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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."

Image: Implix

Meghan Keane

Published 1 March, 2010 by Meghan Keane

Based in New York, Meghan Keane is US Editor of Econsultancy. You can follow her on Twitter: @keanesian.

721 more posts from this author

Comments (8)

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Mike Stenger

Mike Stenger, MikeStenger.com

Those are some pretty impressive stats. I honestly don't understand why everyone isn't using video emails. Many marketers are showing a preview picture that then links to the video which I find very smart to do. As long as you can keep the reader engaged and interested through video, use it and keep using it while improving when you can.

over 6 years ago


Mike Crompton, Director at Summit International Ltd

Video is definately an engaging medium and can if applied correctly have fanstastic results.  In general we have seen email open rates remaining constant and in some cases increasing as people improve the content and the two way interaction with the contact base but clearly this depends on the market and the list.  Surveys, video, online webinars, blogs are all good ways of continuing to improve the online relationship with customers. As ever with marketing, the problem is measuring effectiveness. Email tracking is widely available but video however raises a number of questions.  From our experience of video tracking, the key issue is to be able to report on the whole video experience including start/stop/duration/hitting key moments in the video/rewind/pause etc. Otherwise statistics like "10,000 video streams served last month" become as meaningless as the old email statistics of emails sent.  In our opinion, once you can see things like real-time drop-off of viewers as the movie plays you start to get useful information back.   Lets see what the consumer thinks rather than strategise!

over 6 years ago

Doug Kessler

Doug Kessler, Director at VelocitySmall Business Multi-user

Good post.  We're seeing B2B web video exploding and getting these into emails is the logical next step.  We now do this with screenshots that link to the video player but I do like the idea ofthe email playing inside the video.  Just not sure of the firewall or size issues yet...

over 6 years ago


Jane Johnson, Head of Multimedia at The Partnership Agency UK Ltd

My initial thought on this is that with video delivery, like HTML emails, there are going to be certain obstacles in successfully delivering a campaign to all recipients. Corporate firewalls and spam blockers are the first hurdle that all emails have to contend with, but I think video has the added complication of requiring the end user to have speakers or headphones, and even if they do, they may not be in an environment where they want or are able to play a video (shared offices for example).

We do a lot of email campaigns for clients and they will invariably focus on the reasons why a recipient didn't get their message, and its hard to make them understand that some technical obstacles are beyond our control.

Video is great, but be sure your client understands there are going to be a percentage of recipients who won't be able to receive the message in that format at all, for now. (The worst is when it's the client themselves, sitting behind a huge corporate firewall wondering why they can't see the campaign they just paid for!!)

over 6 years ago

Mariusz Kozinski

Mariusz Kozinski, Director at 0141 Design

Hey, we love this article, our company has been at the forefront of video marketing for a few years now servicing some cool brands. Check out www.vMessage.net for a service that delivers to mobiles and desktops. We have a number of case studies that prove engagement and ROI.

over 6 years ago



Hi, question on bulk emailing lists used for DM. As mentioned by Jane, there is the risk of spamming - is there anyway to have an email campaign that incorporates video and the email does get through to the sender (spec being the usual email providers such as outlook 2000, hotmail, gmail etc).

about 6 years ago


Predictive Dialer

I personally believe that e-mail marketing is out.  I'm not even sure that video is going to work.  You have to get people to open your emails.  I'm not opening an email from a business.   Yeah, a video is more engaging, but you gotta get me to open the email first.

almost 6 years ago



Video Email is compliemntary to HTML email campaigns, any email campaign has technical/delivery obstacles, this is more to do with list health.

As with any form of marketing, less is more, email marketing has to become more selective and engaging. Video emails or HTML emails have nothing to do with open rates, its when someone did decide to open it, do thewy find video or image/text emails more engaging. Only the customer can decide.

almost 6 years ago

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