Forget Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead. For those of us in the real worlds of marketing and customer experience, winter has already come and our enemy is much scarier than a pack of bloodthirsty zombies. We’re in the thick of an epic battle that few will survive: The Battle for Attention and Engagement [insert dramatic music here].
Okay, maybe it’s not that dramatic. But few will argue that it’s harder than ever to get the attention of customers and prospects and to build the kinds of relationships that turn them into true brand advocates. And this is exactly why we’re seeing video take off as a content medium of choice for marketing, sales, and customer experience teams. It’s more personal and engaging and helps us connect in a more emotional way with our customers. After all, when was the last time an email or voicemail made you laugh out loud?
But video isn’t just for brand campaigns and educating prospects. It’s the perfect way to connect with your existing customers to share your appreciation and to leave a lasting impression. And as if great video content wasn’t enough, the businesses, educational institutions and not-for-profit organizations below have taken customer experience to a whole new level with irresistible Personalized Videos that literally bring their customers into the story. These inspiring examples are a great testament to the power of great storytelling and personalized experiences to generate mind-blowing results like an 83% click-through-rate and customers responding with heartfelt gratitude. Who needs a dragon when you’ve got firepower like that?
In late 2017, Amnesty International Canada wanted to send a year-end “thank you” message to 25,000 monthly donors to share their appreciation for their ongoing support. With the goal of increasing donor satisfaction and retention, they produced an engaging and emotional personalized video that included each donor’s own name throughout the story to really hit home how their contributions were impacting change. For example, a donor named “Jesse” would have received the video below:
Thanks to their creative execution, this campaign saw an incredible 83.1% click-through rate and more than 75% of those who viewed the video watched all the way to the end. Responses from donors were so great that they expanded the campaign to single gift donors as well.
“All the responses we’ve seen have been positive and there have been no complaints or cancellations. We’ve received positive responses from other charities, fundraising agencies, and especially monthly donors themselves,” says Erin Jones, Monthly Giving Coordinator of Amnesty International Canada. “All the feedback we’ve received demonstrates that the video made them feel glad to be part of our work, that it’s a great reminder of how they’re helping, and that they feel proud to be part of it. We’ll definitely be using personalized videos in future campaigns of this nature.”
Axonify is changing the way organizations think about and deliver corporate learning. They create personalized learning experiences that fit into existing employee workflows so that they can build knowledge to achieve business goals. This past holiday season, Axonify wanted to send each customer a personalized holiday message to applaud their learning results in 2017. Known as Operation Red, the personalized holiday video was a huge success with their customers garnering nearly double their average for customer communications.
“We knew we needed a way to thank and impress our customers in an unexpected way this year. The video that we created would have stood out on its own—but when we added the personalization it made the video that much more engaging and really impressed our customers. They genuinely thought the video was created individually for them,” says Carrie Cote, Senior Manager, Customer Marketing at Axonify. “Customers went out of their way to thank us for the personalized videos, even those at the executive level, with many claiming this was the best holiday wish they’d ever received. This campaign was an astounding success for our team and went a long way in furthering our customer relationships!”
Boston University was already investing in video a better way to connect with students and alumni, and Personalized Video seemed like a perfect fit with their “customer-first” mentality. They decided to make personalization the hero component of their big spring donor participation challenge: Boston University Giving Day. With the goal of driving high engagement with potential donors and inspiring new donations, they produced a fun and approachable video that proved to be irresistible:
“When it comes to quantifiable metrics, we use appeal codes to track all fundraising activities with a unique tracking code for each effort. So for our initial trial of personalized video, we could get a real sense of our marketing ROI,” says Stephanie Quinn, Director of Annual Giving at Boston University. “The impact of our personalization efforts were huge. The email with the personalized video had a 49% open rate, more than double the average for the higher education industry, and a 7% click-through rate, triple the typical 2.3% average. The immediate next step for 15% of our viewers was to make a donation for BU Giving Day. We were absolutely thrilled with the results and it was great validation of the power of personalization.”
Quorum Software develops solutions and provides services to manage operational, administrative, financial, and transactional business processes for the oil and gas industry—a market where relationships are vital and recommendations are taken very seriously. This past holiday season, their marketing team wanted to share a “Happy Holiday” message with their entire customer base, but they were concerned that like many communications around this time, the email may come off as being too salesy or self-promotional. Since one of their campaign goals was to attract and engage a broad audience, including millennials, they decided to create a personalized video for each recipient that would help to strengthen their existing relationships while showing absolute gratitude to each individual. Take a look at the holiday message that a customer with the name “Jesse” would have received:
“People are always expecting a sales pitch, so it was especially important that we didn’t try to be a wolf in a sheep’s clothing here. We needed to be very honest about what we’re doing, and in this case, it was simply to send a genuine Thank You,” says Aisha Ghuman, Director of Marketing and Field Enablement at Quorum. “The success of this video was off the charts! We saw a 93.5% click-to-open rate, with more than 80% of recipients watching all the way to the very end. We’ve never seen this type of engagement before. As part of the video, our CTO dressed up as Santa and did an office tour. So not only did our customers get to meet the developers, sales, and marketing teams, they also got an office tour and a peek into our corporate culture. It was a huge hit. Our customers really engaged with us. It was like a personal touch–their personal portal into our world. They got a glimpse of our culture and the people behind the scenes. I truly believe people buy from people. In that moment we went from a company they do business with, to real people–fun people–they do business with.”
The YMCA relies heavily on their donors—not just the donors who donate millions of dollars and get their names on buildings, but also the individuals who donate $10 or $20 per month. When the YMCA wanted a personal way to thank these donors, they worked with the team at Media One Creative to create a heartfelt video that spread their message of support in a meaningful, personalized way. The video showcased successful YMCA programs to thank donors for their previous contributions.
“One of the things we really wanted to do with this project was to personalize our Thank You, and when we shared this idea with Media One Creative, they suggested personalized video,” says Kyla Kumar, VP of Marketing and Communications, YMBC HBB. “We were able to work with Media One on a storyline that integrated this technology, and it really came together in a way that was meaningful to the people who received it.”
The personalization in this video kept 82% of viewers engaged fall the way to the end of the video—far above the average for a video marketing campaign. The campaign also achieved a 76.4% click-through rate, well above industry norms.
These are but a few examples of how creative businesses, educational institutions, and not-for-profit organizations are now using Personalized Video to deliver exceptional customer experiences that are helping them win the epic Battle for Attention and Engagement. If you’re looking for even more ideas for ways to arm your marketing, sales or customer experience team with the power of personalized video, check out this related post for 30 Examples of Personalized Videos That’ll Really Get Your Attention.