Boost Marketing Campaigns with Video Mailers: The Complete Guide

Discover the marketing secret weapon that harnesses the power of sight, sound and touch – video mailers. These innovative mailers embed LCD video screens for immersive brand storytelling. In an era of digital noise, video mailers cut through the clutter to deliver game-changing engagement and results across industries. This complete guide reveals what makes video mailers such a valuable marketing tool. Learn best practices for maximizing your campaign success from compelling creative to strategic performance tracking. It’s time to boost branding and ignite leads with the sensory experience of video mailers.

What are Video Mailers and How Do They Work?

Video mailers are an innovative marketing tool that bring together the power of sight, sound, and touch for a truly immersive brand experience. Let’s break down what they are and how they engage audiences.

Definition and Overview of Video Mailers

A video mailer is a direct mail piece that contains an integrated LCD video screen and audio speaker. It plays a pre-loaded promotional video message when the recipient opens it up.

Video mailers are most commonly sent in printed brochure format. They can range from business card size up to letter size or even larger. The video screen is embedded seamlessly into the print brochure.

They can also be sent in custom printed boxes or mailing tubes. Any direct mail format that can incorporate a flat video screen can become an interactive video mailer.

Some key features of video mailers:

  • LCD video screen with built-in speaker
  • Printed brochure, box or mailing tube
  • Trigger mechanism to auto-play video when opened
  • Rechargeable battery
  • Storage for pre-loaded video content
  • Tactile print finishes and textures

Video mailers blend the emotional impact of video storytelling with the tangible quality of print. The recipient gets to physically engage with the mailer and play the video at their convenience.

How Video Mailers Engage Recipients

Video mailers create a multi-sensory experience for the recipient. Here are some of the ways they engage audiences:

Motion – The video screen brings motion and energy to attract attention. Studies show our eyes are drawn to movement.

Sound – Hearing a personalized voiceover or music makes the message more immersive.

Storytelling – Video allows you to tell a story that text alone cannot convey.

Novelty – The uniqueness of the format makes recipients curious to interact with it.

Tactile – The textures of print allow the recipient to touch and hold the mailer.

Unboxing – Opening the mailer and playing the video is an active experience.

Offline Access – No wifi or cell service needed to view the pre-loaded video.

Portability – Compact size makes the mailer easy to carry around and re-watch.

These elements work together to deliver an impactful experience that connects with audiences on multiple levels.

Components and Technology Behind Video Mailers

A number of electronic components and technologies enable video mailers to function:

LCD video display – This is the screen that displays the video content. LCD (liquid crystal display) provides sharp, high-quality video. Common sizes range from 2″ to 10″.

Printed circuit boards – The PCBs house the microchip processors and electronic connections inside the mailer.

Sensors – Touch sensors or accelerometers trigger the video to play when opened.

Rechargeable battery – A built-in lithium-ion battery powers the video playback. It recharges via USB.

Storage – A microSD card saves and stores the pre-loaded video file.

Embedded software – Custom code runs the built-in video player.

Speaker – Miniature speakers amplify the audio from the video.

Protective housing – The electronics are encased inside the mailer to prevent damage.

Industrial design – Sleek, user-friendly designs seamlessly integrate with the print.

While the technologies powering them are complex, well-designed video mailers appear elegant and simple on the outside. Recipients simply open the mailer and the video initiates automatically to deliver an engaging brand experience.

Benefits of Using Video Mailers in Marketing

Video mailers offer a number of unique benefits that make them a valuable marketing tool for brands across industries. Let’s explore some of the key advantages of using video mailers.

Increased Personalization and Novelty

One of the biggest benefits of video mailers is the ability to create a personalized video message for each recipient.

Brands can upload unique video content tailored to specific clients or prospects. Personalized video mailers feel like they were made just for the recipient, making them more memorable and impactful.

Video mailers also capture attention thanks to the novelty and uniqueness of the format. Most people have never received direct mail with an integrated video screen before. It’s guaranteed to grab their interest and curiosity.

According to research by Dimensional Research, 90% of respondents said video mailers are “very unique” compared to other direct mail they’ve received. The novelty factor gives brands an advantage in breaking through the noise.

Higher Recall and Engagement

Because video mailers appeal to multiple senses, they achieve higher recall and engagement versus conventional print mailers.

According to research by Millward Brown, direct mail with video can achieve 90% recall compared to just 10-20% recall for print-only mailers.

Video also leads to much higher engagement with the mailer. One company saw recipients spend an average of 80 seconds viewing their video mailer, compared to just 15 seconds spent on average with their normal print mailers.

Higher engagement translates to increased motivation and response to calls-to-action included in the mailer. Video mailers outperform print when it comes to driving conversions and ROI.

Useful as Both Direct Mail and Leave-Behind

Video mailers pull double duty as both direct mail pieces and sales leave-behind tools.

Send them through the mail for recipients to open at their convenience. But they also make memorable takeaways after in-person sales meetings and events.

Recipients often keep and rewatch engaging video mailers multiple times, extending your brand’s reach and impact. They may even show the video mailer to colleagues, demonstrating your product or service.

One pharmaceutical company reported their branded video brochures generating over 300 secondary impressions each as recipients passed them around their office after receiving them.

Flexibility and Customization

Video mailers are highly flexible and customizable to fit any brand’s objectives.

They can be designed in a wide range of shapes, sizes, and configurations. Everything from the print format, paper stock, ink colors, and finishing can be tailored to match a brand’s style.

The integrated LCD screen also comes in sizes from just 1.5″ up to 10″ or larger. And videos can be as short or long as needed to convey the right messaging.

Brands have used video mailers creatively for:

  • Introducing new products or services
  • Virtual tours and demos
  • Employee recruitment
  • Fundraising campaigns
  • Special event invites
  • Announcing company milestones
  • Customer surveys
  • Training and educational materials
  • Collectible direct mail campaigns
  • and much more!

With near endless possibilities for customization, video mailers are a versatile choice suitable for diverse branding and campaign goals.

The ability to tailor video mailers to a brand’s unique needs makes them more effective at engaging audiences and accomplishing results.

Best Practices for Video Mailers in Marketing

To maximize the impact of your video mailer marketing campaigns, follow these proven best practices.

Develop a Compelling Video Script and Visuals

The video itself is the star of the show. Take time to craft an engaging script and visuals tailored to your audience and campaign goals.

Keep it short and concise – Videos under 2 minutes have the highest completion rates. Get key messages across right away.

Speak conversationally – Use a warm, conversational tone like you’re speaking directly to the viewer. Avoid over-polished corporate speak.

Incorporate branding – Include logos, colors, fonts etc. that reinforce brand identity visually.

Focus on benefits – Emphasize the most compelling customer benefits and value proposition.

Make it personable – The human touch resonates. Have real employees deliver the video message.

Use quality visuals – High-res product shots, animation and brand imagery make it more professional.

Call-to-action – Close with a clear CTA that gives the next steps to convert interest.

Make Unboxing an Experience with Packaging

Don’t neglect the packaging and unboxing experience around your video mailer. The recipient’s first impression begins the moment they receive it.

Coordinate colors – Match packaging colors to reinforce brand identity.

High-quality printing – Use crisp, vibrant printing and detailing on the packaging.

Enclosures – Include additional branded print collateral inside for further impact.

Tactile textures – Linen, soft-touch and raised UV add tactile dimension.

Minimal waste – Avoid excessive packaging and use eco-friendly materials when possible.

Unboxing – The video mailer should be visible and easily accessible upon opening.

Making the unboxing an intentional branded experience will build excitement and engagement before they even interact with the video mailer itself.

Include Complementary Printed Material

While video provides the main event, printed collateral included alongside complements the message.

Sales sheets – Include a visual sell sheet summarizing product features and benefits.

Infographics – Use infographics to showcase informative stats and data.

Product samples – For tangible products, include product demos or samples when possible.

Coupons/discounts – Printed vouchers entice recipients to take action and purchase.

Business cards -branded business cards drive contacts.

QR codes – Link to your website, videos, discounts etc. with scannable codes.

Reply cards – Make it easy to request info or directly reach sales reps.

When paired strategically with print, video mailers become an even more powerful cross-media campaign.

Follow Up with Recipients After Sending

Don’t let video mailers be a one-and-done campaign. Implement coordinated follow-up to convert recipients into leads and sales.

Email follow-up – Send a personalized email referring to the mailer.

Sales call – Directly call recipients and reference details from the video.

Social media – Share the video from the mailer on social channels.

Landing pages – Drive visitors from the mailer to tailored landing pages.

Retargeting ads – Serve targeted digital ads to recipients of the mailer.

Direct mail sequence – Send a series of coordinated mailers over time.

Prompt follow-up capitalizes on the initial excitement and engagement generated by your video mailers.

Track Performance and Continuously Optimize

Analyze data from your video mailer campaigns to maximize their performance over time.

Unique tracking URLs – Create specific landing page URLs to track video views, conversions and sales by individual mailer.

QR code tracking – Use scannable QR codes linked to trackable URLs.

Conversion metrics – Gauge sales, leads, event sign-ups, social shares and other conversion KPIs.

Open and play rates – Electronic sensors can detect mailing opens and play rates.

Surveys – Ask recipients direct questions to collect feedback on their experience.

Multivariate testing – Try different video lengths, formats, offers etc. and compare results.

Refine over time – Use learnings to refine everything from targeting, messaging, follow up cadences and more.

With the right tracking in place, you can continually optimize your campaigns and prove the ROI of video mailers.

Applications of Video Mailers for Different Industries

Video mailers are versatile enough to help accomplish goals across diverse industries. Here are some of the most impactful uses and examples.

Real Estate Listings for Home Buyers

In real estate, video mailers enable agents to bring listings to life and make buyers feel immersed in potential new homes before even visiting in-person.

The video can provide a virtual tour of the home and neighborhood, showcase different rooms, and highlight appealing features. Seeing is believing, and video generates excitement and deeper emotional connections with prospective listings.

Agents can mail custom video tours to targeted buyer prospects that match home criteria like price range, location, bedrooms/bathrooms etc. Personalized video helps buyers envision themselves living in the home.

Follow up is critical too. Agents can include their business card to schedule in-person showings. QR codes linked to listing pages and digital retargeting ads help continue engaging buyer prospects.

According to the National Association of REALTORS, real estate listings with video tour receive 403% more inquiries than listings without. Video mailers are an impactful tool for real estate lead generation.

New Product Launches and Demos

Video mailers offer a game-changing way for brands to showcase and demo new products remotely.

They enable hands-on product experiences outside of in-person sales calls or events. Viewers can see the product in action and hear specific benefits and features explained through video narration and animations.

Including product samples or promotional giveaways helps further drive excitement and trial. Recipients essentially receive an interactive mini product launch and training kit they can experience at their own pace.

Technology brands like Apple have leveraged video mailers successfully to preview new product releases. But the strategy applies just as well to any product-based business from consumer electronics to SaaS tools.

Healthcare Education and Training

In the healthcare sector, video mailers empower teaching and training remotely. Pharmaceutical brands have leveraged them to educate physicians and surgeons about new medications, devices, clinical trial results and more.

Detailed product demo videos and virtual training programs can be loaded directly onto video mailers and sent to medical professionals. This gives them on-demand access to learn without coordinating around busy schedules.

Healthcare providers are highly receptive to video education. According to MD Connect, 60% of doctors prefer watching a video over reading an article. Video mailers offer a convenient solution for continual learning and development.

Nonprofit Fundraising and Awareness

Charities and nonprofits can also leverage video mailers to share their mission, promote events, and inspire donations.

Compelling videos that put a face to the cause help build emotional connections with donors. Nonprofits can share stories of the people and communities they empower to motivate giving.

Calls-to-action can drive one-time donations, recurring monthly giving, event participation, petition signatures, volunteering and more.

While less common than email appeals, a tangible video mailer stands out and gives donors a meaningful experience to develop a deeper relationship with the organization.

Financial Services Lead Generation

In the financial industry, businesses constantly compete to gain new customers and clients. Video mailers offer a novel way to pitch services that cuts through the noise.

Banks, credit unions, wealth management firms and more can use video mailers for targeted outreach and lead generation. Customized videos can outline the benefits of working together tailored to each prospect’s needs.

Including gated content offers like free investment guides or financial plans entice prospects to follow up for more information. Personalized videos help forge connections faster with lucrative prospects.

In an industry built on trust and relationships, video mailers enable showcasing expertise and building credibility remotely. A customized mailer results in prospects that are over 50% more likely to respond than a generic print mailer according to Dimensional Research.

Luxury Brand Marketing

For premium luxury brands, video mailers align well with delivering an elite experience. The high-end print and packaging make prospects feel special and catered to.

Luxury automakers like Porsche have sent personalized video mailers to upsell owners about new vehicle releases. The sleek product demos and Tactile finishes reflect the car’s style and performance.

Cosmetic brands also leverage them as VIP “beauty boxes” previewing exclusive product samples. Extra touches like lamination, metallic prints, and magnet closures elevate the feel.

Today’s affluent consumers expect personalized experiences. Video mailers provide a memorable way for brands to connect one-to-one with luxury buyers.

The applications of video mailers are nearly endless across industries. The versatility of the medium lends itself well to accomplishing diverse branding, marketing, and customer engagement goals.

Key Metrics and Analytics for Optimizing Campaigns

To continually improve your video mailer results, track these key performance indicators and analytics.

Open and Playback Rates

Two of the most basic video mailer metrics are open rate and play rate.

Open rate – This tells what percentage of recipients opened and interacted with the mailer. Sensors detect when the mailer is opened to trigger video playback.

Benchmark open rates for direct mail range from 10-30% on average. Well-designed video mailers typically achieve above average open rates thanks to curiosity and novelty.

**Play rate **- The play rate tracks what percent of people who opened the mailer watched the full video or a substantial portion.

Play rates depend on the video length and quality. For short under 60 second videos, benchmark for at least 50% play rate. For longer videos up to 2 minutes, aim for at least 25-30% play rate.

Optimizing messaging and creative to drive higher open and play rates improves the overall effectiveness of your spend and investment.

Conversion and Sales Impact

Ultimately, the true gauge of video mailer success is the tangible conversion, leads and sales generated.

Traffic – Analyze landing page visits, website traffic, and digital actions resulting from the mailer. Unique trackable URLs and QR codes help quantify.

Leads – Gauge form fills, phone calls, emails, and other leads directly attributed to the video mailer campaign.

Sales revenue – Tie closed sales and dollar amounts back to video mailer recipients directly if possible.

ROI – Calculate your return on investment by comparing sales/leads generated to the total cost of the video mailer campaign.

While tricky to quantify perfectly, maximize tracking to document the end conversion impact. Positive ROI and sales/leads generated validate the value of video mailers vs other marketing channels.

Changes in Brand Sentiment or Awareness

Video mailers can also drive results by boosting brand perception and awareness.

Social listening – Monitor for positive social mentions, shares, and engagement with your video mailers.

Surveys – Ask recipients direct questions to rate brand sentiment before and after receiving the mailer.

**Web traffic **- Increased visitors and site engagement signal growing awareness and interest.

Brand studies – Formal market research comparing awareness and associations pre and post-campaign.

Inquiries – Upticks in sales inquiries and questions point to piqued interest.

While harder to quantify directly, lifts in brand equity indicate your audience is engaging and connecting with your content. The halo effect from video mailers alone can deem campaigns successful.

Be sure to establish benchmarks upfront before your video mailer campaign launches to accurately measure impact over time. Ongoing optimization based on performance data will ensure continual improvement in driving results.

Key Takeaways

Video mailers offer an innovative way for brands to engage audiences and accomplish key marketing objectives. Keep these takeaways in mind:

  • Video mailers embed LCD screens into direct mail pieces to play engaging promotional videos when opened by the recipient.
  • They achieve higher open rates thanks to curiosity and novelty while also driving increased recall and response versus conventional print.
  • Personalized video messaging and the tactile experience create deep engagement on multiple sensory levels.
  • Video mailers work for diverse marketing from lead gen to luxury branding across countless industries.
  • Compelling video creative and coordinated multichannel follow-up are key to maximizing campaign success.
  • Proper tracking and optimization based on performance data help continually improve results over time.
  • With endless flexibility and customization, video mailers provide a versatile new tool in a marketer’s playbook.

The unique video mailers format enables marketers to tell stories, demonstrate products, and connect with audiences in a novel way that print alone cannot achieve. Let video take your direct mail results to the next level.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much do video mailers cost?

Costs vary based on factors like size, volume, and customization, but average between $15-$50 per unit including print and video production. High volumes bring down costs.

What video formats work best?

MP4 or MOV files optimized for the screen size provide the best quality. Keep videos short under 2 minutes.

How do you create the product video?

You can produce custom branded videos or work with a professional video production company. High-quality visuals are key.

What size video screen should I use?

5-7 inch screens are most popular for balancing screen size and mailing costs. Larger screens up to 10 inches make luxury impressions.

How long do the batteries last?

Rechargeable lithium-ion batteries will repeat numerous charge cycles. Units plug into USB for power.

How do you reload new videos?

Videos are pre-loaded on micro SD cards that can be swapped out to refresh content.

What file formats can it play?

Units support common formats like MP4, MOV, AVI, FLV and more. Avoid exotic codecs.

Can it integrate animation or audio?

Yes, video files can contain any animations, voiceovers, music etc. for dynamic video.

How do you track performance?

Unique QR codes and URLs allow tracking views, conversions, and ROI for each mailer.

What accessories are available?

Speakers, extra batteries, charging cables, wrist straps, bags and stands help enhance use.