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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Information Gets Through with Captivating E-mails

Few things are more frustrating to communications than unread e-mail messages. Just ask Lisa Jones, founder and CEO of EyeMail Inc., a Marietta, Ga., company that embeds 60-second videos in emails that “deliver compelling viewer experiences,” as she puts it, and drive up response.

Jones, speaking at last week’s ProcureCon conference in St. Louis, said that with all the business e-mails and printed materials sent and received by companies every day, recipients easily overlook or skim over many in the interest of saving time, including those containing important information.

ID-100144545Her approach of using short information-rich videos to capture the attention of viewers addresses a vital question: “How should corporate procurement and vendor management deliver unified and consistent messaging to internal and external stakeholders?”

Adding videos to e-mails is nothing new, of course. The difference with EyeMail, Jones explains, is that e-mails with videos contain links that go to another browser. An EyeMail video is in the e-mail itself, so readers don’t leave the site to view it.

Moreover, EyeMail uses patent-pending compression technology that limits the file size of a video e-mail to 4 to 15 kilobytes, the same size or slightly larger than a regular document file. This means an EyeMail video won’t crash a system or cause delivery problems.

The 60-second video limit is non-negotiable. “It’s all about compelling content,” she says. “This is not meant to be a 10-minute spiel.”

EyeMail applies this format to different applications. Apart from its value to procurement and supply-chain communications, it can be used for marketing campaigns, product introductions, and other initiatives to attract large numbers of viewers.

In her presentation, Jones said the format increases conversion rates fourfold and serves as an “engaging call to action.” As an example, she cited the sales results from one client, Major League Baseball (MLB). For a business-networking event in Atlanta, MLB sent EyeMails to 25,000 opt-in subscribers advising them of ticket availability for the event. Within 48 hours, 65 percent opened the files, viewed the video, and received information, with the result that 9,500 tickets were purchased in 72 hours. In a prior campaign for the event using conventional e-mails, Jones said 15 percent of recipients opened the e-mails and clicked through, and ticket sales were only 2,750 after 72 hours.

EyeMail develops models for different businesses, and tracks and measures results. Even if a company uses it to communicate to a supply chain, click-through, viewing, and other data will be available. EyeMail has experience with procurement and supply chains; clients include Coca-Cola’s chief procurement officer.

The company has eight development teams worldwide, in Canada, Chile, Brazil, Africa, and China, as well as the U.S. This broadens global reach and provides insight into other business cultures.

It also reflects Jones’ commitment to creative thinking and innovation in the business, which she summed up as: “Never settle for average or mediocre solutions.”


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