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Embedding Videos in Emails: Techniques, Advantages, and Hacks. 

Rida Ali Khan

Videos are to marketing campaigns what a catalyst is to chemical reactions - a performance booster. 

Videos are the new cool. Whether it is social media or e-learning, we all rely on them to get information. Don’t we? 

Similarly, embedding videos in emails gives the reader a chance to understand the email better and gives a break from textual information while also increasing their chances of retaining messages. In fact, research reported that videos boost open rates up to 19%, click-through rates by 65%, and decreased unsubscription rates by 26%. 

So, if you’re an email marketer looking for reasons and methods to add videos to your emails, then you’ve come the right way because, in this article, we have mentioned why, how, and when you should embed videos in your emails. So, let’s get started. 

Advantages of Embedding Videos in Emails

People may think that embedding videos to their emails is just about making them presentable and fun, but that’s not it. In reality, it comes with many advantages, and we have mentioned some of these below:

3 advantages of adding videos in emails

1. Boosts Engagement

Pause here for a while and ask yourself if you received an email with a video embedded in it. Won’t you stop for a second to play and check what it is about? 

You sure will!

Video grabs attention instantly and increases interactivity. According to research, an email that includes a video’s thumbnail will likely engage 40.83% more people than the average email while adding the word “video” in the subject line can boost engagement up to 6%, and the best part is 79% of people purchased after watching a video.

Hence, embedding videos in emails increases click-through and conversions rates and significantly draws people’s attention to open and respond to them. 

2. Helps in Understanding

Word around the street is that videos have become everyone’s new favorite teacher. They help us in processing information better and remember it for longer. 

Research says, 96% of people watch videos to understand a product or a website because our brain processes visual information better than textual. So it’s a great idea to add videos in your emails to explain a new feature or to introduce products. Additionally, a video can answer the queries of your customers as well. 

3. Saves Time

Undoubtedly, our lives are getting busier with every passing day, and we want to get information in the shortest time span - videos help people in that matter. 

Research says 1 minute of watching a video equals to 15 minutes of reading an article. It helps us get to the core of the message quickly and decreases the time we take to register the information. 

Hence, adding video saves a lot of time for the readers and they would definitely prefer an email that has a video attached to it for explanation over textual information. 

Before You Select A Video, Remember: 

A heads up.

You must select the right video before you start learning different ways of embedding videos in emails. Your video will significantly impact your campaign, so make sure you choose the right one. 

We have highlighted certain qualities and attributes that you must consider before selecting your video: 

  • Goal of the Video

Your video is one factor that determines the success of your campaign, so be clear about the intent and goal of the video. 

Be clear about what kind of message your video is going to send to the audience. Is it going to introduce a product, explain a feature, or it’s just another promotional video? 

The goal of your video will help you decide how you want to add it in the email. For instance, If the goal is to increase the video’s ratings, then it’s better that you don’t embed it directly in your email, and it should get redirected to a new tab. But if the goal is simply to explain a specific feature, it’s better to embed it within the email and save the user’s time and keep him/her hooked. 

Goals of adding videos in emails
  • Relatability

Make sure you don’t create or add videos solely to interact with people. The content of your video must be relatable to the brand and campaign. 

Try to add elements in your video that represent your brand; it could be the colors of your campaign or a specific style that your brand follows. Apart from being relatable to your brand, it should relate to the textual content of the email as well. 

You wouldn’t want people to think that you added a video completely off guard, would you? 

  • Properties of the Video
4 properties of videos

There are four important properties or characteristics of videos that you must remember before embedding videos in email; length, file size, quality, and number. 

To begin with, let’s talk about the length of the video. Try to keep the video short and precise so that the readers don’t get bored and leave the page. 

Another important thing to keep in mind is the file size of the video. Emails don’t support heavy files so if your video is of a large file size, there are high chances that the email provider won’t support and play it. 

When it comes to quality or resolution, there is only one rule i.e, NEVER compromise on quality. Make sure the video is high definition that complements your brand because a poor quality video will give off a very unprofessional and careless image of your brand and will also agitate the reader. 

Lastly, adding one video to your email might seem wise, but adding a series of videos attracts the audience more. So you can add a series of videos to attract more engagement.  But do that very rarely. People always don’t have so much time to spend on an attached video. 

Different Ways to Embed Videos in Emails: 

Adding video to your emails may have many advantages, but it also comes with a spot of bother, i.e., not all email clients can support embedding videos directly in your emails. 

But hey no worries, we have listed different ways by which you can add videos to your emails. So, let’s have a look:

As Static Images With URLs: 

One way to add a video to your email is through static images. 

Select a static image or a screenshot from the video that you want to add to your email. This picture or screenshot is taken with the intent of creating a thumbnail. Add a play button in the middle of the screenshot/image so that the reader clearly understands that it’s a video. 

Whatever image you choose, make sure that it’s relatable to the video and grabs the reader’s attention.

Now link your desired video’s URL to this image. This way, when the reader clicks on the static image linked with your video, s/he will be redirected to the new browser, and the video starts playing there. This method is universal, and all email clients support it. This is exactly how we do it at Unlayer; how about giving it a try? 

This email by Beautymint.com shows an email that has a video in the form of a static image in it. 

BeautyMint's example of adding URL videos

As GIFs: 

Another way is to add a GIF of the video. We all know how famous GIFs are and how they attract people. By adding GIFs to your email, you can create a mini version of the video that you want to add. 

For creating GIFs of your desired video, you can use tools like Imgflip.com, EZ GIF, or Filmora. Select the starting and ending points of the GIF and download it. After creating the GIF, embed it within your email and add an attractive and interactive Call To Action (CTA) button that has your desired video URL linked to it.

Once your audience clicks the CTA, they will be redirected to watch the full video. You can see how Adrenaline Travel used an animated GIF with a play button to attract its readers.

Adrenaline Travel's example of adding GIF videos

As CSS Animations: 

If videos with static images and GIFs were to have a child, it would be videos with CSS animation. 

Technically, you can add such videos the same way you add them in the static image, but in this case, the play button will be animated to attract the audience’s attention. The benefit of using CSS animation is that it compels the reader to interact with them because of its catchy and vibrant display. 

However, there’s a drawback to this cool hack. Email clients like Gmail, Yahoo, and Outlook don’t support CSS animation, so you can only use CSS animated play buttons for email clients that support it. 

You can see one example from Marvel below:

Marvel's example of adding CSS animated videos in emails

As Embedded Videos (HTML5)

Embedding videos directly into email is not a piece of cake. You need some technical expertise and advanced coding skills for this purpose. This is because you can embed video in emails only by using the HTML5 code. 

Also, HTML5 is pretty advance and recent and all email clients don’t support embedding videos within emails. Email providers like Apple Mail, Outlook for Mac, IOS Mail, Samsung Mail, etc., can allow playing videos directly in the email while the rest show an image fallback.

By following this method, you are ruling out a large number of people from your mailing list who can't view the video. 

So, it may seem convenient but it’s not a recommended option. Research says that HTML5 is being used by 75% of developers, bringing about 35% mobile traffic. 

This method comes with its own pros and cons to choose from. Here’s one such example from WordFly

WordFly's example of adding embedded videos

Some Tips To Remember 

Oh, wait! Remember these hacks before you start embedding videos in emails. 

  • Try to add the word “video” in your subject line. 
  • Try to experiment by creating and sending a series of videos
  • Add texts to your videos for more clarity. 
  • Don’t use videos in every other email; it kills the charm. 

Wrap Up

By now you must have a clear knowledge of what kind of videos you must embed in your email or why you should embed them. And one thing is for sure that no matter what way you choose to add videos in your emails, embedding videos in emails will get you a great ROI, and it will instantly increase the audience’s attention span. 

So what are you waiting for, get started now. 

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