Opening my inbox, I'm constantly bombarded with an overused and ineffective methodology of communication, that at one point, was innovative. Step into the time machine: I remember being in my college computer lab (in the basement of the honors dorm, on the old DOS machines) sending my first email. My how things have changed. I even remember the first time I sent an email from my phone. I was on a Boeing 737 at the gate awaiting to be pushed back.
Back to present: We are living in the wonderful golden age of technology where it pays to be on the forefront, while staying weary of the bleeding edge. To that end, we are still people wanting to communicate with others. Technology improves the mechanics of communication, however; sometimes what is missing is the human element. We can’t ignore, until West World becomes a reality, we are still communicating with other people.
In this golden digital age, we have Facebook, texting, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, and many more emerging social media platforms. We have more opportunities to communicate than ever before…is anyone truly listening?
Let's look at some facts, people trust what they can see. Seeing is believing. When we read emails automatically generated from a server, we can see and assume, the message is lacking authenticity as it’s probably not addressing any of our needs. The message is usually bland, ubiquitous, and aiming at a small open rate of 2-3%. Normally, we will tune these messages out, much like tuning out commercials as we did 10 years ago (before satellite radio). [I get a chuckle when I get an email from my purported long lost relative who left me millions, but all I need to do is give my credit card to unlock the funds]
If only there was a way to splice technology into the human needs of communication. This technology would include visual, nonverbal, verbal ques, tonality, eye contact and many other features people rely upon when having face-to-face interactions.
Obviously, this technology has been around for quite some time and in many electronic venues, but not until recently did it impact the world of email. When was the last time you looked at tools available for more effective communication strategies via email?
Video emailing is one of those "I wish I thought of that" ideas, much like Bitcoin, Uber and all the wonderful emerging technologies. Video email instantly and effectively records a video message and inserts a video link into thumbnail within the body of your email. The video is then stored on a remote server which is secure and the content is controllable by the end user.
But wait, it doesn't just end there. A good video email system has wonderful metric tracking. You can see how many times your video has been watched and how engaged the end user was in the message. What's more, you can see if the recipient watched the entire message or at what point did they drop off.
The video email system I use, is Covideo. I started my use of video email in early 2013. At that time, it was bleeding edge technology, with slim adoption. What astounded me, was my video email open/watch rate hovered around 70%. My custom and personalized Video email message was received 70% of the time I sent it, versus 2-3% when using regular email. Four years and 3,000 video emails later, my open rate has increased to 90%. The result points to a mass adoption of video emails.
Opportunities for using video email? In my opinion, the prospects are endless. I was sitting in a CPE session last month, when a partner of a large firm said "if only I could attach a video message when I send out my engagement letter". Sir, that technology does exist.
Personally, I use Video email in three main categories: initial introductions, alternative to voicemail & sharing praise or recognition.
All the time, I get the response of “wow, what a cool technology!!” It gives such a strong message that I'm propelled to the forefront, I've mastered technology and most importantly I'm human being.
My advice is to take some time and review all the emerging digital communication tools out there and then use them.