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Using Video Effectively to Create Engaging Email Marketing Campaigns

Since email marketing has become so ubiquitous, the key to an effective email marketing campaign lies in using innovative communication methods to stand out. And that’s where video comes in as a game-changer.

Victor Blasco

Victor Blasco

Using Video Effectively to Create Engaging Email Marketing Campaigns

We are in an era where digital marketing has all but overtaken traditional marketing methods. And it’s clear that most marketers use email as a platform to engage their core audiences.  

The thing is that, since email marketing has become so ubiquitous, the key to an effective email marketing campaign lies in using innovative communication methods to stand out. And that’s where video comes in as a game-changer.

Video has become customers’ preferred type of media when it comes to marketing content, as it lends itself to simultaneously informing and entertaining viewers. 

However, the numbers show that while incorporating compelling marketing videos into your emails you can increase your open rates, CTRs, and conversions, you also need to go about it the right way!

Which is exactly what we’ll be talking about today 😉

Can You Embed a Video Directly into an Email?

Yes. But you really shouldn’t.

If your email service provider supports HTML5, you can certainly embed and watch video content inside your email without being redirected. 

The problem, though, is that most popular email providers, such as Gmail, Outlook, and Yahoo, do not support this function. This means that going the embed route automatically excludes the bulk of your recipients from being able to watch your videos in the first place. 

A successful video email, then, requires you to find more creative workarounds to this problem,  like linking back to the platform that hosts your videos, or (preferably) using GIFs or Thumbnail images as link anchors to create a more organic redirect. 

While that does represent an extra step for leads, the potential loss is offset by ensuring your content will be visible to a far bigger pool of people than it would through embedded content.

The Five Core Aspects of Successful Video Emails

While every email campaign you create will have its own objectives, there are some key practices you should implement to generate more engagement from recipients

So, let’s talk a bit about the essential attributes you should pay attention to give your video emails the best chance to succeed!

Optimize Your Subject Line

Your subject line is the hook that draws in potential customers. A good one will have them wanting to learn more about what you’re offering, even before they click to open. 

It stands to reason, then, that if you want to generate high open rates, your email subject lines need to be compelling and stand out in a busy inbox. 

You already know that you’re including a great video in your email. You should let people know as well by adding a text tag like “[VIDEO]” to the start of your subject line. Making it clear right off the bat they can expect more from your email than a long-winded block of text.

Let Your Video Do The Talking

What’s one of the most important components of email marketing? Copy that gets straight to the point. 

When you add a video to your email, you’re basically telling people that what they need to learn is in the video - not the email. So, your video shouldn’t be preceded by a sea of text, but by one or two snappy sentences that convince recipients to go watch it. Then you can add relevant CTA’s, referral links, or instructions for the next steps you want them to take.

Remember, you already invested a lot of time and resources in producing a piece of video meant to win your audience’s hearts. Let it do the heavy lifting.

Great Thumbnails = Higher CTRs

Two things remain irretrievable: time and a first impression.” — Cynthia Ozick

First impressions matter. And one thing that will determine whether your email makes a good or bad one is your video’s thumbnail. 

Understand what is the core need and customer preference your video is addressing and use this to create an attractive thumbnail to use as an anchor for your content. 

If it contains text, make sure it’s short and try to leverage simple, yet unique design elements line attention-grabbing fonts and use colors that complement your video and brand’s image. 

Go With Short Videos

Getting people to click through to your video is half the work, another big challenge lies in ensuring they watch it long enough to hear your message. 

With the average internet user having an attention span of 8 seconds or less, it wouldn’t be the best idea to have your email link back to an 8 minutes-long video. 

The best kind of videos to use in your email marketing campaign (more on this in a bit!) summarize your message in as short a time as possible. This improves the likelihood that a potential customer will learn everything they need to before moving on to something else. 

If you’re looking for some inspiration, social media platforms perfectly demonstrate how to engage through short, exciting videos.

Test your Emails Before Hitting Send

Last but not least, you’ll want to have a crystal clear view of the experience people will have when interacting with your video marketing emails. 

By sending a test email to yourself and your team, you can collect feedback on general elements, like how your subject line and thumbnail appear, and more practical elements like picking up typos and aligning your content adequately.

This testing run is vital to determine whether any changes need to be made, and ensure the product you’ll eventually serve to dozens, hundreds, or thousands of potential customers lives up to your brand's standards.

Choosing Videos That Get The Job Done

Videos that work well when paired with emails are usually meant to nurture customer trust and build a stronger brand presence, while also delivering key takeaways.

Let’s look at three types of videos that fit these objectives by design.

Explainer Videos

Explainers are a type of marketing video that uses creative design elements and structure to break down complex concepts in a way that makes it easy for people to understand. 

They function as a great alternative to lengthy emails that may be considered overwhelming by some of your customers. Whenever your strategy’s goals involve delivering a lot of information to recipients as quickly and efficiently as possible, creative video explainers should be your first port of call.

Product Videos

Why write a long block of text gushing about your product attributes when you can showcase them through an eye-catching, impactful video? Product videos are much more effective than generic email texts as they allow potential customers to see your product in action while incorporating visual elements your recipients won’t soon forget.

The best part about product videos is that you get so many variations to choose from. These include commercials, unboxing, product demos, influencer promos, and much more. With all of these choices, why limit your customer to a lengthy text email that most of your subscribers might skip?

Customer Testimonials

Testimonials and recommendation videos are perfect for audiences who are already familiar with your brand but might need that final push that your email is trying to give them.

The aim of testimonials is to nurture trust and convey brand credibility, showing people that you are more than capable of delivering exactly what they need, just like you did for others. So if your emails are getting those high CTRs but still lacking when it comes to bringing it home with increased conversions, consider including testimonial videos as part of your campaign.

Using Video Emails that Advance Customers Through Your Funnel

Just as regular emails contain CTAs that instruct your viewers on the next steps to take, your video emails can (and should) make use of them as well. CTA’s play an essential role in fulfilling your campaign’s core objective, whether it’s telling people to visit your website, purchase a product, or follow your social media channels, so it’s worth spending some time polishing them up!

There are two effective ways to leverage CTAs in your video emails. 

The first way revolves around inserting one into your email’s text. Remember, the email should be short and snappy. So, if you are doing it right, your text CTA should be the first thing recipients notice after the video itself.

Secondly, you can (and should!) add CTAs within the video itself. At the very least, one at the end of the piece. Every effective marketing video is trying to accomplish some very specific task, usually tied to whatever action you want your viewers to take.

By adding clear CTAs to your video content, and making sure they align with the one you are using within the body of your email, you are doubling your chances of getting your recipients to take the plunge.

Wrapping Up

Including video content as part of your email marketing campaign can significantly contribute to its overall success. There are tons of video types that you can use to inform your subscribers about your brand and any upcoming offers. When adding these videos to your emails, it’s essential you apply the right practices to help them stand out so that people can engage with them.

Once people are engaging with your emails and your website is experiencing a surge in traffic, your videos’ CTAs will function as the perfect tool to nurture desirable behavior from potential customers, moving them from solid leads to conversions.

the writer
Victor Blasco

Victor Blasco

Contributor @Iconosquare

Victor Blasco is an audiovisual designer, video marketing expert, and founder/CEO of the explainer video production company Yum Yum Videos. Besides running the business, he’s a lifelong student of Chinese philosophy and a passionate geek for all things sci-fi.


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