We all know how important email newsletters are when it comes to marketing, and this is no different when you are trying to promote a virtual tour of a property or business. So we are going to explain here How to send a virtual tour in a newletter.
There are a plethora of email newsletter software out there, but the one we strongly recommend (and this may come as a surprise to some!) is Omnisend . We stumbled upon omnisend when a client who had more than 10.000 subscribers was looking for a different platform that was more affordable than Mailchimp (read – free… ). We researched the platform for them, and were so impressed, we even made the switch ourselves!
In omnisend you can have up to 15000 subscribers and send 2000 emails per day for FREE (up to 15000 per month) … this is a much better deal than you get in Mailchimp, and if you do decide you want to send out more emails per day, simply sign up for a paid plan, which is at least 20% cheaper than Mailchimp with the same (if not more and better) functionalities.
So let’s get straight in: here’s a short guide on how to send a virtual tour in a newsletter using omnisend:
First the quick guide:
- Log into Omnisend (https://omnisend.grsm.io/real-estate )
- Click on Campaigns
- Click on + new campaign & choose «new email campaign»
- Complete the details and choose your design ( any design will do)
- (optional 1) Go to your virtual tour and make a Screen Video
- (optional 1) Upload the video to a «video to gif» converter
- (optional 1) Create a gif that’s less than 5MB (you may have to optimise the gif)
- (optional 2) Go to Canva
- (optional 2) Create a placeholder image
- In the email newsletter editor, choose an «image» blog
- Upload the GIF or the placeholder image
- Add a link to the image to the actual virtual tour
- Design the rest of your newsletter
- Send it!
So you can either put a placeholder image (static) or a GIF image (moving) either one will link to the actual virtual tour.
Keep in mind that GIF images may not automatically start playing on all devices, it depends on the email partner they use (apple mail, outlook, hotmail, Gmail etc) this is why the «static» image is always the safest bet. But the GIF does look nice don’t you think?
Here’s the same but now with pictures:
Log into Omnisend (https://omnisend.grsm.io/real-estate )
Click on «campaigns
Click on «+ new campaign»
Then on «New Email Campaign»
Complete your details:
Choose a design & click «select»
Any design will do, for this tutorial we have chosen the «london» design
Now you can create your newsletter
You now have 2 options:
- create a GIF image of the start of your virtual tour. This means the image will «move» inside the email which will get more people to click on it. A GIF image is created from a video in this case, so you will first need to make a screen video of your virtual tour. Here’s how to do that. You only have to make a video of about 5 seconds, no more. This is because the max upload for Omnisend for images is 5MB so you don’t want your GIF to be too large. Once you have created the video, continue with the steps below.
- You can also create a normal «static» placeholder image. This will involve less steps, you can create a nice image in canva or simply make a screenshot of the virtual tour and use that.
Creating a GIF
Upload your video
Click «convert to GIF»
Now you will see the GIF at the bottom of the page, in our case, as you can see, the GIF is 7MB, this is too big, so we click on «Optimise» to reduct the size
Now you have to play a little bit with the optimisation, the lower the number in the slider, the higher the file size will come out. So try it first with 30/35% and see what happens – file still to big? Then increase it to 40% and so on, until the final image is less than 5MB.
In our case, the 35% compression was enough to get below 5MB:
When you’re happy with the size, click «save» and the file will be saved to your desktop.
Now we go back to «omnisend» and click on the «Image» block and then on «select image» (if you decided to have a «placeholder» image inatead, then just choose the static image instead of the GIF image in this step)
Now you have chosen your image, you need to link it to your virtual tour. So copy the URL of your virtual tour and put it in the link box:
Now you can finish the design of your newsletter and send it when you like!
Here’s what it would look like on mobile:
Don’t forget to re-send the email again a few days after the first sending to those that didn’t open it – it will increase your conversion rate by almost 5%!