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Video Email Marketing: Definition, Examples, Tips & More

Written and researched by experts at AvadaLearn more about our methodology

By Sam Nguyen

CEO Avada Commerce

Drive 20-40% of your revenue with Avada
avada email marketing

Some things were just made to go together, such as peanut butter and jelly, action movies and popcorn, video and email marketing… hmm, maybe not!

On the surface, adding videos to your emails can give an extra jolt to your marketing campaigns. Videos make your emails a delight to consume and give a whole new dimension to the phrase “actions speak louder than words.”

However, there are many technical challenges that get in the way.

So, in this guide, we are going to overcome those challenges together as we take a look at everything you should know about video email marketing.

Let’s explore!

What is video email marketing?

As its name suggests, video email marketing is simply including videos in email marketing. Embedding videos in emails is becoming one of the most favorite practices of digital marketers, as it’s produced some of the best conversions recently.

What is video email marketing?
What is video email marketing?

Email marketing is still an effective channel for your campaigns, with the ROI (Return on Marketing) can be as high as 4400%. That means for every dollar spent on an email marketing campaign; you can make $44 back. Plus, do you know that up to 94% of markets using videos plan to continue? Impressive numbers, right?

This combination of two of the most intriguing marketing tools is called video email marketing. By using videos, you can tap into the imagination of an audience that absorbs information visually - sometimes text just can’t do it. With videos, you have a chance to make your emails more compelling for your audience.

Benefits of using video email marketing

Video email marketing stands out from other email communication. The benefit of sending videos in emails is that it hooks the audience and speeds engagement with them.

Below are additional advantages of video email marketing:

  • Easily getting across. Videos are significant for your email marketing plans as they draw the attention of viewers. Audiences will find them more interesting and active in comparison to plain text. So, a video email is likely to male more impact on audiences.

  • Saving time. Video email marketing saves the time of both senders and receivers. It gives information on your product or service in less time and makes complicated subjects easy to understand.

  • Effectively penetrating. Videos can quickly go viral and have an impressive way of saying things and delivering messages. Viewers often respond more positively to a product/ service after watching its video.

  • Boosting SEO. The super benefit of using video in emails is improved Google search ranking. We all know online videos can become popular and draw more attention. It can result in more sharing on social media channels, and therefore, more of a boost to the brand.

  • Increasing open rates. Do you know that just using the word “video” in your email’s subject line can increase your open rates? It’s true! People actually love watching videos and seek them out on a daily basis. Therefore, if you can include the word “video” in your subject line, you’ll have a greater chance of piquing the interest of your audience and encouraging them to click.

5 effective examples of using video email marketing

Use your email headline to highlight the video

Your headline plays an essential part in an email campaign. A compelling headline can increase the number of open rates you receive, which may lead to more conversions. For example, Spotify highlights video as the core attribute of its particular campaign: “Video Story: Why Spotify uses Framer X.

Spotify uses their email headline to highlight the video
Spotify uses their email headline to highlight the video

They include a thumbnail of the video as well as a CTA (call-to-action) button to drive people to the video. Notice that the CTA button is bright blue, which is against a relatively simple email design - this helps catch the reader’s eye.

Related topic: 101 Killing Email Headlines Examples

Capture key moments from your recent event

Event planners, whether physical or digital, have a unique opportunity to capitalize on using videos in email. It’s an excellent way to recount key moments from your event, which can encourage the audience to get on a mailing list for the next year’s event.

This example from Ghostfest, a gaming event, uses video to highlight how streamers interact with their video game product.

Ghostfest captures the key moment from their recent event
Ghostfest captures the key moment from their recent event

This email even uses a snippet to engage the audience, then follows up with a CTA button that links to their video. They also include different links to other popular videos that the audience may enjoy. See their full email right here.

Do a review of something unique to your brand

Some businesses send out their weekly or monthly newsletters that contain a wealth of information about themselves. So, reviewing your branded annual conference is another effective way to update your subscribers about what is going on in your business.

In this following example, OnBrand provides its customers with commentary from key employees in the company.

OnBrand provides their subscribers with commentary from key employees
OnBrand provides their subscribers with commentary from key employees

The company uses a clean and simple design while including both a thumbnail of the video and links to the recap on their website.

Send a personalized holiday greeting

You don’t need to use videos exclusively to convey information - emails are a great way to let your audience know you appreciate them. Personalizing your emails can be a great technique to drive traffic to your site.

For instance, Rentalcars.com uses personalization to send a holiday greeting to its subscribers.

Rentalcars.com sends a personalized holiday greeting
Rentalcars.com sends a personalized holiday greeting

The video is the same for all of their subscribers, but they do include suggestions for popular destinations the audience may appreciate in a festive design that captures their eye.

Include a tutorial for new subscribers

If you have a unique product or service that your audiences are interested in, a tutorial video is a perfect way to show them how to use it. Informational videos can offer value to your audience and can encourage them to reach out with other questions.

For example, Shopify sends a tutorial video to their new subscribers.

Shopify includes a tutorial for new subscribers
Shopify includes a tutorial for new subscribers

Shopify includes an excerpt about this video and a table of content to give the audience an idea of what the tutorial covers, which really highlights the value of their video.

How to embed a Youtube (or any other) video in email?

There are two common options you might consider when embedding a video in your email:

  • Embed a GIF of the video with a “Click here to watch our full video” CTA
  • Embed a still image of your video, and when your subscribers click the “Play” button, they will be re-routed to your video URL.

Let’s explore both of the options!

Option 1. Embed a GIF

#1. Find the URL of your video, or download and save your video to your computer. For example, to create a GIF of a video that we want to include in our email, we first went to AVADA’s Youtube channel and copied the URL of the video named “AVADA Email Marketing.

#2. Next, we went to Imgflip, a tool that enables you to create GIFs of your videos. You can upload the URL directly to Imgflip or upload the video that you’ve saved on your computer. In this case, we copied and pasted the URL from AVADA’s Youtube channel. Alternatively, you can copy and paste your website URL or Facebook URL.

#3. Then, you can see two triangles that help you choose where you would like to start and stop your GIF - if you move the green one, you are choosing the starting point for the GIF, and if you move the red one, you are choosing the endpoint. Please keep in mind that for non-Pro accounts, you can’t create a GIF that lasts longer than 20 secs.

Once you’ve done it, click “Generate GIF.

#4. Once your GIF has been generated, click “Download .gif”.

#5. Now comes the fun part! Simply create an email to send to your subscribers, and drag-and-drop your GIF into the email. Below the GIF, you can set up a video CTA, like “Click to view our full video here” with a URL to your video.

You can spruce up your email headline with “Video included” to further incentivize click-through rates. Besides, make sure the video you want to include is truly a compelling, interesting piece of content for your subscribers.

Option 2. Embed a still photo of your video with a “Play” button

#1. We will use the same video as before. Instead of copying the URL, however, we simply screenshotted a pause section of our video.

#2. However, if you screenshot a video while it is playing, you might not have a “Play” button. To add one to a still image, access the website Add Play Button to Image, upload your still image, choose a play button design, and click “Create Play Button Image.” Then, choose “Download Image”.

#3. Next, click “Insert Photo” in your email to include the image with the Play button. Highlight the image and choose “Insert link.” Copy and paste the link to the full video.

#4. And that’s it! Now, when your audience clicks on your image, they will be redirected to the full video.

10 tips for using video email marketing

So now that you know how to embed a video in email, what benefits it offers, and some effective examples, here we present you some of the best tips for using videos in your email marketing campaign. All these tips are based on the expertise of some of the most experienced professionals of the business.

Plan your video email marketing campaign

Before you start, ask yourself: why this campaign? This is essential as it will help you set your objectives clearly. For instance, to create brand awareness, to announce events, or to generate leads, etc. Refer to the following guidelines when planning your video marketing campaign:

#1. Outline your campaign with particular marketing strategies

#2. Do market research and figure out your competitors

#3. Identify your target audience

#4. Chalk out your budget and stick to it

#5. Prepare your to-do list and go step-by-step

Keep it short

Large videos don’t intrigue an audience. Keep in mind that if your video lasts a number of minutes with a lengthy speech, you’ll lose your audience. That’s why large videos are often a strict no-no. They also require too much time for attachment.

So, keep them short and interesting, between one and two minutes.

Test using the word “video” in the headline

Let people know before they open your emails that you have an interesting video to show them. It can make your video email attractive and more people are likely to click on it. And if they do, half of your job is done.

Pick a great thumbnail

It isn’t enough to include videos in your emails; you need people to really watch them. The only way they will do that is if you choose an amazing thumbnail that can spark their interest.

Don’t just choose a random still image from your video. Select an image that can appeal to your viewers.

Say no to autoplay

Many of your audiences don’t like it when a video plays right away. So, give them their own space and let them click on it themselves.

Use single tap

While it is essential to say no to autoplay, you also want to be sure that you are not making it too difficult for viewers to watch your videos.

Generally, a single tap is preferred over a double tap because one doesn’t need to open a new browser for it and then tap a second time to play the video. This feature is an advantage for mobile users.

Create interviews and customer testimonials

Customer testimonials regarding your products and services are valuable. Your prospects might like to know the views of existing customers. You can also share some nice interviews in the video that can build up customer interest in your products or services.

Add a personal touch

Subscribers find videos with a personal touch convincing and impressive. A video doesn’t necessarily need to directly talk about the brand. You can build trust and encourage subscribers to engage with you by using emotions and adding a personal touch.

According to Econsultancy, up to 74% of marketers agree that targeted personalization increases customer engagement. There are many different use cases for personalized videos in emails, such as birthday offers, car insurance quotes, or item replenishment offers. You can read our following topics for more useful information.

Create converting call-to-action buttons

The placement of a video in your email should be purposeful. To make proper use of your videos, always put a converting CTA button in your video. You’ll want your viewers to take action and encourage them to share your video with their peer groups and friends.

So, keep your CTA button clear, immediate, and actionable, or else it’ll dilute your message. If you’re using it in your email text, keep it in the first paragraph. You can also include it during or at the end of the video. Below are some effective ways to use your CTA:

  • Place a contact form or social buttons at the end of the video
  • Consider using a sense of urgency (i.e., “Hurry up!” or “Limited discounts”)
  • Follow up with your subscribers
  • Gather contact information from them
  • Consider A/B testing different CTA placements to see what works best for you

Test it out before sending

Always get your video tested carefully before you send it across different channels. You can first share it with your friends and peer group before making it live. Then, don’t forget to ask them for their suggestions. Their response could be the genuine feedback that you need to make further improvements.

The bottom line

The online market is currently buzzing excitedly about upbeat trends in video email marketing. For better email marketing results, marketers should study the web analytics and user engagement behavior affected by video email marketing. Plus, if you follow the points discussed in this guide, you definitely can plan things well for your business.

If you have any questions about this topic, feel free to contact our team. We’re always happy to hear from you! Thanks for reading!

Sam Nguyen is the CEO and founder of Avada Commerce, an e-commerce solution provider headquartered in Singapore. He is an expert on the Shopify e-commerce platform for online stores and retail point-of-sale systems. Sam loves talking about e-commerce and he aims to help over a million online businesses grow and thrive.