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By Scott Madlener

Have you tried all the traditional marketing avenues and been disappointed by the return on investment? Maybe your marketing program was successful out of the gate but has stalled lately? Perhaps, you need a novel way to reach your audience that conveys emotion better than current direct marketing strategies.

Internet Video may be your answer. Adding video content to your online marketing mix delivers two to 10 times better response for sign ups and purchases than traditional online marketing efforts. It's also both easier and cheaper than you might think.

New Orleans-based Tulane University is a great example of how video can be used to reach your audience in a memorable and captivating way.

Four months after Hurricane Katrina hit, forcing Tulane to close and its students to flee the area, Tulane needed to tell students, faculty and staff when it was time to return to class. Unfortunately, many no longer were reachable at the postal address the university had on file. Some lost their homes in the storm and were living with friends and relatives; others had just moved on.

Tulane decided to use its e-zine (online magazine delivered via email) to reach students and faculty, figuring that most people hang onto their email address even if they’ve moved locations. A video message from Tulane President Scott Cowen was included to make the e-zine more captivating.

The placement of the video player in the upper right of the e-zine allowed recipients to read a welcome message, view a calendar and post comments while a heartfelt video was playing. In addition, buttons under the video enabled recipients to contribute to the Tulane rebuilding fund and read about the rebuilding progress.

The newsletter can be viewed at http://tulane.isatnewsletters.com or http://newsletters.isat-tech.com/x.isx?ID=2.

The e-zine worked: the average viewer read 75 percent of the pages, watched the video at least once for nearly 20,000 total minutes of video and caused one in three viewers to click to the Tulane online donation area.

In addition to using video in e-zines and email, think about using video on websites, in banner ads and in podcasting (a multimedia file that viewers download to their computer or iPod).

Big Impact, Small Cost

Incorporating video on your website and in banner ads is an inexpensive way to compete with larger companies with bigger budgets.

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Scott Madlener is Executive Vice President of Interactive Strategies for the Performance Communications Group.
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