Best practices for videos in email marketing

Videos are not just for YouTube, your website or social media channels. They can be a great addition to your email marketing campaigns. The speed of everything is evolving rapidly and as marketers we’re rushing about to keep up to date with the latest trends. For email marketers, this means we’ve definitely been taking a closer look at the inclusion of videos in email campaigns.

Video is a powerful tool to help you connect with your audience in a personal way and also offers you a way to distribute a longer message in a short engaging format.

What is video email marketing?

It’s simply email marketing campaigns that contain videos. It’s really easy to add to your campaigns and if you’ve already got videos you’re halfway there.

Let’s look at 10 video marketing stats to see how people feel about video marketing in general:

  1. 83% of marketers feel that video’s importance is growing (Hubspot)
  2. 100 million people watch videos online EVERY day (VideoBrewery)
  3. Using the word “video” in an email subject line can increase open rates by 6%. (SuperOffice)
  4. Over 90% of people who watch videos on their smartphones share them with their network. (Wordstream)
  5. Adding video content to emails can potentially reduce opt-outs by 75%. (Backlinko)
  6. Eight in 10 people will remember a video advertisement for the next 30 days. (TechJury)
  7. 71% of sales pros agree that video email outperforms text-based email. (Vidyard, 2021)
  8. Hybrid video (a recording of yourself and your screen) garners the highest response rate over selfie-style or traditional screen recording videos. (Vidyard, 2021)
  9. People view more than 50% of their videos on mobile devices. (Wordstream)
  10. A video thumbnail can improve subscriber engagement by almost 41% when it’s included in an email. (Backlinko)

It’s clear that video marketing can go a long way to helping you reach your overall goal, but let’s look at how it can benefit your email marketing efforts.

Why does it work so well within your email?

You can shorten your messages by using videos in your email

If you look at the below image, which email would you rather get? I’m sure most people would agree that the email that includes a video is much more inviting and captures your attention in a better way than the long email on the left.

Email with a video compared to an email without!

You can increase your open rates by using video in the subject line

Using the word “video” in an email subject line can increase open rates by 6%. (SuperOffice)

Studies show that you can significantly increase your open rates by using the word “video” in your subject lines.

Let’s look at some fun examples of how you can do this:

  • I made you a video today! (Watch it today)
  • [Sender Name] here’s a video just for you
  • I want YOU to see this exclusive video today
  • Our latest video just dropped - watch it now
  • (VIDEO) Sneak preview of XXX dropping soon
  • Take a peek behind the scenes - Video inside

It’s a good idea to have the word “video” in combination with a personal angle too. People love to feel connected and teasing that a video has been especially created for one of your subscribers is a great way to get them to engage with your campaign.

You can distribute exclusive content via your email marketing

As mentioned before, everyone loves a good exclusive. Distributing exclusive content through your email campaigns is a great way to connect with your audience, curry favour and build loyalty - video is a great way to do this.

Behind-the-scenes: Show videos of what happens behind the scenes at your business, from process reviews, office tours or any other exciting behind the scenes info.

Product Previews: If you have new products launching soon, release a sneak peek preview video about the product pre-launch to generate some buzz. You could even open pre-orders.

Exclusive demos: Share exclusive demos of your products or services through your email campaigns.

How can you incorporate your videos into your campaigns?

Use a video thumbnail

We don’t ever recommend that you embed videos into your email campaigns. We don’t because it can cause you to be flagged for spam as well as the fact that most email clients do not support embedded video content. How do you get around this?

By using a thumbnail image. A thumbnail image is a static image that you can add to your email campaign that is clickable and leads a subscriber to where your video is hosted (like YouTube, Vimeo or even your website).

Technically your video is essentially not hosted within your email and the reason why you would include your video in this way is because:

  • Your video will definitely play (unlike if you embed it in your email where some email clients won’t show the video and will fall-back to an image.)
  • You can set your video to Autoplay wherever it’s hosted. YouTube makes this easy, which means as soon as your subscriber clicks on the images and goes to YouTube the video will start playing.
  • If you’re hosting your videos on your website, you’ll see increased traffic to your site and if you’re hosting the video on your channel you might see a lift in views to other videos on your channel.
  • You can add CTA’s on your video landing pages and drive more desired outcomes such as purchases. Therefore videos can help you move people through your sales funnel quicker. Essentially getting them to do what you need them to do, to reach your goals.

Video ideas to help you include video in your email marketing campaigns

Video customer testimonials: Getting great feedback from customers? Try and create video testimonials. These videos are great to encourage new leads to become customers.

Product close ups/benefits: Have some products that require you to educate your audience a bit more? You could create short explainer videos about the product. If your product has any sort of special packaging, you could easily create a product close up video and highlight special details about the product.

Behind the scenes: The possibilities are endless in terms of behind the scene videos. You could talk about your business process, showcase product picking and packing, team meetings, office tours, etc.

List style videos: List style videos and articles are extremely popular. You could compile your very own top 10 products, top 10 facts or whatever other listicle style content you can create through a video.

What NOT to do when it comes to using videos in email campaigns

  • Don’t send large embedded videos
  • Don’t send videos as attachments in your campaign
  • Don’t be boring and link your video without a thumbnail - it’s way too easy to miss
  • Don’t forget to use the word “video” in your subject line

Are you using videos in your campaigns yet? If not, tell us what is holding you back in the comments below.


Contact us
for help

Fill out the form and we will get back to you.

Join Our

Ready to enhance your email marketing campaigns?
Sign up to our weekly email newsletter for email marketing news, tips and tricks.