Make Your Soapbox Videos More Personal with Customized Thumbnails

Kristen Bryant


In a world full of merge tags, smart templates, and corporate jargon, it’s easy to feel like we only receive emails from robots. But because our inboxes are full of all that automated mumbo-jumbo, as marketers and salespeople we have a huge opportunity to stand out by communicating in a more human way.

We’re saying goodbye to Soapbox on 9/1, but you can still [record video] ( with Wistia.

So, how do you actually go about being more personal with your outreach? The answer’s simple — video. Creating a one-to-one video with a tool like free webcam and screen recorder can help you breakthrough the sea of automation and show your contacts who you really are. And as of today, you can take those personalization efforts one (or two) steps further!

We’re so excited to share with you all our latest additions to Soapbox. Drum roll, please … say hello to video thumbnails and text overlays for your Soapbox videos!

Use custom thumbnails to improve engagement

When we talk about including a video in your sales outreach, we’re really talking about including a video thumbnail in an email. This clickable image shows your viewers that a video awaits them, which can improve your email reply rates by 26%. But, a good thumbnail can do a lot more than just drive email reply rates: it can also help you make a great first impression by showing off your personality and your company’s brand.

With Soapbox, making a custom thumbnail is super simple — just snap a new photo or select a frame right from your video! We always recommend choosing a thumbnail that features your friendly face, as it helps a face to the name. After all, our brains are hardwired to be drawn to faces, so why not give the people what they want and show off that mug of yours?

Create a video thumbnail and stand out

As a salesperson, you want to come off as a professional and friendly expert in every interaction, and a strong thumbnail can help you put your best foot forward. Stand out in your prospect or customer’s inbox by choosing a video thumbnail that adds color and delight to an otherwise standard email.

Taking the time to make a video thumbnail could be the difference between getting on a first call and being ignored. In fact, our marketing team A/B tested an animated thumbnail against a static image for a video on our site and found that the animated thumbnail encouraged more clicks than the static image. Motion compels us to act — just think about how many videos you’ve stopped scrolling by simply because they auto-play. Capture your viewer’s attention by waving, laughing, or pointing to the play button.

Don’t be afraid to loosen up and let your personality shine. This doesn’t mean that you have to be silly or strange. It simply means that you just have to be you!

Add text to make your communication more special

Replace the use of a handwritten sign or note by adding text to your video thumbnail. Did we just hear a collective sigh of relief from people with poor penmanship? Typing in the viewer’s name or company adds both polish and personalization to your Soapbox video. These details signal to your prospects and customers that your video was made just for them.

If you’re on a Soapbox Solo or Teams Plan, you can send your next video out with one of these advanced thumbnail options. Here’s what you have to do:

  1. After you’ve recorded a Soapbox video, click “Customize”
  2. Click on the dropdown menu that’s just below the automatically generated thumbnail
  3. To make a video thumbnail, select “Take a video”
  4. A preview will appear and you’ll be ready to record a 5-second video thumbnail
  5. Once you’ve recorded your video thumbnail, a text overlay option will appear
  6. Type in the text you’d like to see above and below the play button
  7. You’re good to go!

PSA: Previews of video thumbnails take a little longer to load than previews of static images.

Here’s what the final product ends up looking like!

Using video in your communication is a fantastic way to maintain your human voice in emails. Your thumbnail shouldn’t be an afterthought — it’s the trailer to your award-winning, deal-closing, box office hit. Make a great first impression by having a polished and professional thumbnail land in your contact’s inbox. If you take the time to you’ll be on the way to building a productive sales relationship in no time!

Kristen Bryant


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