Viewer Tracking for Your Business

Ever wonder exactly who is watching your videos? If you use the viewer tracking features SproutVideo offers, you can actually find out.Here’s the nitty gritty on exactly how to set it up, and how to leverage viewer tracking in different ways to help your business grow.

What is Viewer Tracking?

Viewer tracking is when you can identify a specific viewer, and tie a viewing session to the individual, based on their email address.

There are several different reasons why viewer tracking is an exceptionally powerful feature. It provides specific insights into your audience; it can be combined with other tools in highly effective marketing campaigns; and it can be leveraged for multiple business functions.

How to Tag Viewers With an Email Address

To track individual viewers, you’ll want to tag them with an email address. SproutVideo supports several ways of doing so.

Email Gated Videos

The easiest way is to email gate your content. When viewers arrive on a page containing your video, the player will prompt them for their email address. After they enter it, they can watch your video.

Email Gated Video

Pass Emails Through URLs or Embed Codes

Another option is to pass the email address through a parameter appended to your video sharing URL.

This is a particularly great option if you’re emailing a link to your video. If you’re using our video email embed codes, we’ll take care of that automatically for you. If you’re not, you just have to add the parameter manually, like so:

Video URL: https://mysite123.vids.io/videos/sproutvideo-websites

Parameter: ?vemail={!email}

Result: https://mysite123.vids.io/videos/sproutvideo-websites?vemail={!email}

Note – that is intentionally not a working URL. Use the actual video sharing URL from your account when testing this out.

So long as that viewer’s browser session is already tagged with their email address, it will be passed to our platform when they click that link. You might have to edit the variable being used to pass the email address to our platform. Other than that, it’s very straightforward.

Similarly, you can use a custom parameter in a regular video embed code to pass a viewer’s email address to your SproutVideo hosting account. In this case, you’d add the parameter to the end of the src attribute in the embed code. For examples of how to do that, please refer to this help article about tagging viewers by their email address.

Video Security Settings

Beyond email gating, SproutVideo offers two video privacy options that require viewers to enter their email address in order to view a video. One is Login Protection, and the other is Single-Sign-On (SSO).

Login protection is a video security setting that enables you to grant video access to specific people, with very granular control over the terms of their access. You can set their permissions to expire after a period of time or number of uses. You can also set download permissions on the individual level.

To get started with login protection, first, set your videos to login protected. Then, create some viewer logins, and set their video access permissions. When you share your video with your designated viewers, they’ll encounter a screen like this:

Login Protected Video

A viewer login consists of an email address and password combination. When a viewer encounters a login protected video, they have to enter their credentials to view the video. Their viewing session is tagged with their email address, which is passed to your SproutVideo account.

SSO is very similar to login protection. The main difference is that viewer credentials are managed by your company’s existing Identity Provider instead of SproutVideo. Well-known Identity Providers include ADFS, Google Apps, and OneLogin. SproutVideo supports any SSO provider that uses the SAML 2.0 protocol.

To use SSO to regulate video access, you must first create a video website on the SproutVideo platform. Enabling SSO will likely require a technical resource at your company to set up. You can also reach out to our support team for assistance.

Ways to Use Viewer Tracking

On the backend, no matter how you captured it, that email address is sent to your SproutVideo account. There, it will show up in your video engagement metrics, or, can be sent directly to the marketing platform of your choice.

What to do With Video Engagement Metrics

Video engagement metrics show you exactly how much of a video someone watched, rewatched, or skipped. This data can be used in several different ways.

You can use it to improve your video content, for starters. If you notice that engagement drops off at a specific point in your video, you might want to review ways to keep viewers hooked. If you notice that engagement spikes, it could be a particularly compelling call-to-action, or a potentially confusing point in the video.

Video Engagement Metrics

Another way to use engagement data is to check and see if specific individuals watched your videos. This is ideal for training videos, a sales video, lead qualification, or educational videos. You can also export your data to Excel to make it easier to analyze for really popular videos.

You could make videos required watching for trainees, and check whether they actually completed it. Assuming people who watch your product video to completion are interested in the item, you could send those leads to a sales team. If it’s a real estate video, you might contact engaged viewers about an upcoming open house.

If someone skips a lot of your video, or only watches the first few seconds, maybe a different type of content would be preferable, like a white paper or product spec sheet. Suggesting different topics or products might also be an option.

Whether your audience is highly engaged, or not at all, once you can track it, you can improve it.

Using Viewer Activity in Marketing Campaigns

If you’re sending emails to one of SproutVideo’s supported marketing platforms, then you can reap additional benefits from viewer tagging. You can simply build your lists, or you can run sophisticated drip marketing campaigns depending on the platform you’re using.

For instance, a campaign based on the specific video a viewer watched would be really powerful. Ideally, it would trigger messaging or discounts that specifically pertain to the product or service featured in the video. To see how that might work, check out this detailed how-to article from the Drip blog.

The benefit to this is that you can largely automate this process. Once you setup some welcome emails, and get your messaging right, new subscribers will hear from you automatically. This is a very scalable and low-touch marketing campaign.


Are you tagging your viewers by their email address? How are you using that information? Sound off in the comments below!

Written by Courtney Purchon

Courtney is the Head of Marketing at SproutVideo. Follow her on Twitter.

Posted October 27, 2016

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