Video in e-mail generates high response

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If e-mail marketers want to get the attention of their customers, they should use video. That's the lesson from a couple of recent studies that show video is well accepted by many Americans and produces great results.

According to eMarketer, one-third of the total U.S. population over the age of three viewed video on the Web at least once a month in 2006. In a survey by Burst Media, about one in four respondents who recall advertisements in online video content say they pay more attention to the video ad than they typically do to standard creative units on the same Web page.

These same results transfer to e-mail marketing. Builder Homesite Inc. sends a monthly e-newsletter to 250,000 subscribers interested in buying, maintaining or upgrading their home. The newsletter is sponsored by companies to promote their products or services, such as Whirlpool, Georgia Pacific and eLoan, and includes embedded video from these and other sponsors.

A recent newsletter included information on building or buying a new home, landscaping tips, installing home theaters and gift giving for the do-it-yourselfer. Video segments from eight to 10 sponsors are embedded in each newsletter.

Unlike some Web sites that have a newsletter component, Builder Homesite created their monthly newsletter as a site that is embedded within the e-mail. The newsletter has no attachments and is fully functional and secure.

Since including video, the user interaction time has increased by over one minute per page. On average, every viewer conducts one new home search. In addition, the newsletter's lead generation rate is about 1 percent of subscribers for each advertiser.

If you take into account all the advertisers in the e-mail that adds up to about 8 to 10 percent of all subscribers generating a lead. In fact one advertiser reports they get one lead for every 100 newsletter viewers, versus one lead in every 10,000 domain visitors.

The newsletter was so successful during its first two months that Builder Homesite sold more than $1 million worth of annual advertising. The key, according to Derek Bates, director of advertising sales and strategic partnerships at Builder Homesite Inc., is the ability to combine branding videos with direct response options, resulting in higher over all results.

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