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3 easy steps to jumpstart your video making skills

MailerLite team
· 10 min read · Tips and resources · June 13, 2018

Did you know that people's attention spans are getting shorter? In 1999, we could focus on an email for about 12 seconds. Today, it’s 8 seconds and dropping.

When your subscribers open an email, you have a few seconds to attract their interest. While there are many ways to grab your reader’s attention, there is one thing that outperforms them all — video.

According to Forrester, emails with video generated a 200-300% increase in click-through rates.

The combination of visuals and sounds in video creates a memorable and dynamic experience that people love. It’s no surprise that video will make up 80% of all Internet traffic by next year.

If you don’t have experience making videos, don’t worry! Video is a powerful tool that will elevate your email marketing and we want to help you dive in.

How to make videos that work

First off, you don’t need to be Steven Spielberg or Christopher Nolan to create great videos.

While making videos can get really technical, we promise to keep it simple. Our goal is to kickstart your video skills by focusing on the three fundamentals of a successful video: content, strategy, and technique.

  • The Content is the meat of your video. It’s the whole reason your viewer clicked on the video. Make sure you deliver on the promise that you advertise in your thumbnail and headline.

  • The Strategy is the goal of your video and how you will achieve it. What do you want your viewers to do? What action do you want them to take?

  • The Technique is the nerdy stuff (the fun stuff for me). It’s about how you present yourself and make your videos so that people will actually watch. 

Let’s dive deeper into these three key elements!

Craft content your audience wants

When it comes to content, think about the utility of your video and your audience. Why would they watch your video? For education? For entertainment? Ideally, your video will have a mix of both.

Find a balance between education and entertainment that works for you. While too much education can be boring, too much entertainment can lose the value of your message. 

Viewers should come away with something helpful, but also enjoy the experience of watching your video.

What do your viewers want from you?

Obviously, you want to create videos that help your subscribers. Pay attention to what they’re searching for in relation to your brand. Check out tools like Google Analytics to see where your visitors are going and what types of queries are trending.

start making videos - analyse the audience google analytics

Are they looking for tutorials and product reviews? Are they looking for a sale, deal, or giveaway to incentivize them? Or, do they just want to engage with your brand in a personal way?

When you give them what they want or need, the video doesn’t need to be super creative or highly produced to be effective.

Set your strategy with a clear goal

Every successful marketing initiative starts with a clear goal and a strategy to achieve that goal. Video is no different. What is the goal of your videos? 

  • More sales? 

  • More site visits? 

  • More subscribers? 

Without a clear goal and a CTA (call to action), your video is just entertainment. Every video should have a call to action, leaving little doubt of what you want from the viewer.

Want more subscribers? Tell them to subscribe at the end of your video.

Want more sales? Tell them to go to your website and offer a sale or discount code for those watching the video.

Want more views? Encourage them to like and share your video.

Make sure you’re clear and direct, but also polite and pleasant when delivering your call to action. Here’s an example script:

making videos - creating clear and direct CTA

If your content is helpful and adds value, people are more likely to take an action. You simply need to remind them of the action you wish them to take.

Sweat the technique

You sit down in front of the camera and the little red light comes on. But instead of talking to the camera, your mind goes blank. That’s ok! We’ve all been there.

The solution to this common problem is simple. It’s all about preparation until you feel comfortable.

The best thing you can do (which most people forget to do) is practice.

Video can feel unnatural at first. Record yourself speaking. Listen to it. Watch yourself on video. Are you doing anything that looks weird like blinking a lot, looking off camera too much, or spinning in your chair?

Don’t sweat it. It’s normal to do these things, but they can be distracting. Practicing helps you identify and fix these distractions. After some solid practice sessions, you’ll eventually end up coming across as a warm and helpful resource to your viewers.

Now for the nerdy stuff: The technical side of video

You don’t have to spend a fortune to make great videos! Most iPhone and Android devices shoot high-quality HD video. I created a small video studio in my house without taking up too much space or breaking the bank.

start making videos - technical things and gear
My home studio
  1. Lighting: The light source should be behind the back of the camera, not you. Otherwise, you’ll look like a shadow. You don’t need to buy expensive lights either. Use natural light by putting the camera between you and a window.

  2. Audio: Sound is very important. Don’t rely on your built-in microphone on your camera. Clip-on microphones (known as lavalier mics) or shotgun microphones can be bought for between $15 and $100. It’s worth it! 

  3. Editing: If you want to get fancy with editing, you can use Adobe Premiere Pro or Apple’s Final Cut. But you can also get a great free program called Davinci Resolve. In a pinch, iMovie works great too! Make sure you edit out any mistakes or long pauses.

In the same way that perfecting your video persona requires practice, the technical side of video making is no different. The more you play with the technical aspects of video making, your skills will improve.

How video enhances your email marketing

Now that you’ve got the basics down, let’s talk about how video can be used in email marketing.

Make sure your videos are adding value to your email content. Sure, you want the video to grab attention, but you also want it to complement the email. The video should reinforce the message of your email marketing.

Give your customers something they can’t get from a static email or blog.

For example, use video to:

  • Give exclusive behind-the-scenes access

  • Provide in-depth interviews or explainers

  • Bring your static content to life with live examples

  • Showcase your products

  • Create contests with giveaways

You can also create opportunities to build your social media presence and acquire more subscribers to your email list. 

start making videos - use video to build social media presence and acquire more subscribers

Ask viewers to subscribe to your list at the end of your video. Explain the value and put social media icons and subscribe links on every video.

See how easy it is to insert video into your newsletters with MailerLite

Live video adds another level of engagement

Don’t forget to try live video. Facebook Live and YouTube Live are easy to use in your web browser. 

These tools allow you to interact directly with your customers in real time to answer questions, share feedback, give shout-outs to customers for great recommendations, or to build relationships with your biggest fans.

making videos - use webinars, Facebook live, youtube live

It’s also a way to get more personal, offer exclusive content to your subscribers and strengthen your brand experience.

MailerLite wants you to create more videos!

We believe in the power of combining email and video. We want you to take your email marketing a step further to turn your subscribers into fans with video.

As more people experience your brand and personality through video, it will become easier to build a relationship with them. Don’t hesitate! Give video a try and keep practicing.

Look out for more video blogs from us in the near future. In the meantime, we want to hear from you in the comments section below.

  • What are your video questions?

  • What’s your experience with video and email marketing?

  • What do you want us to write about in our next video post?

MailerLite team
We're MailerLite—a remote-first team of designers, developers, writers, speakers, photographers, surfers, chess players, world travelers, dreamers and genuinely nice people. We're all spread around the world, working from places like Mexico, Indonesia, Lithuania, France and the USA.
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