Wondering how to stand out in your prospect's inbox? Try video voicemail.

Forget about anyone else, do you read outreach emails in your inbox?

Exactly.

All of us have this built-in tendency to ignore outreach emails.

They’re mostly overhyping a product we probably can do without, and the bland text circling sentence after sentence just to say “buy me buy me”.

Imagine making a sale like that in person! “Hello, sir, please purchase our product, please!”

Wait a minute, how would you make a sale in person, for real, however?

You would probably start with some casual small talk, which leads to a little personal talk, and then you smoothly slide in your product and list the benefits.

See, it’s extremely hard to do that with text. One reason is, nobody reads it.

But, you can make the exact perfect sale, in person, without being in person, by being in a video.

Let me explain.

Video voicemail is the doorway to making your outreach emails stand out. Unlike text emails, people are willing to go through a video voicemail.

It makes perfect sense then that videos in an email have given marketers a 300% jump in clickthrough rates!

Contrary to the rumor, it is easy to make video voicemails.

Through this read, you shall learn all about video voicemails - what they are, what they do, and how you can use them to get an explosive increase in your clickthrough rates. Let’s go.

What is a Video Voicemail?

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Video voicemail.

Yes.

It is exactly that.

A voicemail, but video.

A video voicemail is supposed to replace the text in your outreach emails with a video.

Hence, video voicemail.

It is generally shorter in duration compared to a regular sales video, since it is a voicemail. The motive is the same as your outreach email without the video, but with the added personalization of videos.

There is, however, no clear restriction on what your video voicemail should be, in terms of template or scope of creativity.

You can send anything to your prospects via mail, in the video format, and it would still be a video voicemail. However, the general practice is a personalized video in any format.

How to Send a Video Voicemail?

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Video voicemail, although short, is not like social media video messages.

You don’t have to embed the video directly into the email for it to be deemed a video voicemail. You can link the prospect to the video via a thumbnail.

Let’s see how you can send your prospects a video voicemail.

Since not everyone will splurge on an editor and an elaborate camera setup, we will keep these directions extremely reasonable. And we will ensure that anyone with an average budget for outreach can send video voicemails through these steps.

Pick the Right Platforms

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You might already be using an email client that works for you. But not all email clients work well for video voicemails. And some of them work well sometimes, in certain system configurations.

For example, you might create a perfect-looking email on your end on a desktop. But your prospect might be viewing it on their mobile phone, and your email client doesn’t support videos on mobile.

The above example is an absolute no-no. But a lot of rookie marketers make mistakes like these, and they leave a bad taste.

It is best to go with popular options like Gmail, Outlook, Apple Mail. But even then, testing your emails is extremely important. If you are using a service for outreach, that controls your email service client, then it is best to ensure synchronization.

Most email service tools support videos, but it is a good checkmark to have before you purchase one for your business.

That being said, even if your email service and/or client does not support videos, it will support links, so you can add links to your videos instead of embedding these.

However, in such a case, you need to check if your email service, and/or client supports the thumbnail.

We at StoryXpress let our users create GIF thumbnails, and most prospects love that. So check if you can plug those thumbnails using the platforms you are using.

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If not, images will still do the job (although, we recommend animated or GIF thumbnails, we don’t want you to get disheartened).

Video Voicemail Production

The actual production of the video voicemail involves many factors.

Depending on the placement of your email campaigns, the format you go with, what stage of the funnel your prospect is in, the level of personalization, etc., etc.

Video creation is easy once you have a clear vision. So start with that, empower yourself by binge-watching sales videos, and any email videos you have received in the past to get a hang of things.

Do a little market research as well, understand what your target audience enjoys in the form of video content. If they are the type who like animated videos, go with that.

There are industries where people love attending conferences, so you might want to record a more professional video.

Generally, almost everyone can relate to a combination of both, that is why screen recorded videos with your face in them work the best.

For this, all you need is the StoryXpress Screen Recorder.

It is a simple tool that lets you record your screen, and your webcam together. And you can configure the video to show either of these or both, depending upon the nature of your video.

Screen recording costs you nothing at all, except having your device. The same goes for webcams. If you want it, you can purchase a Full HD webcam. And that’s it, you need nothing more.

The StoryXpress Screen Recorder allows you to annotate your screen as you record and has a drawing tool for you to use your screen/video as a whiteboard to explain concepts.

It also comes with a simple video editor, so all in all, it is a pretty self-sufficient tool. And you can record virtually any format of video voicemail using it.

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Hosting Videos

Now, even if you are embedding your video voicemails onto the email, they are hosted externally.

Attaching video files on emails directly will more often than not exceed the limitation of memory allowed on your email client. That’s why where you host your videos is important.

There are a lot of free video hosting platforms out there, including YouTube, Facebook, Vimeo, Google Drive, etc., etc. But you have to pick one that does justice to your business, and audience.

Especially if you are linking your prospects to the video, you need to be highly attentive while selecting a video platform. For example, let’s say you choose YouTube.

YouTube is great, it is free, accessible, everyone loves YouTube. But, YouTube has ads and the algorithm shows advertisements relevant to the video. And the ad relevant to your video will be an ad from your direct competitor. Do you want your prospect to see this ad before they watch your video?

That’s why StoryXpress has an amazing hosting platform that is 100% ad-free. It is a premium hosting platform that is thoroughly white labeled, customizable for you to create the best expression on your audience.

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Users can even customize the video player with StoryXpress to fit their color scheme, and add their logo onto the player.

Embedding Video Voicemails

Most hosting platforms will allow you to easily embed videos on email, the only thing is, your email client should allow it.

StoryXpress has a Gmail integration that allows you to embed your videos directly through Gmail email composer. You can also embed your video separately if you’d like to.

There is an embed code that is generated by your video hosting platform, which can be copied to your email client to embed videos.

Linking Videos

Although embedding videos allows users to view the video directly within the mail, linking videos has its advantages.

Firstly, you get the prospect on your desired webpage to view the video. And you get so much relevant data from one click, that you can completely restructure your marketing strategy for increased growth.

You can virtually use any video hosting platform and you’ll be allowed to link your videos.

But again, choose something like StoryXpress that lets you control the environment of viewing. Even Vimeo has banner ads, that will most likely be of your competitors and you do not want that.

Even if there are no ads, there are recommendations, which are likely to be videos from your competitors. And again, you do not want that.

Video Voicemail: Best Practices

Use a GIF Thumbnail

When you plug in a video voicemail, the only window of opportunity you have for a click is the thumbnail.

Sure, you can edit an image thumbnail and it can be appealing. But nothing beats a GIF thumbnail. Especially if you are using a link.

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GIFs can be of many kinds. It could either be a preview GIF, or a specially made GIF for the thumbnail.

You might not realize this, but most of us seek previews. That’s why YouTube started showing an automated preview to most videos.

It’s just natural for any human being to know a little bit about what they will be devoting their precious minutes to. And more importantly, with a GIF you get a chance to make a solid impression and generate enough curiosity to loop in attention.

Muted Auto Play

When you are embedding videos onto the email, users have already clicked once to open that email. Now, they shouldn’t be required to click again to play the video. Always put your videos on auto play. BUT, mute these.

You might just catch your prospect off guard, in a meeting, or in an environment not suitable for viewing videos. So mute the audio.

Even if you are linking your prospects to the video, make sure the page they land on has the video on auto play. They have already clicked on the thumbnail, don’t make them click to play again.

Favorable Aspect Ratio

Depending on the type of business, your viewers might be viewing the video either on desktop or mobile or something in between.

Most B2B watchers will be viewing it on their desktop, and B2C generally prefer mobile viewing.

But, we recommend you make viewing adaptable to all kinds of devices. Responsive platforms are best to host videos. And standard aspect ratios will do the job in most cases.

You can, however, customize for different types of devices. If you are embedding videos, make sure the framing is appropriate (the viewer shouldn’t have to scroll).

Use “Video” in the Subject

Here’s one tip that always does the trick.

Using the word “video” in the subject line statistically gives you a 65% increase in clickthrough rates and a 19% increase in open rate.

You want to lure in the audience that is tired of reading boring emails. And for that, you have to let them know there is more in store for them through this email. After all, you have to stand out in their inbox.

Analytics, Analytics, Analytics

They say an image is worth a thousand words. Well, a video is worth a million images. So if you have a bunch of metrics for your text emails, do the match for what you will have for video voicemails.

With tools like StoryXpress, you get instantly notified when the prospect clicks on your video.

Further, you get a heatmap for every video that shows you what parts of the video got rewatched, and wherein the video most users decided to bounce. Here's how a StoryXpress video heatmap looks like:

You can find average and total watch times under the analytics tab to understand the user impression of your videos.

Make use of these powerful video analytics to get more traction, and produce better video voicemails.

Video voicemails are a thing of now, and a thing of the future.

Most businesses will be done over videos as remote work becomes the new norm. Since videos are a form of reliable documentation, they might completely replace text shortly. So get into this space, and get comfortable.

For starters, you can share screen recordings annotated with the necessary information. And as you get comfortable, start showing your face.

Well, that’s a wrap. Hope you got valuable takeaways from this blog post, and are on your way to creating your video voicemails. You can find some tips on crafting good-looking sales emails here.