Tags: video email

Top 7 Tips for Effective Real Estate Video Emails

Beyond • June 21, 2011

The majority of real estate agents are well aware of the power of video emails in portraying their listed properties as part of an exciting and alluring presentation. Here are the top seven tips to help you present the most persuasive videos that will sell properties: Efficiency - A study by ComScore proved that 82.5% of the US internet audience watched a video online in February 2011. Flimp Video Brochures found that online video generated up to a seven-fold increase in engagement and response as compared to static text and graphics. Video incorporation into emails is a strategy proven by realtors. Frontloading - Frontloading the most important and appealing information into your videos is necessary in order to appeal to the limited attention span of many of your clients. A Visible Measures study proved that 20% of all viewers abandoned videos that did not capture their attention within the first ten seconds! A third won’t get past 30 seconds, 44% are gone at one minute and fully three out of five or 60% of all video viewers have clicked away by the two minute mark. So grab your audience quickly or not at all. Professionalism - The proliferation of smartphone cameras and audiovisual editing applications has ensured that more and more people can mercilessly hack up videos to a degree previously unimaginable. If you are selling a listing for $500,000, your 6% gross commission works out to $30,000. You can certainly afford a thousand dollars out of that sum for a reputable videographer to shoot and edit the video to a high level of professionalism and appeal. Formats - It may sound befuddling to the uninitiated, but video emails should contain smart tags that serve up the video from the main server in either Flash or HTML5 / H.264 format. The reason for this dichotomy is that Apple’s popular devices shun Flash format and will only display a broken link, while other devices may lack the appropriate drivers to play HTML5 videos. Since neither side of this confrontation seems to be willing to budge and allow the other standard into their ecosystem in the foreseeable future, real estate agents are well advised to facilitate viewing in either format. Segmentation - In every aspect of your email marketing strategy there is an evident necessity to ensure that all of your content be engaging and relevant, whether it be text, image or full audiovisual presentation. Simply incorporating a generic video into your segmented and targeted emails is as much of a taboo as proposing a commercial property to a house buyer or an expansively landscaped McMansion to a condo buyer. Videos should reflect the specific category of client you are approaching, and should add considerable value to the overall experience of your email subscriber. Emphasis - It is not necessary to show where every electrical, telephone and cable television outlet is located, so just focus on what people are primarily interested in. They want to see the curb appeal, backyard, kitchen, bathroom, living and sleeping areas first and foremost. You should also emphasize particularly notable feature such as a large walk in closet in the master or a built in hot tub on the rear deck. Beware that today’s real estate buyer is highly sophisticated and it is difficult to pull the wool over their eyes. They will immediately spot if you’ve set up your camera angles in the kitchen to avoid showing dated appliances, or if you’re shooting from a low level up to keep from displaying the worn out carpeting. HD - According to Cisco Networks, online video in high definition (HD) is set to increase 23 fold by 2015, at which time it will be responsible for 77% of all video on demand traffic. Now is the time to start showing off those pricy listings in HD to ensure that your clients get the maximum clarity and resolution when they’re viewing your videos on everything from an Android phone all the way to their media center connected 47” LED television. Join the video revolution and get those Sold signs ready!


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Embedding Videos from YouTube, Vimeo and Blip.tv in Your Email

Embedding Videos from YouTube, Vimeo and Blip.tv in Your Email

Beyond • May 9, 2011

Embedding a video is a fast and easy way to enhance your email campaigns. It’s as simple as copy and pasting the video’s URL from YouTube, Vimeo or Blip.tv. Although YouTube is obviously the most popular and probably what you are most familiar with, each site has its benefits. To embed a video into your email campaign, first choose the section of your email you would like to add video to. Click the Edit Block pencil icon at the top of the section… …and then choose Video from the Insert Additional Elements menu that pops up on the lefthand side. Copy and paste the URL from the video you would like to embed in your email where it says Enter the Video URL and click Import. Make sure the proper video is selected from your Available Videos and hit Insert. If you are already familiar with YouTube, there is probably no reason to use another site. YouTube supports up to 1080p and allows you to upload files up to 2GB in size or 15 minutes in length. There may be some practical uses for videos longer than 15 minutes, but their place is probably not in an email campaign. Attentions spans are short these days and your videos should be too. Vimeo used to be the HD alternative for YouTube, but YouTube has since caught up. Now Vimeo is an option for videos exceeding 15 minutes in length. Their free account only allows for uploads of up to 500MB per week and full 720p HD. If you have a need to upload more than that, a paid Vimeo account runs about $60 per year. Blip.tv is more focused on web shows. If you want to include weekly how-to shows or something similar in your email campaigns, Blip.tv might be your best bet. The site is geared towards that and you will get assistance with distribution - and they even have a revenue sharing option in terms of advertising. Unless you have an audience that will sit through longer videos, stick to the best practices of email marketing. Keep the video as succinct as possible while making sure it is still relevant to your campaign and looks professional. A well designed email can be thrown off by a poorly done video campaign. For more information about how to create great video email campaigns, check out this series of posts... How to Make Great Email Videos Series: Making Great Email Videos Part 1: Your Voice Making Great Email Videos Part 2: Your Visuals Making Great Email Videos Part 3: Types of Microphones Making Great Email Videos Part 4: Audio Editing


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Making Great Email Videos Part 2: Enough Sound, Let’s Discuss the Visual Aspect

Making Great Email Videos Part 2: Enough Sound, Let’s Discuss the Visual Aspect

Beyond • December 22, 2010

Video in email can be a strong tool when used properly. For it to be successful, you need to look and sound good. The visual aspect can be broken down into two important parts: being engaging and looking professional. The Setup Video can be done all by yourself, or you can hire a crew. Not everyone can afford a production team, so this blog will mostly focus on the DIY path. I will say that if you do go with a professional, find a price that fits your budget and a production team that you are comfortable with. Watch reels and do your due diligence. You need to be confident in putting your brand reputation in someone else\'s hands. Coming to You Live Are you comfortable speaking in front of a camera? If so, great. Set up in front of your webcam or grab a camera man to operate a FlipCam (heck, even the iPhone 4 offers HD video). Make sure that you articulate your words and smile plenty. If you look like you\'re having a good time, your viewers will as well. Pay attention to what is in your background. Don\'t show the world the clutter on your desk or office. If you are going to go in front of the camera to represent your company or brand, be sure you look the part. People will react to how you dress. Helpful Tools If you\'d prefer not to be on camera there is another option. Use a program such as Power Point or Keynote to create a slideshow. Use captivating images and make sure that the slideshow is paced well. Play around with transitions and make sure there is a good flow to the video. Record a voiceover to match. Another off-camera option is to use screen capturing software to give a demonstration. Most programs come with editing software that will allow you to cut out any pauses or speed up time (I mean give the illusion of time going faster - these programs aren\'t time machines). You can also spotlight points on the screen to draw the eye to specific places. You don\'t have to stop there; you can add images and other graphics on top of the screen captured video. Be creative. Be Proud of the Product In the end, don\'t make a video just for the sake of making one. Be proud of the product you are putting out there. Make sure whether you are in front of the camera or behind it, your video looks professional and engages the viewer. Put that together with the rest of the audio tips and you will have a successful video email.


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Making Great Email Videos Part 1: Why Doesn’t My Voice Sound Professional?

Making Great Email Videos Part 1: Why Doesn’t My Voice Sound Professional?

Beyond • December 21, 2010

We\'d like to take a break from our usual tips, stats, trends and case studies to talk about something that a few of us here get really excited about: recording good video AND audio. Hopefully, you\'re well aware that Benchmark Email gives you a great solution for incorporating video email and that it costs nothing extra. If you want to look AND sound great in your email videos, hiring a professional crew to produce it is going to yield you the best results. But what if your business is on the smaller side and you haven\'t got a $1K budget for each of the twenty in-store product demos you\'d like to include in your emails this month? This series is for you. Your Voice Is Important Let\'s start with something that is often overlooked in videos: audio. It really is 50% of the audio/visual experience but it rarely gets that amount of attention in production, especially with DIYers. If your audio is solely your voice, it had better sound great. Is Your Camera\'s Mic Good Enough? Well, what\'s \"good enough\" mean anyway? Good enough so that people can hear your voice? Yes. Good enough to stand toe-to-toe with your competitors? Maybe. Good enough to represent your business as professional? Probably not at all. The truth is that your consumer-level camera most likely has a tiny microphone attached to or built into the camera itself. And though it being ten feet away from you as you do your demonstration might work visually, it\'s not the best situation for the microphone. There is no zoom for the mic. There might be a few cases where it\'s acceptable, but that does not mean it will always be great. The bulk of the cost of your camera went to the visual side of things. That mic was designed as an \"all-arounder,\" and that probably doesn\'t mean \"all around the Hollywood movie set.\" Your best bet is to simply test it out first. Record a whole-hearted test pass in the room or environment in the exact manner that you plan to make your video. Now play it back, close your eyes and listen like your customer would. Does it sound professional? Be honest with yourself. If you don\'t know what to listen for, here are some clues: Is the Volume Too Low? You could talk louder, but that might be unnatural. In your video editing program there is probably a way to amplify or normalize your voice. But when you do that all the low level noise in the environment gets louder proportionately, leaving you with a noisy, harsh audio track. You could speak up, but this could lead to... Is There a Lot of Reverberation on Your Voice? You know, that slightly echoing, washed out distant sound. In a small room, it sounds like a slightly metallic \"zingy\" tail on the voice. In a large room, it sounds like speaking in a church. If your room was as huge as a football field, you might actually hear the individual echoes. You are probably in a very reflective room and/or your mic is too sensitive to ambient noise. The sound waves that make up your voice are bouncing off the walls, and all those reflections fuse into that undesirable sound. There\'s no easy way to edit this problem unless you\'re a master of using gates and expanders (if you don\'t know what those are, this isn\'t the time to learn about them unless you\'ve got some real time on your hands.) If you understand the difference between singing in your shower and singing in a closet full of clothing, you\'ll see the value of being in the right non-reflective room. If you can\'t change your room, you could spend some money on acoustic treatment, but this may cost more than your camera. True, some have hung blankets on walls and filled the room with plushy items to diffract the sound, but that only works \"kind of.\" It is truly DIY, though. A better solution might be to hook up a lavalier mic - the kind newscasters wear – to your camera. You could hide the wire or choose a wireless option. These mics are designed to be close to the voice and not pick up much sound that is further away. Does Your Voice Volume Vary? This can happen because your voice is not arriving at the mic at a consistent level or angle throughout the demonstration. It could also just be a bad mic. In this case, you can fix a lot by facing the mic always and being painfully aware of how loudly you are speaking. This doesn\'t work if your demo requires you to be mobile. A better solution is to buy a decent shotgun mic for mounting on the camera, getting a lavalier mic or setting up a microphone somewhere hidden from the camera but close to you. Can You Hear Unwanted Sounds in Your Video? The sound of the neighboring store, traffic or other people generally isn\'t what you want bleeding into your video. You need to be in a quieter room if possible. If you want to completely soundproof your room, better call someone who can build a room within your room, with air between the two properly treated walls and a floated floor. Honestly, if you can hear trains, airplanes and trash trucks, even getting a great aftermarket mic won\'t help here. If it\'s mildly noisy, the right mic with good placement & technique can do wonders. Okay, I Think I Just Might Invest in a Microphone Great. Now we\'re ready to talk about pick-up patterns, condensers, dynamics… hey, you don\'t know these terms yet? Stay tuned to this how-to video email series for a future blog entry dedicated to choosing, buying and using microphones.


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Win 3 Free Months of We Do It For You Full Service Email Marketing!

Win 3 Free Months of We Do It For You Full Service Email Marketing!

Beyond • September 4, 2010

We would like to celebrate the launch of our We Do It For You service with all of you. What would a celebration be without gifts? The fact that there is a \"you\" to do it for is a great enough gift for us. After all, \'tis better to give than to receive. In that spirit, we\'re excited to announce a contest where you can win three free months of our We Do It For You service for your existing plan. If you\'re not already a Benchmark customer, we\'ll even throw in a free Benchmark Email Marketing Plan 600 for you. That\'s over a $150 value, not to mention the added value of using email marketing. Benchmark Email created We Do It For You realizing that some just don\'t have the time to do email marketing themselves. People lead busy lives, and sometimes that extra time is better spent relaxing or with loved ones. Tell us why you\'re too busy to do your email marketing. We\'ll pick our favorite responses and reward them with three months of our We Do It For You service plus our Plan 600. Hopefully you\'re not too busy to tell us why you\'re too busy! Since we want to make sure everybody has a chance to play, we\'re doing this three ways. First, we will hold a Twitter contest. Tell us why you deserve this prize in 140 characters or less and use the hash tag #WeDoItForYou. The second contest is through email. We are an email service provider after all. Some of your stories may need more than a single tweet. Send us an email, and tell us a tale that will pull at our heart\'s strings. Why are you too busy to do email marketing? Third, and perhaps the most fun, is a video contest. Some people represent themselves better when speaking instead of writing. Post a video to YouTube and send us a link. Put Benchmark Email Video Contest in the title. We want to laugh with you, maybe even cry with you. Make it so good that even Gladiator himself would have to ask, \"ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED?\" The contests run dates will be as follows: 9/15/2010 to 10/15/2010 – Twitter Contest 10/15/2010 to 11/15/2010 – Email Contest 11/15/2010 to 12/15/2010 – Video Contest Get ready to compete and watch this space and our Twitter account for the details!


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Benchmark Expands Your Video Integration Options

Benchmark Expands Your Video Integration Options

Beyond • March 17, 2010

Video continues to be one of the hottest trends in email marketing. Benchmark Email is proud to announce even greater video email services than ever before. In addition to our established YouTube support, you now have the option of uploading videos from blip.tv and Vimeo. Take the next step in email marketing with by utilizing the three major video providers. Video with Benchmark Email is simple and easy: Click on the video button and copy and paste the embed code when prompted. Video email is a great way to engage your email list. Enjoy these new features and the ROI they should bring.


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