It’s Not Just About the E-mail…And Video Complicates Matters

An e-mail campaign I developed for a client earlier this month was successful, but not as successful as it could have been. If you see yourself or your organization in the following case study, it’s not too late — see my tips at the end of this column for making sure you get the most out of every send and video landing page.

Last month I wrote about video in e-mail, partially spurred by a client that was pursuing this strategy. The video was a somewhat late addition to the e-mail campaign — the video was complete just as we were finalizing the e-mail creative. We included an image of the video which, when clicked on, took the reader to a Web page where the video would play.

The CTR (define) on the e-mail underscored the popularity of video:

  • 65 percent of all clicks were to the video landing page.

  • 19 percent went to the free trial sign-up form (the primary call to action).
  • 16 percent went to a page to learn more about the product.

These figures are even more impressive when you consider there was only one link to the video landing page in the e-mail, compared to two links to learn more and three links to sign up for a free trial. The single video link pulled nearly twice as many clicks as the five other links combined.

The video out pulled the other calls to action on clicks, but how did it do with regard to the primary goal: driving free trials, which is generating leads for the organization? Surprisingly, not so well:

  • 90 percent of leads came from the “Sign Up for a Free Trial” landing page
    • 28 percent of the clicks that the learn more and free trial links received
  • 10 percent came from the video landing page
    • 2 percent of the clicks that the video link received

What happened? How did we drive nearly twice the traffic there and end up with just one-tenth of the leads from the video?

When I looked at the video landing page, which I wasn’t able to review before the send (because it was a late entrant to the campaign), I saw the answer almost immediately.

The video landing page didn’t include a way for visitors to sign up for the free trial. We had make it a point to include this on the “learn more” landing page, but somehow it wasn’t included here.

There was a form to sign up for the free trial at the end of the video, but visitors had to sit through minutes of the presentation before it appeared. This goes directly to a point that Bill McCloskey made in “Video in E-mail“: “Video is primarily a linear medium and requires time to play out and present the message. You need to hold someone’s attention from a message’s beginning to its end; it’s not easy to do.”

When we reviewed the video logs, we found that only 20 percent of those who began viewing the video watched to the place where they could sign up for a free trial. The other 80 percent abandoned prior to that point.

Video is great, but be sure that you put it in the context of the primary call to action and give viewers a way to take advantage of the offer at any time during the presentation.

One way to do this: include both the video and the full free trial form on the same page. A side-by-side layout is best, because putting the form below the video will require the visitor to scroll.

Another solution: include a prominent link, which is there throughout the video, to go to the landing page with the free trial form on it. One more creative solution, which is what this client did as a “quick fix” for the next send, is to include a “free trial” button that “jumps” the visitor directly to the end of video, where the free trial form appears (and which allows them to fill it out and submit it).

We’re anxious to see how this quick fix shifts the lead-generation ratios. If we can convert leads from the video at the same rate that we converted leads from the “learn more” and sign up pages, we’ll see a 170 percent increase in leads generated, which would be nearly triple the prospects for the sales force to follow up on — and a much higher potential ROI (define).

Until next time,


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