Back in the early 90s, email marketing adoption began to slowly take hold. It appeared, as many discovered, that sending and using cold email as a way to engage prospects and clients could work as a business growth tool.
And it did.
In fact, it worked so well that research companies expect there to be as many as 2.9 billion emails sent by the end of 2019 alone.
And yes, many believe that cold email is dead.
But that’s just not true. Businesses have been known to generate as high as $38 for every $1 spent running email marketing campaigns. According to one recent study, more than 40% of B2B marketers, in particular, say that email is the most critical component to their content marketing success. By the end of the year, companies in the United States will spend an incredible $350 million on email advertising. Not only that, but a full 73% of millennials in particular actually prefer if their communications with businesses come via email – creating a perfect storm that your brand can’t afford to ignore any longer.
So why all the negative publicity around cold email?
In short: bad marketing.
Most brands struggle to generate engaging cold email content. And when their readers receive their emails, there’s little incentive or excitement to look forward to.
In this blog post, we’ll dive into how to use video in your cold email campaigns to maximize your engagement and conversion rates.
Video and Emailing: A Match Made in Heaven
It’s clear that cold email and video make for very strong marketing and sales tools. But the magic really begins to work when you combine the two.
Your cold emails begin to come to life in a way that few people expect, and that makes them more appealing.
But shooting video isn’t enough. To make a good video great, you need to do something that makes your audience stop and take notice.
Take the famous Dollarshave Club video. When they launched their new monthly subscription shaving blade service, they decided to appeal to their target market with a comical yet persuasive message. Fast-forward a few years later and they’ve been acquired by Unilever for a cool $1 billion.
You don’t need an air blower or a mascot to produce a great video, you just need to get a little creative.
Tips for Using Video in Your Cold Emails
Cold Email marketing is a science. You need to know how to create the right kinds of subject lines to generate higher open rates, you also need to be able to hold your reader’s attention line after line, and persuade them to take the next step with a strong call to action.
When you introduce video to email, you’ve got to pay attention to a few more details to make your emails more compelling. You need to think about the most effective way to incorporate video into your email campaigns to elevate your marketing.
Capture Your Reader’s Attention
As discussed, one of the best ways to maximize your cold email intrigue involves creating better OTT video content in the first place. However, if you truly want to hook someone, you need to do it before they even have a chance to press “play.” Because otherwise, they might not be willing to wait that long.
All of this begins with a thumbnail – a single image that represents your video that will likely form the basis of that prospect’s first impression. Make sure that your thumbnail relates not only to the topic of the video but to something the reader is interested in. They should be able to look at that single still image and get a sense of A) what type of experience they’re about to have, and B) why they should care in the first place.
So if your video is all about a new product you have coming up, make sure you’re holding up or using the product in the thumbnail.
Another great way to capture your reader’s attention is by using GIFs.
You can make your emails pop by using a GIF that shows what your readers can expect to see when they play your video.
Get them interested as soon as possible and then you don’t have to worry about getting their attention, but keeping it.
Make an Emotional Connection
Next, try to craft your video content in the most personal way possible. Some brands even go as far as using a prospect’s name in the video itself. You can absolutely do this and if you can, you should. This is a perfect way to make someone feel like they’re the only ones you care about.
But personalization can go beyond that, too. You could simply create content for your video website that directly relates to things that the reader cares about. Instead of filming a general commercial or pitch for your product, start by talking about the pain points that your customers are feeling. Let them know that you understand the problems in their lives and that you’ve created this product (or service) as a way to solve them.
For the sake of example, let’s say you run your own OTT video platform and are trying to get new users to sign up. You also know that one of your prospects happens to have their own fitness studio. Instead of writing them an email filled with technical specifications or an overview of how easy it is to host content online, make it about them.
Don’t say “here’s what my platform can do.” Say “here’s how to make more money in fitness” and then pitch your platform as a way for them to get out there and better connect with their own customers.
You’re essentially talking about the same thing with both of those approaches. You’re still conveying the exact same bits of information. But the latter includes a level of personalization and relatability that the former can never match, thus making it more effective (and more precise) at the same time.
WIIFM (What’s in it for Me)
One of the most important marketing rules to always apply is to place your reader at the heart of your content. Your messaging must clearly and consistently show the value you have to offer your reader. If your email is not able to provide a strong enough ‘why’, you’re likely to lose your reader’s attention.
So start by putting yourself in their shoes. If you were the potential customer and a brand was communicating with you, what would you want to hear? If you can answer that question, you’ll have everything you need to make the right type of first impression before you know it.
Essentially, don’t start out by talking about your product or your business. Start out by talking about your customers. Let them know that you understand them and want to help them. Then you can circle back around to the original purpose of the email. That absolutely counts as personalization and make no mistake – it can be incredibly effective when utilized properly.
Use Strong Calls to Action
You’ve done a great job of carrying your reader’s attention thus far, now you need a little commitment from their end. Calls to actions come in different lengths, shapes, and sizes. As you create yours, create a strong one that resonates with your reader.
The More Personal You Can Get, the Better Off You’ll Be
This level of personalization absolutely extends into the realm of B2B marketing, too. Even something as simple as wearing a shirt featuring that company’s logo will go a long way towards showing them that you’ve really done your research and you know how high the stakes are. Or if you’ve looked into the decision-makers at a particular business and know one of them happens to be a film aficionado, shoot your video in front of a movie poster or take a few minutes at the start to talk about that latest Hollywood blockbuster you just saw.
Here’s a perfect example of a personalized outreach video email:
All of this is personal and relatable and it helps “prime” the target before you get into the main topic that you’re writing about in the first place.
Keep in mind that a cold email is ultimately a short preview of what it is like to have a relationship with your brand. For B2C businesses, it’s an insight into what it’s like to purchase from you and what type of experience a customer will have. For B2B brands, it’s a glimpse into what it might be like to work with you. In either scenario, you need to make that impression as memorable as possible.
Doing so not only helps to immediately establish you as an authority in their mind, but it also allows you to build credibility in a significant way. All of this makes it far more compelling of a proposition to both read your email AND respond to it – which is ultimately the most important goal of all.
Author: Amir Shahzeidi
Amir is the digital marketing manager at Uscreen, an all-in-one video monetization and live streaming platform that empowers video entrepreneurs and creators to monetize their content and build thriving communities and businesses around their videos.