Every time we see a company using video well in their email marketing, we do a little dance here at Wistia — nothing huge, just a little two step.
The truth is, there are many ways to build out your email list, but some are more effective (and legal) than others. Video is one of the best tools for gathering email addresses because it offers an immersive experience and builds trust and rapport. Now, I don’t know about you, but I don’t give my email address to people I don’t trust. On the other hand, if I’m convinced that a company will deliver something helpful or delightful in my inbox, then sure, why not?
Vooza’s creative business model and witty content have been featured in publications like TechCrunch and the Financial Times, but we decided to focus on how they’re using Wistia’s Turnstile email collector as an integral part of their video marketing strategy. We talked with Vooza’s CEO, Matt Ruby, about how they’ve used video to grow their email list in an unobtrusive way.
Vooza is a video content platform that uses native video advertising to pay the bills, but they also describe themselves as “a video comic strip about the startup world.” Curious what that looks like? This is one of my favorite episodes. It’s about phablets:
On Vooza’s homepage, you’ll find a library of episodes to watch. They’ve covered a lot of relatable topics, like "How to Dress at a Startup“ and ”Power Posing." After each episode, a post-roll ad plays, then a Turnstile email collector slides onto the scene like a classy zamboni. “Having the Wistia API has been a big win,” Matt said. “Our developers have been able to build post-roll ad functionality and create a custom video environment.”
“We like using Turnstile for a number of reasons,” Matt explained. "When we embed videos on other sites, our Turnstiles show up and generate leads. It’s great to know that wherever our videos are featured, there will be a way for us to gain a long-term fan when it’s done." With views and ad revenue as their top priorities, growing their email list is crucial.
“It’s great to know that wherever our videos are featured, there will be a way for us to gain a long-term fan when it’s done.”
Matt explained, “It’s the best way for us to stay on people’s minds (and in their inbox). It’s easy to get lost in the clutter of Facebook, Twitter, etc., so being able to stay in touch with our fans on a weekly basis is invaluable. Email is definitely the best way for us to drive traffic to the videos and interact with people who dig us.”
The following video has garnered the highest conversion rate thus far and contributed to Vooza’s growing email list, which is in the tens of thousands and up 15% from last year.
If you explore Vooza’s site, you’ll notice that all of the Turnstiles appear at the end of their videos. Matt and the Vooza team agree that overall, Wistia’s player makes their videos and website less “noisy.”
Their decision to place Turnstiles at the end of each video, rather than at the beginning or in the middle, is a conscious choice to provide an optimal experience for their audience. “We’re hesitant to interrupt the viewing experience,” said Matt. “Our episodes and ads have a narrative flow to them.”
In the future, Vooza’s engineering team hopes to experiment with building some pre-roll ads, but the Turnstiles will remain as closing curtains.
For companies with different goals and priorities, decisions regarding CTA placement in videos will vary. If you’re curious to learn more about how Turnstile placement can affect conversion rate, we wrote a blog post highlighting some of the stats and trends we’ve seen from thousands of videos with Turnstiles in them.
Capturing email addresses is hard enough, but retaining your email audience and convincing them to engage with your content repeatedly is a whole different challenge.
In Vooza’s case, they feature a new weekly episode at the top of every email, and follow it up with funny jokes from Twitter, news about press mentions and contests, and a link to an older episode. This consistent email schedule and format builds trust and anticipation. I wonder what next week’s episode will be?
The video thumbnail is pretty hard to resist when you’ve learned to expect a quick, hilarious portrayal of startup life. Who doesn’t want to be entertained (and in some instances, validated) for a couple of minutes?
What video marketing tactics do you use to grow your email list? Have you ever used a video thumbnail in an email? Let us know in the comments below!