“Trusted Video” in email marketing: The Goodmail Interview

Goodmail CertifiedVideo demo

I interview Daniel Dreymann, Founder and CEO of the certified email solutions provider Goodmail, about their video technology products, CertifiedVideo and CertifiedVideo .GIF, which ensure delivery and playback of video at an expanding group of ISPs for 2010-2011 and beyond.

Goodmail’s trusted email solution

Goodmail® invented a technology that allows receivers of email to positively identify and grant passage of emails sent by accredited senders (accredited by Goodmail) into participating receiving mail networks (e.g. AOL, Hotmail, and Verizon).  The practical value is with widespread adoption by ISPs and email senders, spam would be thwarted in a major way; while providing additional revenues for ISPs by enabling them to precisely control the levers of which email gets delivered, and which email gets blocked at a policy level. (Goodmail gets paid by senders, who pay for the privilege of enhanced inbox delivery).

The video-in-email revenue opportunity, and challenge

For over a decade now, senders have wanted to send video in email, but have been unable to do so, largely due to two bottlenecks: 1) email client limitations and, 2) blockage of Javascript and Flash embeds by all popular email clients.

ISPs participating in Goodmail’s program have the option of enabling CertifiedVideo™, one of the components of Goodmail’s service.  CertifiedVideo allows regular email marketers to include Flash/Javascript in their emails in order to have video play directly in a recipient’s inbox, without requiring clickthough to a landing page.  The idea is that since senders are vetted/accredited by Goodmail, ISPs trust them, and are more willing to enable video for these accredited senders to include Javascript/Flash (which historically posed security problems for email recipients).

The big challenge with Goodmail’s CertifiedVideo program is reach: Currently, it only works with domains that are controlled by AOL. Dreymann’s expectations for 2011 are that Goodmail’s entire network of partners on the ISP side will implement the full CertifiedVideo product, and was still proactive in creating a more accessible video e-mail solution:

Trusted email with video – broader audiences + new marketing opportunities

Goodmail and the technology solution provider Liveclicker also entered a partnership and collaborated on a new video-in-email solution, called Certified Video .GIF. Basically, the program grants senders of email privileges of Goodmail, including animated “video” .GIFs that play by default, even if a receiver has not enabled images, with guaranteed inbox delivery.

Here’s more on how the program works:

  • Part based on Goodmail’s patented CertifiedEmail technology that ensures inbox placement and image rendering, so your video GIF content guarantees to play upon opening, and;
  • Part based on Livecliker’s own video email technology which includes automated email client detection, and rendering of one of 15+ .GIF or HTML5 video assets in realtime as an email subscriber opens his email, based on the limitations of his or her own mail client.

Liveclicker brings the animated GIF, HTML5 video, and email client detection technology; and Goodmail brings the assured deliverability and the enabling of images. That works across the entire network of Goodmail’s ISP and Mailbox providers, which is expected to grow even further in 2011.

Comparing CertifiedVideo .GIF to regular animated .GIFs in email

If you’re looking to draw a comparison, here’s what the CertifiedVideo.GIF email program can do that regular animated .GIF’s cannot

  • Assured deliverability to the inbox. Videos arrive in an email that’s marked as trusted right in the subscriber’s inbox, with Goodmail’s special certification icon.  Regular animated .GIFs don’t.
  • Automated video optimization for different mail clients, including: multiple animated .GIF, animiated .PNG, and HTML5 video support
  • Certification: The Blue Trust Seal in the inbox tells consumers “Open this message with confidence.”
  • Guaranteed hyperlinks: Links in a Certified Video .GIF email go to an external website which automatically has those links enabled, even if the mail recipient hasn’t added the sender to his/her address book.
  • Performance tracking: Effective and easy to use tracking capability

Building trust in email marketing with video

Daniel Dreyman, Goodmail

Daniel Dreymann, Founder & CEO, Goodmail

Dreymann explains that the CertifiedVideo program is highly effective not just because the ISPs check the trustworthiness of the sender, but because Goodmail also has the technology that makes sure that even a trustworthy sender doesn’t send anything out maliciously or inadvertently.

“It’s not just that we check the identity of the sender. We actually have code running on the ISP’s [own side] that checks that the video that’s being launched has been pre-approved by Goodmail. So, once the sender has been accredited to use certified email and CertifiedVideo, they don’t get the license to put any active code that they want. They just put in specific active code that we have checked and certified [ourselves],” he says.

Benefits of video in email marketing

Dreymann explains that with Goodmail’s CertifiedEmail program, clients can “leverage their investment they made on the website.” What he means by this is that they can stream into e-mail messages the exact same content that they stream on websites, using the same players, leveraging on the same analytics. With their advertising sponsors, they can do the same pre-rolls and overlays. “Everything that they use to monetize video on their websites is now available with email.” He says.

Video in email marketing case studies

goodmail certifiedvideo pga tourDreymann shared his company’s own case study with The PGA Tour. They did an A/B split where the control group where the promotional message was in a static image; and other users were sent a CertifiedVideo message, which streamed real live footage of what happened on the green, and it invited people to follow the tournament from the website. “More than 2 1/2 times the number of people clicked and went to the website when the teaser was video versus a static image.” Says Dreymann.

Dreymann also shared an in-house case study of another test company that was selling tickets to movies. “Their measure was how many people watch a trailer for a movie, from beginning to end. When they had to invite people to click on the email message to go to the website and watch the trailer there, compared to just leaving the email open, and the trailer is just streaming from the email, it was a 7x difference,” he says.

Email 2.0 – The future of video in e-mail marketing

So video in email works. And being able to use everything that you do on a website – all the tools, all the investments that you made on the website – and bring it to email, is big. The challenge to overcome is reach. Dreymann explains that is something Goodmail hopes to overcome for the interim with their CertifiedVideo .GIF program.

“Currently for Goodmail, our value proposition suffers because the number of consumers who are exposed to CertifiedVideo is limited to the AOL population. So for a typical sender, that would be about 10-15% of their list. This is one of the reasons we’re deploying CertifiedVideo.GIF, so we have a nice fallback. We can still get the CertifiedVideo program for the AOL viewers, and get a much better than a static image for the rest,” he says. “CertfiedVideo.GIF for us is an accelerator.”

Daniel says he’s very encouraged about 2011, with existing partners in various stages of implementation of Goodmail’s email and video solutions, and with hopes of new ISPs to be included. “Our hope is that all the ISPs who are currently supporting CertifiedEmail and CertifiedVideo .GIF, will also support, during the course of 2011, CertifiedVideo; and we may add 1-2 ISPs as well,” he says.

“We are leveraging on CertifiedVideo, we’re using the same technology to bring interactivity to email, things like: bill payment, product consoles (which allow a person to browse a catalog in the email, with navigation buttons), forms, services, all the way to checking apps – to really purchase something directly. So what we’re bringing into 2011 is leveraging the video technology to bringing interactivity to e-mail, what we call, ‘Email 2.0’ – which is basically the Web 2.0 experience where web pages are interactive; and not where you have to click to go to another page, but actually stay on that same page; and with E-mail 2.0, the email would have that same experience and become interactive.”

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