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Video Email Marketing: The Best Ways to Add Video to Email

Email Marketing

You already know how important email marketing is for your business. But what if there was a way to turbo-boost your email marketing efforts to increase open rates, reduce bounce rates, and drive conversions without adding significant costs to your marketing budget?

Good news—there is! Video email marketing can increase open rates by 19%, increase click-through rates by 65%, and lower unsubscribe rates by 26%, according to research from Campaign Monitor.

Still not convinced that you should be including video with your emails?

Consider the example of Igloo Software. The company uses video emails to reach their customers and their employees in creative ways. As a result, Igloo boosted its click-through rate by 189% and its open rate by 204% after introducing videos to their emails.

The most recent estimates available show that an average office worker receives 121 emails per day. That number will only increase as more marketers recognize the benefits of email marketing and get more aggressive with their approaches. Adding videos to your emails can skyrocket an email campaign’s success by engaging your audience and giving them something to look forward to when they open your emails.

To maximize your ROI, you’ll need to know the best ways to add a video to every email. We have some creative ideas for you to try and will walk you through the process of embedding video in an email. Get ready for a brand new way to think about email marketing.

How to Embed Video into Email

The first thing to know about video email marketing is how to embed video into email. A lot of the major email providers, including Google, Yahoo, and Outlook on Windows, don’t support embedded videos, leading to a poor user experience for many of your subscribers.

There are workarounds, though, which can still get your video in front of your audience and even encourage your email subscribers to click through to your website. Here are two of the most common (and easiest) ways to include videos in your email so that all of your subscribers can enjoy them.

Option 1: Use a GIF

The first workaround is to create a GIF of your video that includes a call to action along the lines of “click to view full video” to encourage subscribers to watch the full video wherever it is stored. It could be on YouTube, Vimeo, or even your company’s Facebook page.

To create a GIF, follow these steps:

  1. Find and copy the URL of the video you want to use.
  2. Use a tool such as IMG Flip to convert the video to a GIF. Simply paste the URL to download the video.
  3. Cut your GIF however you want.
  4. Download your GIF.
  5. Now, you can upload the GIF into the body of your email. Under it, you can add a CTA that users can click on to view the full video. The link can direct them to your website, YouTube page, Facebook page, or wherever you want them to view the full video.

Option 2: Use a Still Image that Redirects to a Video

Another way to get users to click on a video is to use a still image with a “play” button on it. The idea here is that users will click on the image, which is linked to the URL where your video is stored.

Here is an example from HubSpot of how such an image would look.

When users click on the above image, they are automatically directed to the full video link.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Take a screenshot from your video. If you time it right, the “play” button will automatically appear in the image. If it doesn’t, see step 2.
  2. If your image does not have a “play” button, you can add one! Use a website like the aptly named Add Play Button to Image to easily add any type of play button to your picture.
  3. Insert the photo into the body of your email and link it to the URL where the video is stored.
  4. That’s it! Now, when someone clicks on the image, they will automatically be directed to your website, YouTube page, Facebook page, or wherever the video is stored.

Types of Videos to Create

Now that you know how to embed videos let’s talk about what types of videos to create to engage email readers and encourage them to open and read your emails instead of sending them to the trash pile.

Option 1: Behind the Scenes Content

Give email subscribers a look at what goes on behind the scenes at your office. These videos can be short and quirky to highlight the people (and pets) behind the brand. Best of all, they can be user-generated videos that employees put together if they want to showcase something, whether that’s a personal story, a look at how a critical project came together, or a “day in the life” video.

To get inspired, you can look at some brands that have mastered behind the scenes content. Zappos has an inspirational video about an employee who beat cancer against the odds. GE has a series of videos on their YouTube channel called “GE in the Wild,” which feature a behind the scenes look at how innovative ideas come to life. Software brand Adobe has a series of videos on their website called Adobe Life, which includes videos about how the company’s employees have found professional and personal success and happiness as a result of working there.

Behind the scenes videos are effective because they connect customers with the brand. These types of videos can help create a personal connection and relationship between you and your subscribers.

Option 2: Promotional Videos

People subscribe to your emails because they are interested in the product or service you sell. After all, who doesn’t love being the first to know about a hot new product or limited time offer?

Use a video in your email marketing campaigns to create buzz about a product launch, flash sale, or limited time offer. These videos will encourage viewers to stay subscribed by reminding them of their benefits as email subscribers. It’s a good idea to link these videos to a social media site that is easy to share so that they can quickly get the word out to their friends and network.

Promotional videos can take many forms, including user reviews. Here’s an example from DribbleUp that links to a compilation of video reviews from happy customers on the company’s Instagram account.

A word of caution: don’t put promotional videos in every email. After a short while, they will eventually lose their touch and be easy to ignore. Only send promotional video emails when you have something really exciting to offer.

Option 3: Access to Webinars or Other Educational Videos

This category is perhaps the broadest. It is also the most useful for your email subscribers because it gives them something valuable without expecting anything in return. That’s how you build trust and loyalty with email subscribers and ensure they stick around as customers when the time comes for them to purchase from you.

Educational videos can come in many forms. How-to videos are useful for showing people how to use a specific product or service. REI has a great set of videos called “How to from Home” that show users how to do things like building a bike or cleaning hiking boots without leaving home.

You can also include access to webinars and other types of professional training. This can be particularly useful for B2B companies with customers who might want to learn more about how to use a specific software or service to maximize their ROI.

Editing Tools to Use

Today’s phones and tablets have high-quality cameras that can be used to create videos of all types. There’s no need to rush out and spend a fortune on equipment, especially when you are just getting started.

However, having a few tools in your toolkit, either free or paid, can help you turn your amateur video into a professional-looking masterpiece. No video will be perfect with just one shot. Video editing tools can help you enhance lighting, add sound effects, add text effects, and cut your video without awkward pauses.

To further enhance your videos, you can also explore the option of adding voice overs, which can be created using AI text to speech software. This can provide a professional and engaging audio to your content.

Here are a few video editing programs to try:

How to Engage Your Audience Even More

Tip 1: Stick to Your Brand Book

Videos in your emails should follow your overall video marketing strategy. Use the same colors, tone of voice, design, and graphic elements so that your audience has a well-aligned experience regardless of where they meet your brand. A well-thought content strategy boosts brand recognition and increases loyalty among customers.

Tip 2: Create Personalized Experience

It’s not realistically possible to make videos that personally address each of your subscribers individually. It would take a huge amount of time and effort, and might not bring the desired results. However, you can focus on another approach. If you have a tool like Marketo, you can track your visitors’ behavior—what they watch, what they skip, and what they don’t watch to the end. You can identify these patterns and send your subscribers customized lists of videos that mesh with their viewing behavior.

Tip 3: Appeal to Emotions

The best way to convince someone to do something is to get in touch with their emotional side. Push the right buttons, and you can connect to your audience on a deeper level. That’s why emotional videos appealing to people’s sense of fear, unity, happiness, or other feeling are on the rise.

Tip 4: Add Subtitles or Captions

Many people check email on their phones during long commutes on public transportation. You don’t want to miss out on an opportunity to provide them with content, so adding subtitles or meaningful captions will help people better connect with your video, even with the sound off. According to research from Biteable, 64% of marketers have found that videos with captions perform better than those without subtitles.

Tip 5: Conduct A/B Tests

If you want your videos to be on point all the time, you need to understand which ones perform better. With A/B testing, you can observe the reactions of recipients to different videos. You can record two videos set to different lengths. The first video might be a thorough step-by-step guide, and the second a short promotional video explaining how users will benefit from your product.

You can monitor the performance of each video – how many people clicked on it, how many watched to the end, and the percentage of viewers who visited your site. Then you can make some assumptions about how to tailor your videos for best results.


Using videos in email marketing and social media is an effective way to engage your audience and stand out from the noise that your customers are bombarded with in their inboxes and feeds. If you are already using video for marketing purposes, start adding them to your emails to spice up subscribers’ inboxes and direct more traffic to your website. Remember to include the word “video” in your subject line when sending emails that include video to increase open rates even further.

If you are not using videos for marketing yet, then now is the perfect time to start! Use these tips to create and embed videos that will delight and inform your audience into your future email campaigns.

Need help with video email marketing? Spiralytics has got your back! We are an email marketing company that executes numerous successful email marketing strategies for businesses of all sizes.

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