5 Strategies for Creating an Effective Video Email Campaign — for Associations

Michael Hoffman
Co-founder & CEO, Gather Voices

Using video in your trade association email campaign can dramatically ramp up your open rate, click-through rate, and engagement metrics.

Did you know, including the term “video” in your email subject line can increase opens by 19% and reduce unsubscribes by 20%?  Wistia also found that using videos in emails shot their clicks up by 300%.

Many association marketers ready know video email campaigns offer higher ROI than text-and-image-only versions— as many as 87% of surveyed marketers report already using video email marketing to increase their conversion rates. But despite knowing that video is important, you might find it challenging to implement within your association.

That’s why we created this guide with smart, practical strategies that you can use to build successful a video email campaign within your associations. Here are 5 strategies for maximizing your impact with video and email.

1. Use a GIF Thumbnail (Instead of an Embedded Video)

Most major email clients do not support embedded videos. The reasons vary, from spam concerns to security details.

The point of including video in your email is to create visual interest — but without an embedded video, your video could have a static feel. GIFs are a great alternative to traditional thumbnails, and most major email platforms support GIFs.

To create a GIF, start with a short clip of your video — think 10 seconds or less — and choose a clip that’s visually interesting. Once you’ve got your clip, you can use a tool like giphy.com to turn your video into a GIF.

Especially if you include captions, you can get a nice video-like effect from within your email:

Another way to make your GIFs visually interesting is to use a stop-motion effect. You may have seen the “boomerang” effect made popular by Instagram. This effect takes a video clip and plays it forward and reverse, grabbing a small amount of frames to create a very cool combination of a stop-motion and loop effect.

Instagram only lets you make boomerangs with live video, in the moment. But fortunately there are free online tools that can duplicate the boomerang effect. Check out Kawping’s Video Loop Tool which can produce boomerang-like effects.

2. Use Video Landing Pages in Your Campaigns  

Be sure to tie videos to a particular conversion. The proven way to increase your conversion rate is to use a landing page.

Try using a dedicated video landing page with clear calls-to-action (CTAs).  

In addition to collecting all the right campaign metrics to inform improvements, video landing pages connect with viewers—more so than text and image landing pages do—and keep viewers on the page twice as much.

That means you can get their attention, keep their interest, and engage them in your conversation with video.

Viewers also prefer and stick around to watch entire videos from brands they support, according to a 2018 HubSpot survey.

HubSpot video marketing research

Here’s what to keep in mind to create effective video email campaigns:    

  • Feature real video stories to build trust. Allow members to share their journeys, organization concerns, and success stories in their own words. Others are more likely to connect, relate, and trust such videos more.  
  • About 87% of videos in business are viewed on desktop computers. So, shoot your trade association videos with larger, higher-resolution screens in mind.
  • Use verbal calls to action such as “click the link on the top-right corner of this video” to lead your viewers to take your desired action next
  • Insert a final-frame form to persuade viewers to request a demo
  • Use in-video button prominently during or near the end of the video to call views to download more information or check out a related video      

3. Use Video to Promote Continuing Education

Many associations offer continuing education and certifications for their members — continuing education courses are a key driver of non-dues revenue at many associations.

Video is a useful and powerful tool for increasing continuing education registrations. Consider collecting short videos from course instructors with a concise pitch for their course. Create short GIFs from each instructor’s video, then use these GIFs and videos to create course-specific email sequences. Be sure to include video in the subject line.

Want to see an example of how that may work for your association?

The Nonprofit Technology Network (NTEN) used Gather Voices to collect informational videos from individual instructors. It then added the videos to emails and landing pages to market its 2019 courses.

Here are a few of the videos they used to promote their courses:

The result was a 70% increase in click-throughs and nearly 30% jump in new registrations. You, too, can use video to promote your continuing education courses — learn more about how NTEN increased course registration from this case study.

4. Use Video to Promote Compliance

Looking to boost your expertise and trustworthiness amongst your members? Compliance isn’t always the most exciting topic, but it’s essential for members to be in compliance with industry best practices — and as an association, you’re there to help keep your members in compliance.

Since compliance involves teaching and education, video is a powerful tool. When it comes  time to send an email campaign about compliance, think about working video into your emails.

Picture this:

Your members may be concerned about an upcoming audit.

They know they need to be compliant before then.

But some members may not know how to do so. With this lack of knowledge comes fear and uncertainty.

Association members would love to learn how the process works from an industry leader. That’s why smart trade associations promote their compliance initiatives using video.

Webinars are a great tool for compliance education — and video isn’t just limited to the webinar itself. Just like continuing education promotion, you can create short promotional videos to drive your video email campaigns for compliance webinars.

5. Bring Your Sales Team Onboard

Working personal videos into your sales email campaigns can shorten your buyers’ journey.  

Wistia found that using video in an email leads to a 36.9% higher close rate than using text and images only. And HubSpot found that 76% of sales teams who used video saw an increase in sales.  

To do this successfully, collect information on what your target audience wants to know in the decision stage of your funnel. Marketing and sales should collaborate to decide which type of videos work best in the decision stage.

Members testimonials — highlighting how being a member of your trade association has made a huge impact on them — can work especially well.

Once you’re using video, experiment with how different types of video could play into your sales email campaigns — imagine the video you could create around member interviews, industry best practices, and explainer videos. as process, interviews, and detailed explainer videos.

Gather Voices — a tool to enhance your video email campaigns

Thinking about creating more video for your association? Tight on time and budget? Consider Gather Voices — dozens of leading associations are using our video platform to create member videos from all around the world. We empower association marketers to drive up member engagement by collecting and distributing more member videos. Schedule a demo today and we’ll show your how it’s done.

Michael Hoffman
Co-founder & CEO, Gather Voices

Michael Hoffman is the co-founder and CEO of Gather Voices, a technology company that automates the creation, management and publishing of video content. He is also the founder of See3 Communications, a digital marketing agency in Chicago and founder of the DoGooder Video Awards which honors the best social cause video on YouTube each year. Hoffman teaches marketing at the University of Chicago and is an internationally sought-after speaker and trainer who is a trusted advisor to business leaders on engagement strategy.

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