March 31, 2010, 12:00 AM

2010: The year video comes to life in e-mail, study says

The ever-increasing popularity of online video will spur greater use of video in e-mail marketing, as retailers show consumers everything from customer testimonials to product demonstrations, Implix says in a new report.

Online video is more popular than ever, and that ever-increasing popularity will spur greater use of video in e-mail this year as more retailers show consumers everything from customer testimonials to product demonstrations, e-marketing firm Implix says in a new report.

80% of the e-mail marketers surveyed said they plan to use video e-mails this year, whereas only about 16% said they used videos in 2009. Implix, which provides the GetResponse platform for e-mail marketing campaigns, surveyed about 200 e-mail marketers from small and midsized companies between Jan. 27 and Feb. 5.

46% of survey respondents believe videos within e-mail marketing messages can significantly increase conversion rates, while another 20% believe videos can moderately increase conversion. 5% doubted videos can influence conversion, 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 included in an e-mail message can be a powerful sales tool if kept under five minutes. “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 time to harvest good customer stories.”

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