Innovation

New tool ViewedIt wants to replace your emails with videos

On Tuesday, video platform Vidyard released an enterprise version of its ViewedIt tool, allowing business users to record personal videos instead of sending text emails. Can it change the way offices communicate?

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Image: Vidyard

Is it possible to replace your emails with videos? Video communication platform Vidyard wants to do just that. On Tuesday, it launched a tool called ViewedIt Enterprise, which aims to cut through the average 100 emails business professionals receive each day with personalized video messages that get real information across.

Email has essentially become a "spam trap," Michael Litt, CEO and cofounder of Vidyard, told TechRepublic. It's easy for companies to send out an automated, non-targeted message to thousands of people, and celebrate email open rates of just 1% or 2%. And when you do write an email to a specific recipient, you often worry about grammar and your message coming across the right way, Litt said.

With ViewedIt, when someone opens your email, they see a video thumbnail with the sender's face, instead of a long paragraph of text. "Human to human connection is something we all instinctively crave," Litt said. "These videos are very human, and are about you and your company."

Users can see who viewed their video, and how much of it they viewed. There is also a button for the recipient to respond with a video message of their own.

SEE: French email law requiring employees to disconnect after work goes into effect

Vidyard launched ViewedIt in October 2016, as a free, simple screen-capturing tool that aims to "re-humanize" emails by including personalized video messages. To date, the platform is nearing 40,000 users across 175 countries, according to Litt.

ViewedIt Enterprise allows entire organizations to connect their own marketing and training videos to the platform. This way, for example, a sales rep can send a personalized video to a prospect, and attach a demo video from the company's repository as well. Viewing data from the recipient can then be added directly to their Salesforce or CRM file as well.

Business users tend to fall into three categories:

1. External sales: A sales rep can send a personalized video and see when a potential client viewed it to know when to follow up.

2. External customer support: Instead of directing a customer to a Help page, a support specialist can make a video that demonstrates how to solve a problem, and follow up once the person watches it.

3. Internal communications: An executive can send a company-wide video announcement, or a manager can make a presentation via video for their team.

Video recipients are watching 72% of videos on average. The click through rate on messages has increased by eight times, while the open to response rate has increased by five times, Litt said. "It's easier and faster to communicate with video than by typing an email," he said.

"Video is central to our marketing strategy and now we've incorporated it into our sales process to drive engagement at key accounts," said Tonni Bennett, director of sales at Terminus and a user of ViewedIt Enterprise. "When our reps add personalized videos to their conversations, they see a boost in connect rates and faster responses."

The enterprise version is available on a per license basis, starting at $50 per user per month, but with different bulk package options.

ViewedIt Enterprise may act as a competitor to Slack, which recently added video conference capabilities and a number of productivity bots.

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About Alison DeNisco

Alison DeNisco is a Staff Writer for TechRepublic. She covers CXO and the convergence of tech and the workplace.

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