How To Use Videos In Your Email Campaign

    Steadily providing great CTR and ROI, using video content in email campaigns has been one of the most successful email marketing practises of the last few years. We know that as a marketer there’s nothing you won’t do to attract prospects and retain customers, so it’s about time you give it a try. And we’re here to show you all the ins and outs!


    Why use a video in an email?

    Videos are a versatile type of content. To attract prospects, convert them, and lower your churn rate you can use video content as:

    • An introduction:
      Use a short video at the beginning of your campaign to greet your leads, or thank your clients for choosing your product or service and present it to them in an exciting manner that would inspire them to explore your product further.
    • A supporting video:
      Creating a step-by-step video guide will be of greater use to your clients than a simple screenshot. Make onboarding easier and more fun by creating a narrated video explaining how to get the most out of your product or service.
    • An explanatory attachment:
      If your product or service is complex, sometimes onboarding content won’t be enough. Create videos that would explain specific functions or solve specific problems your clients may face in a creative, funny and informative manner. This is crucial for decreasing your churn rate.
    • Testimonials:
      Video testimonials with real people talking about your product work wonders for conversion. These don’t have to be polished, scripted speeches. Ask your most loyal clients if they’d love to take part in such a video and let them express their honest opinion. Potential clients value honesty above anything else.
    • Nurturing material:
      Help your clients get better at what they do by creating video guides, product reviews, Q&As, interviews with experts, etc. Video courses are also a popular choice. All this will show your level of expertise and express to the client that you value them and want them to succeed.
    • Humanizing material:
      Interviews with the team, webinars, vlogs, and any humorous material with viral quality will help your (potential) client see you more as a human and not a cold corporate machine. Such videos will improve your client relationships and make them want to engage with your content more.

    Using video content in email campaigns doesn’t just improve your KPI in theory, it’s proven by the numbers:

    • Adding a video in an email creates an up to 200-300% increase in CTR (Hubspot)
    • Writing “video” in an email subject line elevates open rates by 19%, CTR by 65%, lowers the number of unsubscribers by 26% (SyndaCast)
    • 90% of customers mention that videos help them make a decision on a purchase (HubSpot)

    There’s also this fantastic graph from Sezion covering the benefits of using video in email marketing.

    All in all, there seems to be almost no downsides to using videos in your email campaigns – they are more appealing than plain text, they help you present all the benefits of your product in a concise manner, and they improve KPI.

    What you should know before using videos in emails

    There are some things you should know before you can incorporate a video in your next email campaign.

    Size limitations

    Every ISP has its attachment limits, check those before planning your campaign. Don’t forget to take a look at the email sending limits of email providers as well.

    Direct play support

    The best way to insert a video in an email is embedding it using HTML5 to let recipients watch it directly from their inbox. Bear in mind, however, that Gmail and a few other providers don’t support such embedding, and only a few providers display a video embedded into an email by default, others will simply show a fallback image (so make sure your fallback is perfect).

    what email providers support direct video play

    CTA placement

    When you place a video in the middle of your email and it’s not a direct play, you run into the risk of your recipient never reading the CTA in the end because they are redirected to a different page. Make sure to include one in the video where necessary instead.

    How to embed a video into your email

    Depending on what you expect from a video, you have a few options.
    Note: we won’t be covering the HTML5 method here, but stay tuned for this in upcoming articles.

    Method 1: Attachments

    Simply add a video from your PC through the Attach files button. But keep in mind the ISP and email provider attachment size limits we’ve mentioned before (for Gmail it’s 25 MB).

    how to attach file on gmail

    Method 2: Link

    Copy and paste a link to a video into your email body. At the end of the message, the recipient will see a video player and will be able to watch it without leaving the page.

    Method 3: Animated GIF

    A GIF is a pretty great alternative to videos. GIFs can be embedded instead of videos to engage customers and improve CTR. They can be used not only to catch attention, but also to demonstrate the product’s features, just like Dell did here.

    Try Photoscape, SSuite GIF Animator, Wondershare Filmora, GifPal or Picasion for creating your own GIFs. Or use Giphy to share pre-made GIFs.

    animated gif

    Method 4: Cinemagraphs

    Cinemagraphs are something between static pictures and animated GIFs. They are essentially pictures in which only parts of the image move.

    This may not be the best way to present info about your product to the prospects but when used right they will make your email brighter and more appealing. Isn’t this Stranger Things 2 ad by Netflix thrilling?

    To create cinemagraphs, use Clipgraph, Plotagraph, Photoshop, ClipToGif (GIFs are available as well), Flixel.

    Method 5: Illusion of a video

    There’s always an easy way out. To create an illusion insert a picture (usually a great screenshot from a video) with a superimposed play button in the email, and link it to the page with the real video. This way, you won’t go over the size limits and generate curiosity in your customers. Remember what we said about the CTA, though.

    illustration of the video

    To wrap it up

    Here are some suggestions to help you successfully use a video in your next campaign:

    • use videos for in all kinds of emails (introduction, onboarding, support, testimonials, etc);
    • use different videos for different purposes;
    • don’t be afraid to use alternatives (GIFs, cinemagraphs, etc), sometimes they work better than videos;
    • make your videos short and to the point (35-40 seconds for introductory videos, 3 min – explanatory);
    • pay attention to attachment size limits and video playback;
    • make sure the fallback image is attractive;
    • add a CTA at the end of the video;
    • always A/B test.

    Do you prefer gifs or videos? Has video content worked for you? Share your thoughts in the comments.

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    Helen Holovach brings you the best articles, guides, and research on marketing, incorporating the latest statistics and trends in the marketing world to make sure every campaign you run is a success. Helen is a dedicated writer, but in her free time she prefers to sit by a campfire and sing songs with a guitar.


    1. Fantastic post. Keep writing up.

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