Optimizing Your Video Email Campaign

February 24, 2014

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Agata Celmerowski


Recently, the Campaign Monitor team looked through a large number of email campaigns in search of the top 100 of 2013. Each email featured in the collection was unique, but when it came down to developing a beautiful and effective campaign, several common themes emerged.

Here are a few things we learned about how to maximize the response to your email marketing, particularly if you’re one of the 60% of marketers planning on using video content this year.

Pay extra attention to your call to action.

It’s a fundamental email marketing tenet, but it’s worth reiterating: if your campaign’s aim is to drive responses, make your call to action clear and place it near the top of your email.

This is particularly critical if you’re promoting video content. Don’t rely strictly on the classic play button overlaid on the video player to drive responses. Give recipients an option to click back to your site for more information as well, like featured “Design Leader” Inkling:

Additional techniques to consider include multiple inline links, linked header images, and linked pre-header text.

Another email marketing basic worth reiterating is to repeat your call to action, offering your subscribers another chance to click if they’re scrolling through your email. With the exception of select brands featured as “Nonconformists,” nearly every brand in the Top 100 had a single call to action, like this straightforward campaign from Queens of the Stone Age promoting their new album release:

Make responsive design a priority.

The majority of the campaigns featured in the eBook are mobile-optimized, and a quarter are fully responsive. With data from email tracking company Litmus suggesting that more than 50% of email is now opened on mobile devices, it makes sense to prioritize a mobile user experience when designing your campaign.

As you might expect, Litmus does a fantastic job of featuring video content in a responsive design with a campaign they sent promoting their Email Design Conference:

Test (and then test some more).

The first step in getting readers to consume your video is making sure they’re opening your email. The Top 100 features brands like Ikea and Rejuvenation that improved their open rates by more than 20% through A/B testing of subject lines:

“Subject line:
[First Name, Fallback=Dear customer], our gift to you
Tested against:
[First Name, Fallback=Dear customer], free delivery this December
From Ikea, designed by Line”

“Subject line:
Industrial-Strength Holiday Helper
Tested against:
For the holidays, go industrial
Designed by Rejuvenation”

One of the more interesting tests came from Shoes of Prey, which pitted the company name against an individual’s name in the from field – and saw a significant improvement with the individual version.

“Subject line:
[First Name]: Don’t Open At Work - 18 New Shoes For You
Sent from:
Jodie Fox
Tested against:
Shoes of Prey
Designed by Shoes of Prey”

Have great content.

There are no shortcuts when it comes to creating true engagement. Certainly, you can apply tips that will help ensure your content gets delivered, opened, and read. But ultimately the most impactful measure you can take as a marketer is to make your content compelling to your subscribers, regardless of what format you’re presenting it in!

Download Campaign Monitor’s Top 100 Email Marketing Campaigns.

Agata Celmerowski


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