Inbox Insider: Video in e-mail more popular this holiday season

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For the last month, my inbox has been full of e-mail messages from retailers and marketers trying to push transactions for the holidays. Yet this past week, the marketing calmed down a bit and my inbox was filled with holiday greetings from friends and colleagues.

An interesting e-mail card that stood out came from President Barack Obama. The e-card linked to a video that played a holiday greeting from the president. The video spot, which was personalized and had my name in almost every frame, showed citizens reflecting on the change that Obama has brought and wished me happy holidays.

While it was a little Big Brother-ish to see the president writing out my name in a card, the video worked well. It was personalized and at the end, it gave me the option to create a video card personalized for a friend. The message was clear and the social aspect gave it a longer life than just the initial e-mail.

In regards to the private sector, deliverability issues challenged video in e-mail in the past, but 2009 could be remembered as the year when some great innovations in technology helped to overcome these hurdles. Goodmail and others released tools to help marketers send videos within e-mails that won't get held up in ISP filters. I expect to see a lot more of this in 2010.

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