How to Use Video in Email Marketing and Impress Your Subscribers


Despite the rising competition from tools like WhatsApp and Slack, email is still one of the most popular and effective solutions for business communication.

Currently, millennials are spending approximately 6 hours per day in their inbox.

Unfortunately, as the volume of email being received and sent increases, readers will need additional motivation to actually open and explore your content.

The good news? There are plenty of ways to make your emails stand out – starting with video.

Few other marketing mediums have the same immediate impact and contextual insight as video. Using video in your email marketing campaigns is a great way to increase brand awareness, conversions, and even customer loyalty.

Just adding the word “video” to an email subject line is enough to increase open rates.

Using Video in Emails to Amaze Your Audience

The average office worker is bombarded with around 121 emails per day.

Video is one of the best ways to cut through the noise and give your readers something entertaining to capture their attention. Video software company Wistia found that using video in email leads to a 300% rise in click-through rates.

If that wasn’t enough, video email marketing also:

  • Conveys complicated information easily: You can say a lot in the video without having to resort to piles of complicated text. Video is easy to follow and consume, even for subscribers on the go.
  • Reduces customer churn: Email maintains customers by giving you new ways to entertain and inform your target audience. Video shows that you’re committed to giving your followers an excellent email experience.
  • Boosts brand reach: If you make your videos shareable, they can easily go viral, attracting new potential leads for your list.

So if using video in email marketing is so great – why isn’t everyone doing it?

Well, it’s tougher than it seems.

Due to security reasons, usability, and spam concerns, embedded videos aren’t always supported across every email client, according to Hubspot. Bringing the engagement and impact of video into an email marketing campaign requires some creativity and skill.

Here are just a few of the ways that you can get started.

1.    Set Up an Impressive Video Landing Page

A lot of modern email marketing campaigns rely on multiple channels to connect with customers.

If you can’t share all of the information or content that’s valuable to your audience within the actual email, then you can always move that customer to a different channel. For instance, when embedding video into your email isn’t an option; one of the best things you can do is draw the customer’s attention to a CTA (call to action) button instead.

If you can convince your followers to click the CTA button and go through to your website, then they’ll be able to view the video on your domain. This not only improves your SEO by bringing more people to your site, but it also improves your chances of conversions. Once someone is already on your website, they’re more likely to stick around and see what else you have to offer.

To show your audience they’re going to get additional value from clicking on your CTA, use words like “Learn More,” or “Learn How”:

Zendesk sunshine email

This shows your readers that you’re not necessarily asking them to buy anything by clicking on the button, but you are going to give them more of the information that they need.

2.    Use GIFS in Your Email Marketing

While videos don’t necessarily play with all email marketing clients, GIFs are compatible with many desktop, web-based, and mobile solutions. If your customer has anything more modern than Windows Mobile 7 or Outlook 2007, then you’re probably okay.

Sending a GIF in your email campaign is a lot easier than using video in emails too. Usually, you’ll be able to simply add an HTML code into your email message. You can also upload GIFs straight from your computer in some cases.

Another great thing about GIFs is that they ensure you’re not going to lose the interest and attention of your target audience with a video that’s too long or complicated. GIFs are short and sweet, which is great news for your customers, and your conversion rate.

Check out this example for instance:

Converse email gif

Leading footwear company, Converse, used a colorful and engaging GIF to announce the arrival of their new shoe collection. The GIF really commands more attention and boosts the company’s chances of a click through to the website.

When you’re using GIFs in your email, remember that they won’t animate until all of the frames load. This means that larger file sizes are likely to confuse your audience. You might end up with a totally blank space in your email. Stick to something simple, like a cinemagraph, which uses layering to create very slight movements on the screen.

According to Flixel, cinemagraphs create 5.6 times higher click-through rates than static email images. That might be why Airbnb regularly uses them to attract their audience.

Airbnb email gif

3.    Experiment with Embedding Video

Just because embedding video in email marketing doesn’t always work, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t experiment with the idea. After all, the biggest benefit of embedding a video, rather than using a GIF or a link to direct someone to your website, is that you give your customers all the information they need right in their inbox.

If you can successfully embed video in email marketing, then you can deliver a host of useful information to your audience, without asking them to click through countless pages. The fewer clicks your audience has to worry about, the better their experience, and the greater your chance of loyalty.

So, how do you embed videos right into your email campaigns?

Well, first, you need to find the right video platform. Tools like Vidyard can integrate with leading email marketing solutions like Marketo and Hubspot.

Screenshot of Vidyard website

Vidyard is essentially a video hosting tool that allows you to upload your video to the web and then insert it whenever you create a new video campaign. Of course, you will need to follow best practices when it comes to things like size.

There’s also tools like the video merge tag option with Mailchimp, which helps with creating video screenshots for your campaign. Your image will link to the original video on Vimeo, YouTube, or wherever else you’re hosting it.

There’s no one-size-fits-all strategy for embedding video into email marketing campaigns. The best thing you can do is explore what kind of features your software offers and go from there.

Best Practices for Using Video in Email Marketing

Now that you know a few of the ways that you can start using video in emails let’s make sure that you’re making the most of the medium. For instance:

  • Always use the word “video” in subject lines: Letting your customer know that they’re going to get access to a video is an excellent way to encourage them to click. Customers love video content and using the word (correctly) could make or break your chances of a click.
  • Place videos below the email copy: Make sure that you introduce your email before you show the email. An email without any text or context at all might look like spam. Even just a few words is enough to make a difference.
  • Include captions: Remember that most videos today are watched with the sound off – particularly in the email inbox where people might be viewing from their phone. Using captions ensures that you can get your message across correctly.
  • Try animated thumbnails: If you are trying to attract your customers to your video, or even a link to your website, then an animated thumbnail or a basic cinemagraph can increase your chances of conversion.
  • Always A/B test your results. Like any email marketing solution, it’s important to A/B test the performance of your videos, regardless of how you choose to add them to your campaigns. Testing your video email marketing will help you to determine which strategies are most valuable for your business.

Unlock the Value of Video in Your Campaign

Video in email marketing is by far, one of the best ways to connect with your target audience and promote your brand. Since you already know that email is a powerful solution for your business, it makes sense to combine the impact of email with the value of video.

While video might not be the buzzword in marketing today like it used to be, the online market still loves the convenience and appeal of video content. If you can add video to your campaigns the right way, then you could significantly improve your chance of everything from higher conversion rates to better engagement.

How are you planning on adding video email marketing to your campaigns? Tell us all about it in the comments, join the conversation on social media, or read through our other blogs for more useful guidance today!



Share this post

Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Share on print
Share on email