Want to Be Successful with Email Marketing? Add Video!

Did you know?

Video is one of the most effective ways to communicate your marketing message. It’s now the the most consumed type of content in the world and, by 2019, video will claim more than 80 percent of all web traffic. It’s no wonder then that including it in your emails can have amazing results on your KPIs.

  • Including video in your emails can lead to an increase in click-through rate of up to 50 percent.
  • Including a video in your first introductory email has been shown to increase click-through rate by over 96 percent.
  • Emails with the word “video” in the subject line increase open rates by 19 percent.

Because of their ability to engage an audience, you should be including videos in most (if not all) your marketing campaigns, but they can be especially effective in your email marketing, which can feel stale or tired if you don’t switch it up. Despite how crowded our inboxes are, videos help attract attention, engage your audience, and spike those curiosity levels you otherwise wouldn’t.

Not sure how to get started? We’ve got some actionable tips you can implement right away to boost your email marketing results and engage your audience in a new and exciting way.

Use Video in Your Newsletters

Do you read through a newsletter that doesn’t contain images? Chances are, you don’t (or if you do, you don’t make it very far!) Think of video the way you do a beautiful image or infographic – it’s a piece of visual multimedia that helps your audience stay captivated and interested in your message.

Because they’re sent regularly, at least monthly but usually weekly or daily, newsletters help keep your brand top-of-mind for your consumers. But seeing your email alone won’t make them click or engage with your content. That’s why using video, which is the most-engaged with content on the web today, is crucial to making sure your audience stays interested. A third of the time people spend online is spent watching video. If people tell you what they want, which they do with their viewing habits, you shouldn’t ignore them! If you don’t use the media most consumed by your target market, it could mean a loss for your business.


Email is already one of the best ways to reach your audience. If you have their email address, they’ve shown interest in you and submitted a form somewhere on your site. Don’t let them down by sending newsletters that are boring and unengaging! Video will give your newsletters that extra boost and help increase your open and click-through rates.

Unfortunately, not all email clients allow video to play when you embed it in the body of your email. As a matter of fact, the two biggest email clients, Gmail and Outlook, don’t support naturally-embedded videos. Instead, embed an image with a play button or a GIF that links to your video’s landing page or a direct YouTube or Vimeo link. These workarounds mean you’re not only providing valuable content to your users, but you’re driving your audience to click to your site and engage.

And remember: Your newsletters should be roundup of what’s going on at your company, the content you’ve published, or any other relevant information you want your public to know. Spice it up with video when you can to make sure your audience actually receives (and reads) the messages you’re sending.

Use short video clips to share customer testimonials and remind your users of the quality of your product.

Use Videos in Your Sales Sequences

Sales sequences, also known as email autoresponders, are a series of emails that are sent at a predetermined cadence to try and convince a targeted prospect to either schedule a meeting, sign up for a service, or buy something. You’re probably familiar with these – you download an eBook or sign up for a free trial and then you might forget about it, until you start getting sales emails seemingly out of nowhere. These emails are used by companies all over the world to acquire higher-converting leads, re-engage leads, and, most importantly, as a sales tactic that can bring in big clients.

The effectiveness of these sequences varies depending on the industry and company, but adding video to a sales sequence is a not-often-employed tactic that can actually make a huge difference, turning a boring email into a more personalized and engaging message that can increase your conversion rates.

According to Nico Moreno, Sales Automation Expert and contributor at email automation software company Sumo, “When used strategically, your autoresponder can act as your personal online salesperson who silently and diligently sells in the background for you, so you don’t have to.”

But often, boring, static messages can leave those you reach out to with a bad impression. Instead, work on hitting the right tempo, balancing a warm, welcoming message with the perfect, personalized video. Try including an introductory video clip about yourself, use video to prompt a meeting time, or summarize the user’s pain points in a quick and clear way. You can even use a testimonial as social proof about why the user needs your service or product. As long as the video’s messaging strikes the right tone for your user’s buyer’s journey stage, it’ll help you connect and build a valuable relationship.

How do you add video to your sales sequences?

Similar to newsletters, the video you embed in your email copy here will not play natively for most major email clients. Luckily, you’ve got a different goal here.

The goal of newsletters is typically to share information and get users to visit your website or landing page. They’re usually bright, vibrant, and full of attention-catching images and visuals. Sales sequences, however, usually have a more direct ask – to schedule a meeting or phone call or sign up for a service. They’re usually a lot less busy and look like manually-written, plain text emails. Because of this, including a video graphic or link can actually make your entire email stand out from the rest.

Keep your sequence simple. Include video in only one or two of your messages, and link to it in a very honest way, letting the user know exactly what they’ll see when they click the link, image, or GIF. Using a YouTube or Vimeo link will work well here, since you don’t want the user to complete any further action on your website – they’ll go back to your email and hopefully click the main CTA once your video convinces them to take the next step.

Use a testimonial in your sales sequence to showcase why your product or service is amazing – in someone else’s words!

Use Videos in Your Transactional Workflows

Transactional emails are amazing because they enjoy some of the highest open rates of any type of email. Transactional emails include your shipping confirmations, cart abandonment reminders, receipt emails, thank you messages, and more.

Because of their transactional nature, marketers don’t spend a lot of time focusing on the content of these emails – if you’re mid-sell, you don’t want to provide any distracting info – but not all transactional emails happen mid-sell, so these marketers are missing out on a huge branding opportunity to re-engage visitors, to improve brand association, and to spark repeat purchases.

And thanks to their high open rate, this is one of the most valuable avenues for communication, especially when your transactional email is outside the immediate scope of the sell, like a thank you message or a sign-up confirmation. Use these opportunities to not only send a well-designed, high-quality email, but include a video that’ll personify your brand or convince the user to take the next step, like checking out related products in a thank you message, or driving traffic to your store after someone has signed up.

Use videos to drive action in your transactional emails, like this example that pushes for membership sign-up.

5 Tips to Make Your Video an Email Success

Adding video to your email marketing campaigns without much thought or strategy is a recipe for failure. Think about what video would make the most sense for the audience you’re targeting and then follow these tips to get the most out of the video you use.

  1. Personalize your video. Nothing will impress your user more than a personalized video. Create a handful of videos targeting each of your personas, or create demographics-based videos that you can send to targeted lists – a video about the fashion trends in a particular urban city sent to people who live within a 50-mile radius of that city, for example.
  2. Include context, like transcriptions or video descriptions. This will help users who might want to know what your email is about without having to watch a video. It’s also great for SEO and engagement if you link to a website landing page that hosts the video.
  3. Use ‘video’ in the subject line. We mentioned it once already, but it really is that important. Using the word ‘video’ in your subject line can increase your open rates by up to 19 percent – a crucial stat, given no one will see your video unless they open your email.
  4. Host smartly. Lead your users to a video landing page on your website; if you can’t, use a Vimeo link; and if you can’t, use YouTube – in that order. Keeping your users in a branded site environment is the most important. If you can’t for whatever reason, a Vimeo (or similar host that doesn’t interrupt your video with ads or other suggested videos) is the next best thing. If all else fails, then use a YouTube link. Just remember that YouTube’s goal is to keep people on YouTube, so they will bombard your audience with distracting content that may detract from your goal.
  5. Pick the best thumbnail. Whatever thumbnail, or image, or GIF you use to represent your video, make sure it’s enticing and attention-grabbing.

Is email video marketing right for you?

Video marketing is only growing. Video advertising and distribution is spreading far and wide. Businesses are now dedicating more dollars to video marketing than ever before and they’re using beautiful, high-quality video to tell their story. If you’re not using video in your email campaigns, you’re falling behind your competition.

Think about your goals – if your users are at the top of the marketing funnel, you’ll want to use video in your emails to attract their attention and keep your brand on their mind. If your users are lower down the funnel, you’ll want to link your video to an owned landing page that will enable you to collect more user information or possibly get them to convert then and there. Luckily, the opportunities are endless and the process is simple.

Looking to create compelling videos for your emails? Schedule a call with one of our creative producers today to talk through what stories you might want to tell and how they’ll best engage your email audience.

Laura Cueva

Laura Cueva