The combined use of email and video as a marketing media is not a new thing. Bill McCloskey covers some of its history in his post, Video in Email.
Of course video is a tremendous asset for anyone desiring to get a message out, but there are times when the viewer may be more inclined to receive the message and times that may not be optimum.
Since video is primarily a linear medium and requires time to play out to present its message, there’s a commitment the potential viewer needs to make before clicking “Play.”
Besieged email recipients are trying to rapidly determine which messages merit their attention and which can be deleted. Entering video into this end-user mindset may, per force, result in no communication as the harried recipient hits “Delete” due to not having the time to determine the value of the video message.
On the other hand, traditional e-mail with text and graphics, is spatial. You and I can make instant decisions on whether or not an e-mail will be read or deleted with a glance.
Of course, none of this diminishes the value of video.
Even embedded within email, it can still be valuable when communicating short messages to an audience passionate about the subject – but not every marketer has the advantage of such an enthusiastic email readership.
Instead of embedding video within email so that the user has no choice except to hit “Delete” or “Play,” the tried and true method of distributing video via email is simply describing the content of a video with text and providing a link to it. This allows the recipient to delete it, or put the message aside and view it with some attention at another point.
In essence, this grants the recipient greater control of his/her inbox while simultaneously inviting the recipient to view the video at a more convenient time, which may result in a more receptive mood regarding the video message.
Of course, providing a link to a video is also easier and does not require an additional service.