CEO Sharon Price John says Build-A-Bear’s old e-commerce system is a big reason for disappointing online sales in December.
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“A lot of retailers don’t necessarily have the skills to support video, so we have tried to make it as easy as possible to support sending video e-mails,” says Adams, who is also president and CEO of Arial Software, a provider of e-mail marketing applications. Zeop was created earlier this year specifically to service the video needs of e-mail marketers.
When sending a video, e-mail experts recommend that retailers place a statement in the subject line that the message includes a playable video. Next, retailers ought to include a preview pane-a single image of the video-at the beginning of the message’s body along with a thumbnail description about the video.
“The aim is to place the information that generates interest in the video high-up in the message so the customer does not have to scroll through the message to know what it is about,” explains Adams. “When the JPEG is clicked on, we include a large superimposed Play button.”
Production values of the video do not necessarily have to be of motion picture quality as many testimonials and product demonstrations already posted on the web are not of that caliber.
“We do recommend creating a quality video, because poor production values hurt the reputation of the marketer, but they don’t have to be big-budget productions, just genuine messages to which people can relate,” adds Adams. “It is better not to produce a video for e-mail than to produce a poor quality video. Quality videos can be produced in house.”
The other advantage Zeop offers e-mail marketers is greater control over placement of their message, especially when they create their own video communities. “Retailers can post a testimonial or demonstration video on YouTube, but they have no control over what appears next to them,” Adams says. “The content of the video that appears next to a retailer’s video on YouTube and other video communities can end up diluting their marketing message.”
Video e-mails are for e-mail marketers that want to see their message translate into an action that engages the customer on a higher level and supports the customer relationship in a new way, according to Adams.
“Video e-mail is a way to bridge the gap between old school direct marketing and new age techno advertising,” he adds.
That is why it is one of the hottest trends in e-mail marketing.