These days, when you open your email inbox in the morning and there are less than ten emails in it, you begin wondering what is wrong. Even if there is only a small number of emails there. You can rest assured that at least a third of them will include a video. And most of those will be some sort of video email marketing.

So, even if you are not aware of the numbers, it is easy to guess that currently, email video marketing is at the top of the list of practically any business. Of course, the numbers speak for themselves. According to some more recent data, customers are “making purchase decisions based on videos that move them.” For that reason, “81 percent of businesses are using video marketing to drive sales for their products.” Back in 2019, the researchers estimated that “85 percent of all internet traffic within the United States will be video-based by 2020.”

So, what lies behind such numbers? As online business experts, Zapier note, “email strategies live or die by open and engagement rates. Regardless of how compelling your message is, it won’t matter if people aren’t opening your emails and engaging long enough to internalize it. Especially during the pandemic, small businesses are using email to stay connected with their clients.” And to achieve such an effect, businesses are placing videos in their emails.

Email videos “prove their worth through metrics, but videos are also a great way for you to build trust with your audience and help convey your message clearly and concisely. They allow you to show instead of telling. Plus, depending on your style, videos can allow your audience to see the real people behind the brands they love.”

Video email marketing and its effectiveness

Send Pulse gives a succinct description of video email marketing. It describes it as “a strategy that uses embedded HTML5 videos, GIFs, static images with a play button as a link to a video to increase subscriber engagement via emails.”

Looking into the effectiveness of video email marketing, it lists the following five reasons:

  • Increases open rate and click-through rates;
  • Draws a lot of attention;
  • Information is digested effectively;
  • Increases forwarding;
  • It can go viral.

Looking at this list in more detail, here is the reasoning:

  • Increases open rate and click-through rates. “The word “video” in an email subject line can increase open rates by 19% and clickthrough rates by 65%.” People are more curious to see what’s inside and detect the information displayed in the video as more valuable.
  • Draws a lot of attention. People pay more attention to moving pictures than static images. Videos in email extend the time of reading. Also, people examine such emails more.
  • Information is digested effectively. “When people watch a video, they retain 95% of the information in comparison with 10% from reading the text.” Our brain processes visual information much more rapidly. This means that a video in an email gives a chance to deliver all the necessary information fast.
  • Increases forwarding. If the video appeals to people’s emotions, recipients are more likely to share it with their friends and peer groups on socials. This way, you increase outreach and brand awareness.
  • It can go viral. If the video is professional, short, and impressive, either because of its beauty or the sense of humor, it is likely to become trendy in no time. A video should be perfect and easy to understand for going viral.

video email marketing

Including a video in an email marketing strategy

Animoto.com, another video marketing expert lists the methods of effectively including videos in an email marketing plan:

  1. Host the video through your own website or platform.
  2. Give your subscribers the control.
  3. Take advantage of GIFs.
  4. Use cinemagraphs.
  5. Be straightforward.
  6. Test audience reaction.
  7. Measure results.
  8. Many users of email video campaigns simply upload their videos to YouTube and link them to their email address. But, such a process drives the traffic to YouTube, and not their website or platform. Also, there is some risk involved. YouTube or another outside host can decide to remove the video, or their sit just might be down at the moment. Hosting the video on your own site drives the traffic to you. It also avoids possible risks.
  9. Data shows that as much as 77% of all email opens occur on mobile. If subscribers are going to open your email on a mobile device, it’s a good idea to disable autoplay on your videos. “This way, you avoid surprising subscribers with loud voices or music, which can annoy them or maybe even push them to unsubscribe.”
  10. Graphics Interchange Formats, or more commonly known as GIFs are easy yet effective alternatives to creating full-length videos for your emails. The reasons are compelling. GIFs are smaller in size and are quick to load. They are also supported by most email clients.
  11. Cinemagraphs are another alternative to full-length videos. A cinemagraph, it’s basically an image that has one or two elements that are moving in a continuous loop while the rest of the elements remain still. Cinemagraphs are great because they grab the attention of your subscribers by drawing their eyes to the elements of the image that are in motion. This makes cinemagraphs an ideal medium for promoting specific products.

More on including videos in emails

  1. Email marketing best practices dictate that your message be as brief as possible. To maintain engagement, keep your videos straightforward and concise. Shoot for a length of one to two minutes. Any longer than that and you risk losing the valuable attention of your subscribers (above).
  2. When sending out a new video for one of your campaigns, avoid sending it to your entire list at the onset—especially if you just started incorporating video into your email strategy. Test your video out first by sending it to a small group of subscribers. This gives you the opportunity to gauge how your subscribers would react to the video. Look at opens and clicks to see how many likes and engagements you had (above).
  3. Once you’ve fully integrated videos into your email marketing strategy, continue to monitor your email metrics and doing what works for your brand.

Of course, there are more elements in the video email marketing strategy you need to pay attention to. One of those is to make sure that you include the word video in the subject line. According to Animoto, doing so can boost your open rates by 19%.

Another element is to encourage sharing through social media. “You can increase the impact of your videos by encouraging your subscribers to share them on their social media pages. Make sure you add easy-to-click social media sharing buttons in your emails.”

One step should precede the video campaign itself. It is getting to know the potential audience. “Your subscribers aren’t going to be universally perceptive to one type of video. One segment might prefer GIFs and cinemagraphs, while another might prefer full-length videos. To help ensure the effectiveness of your video, you can ask your subscribers what type of video they like.”

Creating videos for email marketing

Zapier has digested a number of tips on how to use videos to boost your email campaign:

  • One is choosing the right type of video. The video you plan to send through email should match your key intent. “For example, company culture videos are great—it gives your customers a glimpse into the values your brand represents—but you wouldn’t include them in a product launch announcement.”
    • Explainer videos are short, animated pieces that explain how your product or service can benefit them. Unlike traditional ads, explainers offer a creative way to promote your brand while also giving a valuable solution to your viewers.
    • Product videos are great if you want to announce the launch of a new product or just need a simple and direct piece that lists your service’s main benefits. And to make it more interesting than a simple product demo, you can also show your product being used in context.
    • Customer testimonials resonate with audiences because they can see themselves in the story of your current customer. Since they show honest interviews with the people you’ve helped with your product or service, you’re reaching out to your potential customers through what amounts to word-of-mouth.
    • Try to keep the videos you send in emails under the 90-second mark to ensure your audience stays for the whole show. If you need more time, you can create a series of short videos and send them to your customers regularly.
    • Every successful marketing video ends with a clear call to action (CTA), which signals your audience on where to go next. It can be driving traffic to your landing page, or enticing customers to buy a specific product, or something else, In each case, “you’ll need to end your video with simple instructions.”

Do-it-yourself, a video production agency, or a freelance professional?

Who should do your video email marketing? The dilemma is always there, and it will depend on your goals, plan, and budgeting. Of course, the simplest, fastest, and lightest on the budget if you do everything yourself.

But, what if your video production technique doesn’t go beyond posting a brief clip of your family on Instagram? Or, maybe you want something truly professional and sophisticated?

The two options there are a video production agency and a freelance professional(s). Still, in both cases, you have to have a solid idea and a detailed plan. Also, you would need to be involved throughout the process.

If you are aiming really high and finances are not really an obstacle, you might opt for a video production agency. Still, you can really get your video email marketing right and wishing your budget if you opt for a freelance option. If that is the way you want to proceed, you can also take a look at the list of freelance video marketing professionals available here at BunnyStudio.