How the rise of HTML5 video, iOS, and new mail client-sniffing technology has breathed new life into video in email campaigns.
Think embedding video in email is a bad idea? Try telling Bare Escentuals.
Long an innovator when adopting new technologies and an expert in setting trends, this cosmetics juggernaut took a leap into the unknown when it decided to roll out its Supernatural collection with a video in email campaign.
The email featured a video that played directly in the email, front-and-center. An inspirational driving track set the pace for a video that showed viewers how to "Get Lauren's Look." Of course, the requisite Bare Escentuals cosmetics used to achieve the look were prominently highlighted.
"Everyone was excited to launch this new capability - in the first mailing that we launched using embedded video, our click-through rate doubled compared to prior video emails," said Marissa Oyadomari, senior digital marketing specialist at Bare Escentuals.
Embedding video in email has long been considered taboo for large brands, primarily for technical and ease-of-deployment reasons. However, the rise of HTML5 video, iOS, and new mail client-sniffing technology has breathed new life into the argument for adding video to email.
Ryan Phelan, VP, strategic services for email services provider BlueHornet, agrees. "We see more brands inching into the video in email space in 2013 as marketers discover the possibilities," he said. "Aside from allowing senders to stand out from the crowd, embedded video within email is actually easier for recipients to view on popular devices like the iPhone and iPad."
Video in email has failed to catch on in the past with marketers. In 1999, RadicalMail launched streaming media in email before the product was eventually shelved. Ten years later, now defunct Goodmail Systems tried to revive video in email and failed after raising $45 million in venture capital. The difference this time, contends Phelan, is that open standards will allow video in email to flourish where it once flagged.
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Justin Foster is an entrepreneur specialized in e-commerce and online marketing. In addition to co-founding video commerce startup Liveclicker, Justin also founded the Video Commerce Consortium, the industry's largest trade group devoted to advancing the use of video in e-commerce. Prior to Liveclicker, Justin led the services practice for WhatCounts, an email marketing technology provider, where he was responsible for client strategy and development. He also founded the Email Marketing Roundtable, an industry group that represents over 1,500 email marketers worldwide. Justin holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Pacific Lutheran University with emphasis in Information Science and Entrepreneurship and a minor in Chinese from Beijing Foreign Studies University.
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