In this week’s Labcast, internationally recognized sales expert Jill Konrath, sits down to discuss the secrets behind the success of her own popular videos and to provide tips for companies hoping to boost customer engagement with video e-mail marketing campaigns of their own.
Click here for Jill Konrath’s 5 Keys to Successful Video Email Marketing Campaigns, or continue reading the full transcript below:
Kevin: Hello, and welcome to the OpenView Labcast. I’m Kevin Cain, and today I’m joined by Jill Konrath to talk about using video in email marketing campaigns. For those of you who don’t know Jill, she’s the author of two best-selling sales books. Selling to Big Companies, her first, was selected as a must-read by Fortune magazine. Her most recent, Snap Selling, soared to the number one sales book within hours of its release.
Hey, Jill. Thanks so much for joining us today. How’s it going?
Jill: It’s going really well. It’s a great day here in Minnesota.
Kevin: Well, as I mentioned in the introduction, what we’re talking about today is using videos effectively in email marketing campaigns. The genesis for all of that, really, is all the videos I’ve seen you share with your customers in your weekly emails. I wanted to ask you, why do you elect to use videos with your emails to customers? What kind of advantage has that provided?
Jill: There are several reasons why I’m doing it. One of them is that I like to be at the leading edge of some of these things, and not be a trailer. If you’re providing videos early on in the game, they do stand out more from what the competitors are doing. I think secondarily, and much more important from my perspective, is that it allows me to connect directly with people. I am the face of my company. They need to feel that I am somebody that they could bring in to work within their organization. Using a video, I am actually connecting with them on a deeper level than I could with an article. They see me and they can connect with me. That’s what’s important.
Kevin: What kinds of results have you seen with those emails using video? Are you finding that your customers are more engaged, or that the open rates for your emails have been higher?
Jill: The open rates for my emails have stayed about the same. What I’m doing, though, is I’m getting a lot more people going to my website. They are increasing the amount of comments and interaction that I’m getting on my website. So, it’s making a difference that way. It is also making a difference in terms of when people hire me. I get hired to speak and train. They’re very comfortable with who I am. I’ve already been pretty much pre-sold by the time they contact me. It’s not a function of, “Would she do a good job for our organization?” It’s a function of, “Is she available?” or, “Is she affordable?” which is a whole different ballgame than you normally play in this world.
Kevin: Sure. What tips would you give small companies that are trying to create videos for themselves that are going to allow them to be really successful at doing that?
Jill: I think there are a couple things I’d really suggest. Number one, I’m not a technical person at all, and it was really important for me to find some people to work with on this. I don’t have the time nor the talent to do any video editing on my own, or to even upload things to YouTube. That’s not my cup of tea. I have a 16-year-old neighborhood boy who takes my videos afterwards. He’s actually come in and he’s set up my office as a studio and bought me the lights. He actually ordered all the equipment for me because he likes doing school videos. So, I get a resource to help me do it.
I also have a professional resource to do some of the other videos. I have a studio in my office, and I also go to a studio of a videographer and he shoots a whole bunch at one time. You say, “What is the key to making them good?” First of all, I think there’s one real important key is that you shoot a bunch of videos at the same time.
Jill: It’s important for a couple reasons. First of all, you get on a roll and you get better as you get into the videos. Secondarily, it is a real productivity saver. If you think about only shooting two or three videos at a time, you always have. . . If you’re planning to do a series, you always have a whole bunch hanging over your head. It’s like a burden you carry. I really think that people should think of, “How can I create 15 to 20 videos at one time,” and then roll them out, as opposed to, doing two or three right now and then do it again.
Kevin: I imagine that’s a much more cost-effective strategy, as well. I mean, if you’re using your neighbor, that’s probably a pretty cheap resource, but if you’re going to an actual film studio, as you mentioned you do for some videos, doing them in bulk is probably more effective.
Jill: Oh, it’s far more cost effective to do a series of short, one to two minute, videos in bulk. You can do 30 in an afternoon easily.
Kevin: What are some of the key components that those videos need to include to be successful? Obviously, you want to have some sort of call to action, but are there other things that you’re trying to always include to make sure that your videos are really achieving what you want them to achieve?
Jill: Well, it’s interesting you say the call to action because I do have a slight call to action at the end. It’s more just a link for people who don’t know me to come to my website. I have that for when the videos are on YouTube and people discover me there. But, the reality of it is I’m just sharing information. My whole perspective on these videos is I’m here to give good information on the issues and challenges that my target market, which are sales people, entrepreneurs, consultants who are struggling to sell to corporate market, I’m here to give them good information. That’s really been my primary focus on that kind of thing.
Kevin: When you’ve created those videos, obviously you send them an email, you mention them being on YouTube. Are there other ways that you use them socially, since that’s really how people are consuming content these days?
Jill: When you say socially, are you talking about like through other channels, or what are you talking about?
Kevin: Exactly. Are you posting them to your Facebook page? Are they available on LinkedIn? Where else can people access all these videos you’re doing?
Jill: Right. OK. First of all, when I send them out in my newsletter, it is a replication of what’s already posted on my blogs. I post it on my blog because I want active websites and I want people to click to my website, not to YouTube.
Jill: In my newsletter I will say, “Here’s the video. You can listen to it and click here.” I drive them to my blog. Now I’ve got them in Jill’s world where they’re more likely to engage in other activities while they’re there. Do I stop there? Absolutely not. They are on YouTube, that’s where they’re hosted, but every time I do something like that, I will tweet about it and I will share information primarily on LinkedIn. Those are my two primary channels where I let other people who don’t know about it know that here’s a new piece of content that you might find valuable. It deals with a specific challenge and I’ll identify the challenge, like, “How to write an email prospect in the subject line,” or “How to deal with people who only want to talk about price.” I mean, those are issues that my clients face all the time.
Kevin: You had talked initially about wanting to be on the cutting edge of getting people content in the way that they want to consume it. Right now, that’s video. Do you happen to have any sort of view of what that cutting edge vehicle might be in a couple years time? Any thoughts of where things might be headed?
Jill: That’s a good question. I think it’s going to be more video right now. I was just reading something on the airplane last night, coming back from Boston, about CEOs and how they’re consuming a lot more information via video. They younger the CEO is, if they’re under 40 video is highly rated whereas older people are not consuming nearly the same content. The other thing I really see, too, is the growth of communities where people are sharing and talking together.
Kevin: Sure. Jill, thanks so much for joining us today. We really appreciate your time. Before I let you go, can you just let our listeners know where they can find you online?
Jill: They can find me at Jill Konrath. That’s Jill and the last name is Konrath, JillKonrath.com. They can see multiple uses of video throughout my website because I use it, not just in newsletters, but throughout my website to engage people on some of my major pages.
Kevin: Great. Jill, thanks so much for joining us today. We really appreciate your time.
Jill: My pleasure.
Photo by: ed_needs_a_bicycle