Do Video Campaigns Really Work or Is The Emperor Wearing No Clothes?

What happens if what I’ve been pitching all over town isn’t true?

About two years ago, I made an agreement with Ken Nerlove, owner of a 1,000-case winery, Elkhorn Peak Cellars, to do a test case study about the effectiveness of running a video campaign. The goal was simple, to increase wine club sign-ups.

We filmed and sent out videos over the coarse of 18 months, keeping them consistent and straightforward.  The message was one of educating the audience about what was happening in the vineyards. We ended every video with an invitation to join the wine club.

I wanted a small winery to work with on a case study because I knew the results would be really pure.  With a tiny marketing budget, adding video to his newsletter was the only new marketing effort done during that period, so we knew we could eliminate other contributing factors and muddied results.

When we started, two years ago, we immediately saw anecdotal results with sign-ups, increased website hits and overall sales.

We offered up the case study for a panel presentation at the next Direct to Consumer Conference in January 2013 and were accepted.  We brought in an amazing data geek, Susan DeMatei of Wine Glass Marketing to be a third-party non-biased expert to review the results.

Here’s where I have to be honest.

I had been pitching my idea that video campaigns are great for building wine club membership for a long time.  I’d pitched it to other wineries big and small.  I’d pitched it to the speaker committee at the DTC conference.  Heck, I’d pitched it to everyone I knew in the wine industry.

And it hit me.  What happens if what I’ve been pitching all over town isn’t true? I mean I knew it to be true on an anecdotal level, but what if we got deep into the metrics and found out it was all a big ruse, that the emperor was wearing no clothes?  I held my breath and waited for Susan’s analysis.

Well, the numbers are in.  And the long and short of it is this:

1) The video campaign paid for itself and led to long term customer acquisition (industry standard is 2.5 years for club membership depending on the winery)
2) Click-through rates went up
3) Unsubscribe rates when down
4) Email bounces went down
5) Consumer engagement went up

And most importantly:
6) Elkhorn Peak increased wine club membership, taking 1 year to do the same numbers in sign-ups that previously took 5 years.

In the period that video was added to Ken’s marketing program, he realized a 250% ROI.

All I can say is that it’s true, the Emperor does have some fine clothes on.  Email campaigns can be a MEASUREABLE and effective part of an overall marketing strategy.

If you want to see the bar graphs and percentages and real data, you’ll have to catch Video in a Minute at the next DTC Conference on January 24, 2012, in South SF.  Susan and Ken will be there with me and we’ll give you the low down on what we did and how it all played out.

Join us and bring your tough questions.  We’ll tell it like it is.

Lisa Gottfried, CEO
Video in a Minute