Tag Archives: Video Email Marketing

Sep 2012

Dear #First_Name# – Adding Variable Data to Your Video Email Marketing

One feature that some of the prospects and customers of the BombBomb video email marketing software seek is the ability to use variable data in their traditional emails and video emails.  Some call it “mail merge.”


This is the ability to drop in “Dear #First_Name#” or “how we can help #Company_Name#” into your emails as you’re building them.  Then, as you send them out, we pick up the information for each individual from your BombBomb database and deliver it on your behalf with that data automatically inserted.


The answer is yes!  We do allow that.  Just click the “Add Variable” button when you’re editing any email in your BombBomb account (see video below).


This post, though, is intended to give you two cautions before making the use of variable data a specific and constant tactic in your video email marketing.


Adding Variable Data to Your Video Email Marketing

CAUTION 1: Data Must Be Complete and Current


When you add variable data fields to your subject line or email body, it’s a call out to your database inside BombBomb.  If you have blank fields (incomplete data) or outdated information (non-current data),  the effect you seek – making the email feel more personal and relevant – will produce the exact opposite.


In the case of missing data, your recipients will just see the variable data field, like #First_Name# or #Company_Name#. In the case of inaccurate data, your recipients will see whatever’s in your BombBomb database.


Here’s an example of a company I greatly like and respect sending me emails with inaccurate, non-current data.  At the top is a subject line with the name of a television station whose brand I have not managed in over a year.  Toward the center and bottom are references to the same company inside the body of two other emails. Clearly, their database is not current – and I, like most of your email subscribers, am not sufficiently motivated to alert them to it.


variable data, mail merge, email marketing, email, video email, video email marketing


Whether based on incomplete or non-current data, the negative response to the error will likely be stronger than any positive response to getting it right.  That’s to say: the risk probably outweighs the benefit. So now let’s look at that benefit.


CAUTION 2: It May Not Delight Your Prospects and Customers


We all know variable data when we see it.  We tend to sense mass mail and mass email when we see it.  When the campaign of Barack Obama or Mitt Romney send me a piece of direct mail or a traditional email soliciting donations, the addition of “Ethan” or “Mr. Beute” in the salutation really isn’t all that surprising, exciting, connecting, or impressive.  It’s still very obviously mass mail.


Still, variable data can be used effectively.  But should it?


Temple University Fox School of Business professor Sunil Wattal led a recent research project that found 95% of email recipients reacted negatively to personalized greetings – when an email greeted them by name.  It was true across both people unfamiliar and familiar with the company.  Though a very limited study (only included one retail company), that 95% is a high number.


The point here is that mass is mass.  We all know it when we receive it.  If you’re not sending targeted emails that are timely for, relevant to, and anticipated by your recipients (which should be the goal of every video email marketing effort), variable data may be a strong detriment to your effort.


So, Should I Use Variable Data?

My favorite answer – and often the most fair – to questions like this is “it depends!” If the idea of it excites you and you have a specific way to use it, test it out.


Identify a regularly sent email or video email.  Send it two or three times with variable data in it.  Send it two or three other times without variable data in it.  Look for any kind of lift. This could be in open rate (if you’re using it in the subject line), video play rate, click through rate, or anything else that’s important to you. Decide for yourself whether or not your list appreciates automated personalization of your emails and video emails.


If you don’t see a specific benefit from sending with variable data (like increased opens, clicks, or plays), I would discourage you from using it. It’s challenging and time consuming to make sure you have both complete and current information for everyone in your email lists.


Let Us Know!

Are you using variable data or mail merge with specific success? Has it bitten you in the past? Tell us about your experience.


Click here for many different ways to contact us!



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Dec 2011

How To: Building A Video Email Drip Campaign


We’ve always had auto responders, which automatically send an email when someone completes your form.


Now, BombBomb gives you drips – video email drip campaigns!  This means you can auto respond with a series of emails or video emails scheduled for delivery at intervals you set.






Drips are found on a new tab in your BombBomb account (you know it’s a big deal when a new feature gets its own tab!). Now, your tabs are:

  • Emails
  • Lists
  • Forms
  • Drips
  • Videos



It’s easy to build a series of emails programmed to go out exactly when you want them to go.

  • Be clear on the purpose of the campaign
  • Plan a series of emails to serve your purpose
  • Build each individual email in the Emails tab
  • Go to the Drips tab and start a new drip
  • Add the emails in sequence to your new drip



You get to decide exactly when each email in the drip campaign is sent.


You can choose by minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, or even years. These durations are based on when someone enters the Drip.


For days, weeks, months, and years, you get to choose the send time of each email.


So, a Drip of four emails set to go out at 8am on Day 1, Day 3, Day 5, and Day 7 will last one week. Recipients will get emails one day, three days, five days, and seven days after they enter the Drip.  The first email will be sent the next morning at 8am.




There are two ways someone can receive the emails in your drip campaign.

  • You put an individual or a list into the Drip
  • A person puts himself or herself into the Drip by clicking a link, filling out a form, or similar


Putting an individual or a list into a drip is very easy. There’s an “add people” button that allows you to type in individual addresses or choose a list. It’s just like sending an individual email in BombBomb.


Allowing other people to put themselves into your drips is a little more complicated. The easiest way is to tie the drip to one of the custom forms you’ve built in BombBomb. When someone completes a form on your website, blog, or anywhere else you place it, he or she can be added to a list, receive an email, and/or begin receiving a drip campaign.


The “embed” button gives you even more options that allow people to put themselves into – and take themselves out of – your drip email campaigns. These functions can connect to your CRM, to the “purchase” page of your website, and all kinds of other functions. This involves HTML code that needs to be placed correctly.




You can track the results of an entire drip campaign and the results of individual emails within that campaign.


Your entire drip campaign tracking includes:

  • Total contacts, active contacts, and finished contacts for the drip
  • Total emails sent in the drip
  • Export of individual recipients’ behavior data


Your individual email tracking for each email in the campaign includes:

  • Quick view of pending contacts, emails sent, and open, click, and play rates
  • Regular email tracking screen (as in the Emails tab)
  • Regular export of individual recipients’ behavior data (as in Emails tab)



Auto Respond with Drip Email Campaign

Build your own video email drip campaign by trying BombBomb absolutely free for two weeks.  No credit card information required.  No cost.  No risk!

Problems, questions, or success stories?  Here are several ways to contact us here at BombBomb!




Dec 2011

How To: Video Player Sharing and Embedding

BombBomb is video email marketing, but it’s also video hosting, video sharing, video embedding, and video streaming.


With your reasonable monthly subscription, BombBomb allows you to upload an unlimited number of videos.  Supported file types include mp4, mpg, mov, avi, flv, mpeg, wmv, and m4v.


Each of those videos can be up to 2.5GB in size. That’s bigger than YouTube or Vimeo allows. That’s the size of a feature length film.  Needless to say, few if any of our customers have ever come anywhere close to that file size limit, because they’re primarily focused on quick, personal videos for one, many, or all people on their permission-based email lists.


Once uploaded, your videos are pushed to our global content delivery network (CDN), so they can be streamed anywhere at any time.  All the analytics for plays of these videos is available inside your BombBomb account.


5 Ways to Share Your Videos from BombBomb:

  • Send out in your video emails
  • With an automatically-generated, shortened url (web address)
  • Straight to Facebook
  • Straight to Twitter
  • With three sizes of automatically-generated embed codes


Both you and your video email recipients are able to do all these things.


Watch the video below – and play with its share button – to see how these video player features work.  It was embedded with the large size embed code copied out of my BombBomb account and pasted into WordPress.


How-To Video – BombBomb Video Player Sharing and Embedding:


Want to upload and share an unlimited number of videos with BombBomb?  Check out our insanely reasonable pricing.


Want to see some customer testimonial videos (dropped into our website with medium sized embed codes from my BombBomb account)? Visit our Video Testimonial page.


Have any questions? Here are several different ways to contact BombBomb.
Ready to give it a go for yourself? Send your first video email in 5 minutes!

Start here:

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Nov 2011

Video Email Analytics: Tracking Views by Day, Recipient, Device, Browser

We previewed them a few weeks back right here at the BombBomb blog.  Now they’re live in your BombBomb account.
Say hello to your improved video email analytics!

What BombBomb Video Tracking Includes

For videos you upload, send, and share through BombBomb, you can see:

  • Who viewed it
  • When he or she viewed it
  • Total video views
  • Total views by day
  • Views in last 24 hours
  • Most recent view
  • Views by device (PC, Mac, iPhone, iPad, Android)
  • Views by browser (Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer)

Here are the video analytics on a Thanksgiving message screen-grabbed a few hours after we sent it (names and email addresses intentionally obscured by blurring):
See Who Views Your Video by Day and by Device or Browser

Where to Find Video Tracking in the BombBomb App
Finding your video tracking data is very similar to finding your email tracking data.  In the “Videos” tab (of the four main tabs: Emails, Lists, Forms, Videos), you’ll see a new “track” button for each video in your account.
Here’s a screen grab of our Thanksgiving video sitting at the top of our Videos list.  Note the new track button between “share” and “delete.”  Again, this is identical to the track button that’s long been available on the Emails tab (shows your opens, clicks, plays, etc).
See Who Views Your Video by Day and by Device or Browser

Important note: these video analytics have only been working in the background for about 2 or 3 weeks.  Videos uploaded, sent, and shared through your BombBomb account prior to that will not have the new tracking data available.
Already a BombBomb customer?  Give your analytics a look and let us know what you think by email, on Facebook, or on Twitter!
Not yet a BombBomb customer?

Send A Quick Video Email Right Now:

No credit card info required.  No cost.  No risk!
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Nov 2011

Video Email: Playing Video In The Inbox with HTML5

Many email marketers still regard video playing inside the inbox as the “holy grail” of email marketing.  It’s increasingly possible; it’s happening now in several email clients on several devices.  BombBomb is right there.  We make sure your video emails get delivered with the full benefit of the latest technology.


BombBomb constantly keeps an eye on where and how video plays in many email environments, regularly testing different devices and email clients.  We produced this graphic to give you an idea where your recipients enjoy the best video experience. We fully expect more of these situations to tip toward “In The Inbox.”


Our software is designed to allow your email recipients to play video right inside the email, right inside the inbox with HTML5 technology.


Where HTML5 isn’t present or supported, a Flash fallback lets the people who get your emails watch your video on a dynamically-generated, mirrored landing page (it looks and functions exactly like your email).


This is in contrast to most others offering video email, who play your video outside the context of your actual email (breaking up your call to action and often jettisoning your email recipients off to YouTube or similar).


Our video analytics upgrade shows you who’s watching your video, when, and on what device.


With that … the state of affairs for video and email per our playback testing:


Video Email Playback Testing BombBomb HTML5

See Email Open Data: Mobile Overtakes Desktop and Webmail

See BombBomb for iPhone and iPad: Universal App with Retina Support

Get An Example Video Email Sent To Your Inbox: See BombBomb In Action!

Give Video Email Marketing a Try Today: