Multimedia in Email Marketing. Must…Push…the Button!

I came across a particularly simple and effective use of multimedia in an email today that I thought I’d share. Multimedia that runs in email? Not quite. Until technology inevitably allows rich media to stream directly into our email clients, the next best thing is the faux-video trick.

Pavlov meets YouTube
We have all become increasingly conditioned to push the ubiquitous video play buttons that overlay most video thumbnails. It’s an intuitive visual cue that means something to everyone. The knowledge that one click will trigger a multi-sensory response is a powerful motivator. Engaging that instinct in email is an effective tool to generate click-through.

I received an email from Photolibrary today. The subject line and email headline asked the provocative question: “What happens when an egg explodes?” Here’s what the email looked like:


Big in the center of the screen is a Quicktime window with a juicy play button awaiting action. You know you want to click me, it urged. Further baited by the “see for yourself…” line, it proved an irresistible temptation…even for someone who receives emails from stock photo companies every day. The difference with this email? The promise of an interesting video. Plain and simple.

Baited and hooked
Email best practices value an economy of straight-shooting copy. They emphasize purposeful use of graphics in lieu of intimidating walls of words. Less is more. Leveraging multimedia in email represents, perhaps, the most compelling use of visual media. Simply by putting a clickable thumbnail in the body of your emails, you afford recipients that hair trigger moment to satisfy the itch to click. And then all the power of effective multimedia kicks in –  engaging senses, entertaining and educating.

For technology marketers, this can be a link to a new product tour. Or a viral video. Or a webinar excerpt. Or vlog entry. Or a how-to demo. Anything that creates a quick connection between your product or service and an interested prospect that is allowing you that invaluable moment to engage them.

Feature the linked video prominently (if not exclusively) on a well-designed landing page that drives eyes through a deliberate series of actionable steps and you may find yourself with an email campaign that not only extends your multimedia investment, but also generates greater click-through and response rates in the process.

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