Top 3 Reasons Your 1:1 Video Emails Fail Blog Feature

Office Technology

Stefan Christensen

By: Stefan Christensen on April 15th, 2021


Top 3 Reasons Your 1:1 Video Emails Fail

Personal interactions are the best way to earn trust and build credibility with the people you do business with. It’s hard to top the connection you make with a face-to-face smile, a firm handshake, or a genuine laugh. Why else would in-person conferences maintain popularity, even when the information presented can just as easily be gleaned via blogs, podcasts, or webinars?

But 2020 brought on a lot of sudden change. Many of us couldn't travel for work as we once did. This motivated many sales reps to get creative and employ some virtual selling tactics. In an effort to mimic that personal face-to-face interaction using technology, the popularity of 1:1 video emails made a resurgence. Emailing provides you a direct line to your prospect’s inbox, and video emails certainly stand out amidst the slew of text emails your prospects receive every day. So, why aren't they always a slam dunk?

Related: Watch 'Video for Sales Acceleration - Making 1:1 Videos Work'

But First, What’s a 1:1 Video?

Before we dive into the mistakes people make when creating 1:1 videos, let’s first define them.

1:1 videos are personalized video messages created for and sent to a specific person. Similar to the way you email with team members, customers, or industry peers, a 1:1 video is simply the video equivalent. When you can’t communicate in person, 1:1 videos humanize your message in a way email, text, or even a phone call can’t.

What Mistakes Prevent 1:1 Video Messages from Being Successful?

Video emails have the power to humanize your prospecting conversations and engage your prospects like never before – if done right. As with anything, you get out what you put in. Let’s discuss the 3 reasons your 1:1 videos aren’t yielding the results you’d hoped for.

1. You Have Unrealistic Expectations

I was recently talking to a dealer who has fully embraced the idea of 1:1 video emails, but he’d been disappointed by what he felt were lackluster results. He had a very large sales team, and collectively, they had sent out between 30 and 40 emails within the last couple of months. They’d only seen a handful of replies.

If there’s a catch to the 1:1 video email, it’s that it isn’t a silver bullet. If you are hoping it’s the solution to reaching every prospect you’ve been unable to reach, you have the wrong perspective and unrealistic expectations.

Realistically, creating and sending 1:1 videos may not drastically increase your send-to-reply ratio, but when used in addition to the other tools and resources you’re already using, like social media or voicemail, it might just be another way to reach and engage a prospect. Putting all of your eggs in one basket with the hopes of a miraculous result is not a strategy, but adding a new tool into the mix will help you to potentially catch the attention of those you wouldn’t have otherwise. You may catch the eye of your next big account because you simply tried something new.

Instead of hoping for a silver bullet solution, let’s look at it more holistically. Say you send 100 emails a week, and you generally get a response from 10% of those. The hope should be, by incorporating video emails into the mix, to increase that reply rate to 15 or 20%.

2. You’re Not Testing and Modifying Your Approach

I’ve also heard 1:1 video email skeptics say something to the tune of “I’ve sent out several video emails and it hasn’t worked, so I stopped.”

As with anything in sales and marketing, you’ve got to test, analyze, tweak, and repeat – and you’ve got to go through this process often. You’ve used voicemail as a tool for years, and I’m guessing you continue to use it even though it may not always yield the response you hope for. Over time, you identify what works, tweaking and improving your approach each time you leave a voicemail. The same is true for your approach to email; each time you attempt contact via an email, you change up your opening, your subject line, the type of information you provide, and your ask.

A video email should be no different. To understand what truly resonates, you’ve got to get in the habit of sending these often so you have a large enough data pool to analyze and identify what works and what doesn’t.

3. Your Videos are Missing Essential Elements

Finally, a big reason I see video emails garner less than promising results is that the sender isn’t including some crucial key elements:

Call out the recipient by name: According to master communicator, Dale Carnegie, “… a person's name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.”

People pay more attention when you address them by name. It’s true in face to face interactions and it’s true in voicemail, chat, and email interactions. It’s also true with video.

In each video you record, address the person up front using their name. More importantly, customize the video thumbnail you include within your email so that it greets them by name. A great way to do this is to purchase a small whiteboard (you can get them for $5 - $10 on Amazon), and write a greeting addressed directly at them: “Hi, Amanda!” Most 1:1 video platforms will allow you to snap a quick photo to use as your video thumbnail, so hold up that whiteboard and smile! Doing so makes it obvious to the recipient that you took the time to create a custom video for them. If it were you receiving that email, wouldn’t you be tempted to click?

Call To Action: The goal of a 1:1 video email is to prompt 2-way communication; it’s your mission to get a response from your prospect so you can begin the conversation and advise them on a solution. Whether it’s getting them to schedule a meeting, take an assessment, or read a blog entry, you need to be sure you outline the next steps they need to take. If you aren’t clear about what you want them to do, the chances of them taking the desired action is minimal.

Lead with a Video Email, Follow Up with a Voicemail: A big mistake I see sales professionals making is that they first leave a voicemail, and then follow up with a video email. I have had the best luck when I do the opposite – lead with a video email, and follow up with a voicemail. I believe this works because if they don’t see your email right away, but they listen to your voicemail, you can tell them right then and there that you made them a video and you’d like them to watch it. For example:

“Hello, John! This is Stefan Christensen with GreatAmerica. I just sent you a video email and I wanted to be sure it didn’t land in spam.”

If you received that voicemail, wouldn’t you wonder what a video email was? Curiosity alone would tempt you to watch it and the truth is, most of your competitors aren’t making a point to differentiate in this way.


A 1:1 video email can be used at every step of the sales journey from prospecting to booking meetings to closing sales. Used appropriately, this tactic has proven to improve open rates, click-through rates, and response rates. They have the potential to humanize your prospecting conversations and engage your prospects like never before. So add this tactic into your sales mix. It may be just the tweak you needed to get the lift you’ve been searching for.

Download the 1:1 Video Cheat Sheet:

1 to 1 Thumbnail

Become the expert you already are. Learn how to build trust and transparency through the creation of 1:1 videos with this handy cheat sheet. Pin it to your desk for a quick reminder before shooting and produce a quality 1:1 video that will surely impress your customers and prospects.

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Stefan Christensen

As a Vendor Relationship Manager at GreatAmerica for the past 3 years, Stefan works with some of the fastest growing Office Equipment Dealers across the US. In his role, he develops custom sales and finance solutions to help dealers protect their customer base, increase cash flows, and also lower their administrative burden.

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