In this article, we want to share how you can stand out, drive the pipeline faster and boost revenue by combining video and email. We’ll talk about the best practices to include video in your email and show you some real examples.

What Is Video Email Marketing?

On the one hand, you probably know from experience that email is an essential channel of communication. It helps you introduce and promote your brand, reach, and engage your audience.

On the other hand, video is considered to be the most powerful medium of content. It captures attention, evokes emotions and engages potential customers much more effectively than any text or image could.

Having that in mind, the concept of video in your marketing strategy is simple. Include video in the emails so they stand out in inboxes.

Best Practices For Using Videos In Email Marketing

Adding a video to your marketing email can significantly increase your open and click rates. However, there are some guiding principles we encourage you to follow.

#1. Add The Word “Video” To Your Email Subject Line

Video is the most powerful content medium because it is user-friendly and very engaging. Nevertheless, most of your email subscribers will not be mind-readers, right? So, they are more likely to open the email if they know there will be a valuable video inside. Therefore, make sure you add the word “video” and put it in brackets at the beginning or end of the subject line. For example: Includes a video, see the video or watch the full video.

#2. Film Your Video Based On How It Is Going To Be Viewed

It makes a difference if your audience is going to view your video content on a desktop computer or a mobile device.
When people watch a video on a smartphone, it is hard for them to read a text. On the other hand, it can be frustrating to watch a low-resolution video on a desktop screen. So, before you film your video, ask yourself:
  • What screen size and device should this video fit?
  • At what time of the day are people likely to watch the video?
  • What is the context in which watching your video is likely to occur?

#3. Always Include an Email Copy Together With the Video

There are multiple reasons why we do not recommend that you send a video without any email copy.
First, if you send emails without text, email readers will be more likely to report them as Spam.
Second, if your subscriber’s email client is not set to automatically download images, the video will not appear on their device. This is why it is better to start your email with a copy that communicates the essence of your message on its own.

#4. Avoid Attaching the Video mp4 file to the email

The easiest and simple way to send a video is to send it as an attached file. However, most of the email clients have a file size limit (up to 25-33MB) or don’t support attachments at all. Even worse – you can be considered spam. That’s why we don’t recommend this option. Instead, check the options we mention below.

#5. Place A Video Link At The End Of The Email Copy

This option will help you jump spam filters and avoid the problem of too big files being blocked by email clients. It’s also super easy – just copy & paste.
If you are adding a YouTube URL in a Gmail message, this video will be playable in the actual email. This is a very useful way to get the video watched straight away, in the email itself. But don’t forget this is true only for Gmail users and YouTube URLs.

This method doesn’t drive traffic to your website. Recipients who click on the attachment will be directed to the YouTube video page or whatever video hosting platform you use. That’s a good thing if you have your own YouTube channel, so they may explore your brand more by poking around it. But it’s unlikely that the video page will bring traffic to your site unless the video itself has a CTA button to your site.
If you have a small number of recipients this might be a good simple solution but we don’t recommend this option for a large number of recipients, because they’ll just see a url of your video and won’t be motivated to click on it and open another page. Keep reading for more options that could fit your business case.

#6. Avoid Embedding Your Video

You can embed videos directly so readers can play them right away while reading the email but you are taking the risk that not everyone will be able to play them because not all email providers support embedded videos. In addition, embedding requires some coding skills with HTML5. That’s why we’d recommend using a link that sends the readers to a page where you have the video.
Another drawback of this option is that embedded videos are sometimes marked as spam, which means that no one will even see your email. In addition, it is not creating traffic to your website.

#7. Create An Eye-Catchy Video Thumbnail

Instead of just creating a simple link for the video, the best way to include the link is in an image or animated GIF of your video, to grab the attention and increase the possibility of people clicking on the video link. To get people clicking even more, add a play icon on the thumbnail to increase CTR.

Here is an example of how Netflix did in their video email campaign to drive people to watch the house of cards trailer. This time they use cinemagraph which is a beautiful technique to use. The key to this technique is to keep a little motion in the frame and the rest keep it still which makes a never-ending loop.
Note: In case you decide to go the GIF path, make sure you create an inviting thumbnail it is less than 2.7 MB so that your email does not trigger spam filters. If necessary, compress the file.

#8. Embed Your Video On Your Website Or Landing Page

Sending email recipients to a landing page or website has multiple advantages. First, it generates traffic to your website and improves your SEO rankings.
Second, it improves the user experience, because it gives viewers context and access to additional elements related to your brand.
There are various video hosting platforms you can upload your videos to. Yet, even if you use them, make sure you embed the video on your website.

#9. Make Sure You Don’t Include Too Many CTAs

Call To Action (CTA) is important. So, always start with getting clear about the action you want a viewer to take after watching your video. Nevertheless, try to keep your CTA clear and simple. If you ask for too much, people may feel overwhelmed and not know what to do.

#10. Turn The Sound Off And Add Captions

Most people (85% of Facebook videos are watched with the sound off) watch videos with the sound off. For example, 85% of Facebook videos are watched with the sound off (digiday.com). In addition, it would not be appropriate for the reader to get blasted with noise on public transport or in the office. Therefore, keep the sound off by default.
Now, if the sound is off, it can be hard for viewers to understand what the video is about, right? This is the reason why we recommend that you add captions. If you add subtitles to your videos, watchers will get your message whether they watch on silent or not.

Examples Of Successful Video Email Marketing

#1. Invite people to your event, workshop or webinar. Wistia does that very well by adding in the emails video CTAs and Play Buttons that send the readers to a landing page focused on webinars (wistia).

#2. Utilize footage from past events by sharing on-demand content with your email readers. A good example that comes to our mind is Melbourne Connect – an Innovation Hub in the heart of Melbourne linking researchers, Start Ups, events, students, prototyping, corporates etc. Recently, they organized a week-long event called Innovation Week, most of the events were recorded, uploaded on a dedicated YouTube channel and shared via email. See the email example below:

#3. Films for change is an Australian platform for independent movies that I’ve been using since the Pandemic started in 2020. In every email they sent to me, they shared a few new movies and links to watch trailers. (filmsforchange)

#4. YBF is a Melbourne-based co-working space and Start-Up hub that is successfully utilizing video in its emails. Just sharing a screenshot from some of their latest newsletters that I received where they put a thumbnail that leads to the YouTube video.

Why is a video in email effective? ↓ Benefits of using video email marketing ↓

  • Did you know that email is the preferred means of communication for 86% of professionals (HubSpot) and 73% of millennials (Procurious)?
  • Also, every second adult checks their email immediately after waking up and around 21% of people check their email at least 5 times per day (Fluent).
  • Considering that it is not surprising that email subscribers who make purchasing decisions spend 138% more than consumers that don’t receive email offers (Hatchbuck).
All that sounds great, doesn’t it?
  • Nevertheless, according to 38% of salespeople, getting a response from prospects is getting harder and harder (Hubspot). And one of the reasons for this is that 21% of email recipients report email as Spam, although they know it isn’t (Convince&Convert).
So, if you want to increase your open rates, you need to take into consideration the following tendencies.
  • First, it seems that the best time to send an email is scheduled for Monday at midnight because most people check their emails first thing in the morning.
  • Second, research shows that 35% of email recipients choose if they want to open an email based on the subject line (Convince&Convert). In this regard, emails that include emojis and/or the first name of the email recipient in their subject line seem to have a much higher click-through rate (Experian, Hubspot).
The same applies to using video in an email marketing campaign.
  • According to Martech Advisor, if you add videos to your email, you can boost your click rates by 300%. This once again shows that there is a huge potential in combining video (the most effective type of content) and email (the essential channel of communication).

Final Note 

It may take a little time and effort to start effectively using video in your email marketing. However, we know from experience it would be totally worth it. 

And remember, you don’t need to reinvent the wheel. If you need expert assistance with your video production, reach out to us. We’d be happy to assist you.

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