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Using Video in Email Marketing: Everything You Need to Know (and More)

Email marketing allows salespeople to reach a large audience in a fast, personal way. But most of your prospects wade through a swamp of emails, articles, and text-heavy reports every day. Reaching out to them can feel like swan diving into quicksand. How do you keep them engaged?

Humor, surprises, valuable content. Enter video.

Just using the word “video” in your email’s subject can increase open rates, Irena Maltseva at reports. TJ McCue at Forbes notes that viewers retain 95% of a message conveyed via video, compared with 10% retention for reading.

 At their best, marketing videos convey the emotional core of a story. They pique interest, setting prospects up for a longer conversation. With opportunities for humor in the script and on the screen, they offer a break from the less-entertaining aspects of our day-to-day office existence. But they also remain true to the complexity of their subjects, building trust with the viewer.

Other benefits of using video in email marketing?

  • Every time a prospect watches your video, its SEO improves–– which is way easier than waiting for organic viewers.
  • Potential clients are drawn to seeing and hearing humans rather than just reading. In fact, HubSpot is offering a series of new video features to help make those personal connections.
  • Videos are adaptable to many languages and platforms. You can be as effective on a mobile device as you can on a larger screen.

So, video has a range of advantages that make it ideal for email marketing. But what differentiates you from your competitors is the creativity you bring to the video itself and to your use of that video. When planning your marketing strategy, consider how your audience interacts with email, what their pain points are, and what delights them.

Then consider some of these ways to use video in email marketing:

  • Embed videos within your emails. Keep the text short and sweet. Let the camera make your point.
  • Sprinkle links to videos throughout the text of your email. Provide readers with a wealth of content that they can intuitively explore.
  • Include a video in your signature. This is a great use for a video about your company’s history and purpose.
  • Use GIFs. We’ve seen this work well with retail corporations and any company that wants to add some glitz and/or humor to their emails.
  • Build a campaign with a video series. One email rarely connects you with all possible sales leads. Follow up is crucial, and video can help.
  • Highlight your call to action. Use an immersive video to let your prospects know what they can do next to connect.

Interested in adding video to your emails, but need help with the nitty gritty tech aspects? Check out the guide below.


Embed Video in your Email’s Body

With some knowledge of HTML, you can embed a video to play directly in your prospects’ emails. Not all email providers support this feature. Instead, embed an image or GIF, complete with play button, and format it to link to a video landing page. This puts the viewer in the right place to continue their customer journey.

  1.  Create a thumbnail for your video at 1280 x 720. You can do this by taking a screenshot and doing some minor edits. Bonus: Add a “play button” so viewers know what they’re clicking on.
  2. Insert photo or GIF into email
  3. Select photo and insert your link


Link to Video in your Email’s Text

Add hyperlinks to emphasize key phrases, whether your company’s name, services, or story–– whatever you can dream up. To do so, highlight the word you want to emphasize then navigate to insert the link.

For example, when talking about the power of whiteboard animations in my email marketing, I add information about the neuroscience that backs it up.


Embed Video in your Signature

This varies a bit, depending on your email provider.

  1. Create a thumbnail for your video at 1280 x 720. You can do this by taking a screenshot and doing some minor edits. Bonus: Add a “play button” so viewers know what they’re clicking on.
  2. Go to the options or settings within your email account and find the “signature” section.
  3. Insert your thumbnail.
  4. Add a link to your video.
  5. Test your handiwork by sending an email to yourself.


Insert a GIF

Keep in mind: GIFs are widely used, but not supported by every email provider. In Outlook 2007, 2010, 2013, and Windows Phone 7, your GIF will appear as a picture of the first frame.

You can add a GIF just the way you would insert an image into an email, whether by dragging and dropping it into your email or inserting .


In conclusion, adding video to your email marketing can boost your open rate, more deeply convey your message, and increase your sales leads–– ultimately building better business. Use this guide to get started, and you’ll be well on your way to building a following. Any additional tips or questions? Feel free to reach out. Give us a call at 202-747-0404.