Email Video Marketing: Everything You Need to Know to Get Started –

What if we told you there was a video marketing tactic that could increase your business’s revenue by 40 percent? It’s not a new trend, either; it’s been around for years, in fact. We’re talking about video email marketing.

Video-Email-Marketing-Tips-1That’s right — putting video in your emails instead of solely on video distribution platforms can greatly increase click-throughs, revenue, and more. GetResponse found videos embedded in emails sent out to subscribers tend to result in a 20 percent increase in return-on-investment (ROI), a 24 percent increase in conversion rates, and overall 40 percent higher revenues than brands that don’t use video email marketing. Additionally, Forrester Research discovered videos in email tend to increase click-through rates 200-300 percent.

With all the benefits of video email marketing, you’d expect more brands and companies to be all over this tactic. Part of why many don’t use it, however, is because it’s been tricky to implement. Until recently, the internet lacked a standardized video format before the more widespread adoption of HTML5, a coding language which has improved the deliverability of multimedia like video. Many email service providers now support HTML5, and therefore the seamless playback and inclusion of video in emails.

Now, including videos in your emails is easier than ever, and also a smart choice when looking to increase your company’s conversions and sales. Here’s how to get started:

Produce Great Video — Always

Before you can include video in your email campaigns, you need to have a clear vision and production plan for the clips in question. Make sure you understand exactly why you’re making each individual video (Is it for driving more sales? Providing more information? Driving brand awareness?), as well as what you want viewers to do after they watch the videos in your emails, such as purchase your product or leave a comment on a related blog post.

You also need to follow the rules of quality video production for each piece of content you create for email. This means filming a well-lit video which has superb, clear audio, even if you’re doing an animated piece. The video should also be edited for the flow and length appropriate for the goals you set up beforehand. For example, if you want to inform customers, your video will more likely be in the three- to five-minute range, as compared to a shorter, one-minute clip on the release of a new product.

Take Tech into Account

Charity:Water not only utilized video within this email, but they made it the primary focus with a large fallback image and very clear 'play' button.

Charity:Water not only used video within this email, but it made video the primary focus with a large fallback image and a clear Play button.

Despite the rapid proliferation of HTML5, not all email providers support it, which means some won’t be able to show or play videos included with your emails. It’s best to check with your email provider in particular and follow their instructions on embedding videos in emails. You can also use a service like Viwomail, Covideo, or BombBomb to help ensure you always deliver videos in a viewable, no-strings-attached format.

As of this writing, Gmail, Yahoo Mail, Outlook, and Android devices don’t support HTML5 video in email. Apple Mail, some iOS devices, and do.

Whether you embed a video in your email client or work through a video email marketing service, there’s one rule of thumb you must always follow: Include a fallback image. A fallback image is a screenshot of your video with a Play button placed over the image so that it looks like a video. Link the image of your video to where the video is hosted (perhaps on YouTube, Vimeo, or Wistia, for example). It’s best to include a fallback image with all of your videos, if given the option, in case any of your subscribers are unable to view the videos.

Include the Word “Video” in the Subject Line

Subject lines can be agonizing to write as they’re often the key to whether or not a subscriber opens an email. The good news is that by simply using the word video in your subject line, open rates increase dramatically. Cisco found using video in an email subject line can increase open rates anywhere from 7 to 13 percent.

Test it for yourself: Create a series of emails all containing videos with the word video in the subject lines. Compare the open rates of these emails to the rates for your plain-text campaigns, and see which type your subscribers prefer interacting with on average.

Avoid Autoplaying Videos in Email

Some email providers that support video playback within emails may let you opt to turn on autoplay. However, you should avoid the temptation to do so, because it’s simply an unpopular choice. In a survey by Ask Your Target Market, 53 percent of respondents said they can’t stand autoplay videos. Autoplay has even been dubbed “the most hated digital ad tactic, by Digiday.”

Business coach Marie Forleo routinely includes her latest MarieTV video episodes in her emails to subscribers.

Business coach Marie Forleo routinely includes her latest MarieTV video episodes in her emails to subscribers.


That said, you can opt to make your videos autoplay, but with a few precautions in mind. Make sure you can track if subscribers close or delete the offending email faster because of the autoplay, and be willing to turn the option back off if you think it’s negatively affecting your open rates as well as user experience.

Include a CTA

It’s important to provide a call-to-action (CTA) within the videos you embed in your emails. For example, you can ask people to download your latest white paper, read your newest blog post, or sign up for to be notified when a product launches. Provide the related link below the video in text format, and you’re good to go.

Make sure you only include one CTA per video, however, so as not to confuse or ask too much of your viewers. And, if your video is publicly hosted somewhere like YouTube or Vimeo, make sure you include the CTA link in those descriptions as well, in case a non-subscriber finds them online.

Video email marketing is essentially a no-brainer when you consider the positive impact it can have on your business. When 20 percent ROI and 40 percent more revenue is on the line, you shouldn’t hesitate to try this proven marketing technique in emails you send to subscribers. The worst that can happen is you discover your subscribers don’t prefer to receive videos (and if that’s the case, you have a decidedly unusual group of subscribers). Start by following these five tips for video email marketing success, and you’ll find yourself on the path to more opens, more click-throughs, and more profits in no time.

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