The 4 Most Popular Videos to Send to your Customers

When I explain mailVU to people I meet at networking events, the first question that comes to their mind is, “How would we be able to use a private video messaging platform?”

We’re humans, so it’s natural to automatically want to apply things to your life. In this post we’ll go through 4 of the most common types of videos that business owners will send out to their customers once they have a video messaging platform set up.

There’s many reasons why you’d want to use a private video dashboard to manage these types of videos rather than a public service like YouTube. For starters, since these videos are proprietary to your company, you’ll want to be in full control of who has access to them and probably to keep any kind of commentary reeled in (YouTube comments tend to be so nasty!).

Secondly, even if you use the private setting on YouTube, you would still have to adjust who gets to see the video every time a new customer comes on board. Instead, with mailVU, the video is accessible by a link, but only people who have the link get to view it.

Finally, you get to see the click through rate on your email messages as well as the view counts for your video tick up knowing full well that the audience that’s driving those numbers is the audience you want. With private video messaging, you know exactly who from your contacts have clicked through and viewed the videos you’ve seen. It’ll keep you from wondering who has driven your video view count up!

So, what videos should you get revved up to send out to new sign ups or subscribers? The following 4 videos are the most popular to send out to customers. Try them out for your business and see what kind of response you get from your community:

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Posted in Video Customer Service, Video Email for Business, Video Messaging, Video Messaging for Business | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Video Marketing vs Text Marketing: the powerful difference

We have all been victims of click-bait to some degree. Others of us are even guilty of posting things just to drool over the number of clicks we can get.

When it comes to clicks and garnering attention, images and video are much more effective than just plain text. It is (almost) never recommended to post anything without some kind of accompanying image, and people are much more likely to watch a full video clip than read a full article.

This can be used for good, as we have seen in the past year with the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Sadly, however, we’ve also seen this attention-grabbing power be used for “evil” as is the case with the fresh videos of captives being murdered by members of the Islamic State.

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge videos and the videos of hostages ISIS murders are very different in content, but the quantity of views and quality of attention from people who are viewing the videos are eerily similar.

We’re humans and we are naturally more interested in things that are moving on screen. It feels very different to watch someone dump a bucket of ice on their head than it does to read about someone doing it, and the harsh reality of life that’s ruled by the Islamic State becomes all the more shocking with a video rather than a news article.

The point here is that the more real an organization can make their message, the stronger the reaction from the community that hears it. The mediums we use to convey our message are one of the tools we have to increase the “realness” factor of what we’re saying. We’ve used the text medium the longest, then came photography, and now videos are just as easily shared as the other two.

In time there may even be a new medium we can use to convey our ideas, but until then we have to learn 2 things about the the medium that currently demands most of our attention.

Showing > Telling

This adage has stood the test of time. With a video we can figure out a more impactful way to show our value or our message than we can with text.

We have to look at the people we are marketing our product or service to as sitting on the other side of a fence. We want to get them to our side so they can see from our perspective how wonderful our product will make their lives. They have the ability to climb over the fence themselves and be in our camp, but they lack the motivation. Our marketing materials are what gives them the motivation to get up and climb to our side.

Now this isn’t the type of fence where the people on the other side think your grass is greener. This is the type of fence where the people on the other side are naturally distrustful of your side and would prefer to find reasons to deny whatever motivation you’re giving them to climb over.use video marketing to motivate followers

That’s why showing is a necessity and why, at this point in time, there’s no better medium to use to show than video.

What has made the ALS Ice Bucket challenge and the ISIS videos so “successful” as campaigns? Not only are they showing their message, the “show” comes with a shock factor that’s hard to resist. While showing your message through video is one step beyond trying to show your message through some sort of text communication, to go further still, you need to have a campaign that does something to rile people from their comfortable position.

The less friction, the greater the results

One of the things we look for in getting greater conversions on our video marketing platform is reducing the barriers that stand in the way. To make a marketing message go viral, we need to take a similar approach.

If you are using a text form of communication for your marketing messages, what kind of friction do you have? Your leads on the other side of the fence have to actually read the message in order to take it in.

With video, on the other hand, all they have to do is hit “play”, sit back, and take it in. It’s much more passive which is a sign that you’ve reduced some of the friction.

Until we can just beam in our messages into people’s minds (which may come about sooner than we realize) videos are the easiest way to get our message across with the least amount of expectations placed on the recipient. We have to think in these terms in order for us to make marginal gains in the impact of our marketing.

 

These 2 lessons show the power that video has over text in your marketing, but should also motivate you to act if you haven’t already. If you’ve been delaying your business in the use of video marketing (because of some hair brained idea that it will go away), now is your time to start taking advantage of it.

Tell a story through video that shows the impact your product will have to motivate your customer to start seeing it from your perspective. Use video to do this because it reduces the friction that your lead has to overcome in order to get on your side of the fence.

With anything we are asked to view, we have a choice. We choose whether to click the link showing the newest ISIS murder, or we can choose not to expose ourselves to it. I firmly believe that if we use the mediums we have for good, then we can get the right people to hear our messages and be motivated to come on our side of the fence. Video has shown that it has more power to do that then text, so the last question is: have you started using video marketing for your business yet?

 

Posted in Video Email for Business, Video Marketing, Video Messaging, Video Messaging for Business | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Manage your customers’ video testimonials

Do you have a recording widget on your website? If so, you are probably familiar with customers sending you loving reviews of your product or service.

If you don’t have one on your site, you can always sign up for a Business or Business Pro account with mailVU to try it out. On this blog post, we’re going to walk through how you can use those customer videos once they’ve submitted them through your recording widget.

After receiving a video through the recording widget you have on your site, the video will show up in your “Inbox” within mailVU’s dashboard as well as your “Saved Videos” list:

Video Dashboard for customer testimonials

Once you have the recorded video on your dashboard, you can use any of the three embed codes provided to share the video and help market your amazing service. Simply click the buttons for the Email, Web, or Link embed codes on the far right column of the Saved videos wall:

Embed videos on your website or in emails

You can use the email embed code to embed the video within your email marketing templates on sites like MailChimp, Constant Contact, Vertical Response, etc. You can use the web embed code to embed the video directly on your website, blog, or Facebook page. And you can use the third embed code to just paste a link to your video which will open up in a new window for your viewers to watch.

Once you’ve embedded the video on your website or included it in an email, you can watch as the number of views ticks up. This will help you determine the popularity of the video (or at least how prominent it was on whatever page you embedded it on). If you want to increase the number of views, you can try switching out where it’s embedded on the page (maybe place it higher up) or sending it out in a second email as well.

Why might you want video testimonials from clients? What if they say negative things about your business or if no one ends up using your recording widget?

The nice thing about using a video marketing application is that you have total control over which videos you decide to share. If a customer submits something that you don’t want to be widely seen or viewed, you can just keep it to yourself.

As far as the fear that no one sends you any testimonials through your recording widget, the results here are really up to you to determine. We cannot guarantee that if you just place the recording widget on your site, people will use it. I am willing to bet, however, that if you place the recording widget on your site and actively tell your loyal clients that it’s there, many of them would love to leave you a video review.

You want to put up a recording widget so that you can start collecting video testimonials from clients to have in your marketing arsenal. They will undoubtedly come in handy for direct marketing purposes (sending a prospective client an email with a link to watch one of your previous clients rave about your service-sooo powerful) and you can use them wisely (instead of publishing them all at once).

Perhaps the best thing that comes from asking for feedback or reviews from clients who visit your website is just that: you get feedback! It’s honest and you can watch and see how genuine people are being when they’re saying how they feel about your product. You can use this to better what you offer to clients as well as have a few doses of inspiration packed away for those days when motivation seems out of reach.

Have you asked your clients to record video testimonials for your business? If so, how did it go? How have you been able to use those videos in your marketing materials? Tell us about it in the comments below!

Posted in Testimonial Video Widget, Video Customer Service, Video Marketing, Video Recording Widget, Video Testimonial | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

How to make 2015 your year in video

Have you ever known something as a reality but chosen instead to stick your head in the sand and ignore any wise advice?

One of those realities may be that videos are the most engaging form of content on the web and that you need videos and video reviews among your marketing content arsenal. The head in the sand equivalent is the fact that even though videos have the highest click through rates of any online content, you have yet to even make one video around your business or product offering to share online.

You’re not alone. There are still thousands of businesses that have yet to grasp the power of online video marketing (as well as many political figures). Who knows when all these businesses and talking heads will catch up with the times, but I highly recommend you don’t wait for them to take the lead.

2015 is here and you can decide to make this your year to break into video marketing. Here is a list of 5 easy ways to incorporate videos into your marketing:

Tip #1: Identify a few loyal clients and ask them for a 1 minute video review

Every business strives to have a great relationship with all of their customers, but usually there are a handful of clients who you’re able to have a closer relationship with than others. Continue reading

Posted in Testimonial Video Widget, Video Email for Business, Video Mail, Video Marketing, Video Messaging, Video Messaging for Business | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Send a video email “card” to your loved ones this holiday season

When I was younger, I used to get really excited this time each year as Christmas cards started to fill my parents’ mailbox. Every evening I would flip through the new photos we’d received that day.

When I go home for the holidays as an adult, I still flip through all those photos and letters, but I mostly just marvel at how I don’t remember hardly any of these people! And yet they are still spending the time, money, and effort to put a photo in the mail (not to mention keeping up with the frequent address changes we’ve had).

It’s sweet, but, I wonder if anyone actually feels anything when they get a Christmas or New Year’s card? Some may call these cards personal, but I disagree. These are photos sent out in mass with a printed message on each slip. The only thing personal is if they hand wrote the mailing address (and even that’s rare!).

So if you want to send out something that’s both personal and more cost efficient this holiday season, consider sending out a video email “card” using mailVU.

You’ll save time and money by not having to stuff, address, and stamp all those envelopes. While I don’t help out with this effort anymore, just thinking about the hours spent around the dining room table getting the Christmas cards together makes my hand hurt.

Instead, just upload a list of contacts into your mailVU account, record or upload a video, and send it out to all of the people in your list!

video email holiday card

I can hear the protests now: “But Lucy! This isn’t tradition! Don’t you know that we always send out a Christmas card?”

Here’s what I have to say about that: Why is sending out a card around the holidays a tradition in the first place? Isn’t it because you want to have at least one semi-intimate connection with the people on your mailing list during the year (other than liking a Facebook post, perhaps)?

If your goal is to waste time, get arthritis, and spend money, then go with the traditional Christmas card sending method. But if you are actually looking to have a more meaningful connection with these folks, I’d recommend getting the webcam or video recorder out.

Now this is uncharted territory for most of us. What do you even talk about in a video email holiday card? Here’s a few suggestions:

  • Gather your family to sing & record your favorite holiday carol

  • Get a drink in everyone’s hand and make a few toasts on camera for the New Year

  • Share who got on the naughty or nice list in your family this year and why

  • Stand in front of some holiday decorations and share a message of hope or love

  • Prepare a few Christmas jokes to share with everyone

There’s so many ways to be innovative with a video email and its endlessly simpler to send out than your slow-mail holiday cards.

We’d love to hear from you. Have you sent out a holiday video before? What did you do to make it fun or unique? OR are you still sending out Christmas cards each year? Are you “stuck” on that tradition or are you looking to shake things up?

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What a Welcome Video has Done for Us (& What It Can Do for You)

As a software company, 99% of our interactions with customers are virtual. We communicate through Twitter, message followers on Facebook, and, of course, send a lot of video messages to our customers. One thing every software company has to think about is what first impression they are giving.

For us, it’s about 100% chance that our first impression is going to be virtual, but nowadays this is true for more than just software companies. Even your local corner shop needs to not only have their shelves fully stocked, but their website up-to-date, too, as consumers increasingly check out your web presence before deciding to shop with you.

So, how do we create a great first impression? For us, there are 2 first impressions. There’s the first impression you get when you learn that we even exist and you visit our website for the first time. From there, you can start with the no-questions-asked free use of our product right from the mailVU home page. With a successful use of our totally free recording widget, we hope you’ll sign up for a 14 day free trial of our Basic, Business, or Business Pro accounts.

That brings us to the second-first impression: how you feel once you become a customer. For that, we try to lead by example and send a welcome video message just like we’d like our customers to do for their customers.

Using our own app to send a welcome video message demonstrates several key things:

  1. That we use our own product: One way to ensure terrible software is to have developers build a product that none of them actually use. To combat this, we will regularly send our users video message replies to any of the questions they submit to support. We think this helps us to empathize with the people and businesses that use our video messaging platform.

  2. We’re all too human: It’s easy for people to see the similarities we have when you put yourself on video. In our welcome message, I (Lucy) am sitting in my office, in my work clothes, with my desk lamp on. When the majority of our interactions with customers are virtual, it is easy to forget it’s a human on the other side of the computer. A friendly welcome video helps to bridge that gap and create an emotional connection.

  3. Video Messaging is quick & easy: We don’t send a crisp, video that’s been edited and polished to the point where we look like professional videographers. Our Welcome Message is short and sweet and far from perfect. If we were to make it perfect, it would take a long time for every video we were to ever send which would decrease the attractiveness of video messaging as a whole. Instead, we prefer the imperfect version so that we can make a habit out of video messaging.

You can see an example of our welcome video by clicking the image below:

video messaging

You can have a welcome video for your business too. Whether you run a blog with a growing listserv, offer a software product people can sign up for, or people can purchase things from a shopping cart on your website, a video introduction to say “thanks for being a subscriber/user/customer” can help establish trust in your interactions.

If you’re going to create a welcome video for your potential customers, here are a few tips:

  • Good posture, steady eye contact, and stillness: In order to increase your confidence recording messages to send out, you’ll need to watch out for the body signs that show a lack in confidence. Those are, primarily, poor posture (slouching shoulders, in particular), wandering eyes, and a lot of movement. If you can remember to just keep your shoulders up back and down, look primarily into your webcam recorder, and not to move your chair or body around, you will look extremely confident to your customer.

  • Outline what you’re going to say, but don’t read it: Get a script prepped for yourself, but don’t plan to read it word for word. There’s nothing more monotonous to a viewer than to watch someone just reading from a script (and you’ll look really uncomfortable doing it!). Just feel comfortable with the message you want to convey and trust yourself to adlib a bit.

  • Reduce your background noise: Go ahead and watch this video on how to reduce your computer’s microphone background noise. It will save you from finally having a good recording only to play it back and realize your computer was making Darth Vader breathing noises the entire time.

We know that a welcome video has done a lot to boost our customers’ confidence in us and we think it will for you too.

Have you created a welcome video for your listserv or customer base? Why did you create one and how did it go? Tell us about it in the comments below.

-Lucy

 

Posted in mailVU Video Email Users, Video Customer Service, Video Email for Business, Video Mail, Video Messaging, Video Messaging for Business, Video Recording Widget | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

An Easy Way to Try Free Video Messaging

Don’t you hate it when websites ask for all your contact information before even letting you try out their service? We do too! That’s why there is a free webcam video messaging widget right on the mailVU home page. You don’t have to log in. You don’t have to tell us your phone number. Just try it and see if you like it.

We offer the same ease of use on mailVU’s free iOS video email app and free Android video email app. The only thing you have to enter in the configuration page is your name and email (required for email delivery). We believe if you can try out the service you will like it and keep coming back.

For business use (paid account plans) we offer the ability to brand your video messages. It can be as simple as adding a logo and picking your colors like in the Business Plan Account. It can also be full fledged HTML branding in our Business Pro Account, with a custom skin similar to your website like the example below:

Charlotte Chamber of Commerce

Ease of use is a critical factor to any service. Let’s face it, if something isn’t easy to use you simply won’t do it. For a list of the other 15 factors to consider in selecting a video email service provider click this link.

mailVU is the only video email service to include a webcam recording widget for your own website. This allows your users to easily record videos for you – incoming. Use cases include collection of video testimonials, running video contests, video contact-us pages (like the one we use at mailVU), and for just anytime you want your clients to send you a video. The widget is a single line of HTML code and it will appear on your website just like this example.

Video messaging is fun, free, and easy to use. Try it today on mailVU.com or our apps.

Posted in mailVU Video Email Users, Video Mail, Video Messaging, Video Messaging for Business | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Tweeting Videos with mailVU

We are pleased to see mailVU users tweeting their videos. It is easy to record a video using our webcam recording widget, click on the Share button, and then paste the short URL into a tweet. Optimal Run is a regular user of this capability as shown in the example below:

Optimal Run is a Business Plan client so they can include their company branding around the video, and include calls to action and links in the footer.

Unlike Vine, mailVU allows users to embed full length videos in their twitter stream. There is no 6 second, looping limitation. Record from webcam for a full 10 minutes if you like. You can play back your webcam recording and re-record as often as you like before using the video.

mailVU account holders can upload pre-recorded videos and tweet them with the short URL link. The affordable Basic Plan is only $30/year and is a great tool for recording and sending videos whenever you like. It will track view counts of your videos as well.

Regret a video? From an account plan you can instantly delete the source file even after tweeting the video or sending it by video email. You control the source file on the Internet through your private mailVU account. And unlike those public video hosting sites, we never place ads on your videos, or show ‘recommended’ videos which could be from your competitors.

The Share button works for Facebook, LinkedIn, Talent Management Systems, and CRM systems! You may even copy the short URL and place it in a text email if you like. I know, I know, mailVU provides a robust video email service, but sometimes users simply want to place a video link in their Outlook email.

Try the Share button and see how easy it is. You can try out the Share feature right from the mailVU home page. If you like how it works and want to add pre-recorded video and/or branding capability, sign up for one of our user account plans.

Questions? Contact us on Twitter @mailVU, or send us your questions via our Video Contact Us page. We’d love to see and hear from you!

Related post: Embed videos in social media channels

Related post: Social media in successful email marketing

 

Posted in mailVU Business Plan users, Video Customer Service, Video Marketing, Video Messaging, Video Messaging for Business, Video Recording Widget | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

How to get a Customer to Record a Video Testimonial

Nothing beats an enthusiastic customer video testimonial raving about your business. It is one of the best pieces of marketing material you will ever receive. The value is priceless, and it can be used forever. Many mailVU Business Plan customers are embedding the video testimonial recording widget onto their website (example). The trick is: How do you get the client to record the video?

mailVU's integrated webcam recorder

mailVU's integrated webcam recorder

Step one is to Wow the customer. If you simply provide what they want, that’s good, but unlikely to generate an enthusiastic video. You need to go above-and-beyond in exceeding their expectations for the quality of what you offer. Wow the customer first, or you will not pass “go”, you won’t collect $200, and you won’t get a video testimonial. See the customer video testimonials we use on the right side of this page on our own site.

Step two is to ask the customer! If you don’t ask they won’t magically do it on their own. When asking the customer be sure to tell them how you will use it. Will you embed the testimonial video into your website like we do at mailVU? Do you plan to upload the video testimonials to YouTube? Do you plan to send the testimonial out as a video mail? The customer will want to know how their video will be used before they grant permission.

Step three is to provide an incentive. The what’s-in-it-for-me principle applies to video testimonials just as it does to anything else. Why should the customer record it? The benefit is all for you, the business owner, so what’s in it for them? We’ve seen that the most effective users of mailVU’s video testimonial recorder are offering incentives such as discount coupons or a month of free service. Provide something of concrete value and it will help entice the customer to record a video for you.

Step four (if needed) is to run a video contest. This is an extension of the tip above, but is more blunt about offering a prize(s) to the winning video submissions. You can use the same mailVU video recorder, or use our video contest service which includes an entry form and video uploader for smartphones and tablets. Offer a great prize (like an iPad or Nexus tablet) and you’ll be sure to capture great customer videos.

Our online video platform makes it super easy to capture video testimonials.

  • mailVU’s Business Plan includes a webcam video recorder that can be embedded onto your website or Facebook page. The videos are incoming to your private account where you can view and moderate the video submissions before using them. Here is an example of an embedded webcam video recorder.
  • Our Business Plan also allows you to create a custom Signature footer below all your video emails. You can use HTML in the Signature area. Some mailVU Business Plan users place an image in the footer that says Reply in Video which links to their recorder. Other users place text links in the footer that links to their video recorder. Either way it is an easy way to send the customer a video email, and requesting them to record a video testimonial by ‘clicking the link below’.

Our Business Plan comes with a 14 Day Free Trial so you can try the webcam recording widget and see how it works for your business. Questions? Send them to us with our Video Contact-Us recorder!

Related post: Video Testimonials Are Just Too Hard…Really?

Related post: Add a Webcam Recorder to Your Site

 

Posted in mailVU Business Plan users, Testimonial Video Widget, Video Marketing, Video Recording Widget, Video Testimonial | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Catching Fire With Video Email

Poster from the movie Catching FireIn Catching Fire, the second installment of the Hunger Games trilogy (expected release date November 2013), Katniss and Peeta go on a “Victory Tour” which inspires rebellion in the districts. I won’t spoil it if you haven’t read the book, but getting the word out makes a huge difference to their audience. (By the way does anyone besides me think it is no coincidence that Peeta’s family baked bread, and…pita is a bread?)

Getting the word out to your audience with video emails can also have a great effect on your sales. We all want to have the next Harlem Shake viral video and be the next YouTube sensation, but those videos are rare. A higher probability of catching fire with your video is by sending personal video messages directly to your prospects and clients.

Here are 3 ways to Catch Fire with your video email campaign:

 

  • Launch a Catching Fire cold call video email campaign. Think of the difference a personal video in email will have over a generic email or letter. The prospect sees your face, hears your voice, and will feel more personally connected with you and your business. The first thing prospects buy is the salesperson, not the product. A mailVU client told us he uses video emails for cold calling and it results in obtaining more appointments than phone calls alone. Be careful not to go overhead on the sales pitch. The objective of a cold call is to set up an appointment. Be friendly and to the point on why meeting with you will be beneficial to them. The video mail recipient will always be thinking ‘what’s in it for me?’. Put yourself in their shoes and be sure to frame your video message around meeting their needs.
  • When your Catching Fire campaign generates warm leads you will need to advance them in the buying process. Don’t abandon your leads, nurture them! Video emails can aid in providing a personal touch to answering questions, providing tips, and letting them know you care. Think of how you feel when you receive automated emails that are set up on a programmatic basis…day 3, day 5, etc. Not very personal is it? Now consider receiving a video email from ‘Mary’ with new information, ideas you can use, or simply a personal followup asking if you need assistance. It’s no longer a prospect receiving an email from “the company’, but rather the prospect receiving a nice video followup from ‘Mary’ or ‘Michael’ or ‘your name here’. Prospects will buy if they trust you, and sending personal messages helps to build rapport and trust.
  • Send a personal thank you video email to anyone who purchases your product, signs up for a newsletter, or registers for information. It will WOW them to receive a personalized video in their inbox. If you sell a product online you can easily include a video thank you message from an employee in with the email receipt. It is sure to be appreciated and remembered. We all say we appreciate our customers, but how often do we tell them? Oh, and sending users to a generic video on YouTube is more insulting that rewarding. Please take 30 seconds to record a personal thank you from your webcam, smartphone or tablet.

Catching Fire book by Suzanne CollinsReady to Catch Fire with your video email campaign? You can send video in email in a matter of minutes with mailVU’s free video email service. Click record, look and speak into your webcam, and then send the video via email to your prospect. Select the view notification option and be alerted in real time when the clients open your video mail. If you want to save videos in a private video account and add your branding to the video emails, consider one of our account plans.

Video emails are not just for webcams and computers. mailVU has free apps in iTunes and Google Play so you can record and send video email while on the go. If you have an account with us you may login on the app so your branding appears on the video emails and they are saved to your online account.

Try a Catching Fire video email campaign and measure the results. Questions? Send them to info at mailVU.com with our Video Contact Us recorder, or traditional email. We look forward to serving you!

(Catching Fire is a science fiction novel by American novelist Suzanne Collins, and a 2013 major motion picture from Lionsgate. Read the book. See the movie.)

Related Post: Recording Video: Confidence is Key

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Posted in mailVU Video Email Users, Video Email for Business, Video Mail, Video Marketing, Video Messaging, Video Messaging for Business | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment