US firm Vizu.al has built a client list of more than 300 artists, labels, festivals and agencies with its technology that’s capable of embedding video (and audio) within emails sent out to mailing lists.
Founder Matt Highsmith spoke at Music Ally’s Sandbox Summit conference in New York today, showing examples of campaigns that the company has powered for artists including Tiesto, Trans Siberian Orchestra, Simple Creatures and Devil Makes Three.
“Email is an important channel: a lot of artists come to us because they see it as one of their strategic backbones,” he said. “You can learn all sorts of things when an email is opened… but the music industry is a bit behind on using a lot of the science from this data.”
Highsmith sees email as “that tap on the shoulder to remind people that something’s available” – including providing a video snippet that will lure them to whatever the something is.
He added that when Trans Siberian Orchestra A/B tested Vizu.al’s embedded-video tech against a mailout sending fans to a website. “They sold more than 50% more tickets using our approach,” he said. “Once you lose them from an email, they’re gone. They don’t come back.”
Simple Creatures started their campaign with no mailing list, but wanted to populate one from social platforms. They encouraged their 20,000-plus Twitter fans to sign up with the promise that they’d get an email every day with a new lyric-video clip of a track from their new album.
“Within a 72-hour period they had 3,000-plus email addresses signed up, and a lot of buzz,” said Highsmith. Meanwhile, Devil Makes Three promoted a new album to their 55,000-strong mailing list with an email containing a ‘listen now’ button taking fans to a page to listen to the first six tracks.
If they then clicked a button there and shared the details to social media, they unlocked the remaining six tracks.
“Email could and should be looked at as the conduit to the other platforms and channels, as well as trying to convert some of those other channels to email addresses,” said Highsmith.
He also trailed some of Vizu.al’s next features, including the ability to add ‘personalised insertions’ to videos: for example, pre-processing a mailing list and ensuring that each fan gets a video clip with their name dynamically inserted into it.
“Our tests so far suggest that this will generate two or three times additional sharing over social,” he said.