by Anna Wybieralska Jun 18, 2020

Standing out is crucial today. As people get busier and continue to develop stronger immunity towards sales and marketing content, marketers are challenged to find more captivating ways to engage buyers. That’s why the idea of using personalized videos is so powerful.

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 In a bid to succeed, smart marketers have turned to personalization. They’ve found that using clear and short human-to-human communication means a stronger impact and better results. According to Experian, 50% of businesses consider personalized email messages as a way to drive interaction with audiences. 

Buyers (B2C and B2B) see personalization as a must. SmartHQ found that 72% of consumers will only engage with personalized messaging. At the same time, Salesforce uncovered that 65% of business buyers may switch brands if suppliers don’t personalize communications.

The influence of video

Video has been in an upsurge over the last decade. Much of this rocketship-like trajectory has to do with the marriage between hand-held technology, faster broadband networks, the boom of video recording technology, and brands pushing the envelope to meet buyers where they are.

Video-on-demand platforms like YouTube and social media have also made it easier to access hundreds of hours of content. For example, Facebook gets over eight billion video views a day, where YouTube users consume one billion hours of video a day.

Personalized video falls into a unique space. It’s at the brink between a combination of a growing openness towards video content, and buyers pushing back on old-school marketing. Now they challenge brands to offer more personalized experiences. Because of this, it has become the next step in the evolution of video sales and marketing campaigns. 

What is a personalized video?

It's a customized recording for a specific individual. Using personally-identifiable terms (think names, the company they work for, or mentioning something your viewer has a personal connection to). The personalized video includes a message designed to grab attention, and create a relationship dynamic that warrants a response from prospects. 

Why you should use personalized video emails 

There’s a good chance that you’ve come across your fair share of “email is dead” content, but it’s not. Research points to it being one of the most effective channels brands can use to drive results. This image from OptinMonster says it all. It shows that people use email daily, and it’s used for everything. From transactions and work to personal messages and everyday life. So, whether you’re in the business of building bespoke membership sites or selling CRM software, your audience is still getting your emails.

Email + video = success

When coupled with video, marketers have the chance to create highly-successful campaigns. Wyzowl’s research indicates that 95% of video marketers attribute a better understanding of their products and service to the medium. And when it comes to moving the needle in your business, 83% of marketers say video has helped them generate leads.

Personal videos fall into three categories. Here’s a look at each along with examples to give you an idea of what yours can be.

Types of personalized videos for cold emails

One-to-one personalized videos 

One-to-one videos are just you, a webcam, and a microphone. They typically take the most time to create because of the level of the personalization involved. Your goals are to speak directly to your prospect, be as personable as possible, but focus on a clear value-based message. One-to-one videos are great for sales and marketing. When based on a clear structure (more on this below), they help pull prospect attention and are very engaging.

Take Kyleigh’s prospecting video for Karen. In it, he introduces himself and immediately jumps into a personal story about why he loves the shoes Karen’s company makes. He then talks about the challenges Karen may have and how he can help solve them so she can sell more shoes online.

Link to video page.

Bulk personalized videos

Bulk personalized videos are a smart take on reaching a large audience and still making a special connection. They are designed to cover salient points that affect your viewers, including special design elements that call out each viewer by name. This type of personalized video is generally created using a video personalization platform (more on this later), which allows you to dynamically insert personal elements such as your prospect’s name, email, job title, etc. directly into the video.

In this example, Vidyard goes the extra mile to show how much every staff member appreciates Hannah. The personalization touch is a Vidyard feature that allows you to insert the name of your prospect. While this is a customer appreciation example, the same personalization approach can be applied to cold prospecting emails. 

Link to video page:  

Semi-personalized videos

Semi personalized videos are videos that are similar to one-to-one videos. These involve speaking directly to your prospect and sharing information that resonates. They also work well when email copy is personalized too (think names and highlighting unique pain points). Semi-personalized videos are less time-consuming given the limited personalization included, but still very helpful and effective if you don’t have time to record unique videos for a long list of prospects.

In this video, Pat shows how quickly and easy you can make semi-personalized videos. She kicks off by addressing the painful process of capturing backend data from various sources (including paper). She then presents an alternate that will save her prospect time and extends an invite for a meeting. 

Link to video page:

How to use personalized videos in cold emails

Getting started with personalized videos for cold emails can seem daunting. But like all marketing endeavors, planning demystifies the process. Here’s a three-step approach for creating your videos. It covers setting campaign goals, creating your video and producing a strong email.

Understand the Campaign and Goal

What isn’t defined cannot be tracked. And if it isn’t tracked, it can’t be measured. While these sound like concepts you’ve likely heard a thousand times, often, most campaigns don’t deliver results because they’re poorly defined and not measured. 

1. Establish your goals

Picking your goals should begin with the business objectives. For example, if you run an events company and want to monetize live event videos by selling virtual event tickets, your cold emails will be designed to generate leads that could potentially turn into sales. Sales and leads would be your goals. As you begin to figure out exactly what numbers you're going after, think about your historic performance. Metrics like email open and click-through rates are crucial, so are the number of leads that move through various stages in your funnel.

2. Identify your audience and what they need

Everything starts with your audience. They are the reason why you're in business. When it comes to cold emails, most brands struggle to strike the right note with prospects. Don't be like most brands. Take the time to develop detailed personas based on actual interactions with your audience. The more you know about them, the more results you are able to generate with highly targeted messaging.

3. Create a strong offer

No one appreciates solicitation but people are open to valuable offers especially designed for them. For your emails to make an impact, you have to offer something your audience finds valuable. This is where in-depth research into their needs, challenges, pain points, aspirations and values will help. But also account for where your buyers are on their journey.

As cold emails are usually top-of-funnel content, offer value through education. Buyers at the top of your funnel may have done some research, but need their knowledge validated or someone to talk to for deep insights on a specific problem they have but can’t yet define.

Create your video

1. Pick your tool

Next, take the video recording platform you use. There are a number available today, all of which are capable of offering video recording capabilities and a number of impressive features to make personalization easier. For example, Bonjoro comes in the form of a desktop recorder that helps you quickly produce videos at your desk, and on a mobile app for people on the go. It also offers a Chrome extension allowing you to record and share webcam videos and screen captures.

And due to the nature of marketing technology, it also comes with some amazing integrations. These include connecting a CRM, CSV data uploads, and over 1500 other web apps. Vidyard, on the other hand, does a little more. Their personalization video platform allows you to create personalized videos at scale. They also allow you to broadcast live events, offer video hubs to help you curate all videos for internal-only access, in-depth analytics and much more to help you make an engaging and professional video.

While there aren't any right or wrong tools, when looking for one to use, think about how it integrates into your marketing technology stack and supports your goals.

2. Create a compelling message

Messaging is likely the most critical component of creating personalized videos. And while it might feel, and possibly look easy, to hit record and start speaking, don't. Take the time to plan your videos. If you haven't quite figured out how to deliver your message, here's a four-part structure you can use that works.

  1. Create a strong hook

The opening of your video has to be attention-grabbing. It must include a message that is highly targeted and relevant to your prospect, or you lose them. Remember Kyleigh's prospecting video? In it, he immediately introduced himself and began to praise his prospects’ product. This works well because he immediately ingratiates himself, opening Karen up to hearing more of what Kyleigh has to say.

  1. Tell a story

Stories are effective. Buyer minds need to be able to follow a cohesive narrative that leads to a solution you can provide. The story you tell, however, must be one about your prospect. To be effective, it has to involve or highlight a challenge, pain point, and benefit they stand to gain by taking the next step of the journey with you.

In Pat's video, she highlights the problem businesses like her prospect's struggle with. Then, she briefly touches on how her solution is designed to make her prospect’s life easier by automating the arduous task of collecting data from various sources. 

  1. Present value

Value is the key to successful marketing. So, for your cold emails to be received positively, you need to make that value known early. Additionally, it must be clear and relevant. Using Kyleigh's example, he stated exactly what a conversation with Karen could help her achieve. What's more, the value on offer was something Karen could definitely do with, a way to sell more shoes online.

  1. Share what happens next

Calls to action are must-haves for every piece of content you produce. But this goes beyond generic requests to "click here" or "call me back". Powerful videos include personalized calls to action. They also clearly state what a prospect can expect by taking action. Pat's video call to action is succinct. She invites her prospect to click the link that appears at the end of the video. It will allow people to schedule some time in her calendar to chat. And she goes one step further, too. Pat mentions that the conversation is going to include ideas she has to help a prospect.

Write the email

You're in the final stretch, and now it's time to craft your email. Writing an email and including video may sound and feel counterintuitive. It may even make you feel a little uncomfortable too. But it is simpler than you think. Here's how to get this done in two easy steps.

1. Hook with your intro

Like your video, the opening of your email must be dedicated to quickly grabbing the attention of your prospect. How? Lean on the most important reason for your email. In Kyleigh's case, his intro could have touched on how he loves shoes Karen makes and how he feels that he can help her, something his video is all about.

Now, you may be tempted to spill the beans and jump straight into your pitch. Don't. You should design the personalized video to engage with your prospect. Giving away any of the details it includes in-text does away with all the power in your video message.

2. Make your video the goal

Close your email off with a call to action to watch your video. This may seem redundant, and possibly a little unnecessary. However, doing so highlights the most important reason for your email, which is to watch your video.

In conclusion, a video is a powerful tool that marketers are using to generate more leads and sales. Coupled with email it allows brands to reach and engage buyers in a unique and effective way. To create powerful personalized videos for your cold emails, focus on value. Then, grab attention with powerful hooks, know your audience, use relevant offers, and create emails that position your videos as the star. 

About the author

Amir is the digital marketing manager at Uscreen, an all-in-one video monetization and OTT platform provider that empowers video entrepreneurs and creators to monetize their content and build thriving businesses around their videos.

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