Act on personal data. That’s what everyone is saying, right? One of the problems with data is that sometimes there is simply too much of it, or in other cases, not enough. One of the most popular problems with data is that we’re unsure of what to do with the data we already have.
> Need inspiration for your email marketing? Check out these 7 examples for creative email marketing campaigns
I Analyzed All the Email Marketing Statistics of One Video Marketing Company
I met the good people of Idomoo in early March. For those of you unfamiliar with Idomoo, it is basically MailChimp meets Unbounce to create personal videos email marketing campaigns for the masses.
Their platform provides the tools to create a personalized video, a landing page to promote it, and emails with video thumbnails taken straight from the platform. But Idomoo isn’t the story that interests me. It’s their clients. I’m going to focus on all the emails I analyzed (just over a million) so that you can learn how to do the following:
- Get People To Open Your Marketing Emails Through Amazing Headlines
- Make Sure Your Email’s Don’t Drop Into Horrible Work Hours
- Getting users to open your emails: a marathon that never ends
Email Subject Line
I read many amazing posts about subject lines and email open rates, one of my favorites belonged to Takipi’s (and now Oribi’s) founder, Iris Shoor. In this post, one line is extremely important to notice:
“From our A/B tests these user’s name emails haven’t received a much higher reply rate, likely because everybody is using this method today, and people don’t associate it with personal emails any longer.”
Why is this important? Because 3 out 4 marketers that I meet still make this same mistake. Now you can say “Hey there Mr. Expert, just wait a minute. I read that same post and Takipi sent emails to tech-savvy clients, so it was natural that they’d know that names in subject lines weren’t so personal.”
Interestingly enough, I discovered that Idomoo’s metrics show similar results. Using names in addition to the subject line (e.g. “Hi Dan, here is a video we made for you”) brought in less than 40% email open rate results on average. In comparison, when the email subject line was a direct sentence about the industry or email content at hand, the open rate resulted in a 68% average across all verticals.
One major anomaly I noticed, was that when words like “Thanks” or “Thank you” were used in the subject line, the results were astounding! Emails using these greetings in the subject line led to the highest open rate on average, at 71%.
Companies using personal video marketing platforms at scale send their email campaigns to everyday people. The emails are about utility bills, bank loans, car insurance, or you name it. In other words, the people who receive video’s via Idomoo’s platform do not belong to any specific “techie” or “technophobic” group, so what Takipi found in its research applies to B2C, as well as, B2B.
Mailchimp, on the other hand, discovered after sending out 24 billion emails:
- Even though, the most common approach when sending e-mails is using the first name, e-mails using the last name had a slightly better open rate.
So, what should you do?
This is the part where I share words of wisdom about A/B testing. Do it! Yes, really. Do it! It helps gauge what works best when sending mass marketing emails. But in addition, I’ll add this: if you are planning to send video marketing material via email, you should first start with the insights that a video platform provides. Go with the direct route because you can always tinker with names if that doesn’t pan out.
What I recommend trying right away:
Email subject lines that had “Thank You” or “Thanks” will perform way above average in any use case or industry.
Try to understand what name formatting works better with your clients asap. You can always move on from there.
When A/B testing, only change one variable each time.
If people are not responding to your email you have to send something along these lines:
Timing is everything in life, right? Well, in order to alway have the right timing you need data.
The thing is that MailChimp didn’t test specifically emails with videos or more specifically emails with video ads. I obviously asked myself: “What if saying video in the subject line affects email open rates, maybe more people open video emails at night?”
We found that any use of the word video in a subject line did not help increase open rates of emails at all, with an average of 30%. While a couple instances were over 50%, this was when the word “video” was coupled with “Thanks/Thank you” or it was used in a question, but in all cases when the email was addressed to a “name” with the word “video,” the emails were only opened one-third of the time.
Personalization, Automation, and Email – Can they coexist?
Somebody once told me that you can’t scale any form of personal marketing. I used to believe that until last year. It’s all a matter of perspective and how personal you want to get. It’s true that the more personal you get, the less you are able to scale effectively, but today’s technology allows us to use huge chunks of big data and turn it into a message that is relevant to the individual.
What kind of things can you personalize? Well, you can get personal by sending people something that they want to read, or watch. Now the key is to do this without sounding too creepy. Here is how creepy and not so creepy personal messages look like in an automated environment.
Creepy: Every user that visits your blog post, will get immediately stuck with a retargeting banner that follows them everywhere, inviting them to watch a video about a cool product they’re selling.
Not So Creepy: Using Facebook or Twitter retargeting, a week after your post has been read, a notice suggests to those users to view an additional video that is an interesting follow-up to the previous post they read. (Obviously, a video with added value and not a sales oriented pitch!)
Now a bigger question is how to send a video ad in an automated way via email and still feel personal. Luckily, for us marketers, there are platforms that help create dynamic content for video, based on the user’s visit. This content will engage because it sends something new, that adds value to what has already been consumed.
If you really want to aim high, there are video platforms that create interactive experiences via video. I don’t have enough numbers to go on but I can vouch that if someone receives in the content of their email “Interactive Video” in comparison to “Video” it will create a CTR that is at least 5% higher on the CTA inside the email with the video.
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So what did we learn?
- We learned different posts on email subject lines have different insights and results, or in other words, yes, use A/B testing!
- We learned that timing is everything with video ad emails just like with everything else in life.
- We talked about automating personal experiences through more evolved video ads such as dynamic content and interactive content videos.
Do you think I missed anything? Did you try different things successfully in the past? Let me know in the comments.
About Avishai Sam Bitton
Avishai is the founder of Alegria Media. He is a special growth hacking consultant that is well known for his SEO and content marketing skills. Bitton mainly works with established startups looking to scale their business globally. Follow him on Twitter – @Avishai_Bitton