Video Marketing

How To Use Video In Email Marketing

Ash Salleh


Adding videos to emails is becoming more and more popular among email marketers today. This is despite the fact that a majority of email clients don’t have native support for playing videos within an email message.


The increased popularity of integrating video into email marketing is directly correlated with the fact that it has a significant impact on lead generation and engagement.

Research suggests that digital marketers who use video for their campaigns generate 66% more qualified leads each year. Furthermore, adding videos to your email can result in a 300% increase in your click-through rate (CTR).

How to include video into your email marketing strategy

Maybe you’ve thought about adding videos to your emails but are unsure about where to start. In this post, we’ll show you examples of how you can effectively use videos for your email marketing strategies.

1. Host the video using your own website or platform.

If you’ve never added videos to your emails before, it may seem easier to simply upload a video on YouTube and link to it in your email. The issue with doing this is that it drives traffic to YouTube’s website instead of your own.

Using other platforms also carries a lot of unnecessary risks. What if YouTube decides to remove your video? What if at the time of sending your email, YouTube’s website is down? These issues become an inconvenience for your subscribers who were interested in watching your videos.

Host your videos on your website, so that you drive traffic to your own website. This way, you’ll also get complete control of every element of your video without having to worry about another platform’s policies or standards.

Check out the complete guide to embedding video on your website to learn more.

2. Give your subscribers control.

These days, more emails are opened on mobile devices compared to desktop devices. In fact, data shows that as much as 77% of all email opens occur on mobile.

Since your subscribers are likely going to open your email on a mobile device, it’s a good idea to disable autoplay on your videos. This way, you avoid surprising subscribers with loud voices or music, which can annoy them or maybe even push them to unsubscribe.

It’s best to leave the choice of when and where to play your video to your subscribers.

3. Take advantage of GIFs.

Graphics Interchange Formats, or more commonly known as GIFs are easy yet effective alternatives to creating full-length videos for your emails.

Here are a few reasons why:

  • GIFs are easy to create.
  • They have a much smaller file size.
  • They are quick to load.
  • They are supported by most email clients including Gmail, Yahoo!, and Outlook.

GIFs are widely used on Facebook and other social media platforms, so it’s not surprising that brands now try to leverage GIFs for their marketing campaigns.

If you want to appeal to your millennial and Gen Z audiences, incorporating GIFs into your email messages is a great way to do it.

Replace the static play button that your subscribers click to go to your video with an animated GIF button. This makes the play button more prominent and increases the chances of subscribers clicking through.

Want to give this a try? Learn how to make a GIF from a video.

4. Use cinemagraphs.

Another alternative to full-length videos is using cinemagraphs.

Like GIFs, you can also animate your play button using cinemagraphs. It’s going to make the play button more noticeable, thereby increasing the chances of your subscribers clicking on your video.

If you’re unfamiliar with a cinemagraph, it’s basically an image that has one or two elements that are moving in a continuous loop while the rest of the elements remain still.

People tend to think GIFs and cinemagraphs are the same, but they are actually very different.

GIFs take only minutes to make, while cinemagraphs can sometimes take a couple of hours. GIFs are also low-quality images that are limited to 256 colors, while cinemagraphs are high-quality images that can consist of millions of colors. To make it simple, think of GIFs as standard definition (SD) and cinemagraphs as high definition (HD).


Source: Really Good Emails

Cinemagraphs are great because they grab the attention of your subscribers by drawing their eyes to the elements of the image that are in motion. This makes cinemagraphs an ideal medium for promoting specific products.

For example, you’re sending an email announcing the release of your brand new product and you want to encourage your subscribers to purchase it.

Instead of merely using high-quality images of your product, crank it up a notch with cinemagraphs. You can create motion for the most prominent aspects of the product. This makes it more eye-catching than a regular still image and can definitely work to entice your subscribers to make a purchase.

5. Be straightforward.

Email marketing best practices dictate that your message be as brief as possible. The same applies to videos.

Just as a giant block of text will put off even your most loyal subscribers, a lengthy and meandering video will surely test the patience of your audience.

To maintain engagement, keep your videos straightforward and concise. Shoot for a length of one to two minutes. Any longer than that and you risk losing the valuable attention of your subscribers.

6. Test audience reaction.

When sending out a new video for one of your campaigns, avoid sending it to your entire list at the onset—especially if you just started incorporating video into your email strategy.

Your subscribers have likely become accustomed to your specific pattern of email marketing. Sending a video without warning will just confuse your subscribers.

Test your video out first by sending it to a small group of subscribers (a subset). This gives you the opportunity to gauge how your subscribers would react to the video. Look at opens and clicks to determine whether the subset you sent the video to liked or engaged with your video.

Measure results.

Once you’ve fully integrated videos into your email marketing strategy, continue to monitor your email metrics and doing what works for your brand.

If you see increased click-throughs on emails with GIFs, then continue creating and using GIFs. If, on the other hand, you don’t see improved engagement with the use of video, try to re-evaluate your video strategy.

Are your videos too long and lack focus? Maybe they’re just poorly made. The only way to find out is to test out different videos to see which ones get the best response from subscribers.

Additional Tips for Video in Email Marketing

Now that you’re acquainted with how to use videos for your email marketing, here are some other helpful pointers to keep in mind.

1. Include the word "video" in your subject line.

Your subscribers won’t know that your email contains a video unless they open it. Give them a heads up by including the word "video" in your email’s subject line. Doing so can boost your open rates by 19%.

2. Encourage social sharing.

You can increase the impact of your videos by encouraging your subscribers to share them on their social media pages. Make sure you add easy-to-click social media sharing buttons in your emails.

3. Know your audience.

Before you even try to implement any video ideas, get to know your audience first. Your subscribers aren’t going to be universally perceptive to one type of video. One segment might prefer GIFs and cinemagraphs, while another might prefer full-length videos.

To help ensure the effectiveness of your video, you can ask your subscribers what type of video they like. Email them a short poll and give them options of what type of videos they’d like to see, whether it’s a GIF, a cinemagraph, an animated video, or a live-action video.

Entice subscribers to complete your survey by offering them a discount on their next purchase in exchange for their response.

The use of video is now more widespread among email marketers, and it’s easy to see why. Marketers who use video have reported an increase in their email engagement as well as lead generation.

If you’re eager to try adding videos to your emails and seeing the benefits yourself, be sure to remember the examples used in this post.