Direct email marketing is an unforgiving business. People didn't ask for your message, and it arrived when they were in the middle of something else—will they really respond positively to it? If you make it worth their while, the answer can be yes.
Extensive testing has shown that adding motion of any kind to an email will make it more effective. Even a simple animation will increase engagement and conversions. High-quality video performs even better. In one survey of companies using video in email campaigns, 55 percent achieved higher clickthrough rates, 44 percent saw longer engagement times, and 41 percent reported an increase in sharing or forwards.
Just as valuably, adding video to direct email makes people much less likely to opt out of your list—so you'll be able to reach out to them with your next campaign, too. One company found that using video in an introductory email campaign reduced subscriber opt-outs by an impressive 75 percent. It's not just that people appreciate and value online video; they also don't hate it—and that's important when you're trying to avoid alienating potential future customers.
Results like these are making video a central element of direct email strategy. One survey found that 60 percent of marketers were using video in email marketing during 2013—up from 8 percent just a year earlier. Whether they're currently using this approach or not, an overwhelming majority of marketing professionals—82 percent—described the combination of video and email marketing as an effective strategy. With this kind of consensus, direct emails that lack video won't stand much of a chance in consumer inboxes moving forward.