How to get results with personalised video

06th December 2018

Heard about personalised video marketing? Curious about how it works, how to get started and get results? Look no further – we’ve written this quick guide to help…  

What is personalisation?

Personalised marketing, as a whole, isn’t new. In short, it is where traditional marketing meets a database. For example, rather than beginning with “Dear valued customer”, a technology solution would intervene, replacing this opener with ‘Dear Martin’. Who wouldn’t feel a little bit warmer towards a message when it’s actually addressed to them?

As the best-selling author of “How to Win Friends and Influence People”, Dale Carnegie said:

“Remember that a person’s name is, to that person, the sweetest and most important sound in any language. We can make people feel extremely valued and important by remembering their name.”

Why has personalisation grown?

The need for personalisation derives from the growing ineffectiveness of mass marketing as well as the increase in available customer data and improved conversions from targeted communications. In addition, the availability of self-service technologies means individuals or small businesses can publish large volumes of professional-looking content. The downside; there is a LOT of noise. Communications today have to work much harder to be rewarded with consumer attention.

Personalisation is a ‘smart’ way to create cut-through and a mechanism to secure a share of the recipient’s consideration. There is a valid question mark over the long-term effectiveness of this content. Essentially, how long will it take before personalised content marketing becomes white noise too?

Luckily for marketers, personalised video remains a very effective tool right now. Campaigns frequently generate 50%+ email open rates, 40%+ CTRs (average industry standard is around 1.8%) and 3.2x plays of the video. The results speak for themselves.

How to get results for your brand with personalised videos

There are three main things to consider in your personalised video marketing strategy, which I’ll explain in more detail:

Logic. What would you like to say and how can you make it unique to the individual? This involves considering how to prepare your data lists.

Creative. Which creative delivery method will you choose that best conveys your message?

Technology. Which is the most appropriate technology solution(s) to use?

Firstly, from a logical perspective, what data do you have and how accurate is it? The scope of content personalisation is virtually limitless (backgrounds, videos within videos, imagery, audio files, custom VOs). But from experience, I would advise that you keep personalisation simple; perhaps begin by using dynamic text. This is a great way to reduce the complexity of delivery but still execute a truly personalised experience.

Personalised video marketing examples

Here’s an example of a personalised campaign for Delta Airlines, delivered through Idamoo. The execution would be largely the same for all recipients with the exception of overlaying text which references the individual’s name and their bookings.

On to creative, where we should always aim to create a genuine and memorable experience. To achieve this, tell a compelling story using a complementary creative style. Personalised videos can be shot with traditional camera kit, delivered through animations or a combination of the two. Each method has its benefits and constraints. Arguably an animation is the easier route, but it still requires planning around how the personalisation will play out.

A final note on creative; it is essential to plan how the story, creative and data are working together to create a coherent, engaging piece of content.

Now let’s look at the technology behind personalisation. Platforms aside, there are three methods of delivery.

The first is a bulk send; you have a large list of people and you want to send a video to everyone, at the same time.

The second is a trigger based delivery. Imagine you pick a pair of shoes on a shopping site. You begin the process of checking out but you don’t complete the process. A trigger based delivery could take that data and automatically render a video to say “Hello, Jane. We think the shoes you were looking at earlier would look fabulous when you go to your office Christmas party. We know this time of the year can be expensive so we’ve added 20% off to your order if you change your mind.”

The final method of delivery is ‘on-demand’. Simply, a user fills in data capture form and hits send. In the background, the platform renders a video on the fly and send this to them via email.

Typically, the delivery of personalised videos is via an email campaign. As part of your standard tag management, you can include an HTML snippet which serves as a personalised video thumbnail. When the recipient clicks on the thumbnail image they will be taken to a landing page where their personal video will be hosted (see below).

Email personalisation.

Which tech platforms can deliver personalised videos?

In terms of platforms, there are a few to consider. It would be unfair to comment on which is better as they all work in slightly different ways, but I’ve included three solutions which are certainly worth a look.


This Canadian outfit was early to the market, launching their personalised video offer way back in 2011. Vidyard offers a broad range of solutions, including custom players, interactive video as well as personalised. To use their platform you will need an annual subscription. Costs typically comprise a setup or usage fee, plus a cost per send (credit); the more you send the cheaper it gets.

Once you’ve signed up, the personalised video solution is part self-service, part hand-held, working with their expert team.

Video Smart

At the other end of the scale, VideoSmart, a dedicated personalisation platform, has been around since 2016. Their offer would suit individuals or companies who would prefer to commission a project, and then leave it with the experts to execute. VideoSmart offers an end-to-end service, including production.

As you might expect the setup and management fees are premium, but there is no annual subscription, and this serviced solution could save your internal team time and reduce stress.


Based in Israel with offices in London and New York, these guys have built a completely self-service platform. Their plugin works natively within Adobe After Effects to allow a streamlined workflow. Setting up a campaign is relatively straightforward through their quick start guide.

This solution would suit an organisation which is more confident in their production methods and technical ability (some HTML/CSS knowledge would be helpful).

Pricing is based on the number of minutes of content being rendered (that’s content duration, rather than render time). As with the other solutions, the larger the scale of the campaign the cheaper the unit cost becomes.

Now, it’s over to you – give personalised video a go!


If you’d like to speak about an upcoming project or chat further about personalised content, we’d be very happy to help. Get in touch.

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