Rumour has it that when Jimmy Saville was proposed as the face of the Inter-City 125 adverts there were concerns at British Rail. Trying to make a railway train look cool was seen as a step too far. History proved otherwise. Nowadays, the campaign might well have been modified, with the internet used and email marketing being brought into the project.
An advertising company trying to sell buses might want to make them something that youngsters would see as cool and that they can safely admit to using. Midttrafik, the Dutch transport company, has gone for it. Their advert has gone viral on YouTube and you can see the subtitled version here.
In its various forms it has had nearly one million views on YouTube alone. There are a number of websites which carry it so the total is way beyond that. Can you use something similar to support your email marketing campaign?
The success or otherwise of viral videos is notoriously difficult to predict. It is a very risky investment even if costs are kept low. Yet a cat-based one that is poorly produced and with a modicum of effort still manages nearly three and a half million views!
Those that are the result of considerable planning and investment can be rewarding. If you can ignore the Rick Astley-based nature of this one, check this out for inspiration and effort.
This is great fun to watch, but the question is: how can you exploit it for email marketing?
The cheapest method is to include links to the videos in your emails. For instance, if you provide pet products then a link on each email to a new video, such as the cool cat above, will be an additional inducement for your customers to open the email.
The video should have some reference to the product you are selling, reinforcing its positive points. Your target audience is the main consideration. If the marketing email is aimed at younger elements then the more funky style of video could be used. If your subscribers are more mature then something like this might be appropriate, although not if you sell pork sausages.
Surfing the internet for such gems is not everyone’s idea of a fun time so how about a little prize for the employee whose choice is used in the next campaign? They can do the checking at home, or even let their children go for it.
You could include a compilation on your website, with a box to tick should they wish to join your email marketing list and see the next one early.
Many YouTube videos have adverts on them. Ensure they do not compete with you. Those who produce such videos might well provide the original footage for a link or brief endorsement and you could embed it on your website.
The phenomenon of viral videos has been around for some years and there is no evidence of it lessening. Indeed, in a little more than two months there have been over 200 million hits for PSY’s Gangnam-style strangely addictive dance video. Mind you, it might generate a few unsubscribes!