8 Experts Share Their Tips for Using Video in Email Campaigns

As marketing content becomes increasingly digital in nature, many companies are searching for ways to innovate their email campaigns. One option that’s gaining traction is including video content, and for good reason; a commonly cited study found that just using the word “video” in an email subject line boosted open rates by 19%, click-through rates by 65%, and reduced unsubscribes by 26%.

For tips and tricks on incorporating this growing trend in email campaigns, we consulted eight experts to get their thoughts on how to integrate video content successfully. Read on for their advice!

Q:  What is your number one tip for using video in your email marketing strategy?

1. Avoid embedding videos directly in emails.

Here’s a mistake we often see email marketers making: avoid embedding videos directly in your emails. Only a handful of clients will support playback inside an email and even a short video will cause the file size of the email to balloon—making it more likely to hit the spam folder or not arrive at all. We recommend including a screenshot of your video and linking off to YouTube

Gareth Bull

Gareth Bull
Founder at Bulldog Digital Media, Co-Founder at EmailOctopus

2. Make email videos short and personal.

Whenever using video in an email campaign, I try to make it as short and personal as possible. I prefer a simple and direct video message over a polished and well-produced video. Tools like Loom.com help us quickly create such videos. We’ve seen better engagement rates when using these types of short, personal video messages.

Nicholas Scalice
Nicholas Scalice
Founder of Earnworthy and Landing Page School

3. Use video strategically to elevate your written message.

Email and video are both so versatile that they make a great combination. I’d say you should consider where video can elevate your message. The use of video inside the email is somewhat limited technically, but just one click away. It very much fortifies the concept of “change the sales channel.” People who are interacting across multiple channels are more likely to become brand and product engaged (and ultimately purchasing).

The ideal combo is used for the concept of “when words just aren’t enough,” you need to go visual. Show how products are used, how the experience feels, and convey emotion. An example is when you are promoting your events or webinar through email. You want to assure people that they want to be there (and that it is not lame) by showing the venue, speakers and audience reactions. Maybe show a little part of the presentations as well, give a sample…

Jordie Van Rijn
Jordie Van Rijn
Email Marketing Consultant and Founder at Email Vendor Selection

4. Be authentic.

My number one tip for using video in your email marketing strategy is to be authentic in front of the camera – in your strategy, your messaging, and your presentation. The beauty of using video is it gives you an opportunity to be face-to-face with your audience as your complete, genuine self. People can relate to that because we’re all human and we all stumble over our words with ums and uhs. Relatability is way more attractive when communicating with people who matter to you. Save the high-quality video production for special occasions and instead focus on building a relationship with the people who will see your video as your real self.

Donna Kelly
Donna Kelly
Sr Content Operations Manager at BombBomb

5. Let people know there will be a video and use gifs.

We’ve all seen the stats about video’s efficacy in marketing. It’s estimated that it’ll account for something like 80% of the global internet traffic in the next few years. We’ve been experimenting with different ways to use video effectively in our emails and have seen two things that make a difference:

  1. Let people know a video is coming. We simply write the best subject line we can and add “video” to the beginning. Anyone who opens the email already expects to click on another link to access the video.  
  2. Add gifs to the email to represent the video thumbnail. Maybe we’ll be able to add videos directly into emails one day. Until that time comes, a gif works well to hold attention and tease the highlights of the video. We’ve seen it increases CTR when compared to a plain video thumbnail.

Daniel Ndukwu
Daniel Ndukwu
Founder of KyLeads

6. Show people your eyes.

My number tip for using video in your email marketing strategy is….USE IT. People connect with people. And if you can’t get directly in front of your audience in person, video is the next best thing.  Make sure your eyes are very visible. That’s what people need to see the most—your eyes!

Elizabeth A Marks
Elizabeth A. Marks
Marketing Advisor and Direct Response Copywriter at Smart Copy Clicks

7. Test play button options.

Video is a steadily growing part of all marketing, so how best to leverage it in email marketing is a natural question. Among Oracle Marketing Cloud Consulting’s clients, we see them promoting video content in their emails through static images with play button overlays and–increasingly–through animated gifs and CSS animation. While animation files can get heavy, the thoughtful selection of frames plus some file compression can create great video promos.

Chad S White
Chad S. White
Head of Research at Oracle Marketing Cloud Consulting and author of “Email Marketing Rules”

8. Study analytics and user behavior.

Email marketing has always been a powerful tool, but when you add video it opens up a whole new level of engagement and sales potential. As with any email component, videos do take some time to create and require testing before delivery. However, if you commit to making intriguing videos for your subscribers and follow the best practices and customer data, your customers should reward your hard work with higher response rates.

Currently, the online market is buzzing excitedly about upbeat trends in video email marketing that are drawing a lot of attention from viewers as well as marketers. For better email marketing results, salespeople should study the web analytics and user engagement behavior affected by video email marketing. And, if you follow the points discussed in this post, you definitely can plan things well for your business.

Daniel Tasman
Daniel Tasman
Email Marketing Manager at PwC