Exploring Types and Ways of Using Videos in Email Marketing

Video is quickly becoming the most sought-after marketing channel. Using animated videos in email campaigns is an effective way to increase conversions and engage consumers.

According to content marketing company Uberflip, 75 million people watch videos online in the U.S. every month.

Already, about 87 percent of marketers use video for content marketing campaigns.

 Videos are so engaging, using it in email marketing campaigns makes good sense. A survey from Exact Target determined that 77 percent of consumers prefer that permission-based brand communications come through email, making it one of the most used communicative resources.When combined with the engagement of video, email becomes a powerful way to make conversions.

According to an infographic from Email Monks, an email campaign platform, using video in email marketing offers a 280 percent greater return than traditional email. Click-through rates improve dramatically when video is included.

 But, how do you include video in your email marketing?


1. Plays inside the actual Email

Embedding a video means it will play right inside the email, you will never have to leave the inbox, which is convenient.

This is accomplished with the use of HTML5, and one thing you have to consider is that only 58% of the recipients will be able to play the video, the other 42% will see a fallback image. This is because the technology is not yet compatible with all email clients.

Email clients that support video:

  • iOS devices
  • Outlook.com
  • Apple Mail
  • Thunderbird 13

Email clients that do NOT support video:

  • Gmail
  • Yahoo
  • Outlook

According to Litmus, Gmail opens increased 243% from November 2013 to February 2014, and it’s by far the biggest player in webmail. Gmail not supporting video is something you’ll have to consider carefully.


Source: Pinterest

2. Using a GIF


Yes, GIFs are all the rage at the moment. People seem to love them and brands use them as a great storytelling weapon in their marketing efforts.

Here is the GIF used by Buffer in a recent email campaign to cleverly demonstrate how their new app Daily works.



Source: Pinterest

Another reason to use GIFs is to indicate that you are linking to a video. You can even use one of the many GIF generator tools that turn your video into a GIF.

But other than that, it’s pretty much the same as using a static image, it’s purpose is to link to a video at a different location.

The good thing about GIFs is that it is supported by more email clients. Here is a list of the email clients (Desktop, Web and Mobile) that support GIFs (Source: Litmus)

Here are some tools you can use to create a GIF from a video:

  • ImgFlip
  • GifLike
  • GifSoup




Source: Pinterest

3. Static Images


And the last option is using a static image with a link to the video location, this is safer of course because most email clients support images. Here is an example from a recent campaign I sent, which is nothing but a screenshot of the YouTube video player, linking to the blog post.

When you link out of the inbox, you can send that traffic to:

  • A page on your website, a blog post page or a landing page
  • Or a video sharing network like YouTube or Vimeo.




Source: Pinterest

 Which method should you use?


  • 29% of successful marketers link to a video landing page
  • 23% use the video embed method
  • 21% link to a video sharing network like YouTube

I think this is the best process at the moment:

  • Use a static image or GIF in your email to link out of the inbox
  • Send the traffic to your own web property, not a network

And here are my reasons why:

  • I don’t want to send out anything only part of my subscribers or followers are going to be able to experience as I intended
  • You have no control of the email client on your recipient’s computer. You have no idea of their settings
  • You don’t know how many distractions are sharing the screen with your video
  • You can’t optimize for conversion if you are inside your recipient’s inbox or if you are on YouTube

You should always aim to send your prospect to a property you own and have full control of, where you can eliminate distractions, add calls-to-action, add or remove the sidebar if you want.

If you are sending traffic to a landing page, you can set the video to auto play as soon as the user lands on the page. Under any other circumstances auto-play will not be cool, but remember, this person is expecting a video to start playing.


Adding a video to your email helps you get the point to your receiver pretty amazingly and interestingly. The receiver will not only get the message properly, but after the video (especially animated ones and creative ones) will leave a smile on the other end. Positivity will flow all around the world!

Featured Image Courtesy

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *