With the rapid growth of social media, the once stalwart digital marketing channel of email is experiencing growing pains. Consumers are finding email messages less relevant and experiencing email fatigue.
One way to fight the decline of email relevance is through increased engagement. According to a new study from Implix, marketers are planning to grow their video implementation exponentially. In fact, there could be a 480% increase in planned video email usage over the next year. But do consumers want to receive marketing via video in their inboxes?
Implix is the company that documented growing email fatigue in its last report, but according to the company's 2010 Email Marketing Trends Survey, over 80% of respondents plan to use video emails in 2010. Meanwhile, only 15.7% of responders used video in email campaigns during 2009.
Over 65% of respondents believe that video email marketing can have a moderate or significant influence on conversion rates. And almost 64% of marketers who have already used video marketing messages think it can significantly increase conversions.
Meanwhile, the company did a study last year that found video increased email marketing click-through rates by 96.38%.
According to Simon Grabowski, Implix' CEO, video gives email a "human touch":
"Everyone wants marketing to be more personal. That's pretty much what video email does."
Of course, video emails are still a novelty for many people, meaning that click-through rates may be due to curiosity and intrigue more than effectiveness. And though marketers are excited about video right now, it will be subject to the same issues of fatigue as any other type of marketing message.
But Grabowski says that there are ways to avoid that. Namely, through increased engagement:
"We're finding that there are a couple of things that marketers are doing to decrease email fatigue. One strategy is to implement a confirm, opt in model.... if you start adding emails without confirmations, you'll see quickly that the results will collapse because of poor email deliverability."
Another point in video email's favor is improved delivery. Rather than serving high bandwidth videos directly in emails, many marketers are showing preview pictures that link to a website that plays the actual video. That said, email is a tricky medium because many people read emails on mobile phones and it's hard to know what kind of images and browsing capability they will have when viewing individual messages.
Regardless, Grabowski thinks advancing email technology will be useful:
"People will still read emails. We tend to think that at some point, the boundary between email and social is going to disappear. But we're not talking about different types of marketing, we're takng about different channels. At the end fo the day, it's all about engagement."