March 4, 2010, 12:00 AM

Video messages in e-mails are set for a boost in 2010, study says

Consumers this year will see a jump in e-mail marketing messages that contain videos showing content such as customer testimonials and product demonstrations, says a new report.

Consumers this year will see a jump in e-mail marketing messages that contain videos showing content such as customer testimonials and product demonstrations, e-marketing firm Implix says in a new report.

At least 80% of the approximately 200 small- and medium-sized e-mail marketers surveyed by Implix between Jan. 27 and Feb. 5 said they plan to use video e-mails this year, up from about 16% that said they used videos in 2009. Implix operates the GetResponse platform for e-mail marketing campaigns.

46% of survey respondents said videos within e-mail marketing messages significantly increase conversion rates, while another 20% said videos moderately increase conversion rates. 5% doubted videos influence conversation rates, while 29% said they were unsure.

Videos that offer training courses or product demonstrations were considered the most effective types of videos by 51% of respondents. Product promotions, customer testimonials and brand image messages were considered less effective.

The optimal length of a video varies with its purpose, says Simon Grabowski, CEO of Implix and founder of GetResponse. For instance, product demos can be a powerful sales tool if kept under five minutes in an e-mail message. “It must offer very simple, easy to follow instructions on how to use the product or service, then demonstrate two to three of the most likely uses, based on consumer research,” he says.

Customer testimonials, meanwhile, can run longer, from five to eight minutes, assuming the content is compelling and the presenter is appealing, he says. “This can be a very powerful persuasive tool for e-mail marketers from any industry and we hope to see more attention paid to this profit-generating application in the future,” Grabowski says. “Unfortunately, many marketers still aren’t taking to time to harvest good customer stories.”

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