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Make the most of on-line audio, video content

November 22, 2010
Marketing via e-mail is quickly replacing direct-mail marketing. While multimedia e-mail communications are all the rage, experts offer four ideas to make dealer ad campaign messages stand out from the clutter. Don't do it just to do it. The University of Dayton Alumni Association Web site sticks to compelling content and Web cam technology rather than audio or video to reach its audience. About 20 percent of the alumni users use America Online as a service provider. "That's too big a chunk of our audience to risk losing if we offer content they can't use," says Tim Bete, the university's manager for e-mail marketing. Offer several download options. Dealership Internet managers cannot assume that their customers and prospects have advanced Internet connections. Consider one Web site from the Calgary Convention and Visitors Bureau. To view its five-minute video of the city's highlights, it offers three options: high bandwidth (QuickTime video), medium bandwidth (56k video), and low bandwidth (28k video). Visitors to the site are spread evenly across the different bandwidths. Test abandonment rates to determine the right length for an audio/video presentation. PR Webcast used to show streaming videos for news releases that ran 11 minutes, and more than 90 percent of the viewers abandoned the site after 90 seconds. The video was reduced to four minutes, but 90 percent still bailed out. PR Webcast finally got the message and now limits its clips to 1.5 minutes. Link to multimedia content wherever relevant. The University of Delaware's Web site offers links to its video content wherever appropriate. Links take users to a single page that collects multimedia clips. That way, users can stay at that one page and check out similar content, then effortlessly return to the dealer's site.