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Not just social media: 3 ways visual storytelling applies to email marketing

Storytelling has always played an essential role in human communication, and for marketers, it’s is the key to relaying your brand or product’s message in an engaging, empathetic and memorable way.

This month, Hubspot shared a new infographic – Storytelling One Frame at a Time – a compilation by M Booth and Simply Measured that proves once again that “imagery rules across social media.” The two agencies combined behavioral data around visual content occurring on social media platforms, with research on engagement along with sharing habits on the top 10 brand pages on Facebook.

While the idea that ‘imagery is king’ on social media isn’t shocking, the numbers are still very impressive. Here’s a sample of the findings:

  • On Facebook, users share videos 12 times more than links and text posts combined, while photos are liked twice as much as text posts.
  • When Instagram released its Android app in April 2012, it gained 10 million users in ten days, reaching 40 million users total and on pace to beat Facebook in less time.
  • Every week, over 100 million users take a social action on YouTube.

But the visual storytelling rules don’t only benefit social media platforms; plenty of these principles apply to email marketing, as well. For ActiveMail audiences, the benefits become even more easily obtainable:
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Email marketing study: How consumers view marketing emails [VIDEO]

Email service provider BlueHornet released a study recently about Consumer Views of Email Marketing, which includes highlights not only as stats, charts and takeaways, but also adds a human touch with a video of consumer interviews (including outtakes!).

The study reaffirms the importance of email as an interactive medium. It also warns that users can tell when email marketers have tried to skimp on making emails look great and work properly, which means that “your time saved is consumers’ time wasted”. Respondents interviewed in the video were unanimous when it came to how to handle an email that doesn’t look right when opened: They simply delete it. Users also expect their email experience to be personalized and valuable so their tolerance for irrelevant content is very low (surprise surprise).

One of the nicest things about this study is the concept behind the study itself. So many studies these days promote best practices born out of the interpretation of data, which is of course super important, but it can also cause marketers to think of their subscriber behavior in terms of ‘stats’ and not in terms of emotional reactions. This study is a nice reminder for marketers to think of their email recipients not only as subscribers, but also as people who expect to benefit in some way from each and every email they receive, whether it be a discount, coupon, product sneak peek, interesting news, or sheer entertainment.

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3 more ways ActiveMail is the future of sharing video.

History textbook authors, listen up! Clicking out from emails to watch videos on the web is a thing of the past. Our children will laugh one day when we tell them how an internet browser would open every time we clicked on a link inside an email.

Actually, go ahead and laugh now, kids: The future of email has already started, with ActiveMail.

And it’s not just the futuristic cool factor. Playing videos directly from the inbox offers the instant gratification of being able to open a message and hit play with no waiting for a new browser tab to load. Not to mention, your inbox becomes a film house, where you can go back and watch the video, stored in your email and ready to play whenever you want.

Here are a few other ways the future of email is brought to the present with ActiveMail:

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