question about something else? Please reach out to our support team today!

Customer Spotlight: Christian Clauwers

One of many awe-inspiring photos taken by Direct Mail user Christian Clauwers

Thank you to all our amazing users who replied to our customer spotlight request. It’s been great to learn more about so many exciting businesses, and hear how many of you have powered through the challenges of the past year. We look forward to sharing many more of these spotlights in the coming months!

Meet Christian Clauwers

We want to shine the spotlight this month on Christian Clauwers, an explorer and super-talented fine arts photographer from Belgium.

My name is Christian Clauwers. As an explorer / photographer, my work focuses on the interaction between man and nature (biodiversity, rising sea levels, etc.), with the oceans and polar regions as themes…This amazing software helps me to invite people to my exhibitions, to spread the word about my work, and to manage my international clientele.

We’re thrilled that Direct Mail is helping Christian share his talents and grow his business. You can see more of his work at https://www.clauwers.com.

It’s not too late to submit your organization to be included in our future social posts and newsletters! Just write us a few sentences about your business and how you are using Direct Mail to help achieve your goals. Please include a contact name, email, and phone number of who we can reach out to for more details. Email us today!

Let Us Spotlight Your Business!

You’re doing big things for your business—let us bring some extra attention!

Are you using email marketing to grow your business and connect with your audience? We would love to share a profile of your organization and a success story (or two) in our upcoming newsletters and social media posts. To be included, click here to write us a few sentences about your business and how you are using Direct Mail to help achieve your goals. 

Please include a contact name, email, and phone number of who we can reach out to for more details. We’re excited to spotlight your business and attract attention to the amazing organizations who use Direct Mail!

Have a question about email marketing?

What’s the best way to grow my email list? 

How can I increase my campaign open rate? 

How often should I send emails to my list? 

We know there can be confusing or conflicting advice out there on the ever-evolving world of email marketing. So in upcoming newsletters and posts from us, we’ll be providing up-to-date answers on best practices, and responses to some of our most common questions. 

If you’d like to have your question highlighted, please send us your question (and your business name and website). We look forward to hearing from you! 

Grow Your List With Lead Magnets

Growing your mailing list is one of the most effective ways to grow your business. Consider the following statistics:

  • There are over 3.9 billion daily active email users world-wide
  • The average click-through rate for email campaigns is 2-4%, compared to just 0.9% for Facebook (or 0.4% for LinkedIn)
  • 65% of U.S. consumers have made a purchase based on a message they received via email, compared to just 20% via Facebook or 6% via Twitter (source)

As you make plans for 2021, email marketing and growing your list should be a top priority! In this blog post, we discuss a highly effective method you can use to attract new subscribers to your mailing list: lead magnets.

What’s a Lead Magnet?

Simply put, a lead magnet is an attractive piece of content or valuable item that you offer visitors to your website in exchange for them handing over their name and email address. For example, a lead magnet could be an e-book or digital guide in an area of your expertise, access to a webinar, or a template or resource.

 The good folks over at The Balance put together a great explainer with excellent ideas and examples of lead magnets:

How Do I Create a Lead Magnet in Direct Mail?

The first step is creating a subscribe form to capture your new leads (choose Addresses > New Subscribe Form… from the menu bar at the top of your screen). Here’s an example.

Sample email sign-up form

The next step is creating the message that will be sent to your new leads. The message should contain the digital content or item that was promised in exchange for signing up. For example, you could include a link to the item or include it directly as an attachment.

Example lead magnet email

The next step is creating an autoresponder that will automatically send your message to anyone that signs up for your list. This help article explains how to do that.

Example autoresponder

Now your lead magnet is set up. The final step is simply sharing the link to your lead magnet (i.e. the sign-up form you created). Here are some ideas:

  • Add a link from your website to your lead magnet
  • Embed the form directly on your website (or WordPress blog)
  • Add a button to your business Facebook page
  • Pin a tweet with the link to the top of your Twitter feed
  • Promote your lead magnet on social media
  • Add the lead magnet link to your email signature

Year-in, year-out email marketing continues to provide the best return on your marketing dollars. As you make plans for growth in 2021, be sure to focus on your mailing list and consider using a lead magnet to boost your subscriber count.

If you have any questions about setting up a lead magnet, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our support team!

2020 Holiday Email Marketing Guide

Congratulations! You have made it nearly all the way through 2020, a year like none other! The holidays are now upon us and, you know what that means: turkey, gifts, and overflowing inboxes. As you prepare your year-end marketing, here are some tips on how Direct Mail can help you break through a crowded inbox, boost sales, and grow your customer base.

1. Check out our holiday-themed templates

Direct Mail comes ready to go with a number of holiday-themed templates. They look super-sharp on mobile devices and large screens, and are easy to customize (like all our templates).

You can find these templates in Direct Mail by clicking the “Choose Template” button and searching for Glimmer, Merry Pines, Slopes, or Quattro—or browse the other options available in the template gallery.

2. Stay on top of your holiday calendar

The end of the year is chock full of special occasions and opportunities to celebrate—more than just Thanksgiving and Christmas. Consider theming additional email campaigns around these upcoming holidays in November and December:

  • November 10: Marine Corps Birthday
  • November 11: Veterans Day
  • November 11: Remembrance Day 🇬🇧🇨🇦🇦🇺
  • November 11: Singles Day (i.e. World Shopping Day) 🇨🇳
  • November 13: World Kindness Day
  • November 19: International Men’s Day
  • November 19: Women’s Entrepreneurship Day
  • November 20: World Children’s Day
  • November 21: National Adoption Day
  • November 26: Thanksgiving
  • November 27: Black Friday
  • November 28: Small Business Saturday
  • November 30: Cyber Monday
  • December 1: Giving Tuesday
  • December 15: Free Shipping Day
  • December 22: First Day of Winter
  • December 24: Christmas Eve
  • December 25: Christmas Day
  • December 26: Boxing Day 🇬🇧🇨🇦🇦🇺
  • December 31: New Years Eve
When should I start my campaigns?

Consider starting your campaigns a week in advance (or earlier, if your customers average time to purchase is longer) with a follow-up scheduled for the day of. You might also consider sending a thank you email post-holiday.

How much is too much?

It is possible to send too much email. Bombarding your subscribers can lead to unsubscribes or even spam complaints. A good rule of thumb is to not increase your typical email frequency by more than 3× during the holidays.

3. Write subject lines that are irresistible

It’s going to be a crowded inbox, so stay away from bland, generic (or spammy) subject lines. Here are some ideas:

Personalize

Adding a personal touch to the subject line almost always improves your open rate. Direct Mail makes this easy. If you want to include your recipient’s first name in the subject, just include the mail-merge tag “[first name]”. Like this:

You’re not limited to first names, of course. It can be any piece of information that you have stored in Direct Mail for a contact (e.g. occupation, city, last purchase, etc.)

Don’t get carried away

Aim for a ten words or less in your subject line, and limit the number of punctuation or special characters so it doesn’t appear spammy. Using an emoji can help, but try and stick to just one. Also, note that some devices can’t display emoji, so it’s best to use emoji as an enhancement, instead of a replacement for words.

Ask a question

Questions are naturally engaging. Consider using a question as the subject line in order to draw your subscribers into the content.

State your offer loud and clear

Featuring your offer prominently in the subject line can be a good way to stand out in a crowded inbox. According to NRF and IPC, online shoppers top considerations are:

  1. Free shipping, or clear shipping charges prior to purchase
  2. Simple, reliable, free returns
  3. Rapid response customer service
Try these on for size…

Here are some subject line examples for your inspiration:

  • Warm up to winter with us this Saturday 🔥
  • Our ultimate winter packing list
  • [first name], spread some cheer with us — open house sale!
  • We’re thankful for our customers: Coupon Inside!
  • Stuff yourself with savings 🍗
  • Early access to Black Friday deals
  • Celebrate Small Biz Sat with us: BOGO sale 🎉
  • See you on Small Business Saturday?
  • Ho Ho Ho (Spend Less Dough)
  • You’re Getting Warmer – Packages from $59
  • Meow-y Christmas! 5 holiday treats safe for your cat
  • We Like You a Latke!
  • Challah for These Chanukkah Deals
  • Let’s start this year right. 10% off throughout January
  • The holidays may be over, but the savings aren’t!
  • …check out more examples here

4. Include a “[Do It] Now” button

The easier you can make it for your subscribers to purchase (or take some kind of action), the better. After all, the holidays are just as busy for them as they are for you. Make your call-to-action prominent and easy to find. Direct Mail’s built-in buttons work great for this, and are available in a number of styles.

Here are some sample calls to action you might consider (and some interesting psychology behind it):

  • Shop now
  • Get it now
  • Act now
  • Subscribe now
  • Sign up now
  • Receive it now
  • Get access now
  • Do it now
  • Get your code now
  • Start spending now
  • Browse now

5. Get inspired!

Struggling to come up with ideas for your email campaigns? Get some inspiration from this gallery and the suggestions below.

  • Cyber Monday sale
  • Free shipping now available!
  • Gift card bonus (e.g. buy $100 in gift cards, get a bonus $25 for free!)
  • Holiday gift guide
  • Special coupon code
  • End-of-year update
  • Year-in-review or celebration of the year’s achievements
  • Holiday hours or holiday schedule update
  • Pre-sale or early-bird discount
  • Thank you for being our customer (and optionally include a referral code)
  • New product or service announcements
  • Share a holiday video
  • Promote a social media contest (e.g. photo contest)
  • Black Friday offers
  • Looking ahead to what’s coming in the new year
  • Last-minute deals or reminders
  • Shipping or ordering deadlines
  • Special gift packages
  • Small Business Saturday (it’s not just for brick and mortar!)
  • Share a story about how you celebrate the holidays
  • Giving Tuesday
  • Post-holiday specials

6. Check out these Direct Mail tech tips

Now that you’re ready to rock your campaigns, it’s time to put Direct Mail to work for you! Here are a couple of how-to articles to level-up your Direct Mail skills:

Sending Your Email Campaign at the Perfect Time. Learn how to schedule your campaigns to send even when your computer (or you!) are asleep, so that they arrive in your recipient’s inbox at the perfect time.

Search and Segment Like a Pro. Learn how to find and segment portions of your mailing list so that you an send targeted campaigns, or perform bulk editing operations.

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