9 Ways to Grow Your Email Audience With Video

We get a ton of questions about using video and email together effectively. So we asked our friends at Wistia to break down 9 awesome video ideas in this special guest post.

We get a ton of questions about using video and email together effectively. So we asked our friends at Wistia for their best tips on how to get started.

Kristen Craft, Wistia’s director of partnerships (and a fellow craft beer lover), breaks it down for us in this special guest post…

Cookies and milk, chips and salsa, peanut butter and jelly. Each of these things is great on its own, but when paired up, they’re so much better. The pairing process seems to almost supercharge each individual flavor.

In the world of marketing, video and email are the same way. Each one is terrific on its own, but when used together, they’re even more powerful than the sum of their parts.

So, what makes the combination of video and email so potent?

  • Video can make your emails far more appealing — This applies even before someone sees the content. BambooHR, a Utah-based HR software firm, gets its highest open rates when using the word “video” in subject lines. We’ve heard similar feedback from other marketers.
  • Video is an extremely compelling call-to-action — Including a friendly, fun still image from the video is a great way to entice readers to click. We ran an A/B test that produced a 300% increase in click-through rates when using video versus a graphic.
  • Email can amplify your video efforts — If you’re already making video, consider sharing that content via email, rather than just putting it on your website. (And if you’re not putting video on your website, you’re missing out! Here’s an extra-large free account to make it easier.) Use email to drive people back to your site, so they can continue to learn about your company, product, and mission.

To get the greatest effect, ensure your video strategy is integrated with your email strategy. For instance, if you use email to drive webinar signups, test a short video as part of the webinar email campaign.

Top 5 Tips for Getting Started With Video

Don’t be daunted, even if you’re new to video. There are some small, inexpensive things you can do that will make your videos look and sound great.

Here are five tips to help get you started with video, even if you’re short on gear, budget, and expertise:

1. Script your video in advance

No matter how well you know your topic, don’t try to wing it on camera. Scripting your video in advance will ensure that your message is as compelling as possible. Plus, it’ll keep your video snappy without the distraction of “ums,” “ahs,” and “likes” that naturally occur in most people’s daily speech.

Try memorizing your script, or if that feels too difficult, break it into bite-sized chunks and record them individually. You can always edit the clips together with some b-roll footage in between.

2. Use the camera you have (but stabilize it)

People often ask us what camera they should buy. The truth is, you probably already have a terrific camera in your pocket. Most smartphone cameras shoot HD video, and the quality is excellent.

Don’t buy a fancy new camera and spend precious time trying to learn how to use it. You’ll just be creating new hurdles for yourself. That said, it’s definitely worth investing in a basic tripod or stand for your phone. Nothing is more distracting than shaky footage. You can even hack this by stabilizing your phone on top of a tall, stationary object.

3. Step into the right light

Here’s a test for you: which scenario gives you better video footage, a terrific camera with bad lighting or a smartphone camera with terrific lighting? If you’ve been paying attention, you’ll probably guess the latter, and you’re correct!

Good lighting goes a long way. It’ll make your footage as sharp as possible, and it’ll also eliminate any distracting shadows and lines from your subject’s face. We put together a “basic recipe” for a $100 lighting kit using items you can grab at Home Depot. If you’re on an even tighter budget, find a big window on a sunny day and have your subject stand facing the light.

4. Capture clear sound

Your message is the most important part of the video, so make sure it comes through loud and clear. First, eliminate background noise. Find a quiet location, ideally one where you can’t hear anyone or anything else. Printers, HVAC units, even outdoor traffic can really muddy your messaging.

Once you’re recording, we recommend using an external microphone, rather than the one built into your camera. Here’s a primer on how to choose an external mic. The name of the game is proximity: get the mic as close to your subject as possible, and you’ll be in good shape.

5. Start now, analyze and iterate later

Don’t agonize over your first video: this one isn’t going to be a masterpiece, but I can promise that you WILL get better with time. Use analytics to help you identify where you want to improve and iterate on those areas. Your first videos will give you the chance to assess what your audience likes best, then you can focus on the topics they find most appealing.

Video analytics can tell you a ton: focus on overall play rates, which indicate how compelling the topic itself is, and the average engagement rates (or percent viewed) within a video, which indicate how interesting the content is. Pay attention to where people stop watching. If it happens toward the end, tighten up your conclusion. If it happens towards the middle, try to shorten your videos. Testing and iteration will help you become a pro in no time!

Grow Your Email Audience With Video

Video is an awesome tool to drive more leads, and the AWeber-Wistia Turnstile integration makes it simple to collect video viewers’ email addresses and add them to your AWeber lists. Here’s a quick look at how Turnstile works, and how you can use it to grow your email audience.

If you’re ready to try it out for yourself, here’s a bonus: Try a full-featured Wistia account for 45 days, absolutely free.

There’s no better way to get started with video than to dive in and experiment. So test these ideas out, post a comment and let us know how they’re working for you — and share the videos you create with us, we’d love to see them!

For even more hands-on video advice, visit the Wistia team at our ASCEND Digital Marketing Summit Oct. 22-24, 2014!


  1. David Willden

    8/20/2014 4:26 pm

    Simple steps to create your own video – but so critical. How amazing by adding video to your subject line can create such action and results!

  2. RahulB

    8/24/2014 4:19 am

    Great info. Videos can significantly boost subscription from email. But video should be compelling.

  3. Dave @ Marketing Mix

    8/26/2014 10:52 pm

    I think it is generally pretty innovative to include a video link in your email. For example, if a link is to youtube, this may add credibility to the marketing content of your email as you are essentially leveraging Youtube’s brand.

  4. Rajat Garg

    8/27/2014 3:12 am

    Interesting read – hopefully someone can build a tool that adds a layer in bottom part of video where a user can subscribe.

    I am sure this will help quite a bit. Lot of sites have this content on them which are not leveraged properly.