Sales/marketing platform ClearSlide is adding a new Video Mail feature to its mobile app so salespeople can put their best face forward.
Of course, any salesperson can already quickly shoot a video with a smartphone and email the YouTube link or download to a prospect or customer, along with a PowerPoint attachment.
But the new Video Mail is intended to make video a quick and easy sales tool.
This includes the ability to add an overlay of the company logo and your name, and to host the video in the ClearSlide online library for later use or re-editing. A sales rep can also stand against a green wall or screen, and the app will key out the background so you appear in front of your slide presentation as you make your pitch.
Analytics detail email opens, how much of the video was played, if it was forwarded and to whom, and other data points. The San Francisco-based company offers cloud-based presentation and communication tools for sales and marketing teams.
Cofounder and chief business officer Jim Benton claims that the all-important email-open rates get a boost of up to 60 percent when the subject line lets the recipient know there’s a personalized video inside. A 30- to 60-second video using his company’s Video Mail, he said, can increase sales conversion rates by as much as 20 percent.
Since virtually every salesperson has a smartphone these days, one-off videos can add a personalized touch to an email, since any prospect or customer knows that “personalized” text in an email is most likely machine-generated.
Videos made for the recipient can be used for giving a face to your telephone pitch, showing product demos, introducing the recipient to a top executive, or welcoming new customers.
But VB Insight analyst Jon Cifuentes, who recently authored Buyer’s Guide: How to Navigate the Email Marketing Landscape, has his doubts about video mail’s usefulness for sales.
“There’s only so much you can do in a five-inch screen,” he told me. “Tailoring a B2B message to a lead or prospect, and overlaying your talking head on top of an attachment feels like overkill.”
He gave “kudos to the salesperson who goes through with it though and creates personalized videos.” If they can do that, he said, they’ll probably do well with any number of sales acceleration tools.
The new feature, which Benton told me was the first of its kind as a professional sales add-on, is now available in the company’s iOS mail app that came out in September 2014. There’s no timeframe for when it will be included in the company’s Android mail app that comes out next week. It’s not offered in ClearSlide’s desktop version.