I have a secret vice. I view YouTube more than I should. If I’m struggling for words, or, as in this case, looking for subject matter for an article, a brief dalliance on the website, or indeed one not so brief, is almost like a break from the computer. I justify this because there are lessons for email marketing in its videos.
Google have been quite industrious in their management of YouTube and the number and frequency of advertisements would appear to have increased in their ownership. I don’t see this as a problem: the site is free, content catholic and the quality often high. Given the traffic to the site, it seems that others agree with me.
For those who are too busy populating their email marketing lists to indulge themselves by surfing, many videos are prefixed by 15 seconds or so of adverts. However, sometimes a little window will come up to say that the viewer can cancel an advert after five seconds.
So advertisers have just those five seconds to capture the attention of the viewer. From the point of view of us in email marketing, this is generous indeed. If only, eh?
What is remarkable is the percentage of such adverts where, after the first five seconds, a viewer will have no idea what the advertiser is trying to sell. It would appear that the intention is to intrigue, to excite curiosity and stop, or at the very least delay, the viewer from clicking on what is, in essence, a delete button.
Many of these adverts emphasise the name of the company selling the product as if to reassure the viewer that the video might be worth watching. It shows the importance of reputation and experience. We have the ‘From’ line to do this for us.
A high proportion of your subscribers will use a smart phone to filter, if not read, their emails. Most phones will display the From line and then allow a few characters for the Subject. Five seconds now seems riches indeed.
I find myself looking at the ‘From’ line more than the subject matter. If I have had a good experience with a email marketing company I will probably open the email on my smart phone. If it is a company that I am ambivalent to, and I have a number of other emails awaiting my attention, I am likely just to glance briefly at the subject line before deleting it.
Relationship building with your subscribers is probably more vital nowadays than ever. You have to ensure that when they receive one of your marketing emails, they see your name at the top and they use this reassurance that the email might be worth opening.
If subscribers to your email marketing list have had a series of offers with no relevance to their preferences then they are unlikely to make the effort to open another email from the same sender. If, however, they have bought from you in the past, the item was as described, and found the experience very positive, then regardless of just the brief ‘Subject’ line, they are more likely to open it.