16 Jan

Best practices for Emailing Video

Published in: Blog
| Written by 

It’s no secret that video and email make a killer marketing combination. Email’s ability to reach targeted audience at a low cost combined with video’s high engagement rates, create an ideal marketing dynamic. Studies even show that emails containing video receive an average of 5.6% higher open rates and 96% higher CTRs than emails without video.

Despite its effectiveness, technical barriers, like delivery and embedding issues have prevented its widespread use. The advent of HTML5 went a long way towards resolving that problem, but it didn’t completely solve it either.

Video in Email statistics

Image Courtesy of VideoEmail.com

Recent statistics via VideoEmail.com highlight that only some email clients support embedded video, whereas major clients such as Gmail, Yahoo Mail and Outlook only support animation and static images.

So how do you ensure that including video in your email campaign creates the desired impact irrespective of the email client? These 10 pointers will help you create a seamless video experience within your email and ensure high click-through-rates:

1. Subject Line & Open Rates

First and foremost, take care of the open rates. Ensure that the subject line includes references to video. According to Invodo, adding the word “video” to your email increases open rates by 7% to 13%.

2. Video is your content

The way you position your video within your email content is very important. Don’t give it second-tier status within your email messaging hierarchy. Keep the email body copy simple and brief, so that there is more focus on the video content.

Mailchimp Email with Video

3. Images that click

Create interesting thumbnails that reflect the video message and use this static image (with a play button icon) within your email. You can do this manually or make use of video merge tags (provided by all major email marketing platforms) which automatically generate an image and link it to your video online. Another popular option for a clickable image that links to an offsite video is an animated GIF.

image thumbnails in email for better CTR

4. Make it tempting

Encourage the customer to click by including an intriguing CTA that speaks directly to the user, such as, “Watch our video and see how you can double sales overnight.” vs “Watch our video”.

5. Land the click on your landing page

When the customer clicks on that video thumbnail, make sure they are taken to your landing page, and not an outside link like YouTube. A dedicated landing page holds the ability to retain the original messaging and CTAs even though the customer has moved away from your email.

6. Set it on auto-play

Once you have created and linked your landing page, set the video on auto-play when the user lands on your site. By doing this, you’ve also eliminated a click—an extra step—for your customer, thereby improving their viewing experience.

7. Message Relevance & Length

Ideal length really depends on your message, but think about the shortest and sweetest way to convey your message. If your video starts to run more than two minutes, you might need to rethink your video concept. Wistia reports that videos of one minute or less enjoy an 80% retention rate up to the 30 second mark. So move your most important messages to the front of your video.

8. Turn viewers into customers

There is a chance that with the presence of video, your viewer might not read surrounding text, hence including your landing page CTA’s within the video ensures that your key message is not missed. Include call-to-actions at key video touch points can encourage the viewer to further engage with your product or brand.

9. Get Social

The Relevancy Group survey highlighted that 41% of marketers who used video in email reported an increase in sharing or forwarding of the email message. Use the power of social and add relevant social media icons or CTAs to extend the reach of your campaign.

10. Keep Testing

Amongst the many email best practices, you need to identify which work best for your brand or audience. Put your testing hats on and A/B test the above variables to understand which combination draws maximum clicks/engagement.


Given the rate at which video consumption is growing worldwide, more and more marketers will be looking to maximize their email campaigns using the power of video.  Keep these 10 best practices to seamlessly include video in your next email campaign and if you want to take it one step further, think about targeted video content.

Chad VanCalster

Chad VanCalster is a businesss development specialist with Sonix Studio, a web development, design, SEO and hosting firm with offices in Green Bay, Wisconsin and Dallas, Texas. A Computer Science graduate of Northeast Wisconsin Technical College, Chad started his career consulting for large corporations in the northern Wisconsin region, including Wisconsin Tissue, Georgia Pacific and Schneider National, among others.

Through experiences with marketing within his own company, Chad became a student of Internet Marketing, with a focus on Social Media.  That eventually branched into helping clients with THEIR Social Media Marketing.  Chad is an expert at using social media to expand your credibility and impact in your chosen markets.

Have a question? Read enough? Contact us today!
Contact us