UPDATE: We've turned this post into a video if you'd rather watch, you can check it out here.
We believe that you should always eat your own dog food. I don't mean that you should literally eat dog food (we don't even have a dog), but that if you're in a position to use your own product you should take every opportunity to do so. The idea is to see your product in the same light as your customers or users do. One of the ways we've been doing this recently is by incorporating more videos into our email marketing.
We track our open rates, click throughs, and forwards using MailChimp. Then we use our video heatmaps to track how the people watch the video. This combination helps us figure out which messages are working, who's interested, and how to improve our strategy. Ultimately we can follow up with the right people. Through this process we've observed several concrete ways that video has improved our email marketing.
- Improved click-throughs - We've consistently seen 3 - 4x more people click-though when we mention a video. This appears to be true across all emails: newsletters, follow up with prospects, and even automated alerts.
- More engagement - Visitors who click through to a video spend substantially more time on the site than our general web traffic.
- Finding the right voice - By tracking which parts of our video people are interested in, it has become easier to target our message appropriately. For example, we noticed that people would rather watch videos showing in-depth features than ones just touting high-level benefits. The next time we sent out emails to that audience, we focused on feature updates and received a better response overall.
- Better insight - Before incorporating video into our email marketing we used to decide who we were going to follow up with based purely on opens and click-throughs. Now we base our follow up on how people actually engage with the video. If someone watches the whole video 3 times, we're going to call them before we call people who didn't even click play. Without video tracking, these visitors would have appeared to have the same level of interest! That's crazy.
Overall we've been impressed by how effective adding video to our email marketing has been. But don't forget, you cannot improve what you cannot measure!