Vine, a mobile app from Twitter that lets users create short looping videos, has only been on the scene for a matter of weeks, but it’s already being used by lots of different brands to inspire and engage. Interestingly, lots of fashion retailers have been early adopters, as well as various other sectors. To date, there haven’t been many email marketers taking advantage of Vine. So why is that?
Why no Vine and email so far? Vine format is mp4, which isn’t supported by the majority of email clients, so it won’t render and play. But there are lots of tools that will compress and convert a video from mp4 format to an animated GIF. It’s only a matter of time before this finds its way into email campaigns. Of course, you will lose the sound, but the video will still animate quite smoothly.
GIFs are back! With the vast majority of scenarios now supporting animated GIFs, 2012 turned out to be the year that the animated GIF returned to our inboxes. We saw lots of interesting executions of campaigns that featured GIFs, and many of our clients sought innovative ways of using these, often with great success.
Are GIFs the short-term future of video in email? I have thought for many years that video GIFs are powerful. From both client-side and agency-side, I’ve seen the increase in click rate that these animations can yield, and the ROI that is generated from all of that extra engagement.
There is no question that this kind of content does add value to a campaign, and if it is clearly introduced in the email, with clear links to the hosted content, it is likely to add value.
Who should steer clear? Video GIFs are not likely to be effective for any business-to-business brands as many applications, such as Outlook 2007 and later for Windows-based operating systems, will not play the animation.
Who’s it for, then? Brand marketers will benefit from video GIFs and Vine in general, more than most other marketers. You can also use them for introducing new products and ranges, such as the variety of colors a particular product comes in, or for something fun such as a competition.
Have you utilized Vine or video GIFs in email? Let us know what you learned!
About the Author:
Philip Storey is a senior strategy consultant at Lyris and has been specialising in email for a decade, working with brands to create engaging and response-triggering email for acquisition and retention strategies that drive high return on investment. He is also a trainer, speaker, and writer for several industry blogs such as Econsultancy and the IAB.