Time-saving video apps

Julian Mather says a new breed of video apps will help you send crystal clear messages and cut your email time in half.

Next time you are going to send a faceless email ask yourself, “would it be more effective if I looked my client or colleague in the eye?” There are very few times where face to face communication isn’t better than email because video doesn’t leave you guessing.

Don’t type at me in that tone of voice!

“Sweet dreams are made of cheese” (“Sweet dreams are made of this”, Eurythmics)

It’s so easy to be misunderstood. How many times must you explain your emails because the reader interpreted the words the wrong way?

What the faux?

The concept of faux intimacy of print means the reader hears the words in their head in their own voice as they read the words on the page. The faux intimacy of radio and video means the listener hears the words in your voice. If the voice in their head is one of negativity and resistance to change, then they ‘hear’ your email this way. The same message delivered in audio or video delivers the message in the tone you intended.

Our problem with perfection

We all do it. We write our email and rather than hit send, we massage the first paragraph a little, tidy up the ending, add a clever phrase. Is the effectiveness of the email improved? Unlikely. Are we less effective as a result of pandering to our status and ego? Likely.

Send a video, not a thousand words

A new breed of apps that let you send videos in your emails has quietly been improving open rates, click through rates and follow through rates for businesses that have adopted this technology.

To be clear, you can’t actually send a video in your email. The email system was never built for it. These new apps approximate sending video in email. Forget the tech, when you use these apps you will ‘feel’ like you are sending a video in your email. It works.

How do I send a video?

Easily is the short answer. All these apps work on desktop and smart devices. Once you have installed the app, it’s just like making a selfie video. Press the record, smile and start speaking, “Hey Anthony, it’s Jess here from XYZ, I got a small problem you might be able to sort for me.” When you are finished tap stop record. Add an email address and a subject line and hit send.

These videos work best if you are not polished. Casual and authentic, with your ums and ahs, with your stumbles over words. Don’t do any retakes. You’ve missed the point if you do.

The best bit

Once the person you are sending to has watched the video you get an email report in your inbox telling you exactly how much of the video  they have watched. Now you know how to approach your follow up. I have tested these apps and I recommend these to begin. They all have free versions so you can be doing this in five minutes.

  1. Bonjoro: small business and solopreneurs  
  2. Bomb Bomb: mid to large business   
  3. Vidyard: corporate to enterprise

Where to start right now

This is a very new addition and I love it. Right now—really, right now! Sign up and send a video to a friend or colleague asking what they had for breakfast. Play with options. They can answer with video, audio, text or multiple choice.

VideoAsk: a frictionless way to have your questions answered  

I reckon this might just be the start of your new, time-saving video journey.

Julian Mather is a world-class videographer with clients like ABC TV, BBC and National Geographic. The only camera he now owns is a smartphone. He introduces businesses struggling to use video to simple 21st Century video business building strategies. www.julianmather.com