With the popularity of TikTok and YouTube, it’s obvious that consumers love video content. But you shouldn’t limit the use of video to your energy utility’s social media platforms. In fact, an email newsletter with video should be an integral part of your communications strategy.
According to Forbes magazine, watching video makes up 50% of all online activities. Today’s utility customers are already looking for video content on a daily basis, whether inspiration from their favorite Instagram influencer or energy efficiency advice from their energy provider. An email newsletter with video gives customers helpful information in the format they prefer.
Educate and Entertain with Video Content
For energy utilities, video content serves two key purposes in email newsletters: to educate and entertain customers. Not only are videos fun to watch (compared to reading a text-heavy article), but they are also a great educational tool. Visuals, like an email newsletter with video, have the power to improve learning and processing information by up to 400%.
“Everyone learns in a different way — that’s why video is so important,” says Scott Miller, Content Director at Questline Digital. “Video is an ideal format to show people how to do something or simplify complex information. A quick and engaging video is an easy, yet effective, way to educate utility customers.”
Videos are also a powerful driver of email newsletter engagement. According to Questline Digital’s data, email newsletters with video have a 7.1% average click-to-open rate versus a 5.7% average click-to-open rate for email newsletters without video.
In fact, simply including the word “video” in the subject line can increase open rates by 19%. Email newsletters with video have an average open rate of 27.7%, while those without video have an average open rate of 24.8%. As these metrics demonstrate, energy utilities should take advantage of the popularity of video to capture attention and build long-term engagement.
Best Practices for Email Newsletters with Video
To incorporate video into your email newsletter, follow these best practices:
1. Less is more
According to Miller, adding one or two videos to each newsletter is enough to increase engagement. Diversity of content, giving customers a choice to watch a video or two while also reading an article and playing an interactive quiz. In Questline Digital’s experience, most utility clients include a variety of content types in their newsletters.
“It’s a good idea to have a mix of content for customers to look forward to each month, whether they prefer video, infographics or articles,” Miller explains. “Utility customers will appreciate the variety of content options.”
This email newsletter with video from Sackcloth + Ashes — a mission-driven company that donates a blanket to a homeless shelter for every blanket purchased — utilizes a video in the hero image to highlight an artist that works with the company.
2. The right topic matters
The topic of your video needs to be relevant to customers. For example, a video about saving energy and staying cool in the summertime is timely for a June or July newsletter. You can also give readers tips or resources ahead of storm season or spring home improvement season.
According to Questline Digital’s Energy Utility Benchmarks Report, the most popular videos are simple explainer videos on how to increase energy efficiency and make home improvements, such as reducing phantom energy and installing a smart thermostat. An email newsletter with video lets you simplify these complex topics into digestible pieces — something not possible with a technical article.
“The most popular video topics explain how to do something in a simple and engaging way,” Miller says. “For example, five ways you can save while making dinner or doing laundry. The ‘You Can’ series of videos featuring Jeff Wilson also receive a lot of engagement. This series shows how to air-seal your basement or install a smart outlet. These home improvement topics really hit home with people.”
Top 10 Most Popular Video Topics
|5 Ways to Save Without Spending Money||21,520|
|Are You Aware of Phantom Energy?||14,068|
|Room for Energy Savings: Laundry Room||9,903|
|Does Putting Lids on Pots Really Cook Food Faster||8,200|
|You Can Install a Smart Thermostat||7,343|
|3 Cheers for Air Source Heat Pumps||7,018|
|Energy Savings Magic: Laundry Room||5,989|
|You Can Install a Ceiling Fan||5,107|
|Room for Energy Savings: Holiday Decorating||4,736|
|Energy Innovators: 3 Facts About Edith Clarke||3,085|
3. Utilize different styles of video
To capture attention and keep customers engaged, your email newsletter should include a mix of video styles. Animated explainer videos are effective at explaining complicated technical topics while keeping the content lighthearted and entertaining.
Live action provides an opportunity to showcase utility employees and customers. For example, feature your energy utility’s lineworkers in videos that talk about storm, outage or downed power line safety. Many videos feature a combination of both live action and animation, such as an eye-catching graphics of an LED light bulb while the on-screen talent speaks to energy efficiency benefits.
This Questline Digital client newsletter incorporates both animated and live-action videos to engage readers:
4. Incorporate a video series
A video series is a great addition to your email newsletter. It creates familiarity and encourages continuous viewing. Your customers will look forward to the next newsletter to see another episode in the series, while the messages reinforced across the series will be more memorable. This relationship between customers and the series can lead to increased newsletter engagement.
“With a video series, customers get attached just like they do with a show on Netflix,” Miller says. “There is something that keeps them coming back for more, whether it’s the style, storyline or the way information is presented.”
This Questline Digital client email newsletter incorporates the “5 Ways to Save” video series, which provides utility customers with quick and easy tips to save energy in their home.
5. Link to YouTube or Vimeo
Keep in mind, you can’t embed video into your newsletter and stream it. Instead, you’ll need to add a play button on top of a static image and link to YouTube or Vimeo. The bottom line: You just need to make it clear to readers that it’s a playable piece of content.
To give the feel of video, another option is to add an animated GIF in the hero image. GIFs are well-supported across browsers and email clients making them a great option for newsletters.
In this business email newsletter with video, the hero image features a play button. This illustrates to readers that they can click on the image to watch the video, “Space for Energy Savings: Office Space.” The call-to-action button also includes a link to the utility’s YouTube channel.
Boost Newsletter Engagement with Video Content
An email newsletter with video has a tremendous impact on utility customer engagement. Video content is an effective and popular way to educate residential and business customers about complex topics, whether DIY home improvement or energy efficiency. When customers expect to see a video in their newsletter, it gives them a reason to open it each month — and makes the content inside more entertaining and memorable.