Your target audience likely receives a deluge of emails every day. But most of these emails often go unread or end up in spam because they contain low-quality copies or sales pitches. If you want your audience to engage more with your emails, the best way to go about it is by including videos that provide tangible value to them. Adding video to emails can significantly improve open rates and click-through rates.
But what kind of videos should you use and how can you create these videos? In this guide, we will take you everything you need to know about using video in your emails. You can create engaging videos using a tool like InVideo and then use the information shared below to start your video email marketing journey.
Here’s what we will cover:
Video email marketing is exactly what it sounds like — using videos in your emails to improve open rates, engagement, and click-through rates while providing value to your audience.
But why should you add a video to your emails? Because by using videos, you combine two powerful marketing channels — email and video — making your brand’s voice stronger and better heard. Let’s talk about how this amplification can benefit your business.
An average office worker receives over 121 emails every day, and that’s where video can help you compete. Here are a few benefits of video email marketing that you should not overlook.
1. Improves email click-through rates, open rates, and conversions
Let’s take Igloo Software as an example. The B2B company wanted to show off its workplace culture. They created 200 videos over three months. The videos were sent to their email subscribers and as a result, their CTR doubled. The brand also shares a video as and when their customers achieve a milestone or are celebrating an Igloo anniversary, showing their customers they care.
2. Increases time spent on email
The more time people spend on your email, the more content they’ll absorb. It is one of the most critical engagement metrics for you to monitor. When subscribers are not spending enough time on your email that could signal several things — maybe your content isn’t engaging enough, perhaps it’s not valuable enough, and so on. This is where adding video can help. Since videos are more engaging and can improve the CTR, they can improve the time subscribers spend with your emails. You can view the time spent on email metrics on popular tools like MailChimp and HubSpot. Here’s what it looks like on HubSpot.
3. Increases shareability of your emails and helps boost SEO
The more people your brand can reach, the better it is for your brand’s organic search engine growth. When people share snippets and videos on social media, it strengthens your backlink profile, amplifying your SEO efforts. Also, since people are 2x as likely to share a video with their friends, embedding videos in your emails can boost your visibility tremendously.
4. Helps build trust
Building trust requires positioning your brand as an expert. Video emails are an excellent way to build trust because you can provide value through industry updates, tutorials, case studies, and best practices. You can help the subscribers solve a real problem while showing them your brand can help make things easier for their business.
5. Makes information more digestible
People retain 95% of information obtained from video compared to just 10% from the text. Videos can therefore help you explain complex subjects easily and quickly without writing lengthy copy — which can turn prospects away without ever reading your full email. You can use videos to explain complex subjects easily. The human brain can process visual information a lot more quickly, so you can relay a lot more information through video than through text.
This helps improve retention and recall as people are more likely to remember the information as well.
6. Helps build a better relationship with your audience
Sharing videos gives your brand an interactive feel. You can also personalize videos whenever possible. Videos customized for each subscriber in your email list can improve the conversion rate by up to 500%. Adding video to your emails allows subscribers to peek into who they’re dealing with. They can relate your brand with a face and personality when they view your videos, making it more trustworthy.
Pro tip: These benefits prove that adding videos to your emails is the need of the hour, but creating videos for your emails can be a hassle. This is where InVideo for business comes in. With tailor-made templates and video editing services on demand, it can simplify video creation for your email marketing needs. Get your free demo here.
Now that you know why using videos in your emails is important, let’s take a look at the different ways in which you can use videos to communicate your brand’s message, showcase your new product, or share your wins with your subscribers.
1. Welcome email for your subscribers or users
Your welcome email is your audience’s first interaction with your brand after they sign up for your email list. And welcoming them with a video is way more personal than simply writing a note. This also gives you and your team a chance to build a connection with them from the get-go.
For instance, here’s how Niice’s welcome email looks:
Notice how even though it’s a welcome email, it instantly provides value by sharing tips for gaining more visibility. You can use a similar template to make your welcome emails more personal. When creating a video for your welcome email, have someone from the team record a video instead of just an animated video. You want the video to be able to connect to your target audience. Give them a face to see and a voice to hear.
Get a script ready, shoot footage, and then edit to trim out any extra frames from the video. Welcome videos are best served short, so try to keep the video under 1 minute and avoid trying to sell yourself. Focus on the subscriber/user rather than yourself or your brand. You can still add a logo reveal at the end to brand the video, though. You can animate the reveal yourself or use one of our templates such as this one. And if you want a customized welcome video for your email subscribers, consider signing up to InVideo for business where you can get video editing on-demand as well as templates tailor-made to your needs. Get your free demo here.
2. Showcase your value proposition
The benefit of having an email list is that you have a ready audience who already wants to hear from you. But selling to your email list isn’t always easy. The average click-through rate for emails according to one Mailchimp study is just 2.62%. This means for every 100 people who open your email, only 2-3 click on the links you provide.
The easiest way to improve this is by sharing your value proposition through video instead of text because lengthy text can become a snoozefest pretty quickly. Take inspiration from what Knotel did with one of their emails:
Instead of just writing about what their product is about, they created an engaging video with motion graphics and animation to explain their value prop. If you’re wondering why would someone even want to spend two minutes watching a sales video? The answer lies in the treatment that Knotel has given — the video doesn’t feel like a sales pitch at all. It is entertaining.
Notice how the video is very tightly scripted so that it doesn’t let your attention waver. The addition of text, animations, transition, and crisp narration all stops you from looking away even for a second. If you want to create similar video emails, you’ll need to start with a script that explains your value proposition clearly and concisely. Use the script as a skeleton for the video. And then you can create an animated video like the one above using InVideo templates. You will need to replace the media and text with your own. You can also add animations and voice-over to polish your videos.
Alternatively, if you want all of this done for you, consider signing up to InVideo for business where you can get video editing on-demand as well as templates tailor-made to your needs. Get your free demo here.
3. Share a tutorial
Teaching is one of the best ways to sell. It puts your product or service in front of your target audience and provides value to the viewers so it doesn’t feel like marketing. Tutorials can provide value to your audience quickly, whatever industry you’re in. For this reason, tutorials have been a popular marketing tool for a while now. Brands create product-led tutorials and put them on YouTube to gain visibility. But the distribution of content is just as important as creating it — and that’s where video email marketing comes in.
You can use existing video assets (or create a new one) and distribute them to your email subscribers. Let’s look at how Jot Labs shares an existing YouTube video in their email as an example:
If you love coffee, you’ll probably want to see how the manufacturer of the world’s most concentrated coffee recommends making it. And that’s what Jot teaches in their video:
Notice how the entire video uses Jot’s products — they’ve found organic opportunities to position their product within the tutorial, but the focus is first on providing value. Essentially, you want to tell your audience how to do something the best way and how your product can be the ideal choice for doing it.
To create videos like this, you want to start by understanding the pain points of the audience in your niche. Take a look at their questions on your social media, study your competition, and analyze forums where they may spend time looking for answers. Your tutorials then should be about answering these questions quickly and effectively. The thing you need to remember with videos for email is that they need to be sharper and more eye-catching than regular videos you might be posting elsewhere. The reason is that people want to get the information quickly and in the most digestible way possible. So if you go on with long explanations, that will make them drop off and reduce your retention tremendously.
Once you have your topic in place, you can either choose to film these or create an animated video explaining the different points. In either case, you can rely on the InVideo editor to create an engaging output quickly and easily, even if you’ve never edited a video before. Here’s a template that you can get started with:
4. Share updates with your audience
A huge benefit of email marketing is that it allows you to build a personal relationship with your audience because you have a lot more room to share updates and happenings with your brand with a targeted group. Videos can help you amplify this sharing and personalization.
One of the best examples of showing the audience what you’re up to is this email from Dunkin’ Donuts that tells subscribers how they’re making their outlets safe for visitors:
Since most people were skeptical about visiting an eatery in person at the peak of the pandemic, Dunkin’ Donuts sent an email with a video that showed how they’re being vigilant about public health. The email provides donut lovers reassurance that they won’t risk their health by visiting one of the Dunkin’ Donuts outlets:
You can implement this idea in several ways based on what your brand offers. For instance, if you recently invested in a world-class manufacturing plant, walk the subscribers through the factory setup, how it impacts your product, and why it matters to your audience.
To create updated videos, you can choose to film a BTS-style video where you walk your audience through the process, or you can also create a talking-head video with snippets of what you’re talking about and layer that with text to enhance retention and understanding.
Of course, you can make the video creation process easier by signing up to InVideo for business where you can get tailor-made templates for all your video email marketing needs. Get your free demo here.
5. Share client testimonials
Testimonials can feel a little boring to read, but when created as videos, they’re far more engaging. They’re fairly popular too — 79% of people have watched a video testimonial to learn more about a company, product, or service. This makes testimonials a key asset for video email marketing where you can offer recipients social proof of what you can help them achieve.
Packlane, a custom packaging manufacturer, frequently shares stories about how Packlane contributed to a brand’s marketing campaigns. Here’s an example where Packlane shares how their solution offered the Kajabi team an excellent experience. (You can watch the video here):
Creating video testimonials as Packlane did with Kajabi is a great way to build social proof and authority with those who are already signed up to your email list. To create videos like this, you first need to reach out to clients who’ve had success with your product and service and then either ask them to record a video or get them to a studio where you record while they relay their experience on camera. To give the video direction, you can also discuss the flow of questions and answers before you begin recording.
Once you have all of the footage, you can easily edit it on InVideo using templates and thousands of stock assets. Alternatively, you can also ask for written testimonials and convert those into a video using a template like this one.
Now that you have an idea about the various types of videos you can create for your email marketing needs, let’s go ahead and look at how exactly you can add videos to your emails. The best way for your case, as we’ll discuss shortly, depends on several factors.
1. Use a hyperlinked image
Hyperlinked images are the most popular way of adding videos to emails. It involves a static image, usually a video thumbnail, that’s placed strategically and has a play button on top. It works well on mobile phones too and doesn’t require any HTML or CSS knowledge. Here’s how Jot has used a hyperlinked image. They link it to their YouTube video:
Here’s how you can hyperlink an image in your emails:
- Take a screenshot of your video thumbnail.
- Paste it into your email.
- Select the image and click on “Insert Link” (or press Ctrl + K on Windows).
- Insert the YouTube or Vimeo link.
You’re all set at this point. The great thing about this method is that a Gmail user (likely a large portion of your email list) will receive YouTube links also as an attachment with the email. Clicking on the image will allow the Gmail user to watch the video in the same browser tab, provided they’re using Gmail’s desktop version.
2. Use a hyperlinked GIF
Hyperlinked GIFs work the same as hyperlinked images, but with one caveat. Outlook 2007, 2010, and 2013 lack support for GIFs. Subscribers that use one of these versions of Outlook will only see the first frame of the GIF. You can address this issue by putting key information in the first frame, so it works like a static image on Outlook versions that don’t support GIFs.
Instructions for adding a hyperlinked GIF to add video in emails are the same as adding an image, except for one change—instead of taking a screenshot, you’ll need to use a tool like InVideo to create a GIF first.
3. Create a CSS animation
If you know how to use CSS keyframes, you can create animation yourself using CSS and hyperlink it to a video. The result looks very similar to a GIF, except that you won’t be uploading an actual GIF to the email.
You should use this method only if you have sufficient knowledge of CSS and HTML. If you do, here’s a quick tutorial on how you can create a CSS animation for encouraging email recipients to play the video. Alternatively, you can also create your animations with CSS like this:
4. Embed video
If you know a bit of HTML5, embedding videos can be an excellent way to give your subscribers an engaging experience, plus a preview of the video. Recipients can watch embedded videos right from the email client, without having to go to YouTube or any other website.
The problem with this method is the lack of support across email clients. Embedded videos are only supported by the following clients:
- Apple Mail
- Outlook for Mac
- iOS Mail
- Samsung Mail
You also can’t track the number of clicks your video drives when you embed a video. If you feel comfortable using HTML, use this guide for learning how to embed videos into your email.
So, you now know how to add videos to your email. But there are a few best practices you should be mindful of before you hit send.
You shouldn’t just add a video to your emails and call it a day. Spend some time ensuring that your emails follow email video marketing best practices. Doing this will not only help you optimize for conversion and other metrics, but it will also leave a good impression on your subscribers.
Let’s talk about the best practices you should keep in mind.
1. Select the video hosting site carefully
While video has a tangible impact on CTR. It’s also important to note that your CTR value also depends on several other factors as well. For instance, embedding Vimeo videos perform the best with a CTR of 8.13% while YouTube videos come in second with a CTR of 6.62%. Other websites DailyMotion are further down the list so it’s best not to use them for hosting your marketing assets.
2. Keep emails and videos short
Now, there’s no magic number here but aim to keep your videos under 1 minute. There’s a little more room with text in your email because when there’s a video, text plays a supporting role. However, you still shouldn’t write large blocks of text. Keep it concise and skimmable. Here’s a great resource if you want to learn more about writing sharp email copy.
For instance, if you’re a health coach sharing a recipe, here’s what your recipe video could look like:
You can modify this template to suit your needs or pick another template for yourself from our library of marketing templates. The best test to verify if your email or video is too long is by imagining yourself at work, reading the email, and watching the video you’re about to send. Are you likely to spend more than a minute on that email when you’ve got a few other emails to check within a few minutes? If the answer is yes, the email passes the test.
3. 80/20 your videos
People won’t open your emails to watch an advertisement. They open your emails hoping to derive value in some form. They want to learn something new, get an industry update, or just be entertained. For this reason, you should use the Pareto principle for video email marketing too.
The 80/20 principle in the context of video email marketing suggests that 80% of your videos should be informative, engaging, or educational. The rest of the 20% can promote your product, though subtly. When a recipient derives value from your emails, they’ll probably let 20% of those promotional videos slide.
For instance, if you’re a cosmetic company, you could share a video showcasing a new product. However, ensure that you also communicate how the product will offer value to the recipient. Here’s an excellent example (a template that you can modify) of what that video could look like:
4. Add captions
A lot of users, especially the ones on mobile, watch videos on mute. This is why it makes sense for you to add captions to your videos. If you haven’t created a lot of videos before, captions can sound like a tedious task. But when you use an editor like InVideo, it’s fairly straightforward.
InVideo allows adding captions within a few minutes so you don’t have to invest a lot of time or learn a fancy editing program. There’s a good chance that you came up with a script before you created the video unless it’s a testimonial video. Grab the script and use InVideo to add text from the script to create a video with captions.
5. Add a clear CTA
CTAs are the heart and soul of any email marketing campaign. Adding a clear and actionable CTA tells your audience what action they need to take next. When adding a video to your emails, you also need to add a clear CTA at the end of your videos. Doing this tells your users what to do next after they have watched the video without going to the email.
For instance, if you’re hosting a webinar, here’s what your video could look like:
Notice how the video ends with a clear CTA. You can modify this template based on your needs, of course. If you want to customize your video CTAs and want other benefits such as video editing on demand, consider signing up to InVideo for business. Get your free demo here.
When applying this best practice to your emails, start by determining a clear CTA. It can be something you want your users to do, such as:
- Sign up for a free trial
- Request a quote
- Share the information on social media
- Participate in a contest
- Provide feedback
Once you’ve figured out your CTA, you’ll need to either create a video asset or use an existing one. Whichever you choose, make sure that it aligns with the CTA. If you need more insight on how to get CTAs right with video, here’s a great explainer:
6. Use an animated thumbnail but reduce the file size
Using GIFs can help you get more clicks than a static image. Some email clients don’t support them, but that’s an easily fixable issue. Just add important information to the first frame so that even when email clients that don’t support GIF show it as a static image, the information goes through to the reader.
You should also compress the GIFs before using them in your emails. Sending large files can trigger the recipient’s spam filter, so it’s best to use a tool like loving to compress the GIF. There’s no specific file size to aim for, but a Litmus study reveals that optimized emails typically have images lower than 2.7MB. Of course, the smaller the better as long as the quality doesn’t deteriorate.
7. Enable autoplay
In most cases, autoplay can feel like a nuisance. This is usually because of the absence of intent on the user’s part to play the video. However, when you insert a video in your email and a user clicks it, there’s definite intent. You can save the user an extra click with autoplay and they’re far more likely to appreciate autoplay than in other cases.
When you use a YouTube link, they’ll also show up as attachments. If your user clicks on those attachments, they’ll autoplay by default. However, with other platforms, you might need to change the embed URL from the HTML. For instance, here’s how you can set Vimeo videos to autoplay when you embed (not link them to an image of GIF) in your email:
8. Track video and email performance
Optimization is critical for a successful campaign. With video email marketing, you’ll need to track two categories of metrics to optimize your marketing: video and email. Video metrics like watch time and completion rate tell you how well your video’s performing, while you’ll need to look at the open rates and CTR to gauge the email’s performance.
Doing this will allow you to narrow down on what you need to work on. For instance, if the video has a lower complete rate, you should reassess the relevance of the video’s content for the target audience. There might be a specific part of the video where your audience is dropping off. Finding it and removing it can help your email marketing videos perform better.
In addition to what the metrics tell you, you can also take proactive steps to improve video and email marketing metrics. For instance, using the word “Video” in your subject line can positively impact open rates. However, instead of just placing the word “Video” anywhere, you should A/B test its placement in the subject line. An example could be using the word “Video” at the end vs the beginning of the subject line. If you haven’t A/B tested emails before, here’s a resource that explains how to do it:
Video email marketing can produce exceptional results for your brand when done right. It can help grow your email list, improve conversion rates, and build a better rapport with your subscribers with this guide you are well on your way to creating a stellar video email marketing strategy. We also have a comprehensive guide on building and growing your email list if you’re looking for some insights.
Fortunately, you no longer need to spend hours editing a video. With InVideo for business, you can get access to tailor-made templates and video editing on demand to cater to all your video email marketing needs. Get your free demo here.