Video email boosts email marketing campaign clickthrough by as much as 2X – 3X

In a report finding that I didn’t find too surprising, David Daniels from Forrester Research unveiled a stat every email marketer will want to take note of: incorporating video into email marketing campaigns can increase clickthrough as much as 2X – 3X. Not since the advent of HTML email support can I recall a single innovation able to drive campaign response so broadly in email, aside from list segmentation and message personalization, which of course remain key drivers in overall email marketing success.

This February, I delivered a presentation on video in email along with Peter Horan, CEO of Goodmail Systems at the EEC conference in Scottsdale, AZ. We also did our first ever VCC TV vlog piece highlighting the state of video and email marketing here should you wish to see it.

In covering the topic this time around, I thought it would be useful for our readers to see an actual example of video IN email, so I have embedded a video email enabled player below. In full disclosure, the player is developed by my company, Liveclicker, but I couldn’t find another player example to embed in the blog so you’ll have to forgive the reference and understand I’m not going for a plug opportunity here – that would be very “anti VCC.”

To send yourself a video email, click first on the “share” button in the lower right hand corner of the player (next to the green “Buy” button), then type in your own email address. The video you will receive in the email is a video GIF, with some optimization done on the back-end to account for different email clients, file size, palette, framerate management etc. It should render in any email client with the exception of Outlook 2007, which will only display the first frame:


What makes video GIFs so interesting, from my point of view at least, is that they stream immediately in the email client, despite the relatively large file sizes. And since the files are GIFs, they don’t cause deliverability issues – at least none we’ve observed in A/B testing. Of course, a video GIF still isn’t “real” video in the sense that marketers can’t incorporate audio, and due to the fact there are limitations on the frame rate and palette due to inherent limitations of GIF technology. Goodmail Systems presently offers the only “real” video in email option. Right now, it’s available only at AOL, though Goodmail explains it will be adding more ISPs soon. My own personal belief is that the video GIF technology can serve as a nice “appetizer” for email marketers seeking to incorporate video into campaigns at lower cost, and across all major email clients – perhaps before deciding whether to plunge all the way into true video in email. Time will tell though how broadly the technology is actually adopted in the market.

I would be curious to gather reader reaction to video GIFs and the state of video in email generally.

Happy selling!