Online video has become the essential tool for businesses to effectively communicate with their audiences, potential customers, employees and other stakeholders. As video’s importance rises so do the technologies that enable online video such as hosting, distribution, monetization, publishing, collaboration, interactivity and content creation software tools.
The demand for video content creation has resulted in a new industry of software designed to make it easy for businesses to create and distribute video-based emails. One of the biggest challenges with email are getting someone’s attention and getting them to convert — video and email together do just that. It is said that including a video thumbnail can double conversion and click-throughs.
Adding video to email used to be a manual and somewhat cumbersome process and workflow. Today that’s changed with a new class of video email marketing tools that make it easy to upload, embed, and measure video in email. Whether its basic video email thumbnail creation, animated gifs, video creation and sending, or personalized video emails — there are a ton of new tools out there to choose from. This short guide will break down evaluation criteria for choosing the right video email marketing tools for your organization.
What are your goals with video email marketing?
Before you start browsing through solutions in our directory, first stop and make a list all your goals and requirements. Here’s a sample of what this could look like:
First, the goals:
- Increase email opens by including video in email communications
- Increase email click-throughs with video
- Enable various team members to create and send their own video emails
- Revive legacy emails using video
Second, the requirements:
- Need to be able to create video thumbnails from existing images and text
- Need the video to playback automatically from the email
- Need to track email opens, video plays, and conversions
- Need to personalize videos for each email
- Need to add video to email in popular email tools like OutLook and GMail
Since video email marketing software is really about the injecting video in emails, make sure to think through why you are including video in your emails in the first place. Here are a series of questions to ask internally:
- What purpose will the video email serve (to educate, drive website traffic, change outside parties’ perceptions of your organization, etc.)?
- What type of audience will be watching the video (receiving the email)?
- Will the video be the main call-to-action of the email or will it support other content?
- Do you have a specific look/feel in mind (news, corporate, slick vs. rougher and less polished)?
- Will there be a need to create a custom video thumbnail graphic and/or gif animation?
- Will there be the need for creating a branded video playback page once someone clicks on the thumbnail in the email?
- What email platform will send the email (a marketing automation platform, blast email program or a common tool like Outlook or Gmail)?
- How are we planning on measuring the video email’s success?
Once you have listed out goals and requirements you can then move on to establish your evaluation criteria. To make it easy for you we’ve gone ahead and created a pre-established evaluation criteria for video email marketing platforms. You’ll be evaluating video email marketing platform providers that fit into one of these categories:
- Video hosting and distribution systems that output video thumbnails
- Dedicated video thumbnail creation both static and animated
- Video content capture and immediate distribution one-off via Outlook and Gmail
- Personalized video content assembly based on template
- Video email performance and engagement monitoring
8 Key Video Email Marketing Platform Evaluation Criteria
Here are the main criteria to base your evaluation on:
- Video Hosting and Distribution With Thumbnail Output: Can you easily upload video clips, set a thumbnail image, generate an embeddable thumbnail and place in a HTML email? How is the full content lifecycle managed within the platform? As your video email marketing grows in size and complexity you want to make sure it’s accessible and easy to use.
- Dedicated Video Thumbnail Creation: How do you design a video thumbnail for placement in email? Is it easy to drag and drop elements onto a canvas? Add animated gifs? Text and audio tracks? Are thumbnails optimized for popular email platforms like MailChimp, Marketo or HubSpot?
- Video Content Capture and Distribution: Does the tool enable you to capture video from a webcam and post to email for immediate send? Is the email send functionality built into the process? Does the tool easily integrate with Outlook and Gmail? Does the tool offer templates for specific videos types such as a promotional video, sales rep and support communication? Does the tool include an auto-generated video playback page?
- Content Personalization: Does the platform provide content personalization? The ability to automatically generate videos for each contact based on a spreadsheet of contact data? Does that directly integrate with email platforms for sends?
- Video Email Performance and Engagement: Does the tool provide analytics on video engagement in the email including conversions such as click-throughs? Are the analytics real-time? Are alerts offered via SMS or via a native application? Can analytics be isolated to a specific person viewing videos?
- Team and Collaboration: Does the tool have features that enable different teams and individuals to create and send their own video emails? Can various team members collaborate or share video content? Is it easy to limit or grant access to different system roles?
- Integrations: Can the tool integrate easily with other online video platforms such as Wistia, Vidyard and other premium OVPs to make it easy to push finished content out for publishing? Does the user management system connect with Single Sign-On solutions?
- Security & Scale: Is the tool encrypted and secure with restriction to content? Can administrators protect individual videos and emails? Can user access easily be granted and revoked by admins? Can the platform handle large video files including up to 4k resolution? How is the platform hosted and does it have global reach outside of the U.S.?
Use the 8 criteria above to put together your requirements for a online video platform for video email marketing. You can also browse the best video email marketing platforms available in our directory here.