Liveclicker, a provider of video commerce solutions, has launched RealTime Email, a set of tools for creating personalized, dynamic email content for recipients. The RealTime suite is comprised of three core elements—RealTime Content, which enables marketers to build content based on a customer's real-time location, time, weather, language settings, and device in use; Target and Testing, a feature that facilitates A/B testing of email elements for automated message optimization that can take place after an email is sent; and Analytics, the component that gives marketers insight into open rates, click rates, duration of open, and conversion.
The primary component, RealTime Content, can incorporate different types of live, constantly evolving information into emails, including timers that count down to the end of a sale, inventory information, and social media streams that update in real time. This type of content is effective because it builds urgency, Justin Foster, vice president of market development at Liveclicker, explains. "During our beta testing, we worked with a company that included a countdown," he says, "and an A/B test showed that the emails with a countdown clock resulted in a click-through rate that was 78 percent higher."
Marketers can also use RealTime Content to add embedded videos to emails, a technique that Foster called a "really underutilized resource," during the company's recent Webinar on integrating video into omnichannel marketing strategies.
Video in email has long been a focus area for Liveclicker. "Video does help you sell products...that is a fact," Liveclicker's director of account development, Ben Kopetti, adds. "The more places you don't have video, the more you're missing opportunities to convert customers." While embedded video used to present a challenge to marketers because of rendering and deliverability issues that arise when brands try to make one video format work across different mail clients, Liveclicker's VideoEmail technology made those issues a "thing of the past," according to Foster.
VideoEmail circumvents the problem through smart video versioning, which creates multiple video and image assets from a single video file, each tailored to the specifications and limitations of various mail clients. Once the versions are created, a real-time video mapping function kicks in to detect the mail client that each recipient is using and map the correct version of the video file to that recipient.
"This process ensures that every recipient receives a version that's compatible with their video client and can view the video without leaving the email itself," Foster says. VideoEmail can currently create 16 mappable versions of a file, but can also deliver files in .gif format, or as static images, which are universally viewable by mail clients that don't support embedded video.
A "key element" of RealTime Email, VideoEmail delivers content that results in better customer engagement, Foster says. When Beachbody, a company best known for popularizing the P90X workout, began using Liveclicker's VideoEmail tool to include embedded rather than tap-to-view videos in their messages, for example, the company experienced three times as many views.
Together with the Target and Testing tool, as well as the Analytics feature, the RealTime Email package is a "very powerful" e-commerce solution not only because it taps into the potential of video as a marketing tool, but also because it is "CRM platform and ESP [email service provider] agnostic," Foster says. "It takes the technology that you're already using and injects dynamic content in real time, which makes it that much stronger," he adds.