Incorporate Videos Into Your Emails

We all know that in order to succeed with an online business or any business for that matter you must stay connected. With an online business staying connected is the foundation of building long-lasting relationships that can lead to sales, partnerships, networking and more. Since I enjoy videos, and I’m sure you do as well, why not stay connected with video emails?

Instead of the same old text email, which is still very effective, use a video to convey your message. The difference of viewing and hearing your message supersedes that of a text.

You can use a video email to promote a new project, new website, promotion or simply a way to connect. Some have incorporated videos into their newsletters as well. You can make the videos as long or as short as you like. Remember that the attention span of most is not very long. Most videos are between 3 and 4 minutes in length unless they are educational or music videos.

Video in email is a fast growing trend and the increase in click through rates can be as much as two to three times. Some things to keep in mind if you intend to incorporate videos into your emails:

- Respect your audience’s time..keep the videos short and sweet (try to keep them less than 2 minutes)

- Incorporate a tracking system to determine the click-to-view of the videos

- Be creative and use the videos to grab their attention, don’t overuse the video system

- Don’t add large or extra large animated GIF’s – {those are annoying}

- Most importantly..have fun and experiment

Next email you send consider adding a video for more impact, you’ll be amazed at the response.

Video Marketing Tip – VW Viral Video Case Study

The story caught my attention on Yahoo News Headlines. I saw this video clip on YouTube when it was freshly featured. The views were barely less than a thousand then. I showed it to my kids using my iPhone. They loved it.

5 days later, the Yahoo news reported 7 million views. I then checked out the video again and saw 15 million views. As I write this article, the video is now 17 million views. That means it’s getting 2 million views a day!

The YouTube video is called “Volkswagon Commercial: The Force”.

This makes a good case study for my videography students. Especially the chapter on YouTube video marketing.

First, let’s understand what this video is all about:

– The video is a TV commercial for a new VolksWagon model.

– It is obviously produced professionally with talents and props.

– No mention of product benefits or features at all, just branding.

– Definitely not a high budget production. No Special effects. (It can be easily recreated in your bedroom, kitchen and garage)

– The VolksWagon Channel has 130 videos, all less than half a million views. (except for one recent video which is riding on its current popularity)

So now the BIG question is… what made it viral?

Let’s analyze 3 points from my video marketing notes.

1. Is the video entertaining, informative or educational?

The video is entertaining, a little informative and not educational. At least I am informed this car starts with a remote control. The small Darth Vader is certainly entertaining. Without facial expression, the body language tells the whole story.

2. Is the video riding on a hot trend?

Is there a trend on “Darth Vader” and “Star Wars”? No trends found on Google Trend and Yahoo Buzz. However, there are 135,000 global Google monthly searches for “Darth Vader”. 1,220,000 for “Star Wars”. The video is targeting a huge market.

3. Is It featured on YouTube Home Page?

The video WAS featured on the front page as part of a Super Bowl Campaign. I doesn’t matter if VW paid for it because the other ads did not get 15 million views. I had one video featured before and I know how it feels to get a million views. Getting featured or spotlighted on YouTube is great exposure.

Personal View

I am one of the contributors to the success of this VW viral video. Volkswagon did not pay me to do it nor told me to pass it on. The moment I saw it, I showed it to others because I “liked” it. THAT’s the essence of a true viral video… a life of its own.

There’s one other thing I suspect though. This video is highly targeted at Star Wars fans. Star Wars fans who once were boys. I admittedly am one of them.

1. Original Star Wars Music

The music sounds original to me. Even if it was remade, it still sounds exactly like the movie. It triggered pleasant memories as a fan of Star Wars. It would not be the same if it was some other soundtrack.

2. A Star Wars Fan Will Always Be a Star Wars Fan

I became a Star Wars fan as a kid. I still watch replays of Star Wars movies. I have Star Wars games on my iPhone. Of course I like the light saber sound effects.

3. Did the Same Thing as a Boy

When I was a kid, I did what the boy did in the commercial. That made a strong connection with me. I waved my hands and things never moved, to my disappointment. Today, I will please my kids using some remote control.

So that’s my analysis of a successful viral video. Remember, you cannot make a viral video till it becomes one. Volkswagon posted 130 YouTube videos before one made it.

Aspire to make a viral video with more than a million hits? Start shooting and posting quality YouTube videos daily.

Top 20 Reasons Why Children Should Study Music

All you need to do is visit the kids’ audio/video section of your local CD shop and you will be bombarded with a multitude of educational enhancement products to buy. You may find ‘Baby Einstein’ or ‘Brainy Baby’ and an abundance of similar merchandise to make your child smarter. These types of goods can be a wonderful way to introduce music to your children before the age of three. However, nothing can replace private music lessons for a 3 to 9 year old.

The brain develops at a rapid rate between birth and three and is an essential window for the development of neurons. Therefore, encouraging musical exploration is an easy way to promote intellectual development.

Before the age of three, toy instruments can be an excellent introduction to the real thing and group musical play classes can prepare a child for later study. Singing at any age is highly beneficial and linguistic & musical awareness can begin as early as the fifth month of pregnancy when the fetal brain and ears are wide open to receive stimulus.

From the age of 3 years old, a child’s brain circuits are mature enough to begin instrumental and/or vocal lessons. Voice is probably the most important instrument because singing is a tremendous gateway to confident communication and full self-expression.

The piano is usually the best musical instrument to start with because it does not require any specific fingering to play. However, children should choose instruments to play by the sounds they like. Kids will practice more if they like the sound of an instrument.

If your child chooses the piano, inexpensive electronic keyboards are a good way to begin because they are very affordable and portable. Many brands on the market today will display the notes on a digital screen while music is being played. These types of keyboards can greatly assist a child to begin to read musical notes and symbols. They also often have built in rhythm and song functions that make singing and dancing along with the music easy.

Since Howard Gardner’s “Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences” in 1983 and Gordon Shaw and Francis Rauscher’s “Mozart Effect” in 1993, there has be much debate and research into whether or not music study can be linked to better academic performance.

You will find thousands of books, products, articles and websites discussing the advantages of studying music. For your convenience, the top 20 benefits reported for vocal and instrumental music study are listed below.

1. Music training has been linked to spatial-temporal reasoning skills. (I.e. ability to read a map, put puzzles together, form mental images, transform/visualize things in space that unfold over time, and recognize relationships between objects. These skills are often helpful in science, math, and chess.)

2. Musical symbols, structure, and rhythmic training utilize fractions, ratios, and proportions, which are all important in mathematical study.

3. Increases problem finding/solving, logic and thinking skills like analysis, evaluation and the linkage/organization of ideas

4. Optimizes brain neuron development & circuitry

5. Assists motor development especially coordination of hands, eyes and body

6. Expands multiple intelligences and helps students’ transfer study, cognitive and communication skills from subject to subject in any syllabus

7. Group orchestra or ensemble activities help promote cooperation, social harmony and teach kids discipline while working together toward a common goal.

8. Music augments memory. For example, most people learn their ABC’s by singing them. Repeating a tune in a predictable rhythmic song structure makes memorization easier.

9. Singing is a great way to aid/improve reading ability and instruction. Karaoke is a perfect example. Children may learn a song by ear (auditory) but words on a TV or computer screen provide a simultaneous visual anchor.

10. In vocal music learning rhythm, phrasing, and pitch greatly enhances language, pronunciation, grammar, and vocabulary skills. This is especially noticeable when using songs in first and second language study.

11. Improves critical reading and writing

12. Raises test scores, decreases performance anxiety, and teaches kids how to handle/manage stress during standardized exams

13. Helps children channel unexpressed and/or negative emotions in a positive way

14. Boosts creative thinking

15. Reading music and performing memorized pieces help children to think ahead

16. Improvisation helps people to “think on their feet”

17. Solo performance is connected to self-esteem & self-efficacy. (concept of self capacity) Children learn to reach for their very best.

18. When kids prepare and consistently practice for recital or performance, they work to sing/play without errors. They generally apply similar determination and perseverance to many future endeavors academic or otherwise.

19. Improves understanding of homework and enables a higher levels of concentration

20. Children who study music usually have a better attitude, are more motivated and are less intimidated by learning new things

Strong music reading, writing notation, sight singing (solfege), music theory, literacy, and moving the body to music are solid, transferable skills. Learning is a two-way street. For example, one can assume that mathematics can also develop music. Academic achievement links positively with musical achievement and vice versa.

As early as the 19th century, the visionary Dr. Maria Montessori included music and arts into her worldwide school curriculums to greatly enhance and accelerate learning.

‘Lorna Heyge, Ph.D., says: “While educational leaders turn to early childhood music because it promotes brain development, they will stay with music because of the joy and stimulation experienced in actual music making. Music learning requires total involvement-that is why it appeals so much to young children.”

Copyright 2006 Deborah Torres Patel