How to include video in your email marketing | Vimeo

How to include video in your email marketing | Vimeo


Amidst the endless demands of running a business (or just everyday life), it’s easy to get in an email rut. So here’s a novel idea: If you’ve got a video that’s ready to share with your people, consider structuring your next email push around that shiny new content.

Adding video to your emails is an easy way to keep things fresh and super engaging. Still, there are plenty of things to keep in mind when incorporating video content into your next campaign: What kinds of videos work best in email? How do I get people to actually watch my content? How do you even embed a video in an email, anyway? 

To answer these questions (and more!), we linked up with the brains at Mailchimp to give you an expert guide to nailing your video in email approach. “Email is continually evolving and all brands out there are looking for better ways to grab customers’ attention and increase their engagement,” says Sean Fletcher, Mailchimp’s senior product marketing manager. “Adding video to your email marketing strategy should be a regular part of your email marketing strategy to help your brand stand out.”

Ready to get started? Let’s jump right into it.

The benefits of video in email marketing

“Video has been proven to be a valuable asset when it comes to increasing the click rate of your emails,” says Sean. In fact, the team at Mailchimp has found that emails that include video see a 25%+ boost in open rate when compared to emails without video.

But that’s not all video can do when it comes to your email marketing strategy. Including video in your email can also provide benefits like:

Clarifying your message. “Videos can make ideas and messages more accessible and understandable, helping you get your point across,” says Sean. 

Serving different purposes. “Videos are extremely versatile,” Sean adds. “They can be used for walk-throughs of a product, an explanation of your service, or even a 1:1 sales message.”
Humanizing your brand. “it’s always great for your customers and prospects to see and remember that there are people behind all of the emails they receive,” says Sean.

Before you get started

Before you run off to sketch out your next email campaign, there are a few things you’ll need to think through first. Sean’s got some more tips to help you knock your video goals out of the park.

Be intentional

Be sure to include video strategically. Don’t be programmatic about your email content and don’t stretch yourself thin creating content for every campaign. Choose the ones that will work best for you, and focus your energy there.

“While video in email is a great way to increase engagement, not every email needs a video,” reminds Sean. “Make sure you’re choosing the right moments to be using video in email based on your strategy and goals.”

Keep it relevant

“Keep the video relevant to your audience, your strategy, and ultimately, the goals you want to achieve with the email campaign itself,” reminds Sean. Just because you’ve got video content laying around doesn’t mean it’s perfect for the campaign!

Think about how you might be able to repurpose video content to save on new projects, but don’t ship irrelevant videos for the sake of beefing up content.

Keep it accessible

“Not all email clients can handle playing video (or GIF) in email, so make sure you’re thinking about every type of email client before thinking about the one that works,” adds Sean.

While animated GIFs work in the vast majority of webmail clients, there are a few hosting exceptions on desktop and mobile clients (you can check out that full list here). But that doesn’t mean you should abandon your video dreams. Simply ensure the first frame of your GIF is powerful on its own. That way, users will be able to interact with your content regardless of their preferred email provider.

Tips for incorporating video in your email marketing

Now that we’ve got the basics out of the way, here are some nitty-gritty tips on how to incorporate your videos for maximum oomph.

1. Choose a strategic subject line

In order to capture maximum eyeballs, the first step is to actually get your audience to open it. That’s where the subject line comes in. 

“Putting all that time into developing a video for your next email is going to be for naught if you don’t take the time to think about the subject line of your email,” notes Sean. “You have to get your customers to open the email in order to see it!”

Don’t overthink it, but keep your subject lines engaging and relevant to your campaign. If you’re coming up empty, consider what sorts of words might work on you. But don’t go too big: there’s nothing worse than clickbait.

2. Don’t forget about the preview text

It’s not just the subject line that’ll get people in the door. “The preview text is there to help back up your subject line,” says Sean. “This is a second opportunity to further clarify the content of the email and entice a user to open your email.”

3. Make it personal, if you can

When it comes to email marketing, a little personalization can go a long way. Treating your customers like human beings by including their name (and even individualized data, if you’ve got it) is a no-brainer way to strengthen your relationship with your clients. You can learn more about personalizing your emails using merge tags on the Mailchimp blog.

4. Be smart about placement

“Placement largely depends on the content of the video and the goal of the email,” says Sean. “In most instances, it is important to have your video at the top of your email, but only if it supports your strategy.” 

Sean suggests determining where the video makes sense within the story of the email itself. “If the video introduces a new product or service, it’s important to display it as prominently as possible. If it’s not as important for the key message of the email, like a technical how-to video, it can be displayed lower in the build.”

5. Choose the right CTA

Let’s not forget the whole point of your email marketing campaign: to drive people to your site and get them to take action. So get that CTA right!

“Videos can drive to all sorts of pages: a specific landing page, a product feature page, FAQs, and more,” says Sean. “What’s important is that the page of your choosing should continue the narrative of the video and drive viewers toward your CTA. Make sure that the path from the email to the landing page helps tell the story and drives a person towards the goal that you’ve set out to achieve.”

Also — make it crystal clear! Users should know exactly where to click to take that next step down the funnel. Design your email with this in mind.

Can I embed a video in email?


We’ve got some good news and some bad news. The bad news: while a little HTML5 tinkering can help you embed your video in your next email, most email clients can’t display embedded video content, and will strip the code from your campaign. 

The good news? You can easily embed your video by using a dynamic GIF with just a Vimeo account and a few clicks. 

We’ve got some good news and some bad news. The bad news: while a little HTML5 tinkering can help you embed your video in your next email, most email clients can’t display embedded video content, and will strip the code from your campaign. 

The good news? You can easily embed your video by using a dynamic GIF with just a Vimeo account and a few clicks. 

Video ideas for your next email

While you can embed any video you’d like in your next email campaign, there are a few types of videos that best lend themselves to the format. Here are a few of our favorites:

Product intros

For email campaigns introducing a new product or feature, we love product videos as a starting point for building GIFs that prompt CTR and boost conversions.

When drafting messaging to your customers, always keep in mind how you can add value to your users. Creating how-to videos showing users ways to utilize your products or providing valuable thought leadership is a great way to keep retention rates high.

How to include video in your email marketing campaign

As touched on above, it’s actually pretty tricky to embed videos directly into your email. That’s because most video clients will strip the embed code from your campaign entirely. 

But there are a few ways around it. Here’s how you can include video in your next campaign, regardless of skill level.

Embed video in email with GIFs

To easily get your video ready for video embedding, head to your Vimeo account and open the settings for the video you’d like to GIF.

From there…

Embed video using a video content block with Mailchimp

If moving imagery isn’t your thing (to each their own!), you can also embed your video via a content block using your Mailchimp account.

This video content block will pull your static video thumbnail and overlay a play button, to prompt a clickthrough to the full video. This video player image will mimic a hosted video, but will send users to a new page to watch. You can read more details on video content blocks here.

Things to avoid when adding video to your email marketing

Before you go, there are plenty of ways in which video embedding can go wrong. Let’s review some common mistakes you should avoid.

Bad thumbnails or GIFs

“Avoid confusing or unattractive thumbnails,” says Sean. “Your thumbnail or GIF needs to be compelling enough for a person to actually click and watch the full video!” 

Sean suggests considering your audience before you make a thumbnail or GIF choice. If you’re engaging existing users, think about how you can choose visuals that highlight the value of your products. If you’re speaking to a newly acquired audience segment, consider what might convert them to long-term users.

Broken links

If you remember nothing else from this email guide, Sean asks you to remember this: “Double check your links!” But seriously — email is only an effective engagement and conversion tactic if your audience actually gets routed to the right place. Check, check, and check again to make sure your user experience makes sense and is free of errors.

Conflicting CTAs

“Make sure that the CTA of your email and the CTA of your video don’t clash,” advises Sean. Viewers should be clear on the next step that you want them to take, so don’t embed a video with a prompt to check out a new product in an email meant to answer frequently asked questions. Keep your email and video CTAs aligned for maximum effectiveness.

Too-long videos

Remember that if your user is watching your video, you’ve already sent them to a second step of the customer journey. To prevent bounce, keep the length of your videos in mind. “Longer format videos should be used sparingly,” says Sean. “Especially if your customers are accessing their email via mobile.”

Wrap up

Sean’s got a few final tips to make your email video strategy really pop. Be sure to consider:

1. What is my goal by adding a video?

Make sure your video is serving a real purpose by meeting a business or client need. If you can’t think of a good reason to include a video, your email might not need it!

2. Who is my intended audience for this email?

Once you’ve determined that your video is serving a purpose, make sure it’s speaking directly to your people. Tailor your video messaging to the users you’re conducting outreach for, and segment out your sends where appropriate.

3. What is the next step for the customer after this?

Make sure your video is driving somewhere relevant! Your email is only as good as its CTAs and user destinations. Make sure those are in tip-top shape.

4. Is my content optimized for short attention spans?

You only have a few short moments to snag eyeballs. Make sure you’re putting the most important content right at the start so you can get your message across before that drop-off.

Got it? Good. Happy email-ing!

This content was originally published here.

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