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Why Video in Email Marketing is Crucial for Marketing Success



Two meaningful stakeholders in strategic marketing conversion, “videos” and “email marketing” traveled a path spanning decades in the Internet ecosystem to convalescence and combine into a powerful marketing strategy, with conversions hitting an all-time high and giving businesses meaningful ROI. Unbelievable?

Let’s review some statistics on why videos should become the topmost priority in 2017.

In terms of conversion rate:

  1. There is 100% rise is mobile video consumption every year, says YouTube.
  2. A video on landing page increases conversion by 80%.
  3. A video in email marketing campaigns increases CTR by 200%-300%.
  4. 90% users are likely to purchase online after watching a video.
  5. Real estate listings with videos receive 403% greater inquiries than non-video listings.
  6. Video-based advertisements receive 22% higher engagement.

In terms of user interaction:

  1. Consumers sharing videos after watching is at 92%.
  2. Video consumers interacting with advertisements in a month is at 75%.
  3. Time spent on video watching is 1/3rd of online activities.
  4. Professionals watching work-related videos weekly is at 75%.
  5. An average user watches 32+ videos a month with the brand or information recall factor at 80%.

In terms of content perspective:

  1. Videos increase brand association by 139%.
  2. Popular forms of video content are 39% comedy, 33% news, and 31% music.
  3. Professionals prefer watching videos than reading text and 60% viewers stop watching within 2 minutes.
  4. 16 minutes every month is spent watching advertisements by an average user.
  5. High Internet speed is essential because 4/5 users will abandon a video experience with slow loading time.

Statistics Source

Interesting Trivia: One video minute is equal to 1.8 million words, says Dr. James McQuivey.

Videos are the next frontier in Internet marketing. As humans, we acknowledge and appreciate what we “see” before we read/write. With video-based brand narratives, a brand connects and builds a relationship with the intended audience organically; hence, the customers connect without hesitation. The cost of video creation is negligible when compared to the resulting traction. Videos are a tool for storytelling.

Benefits of Videos in Email Marketing

If the above statistics are unconvincing, let’s understand the benefits of embedding videos in email newsletters viewed by thousands and millions of subscribers. An email subscriber list is a filtered database of audiences frequenting a website. Signing up for the email list communicates the audience intent to interact with content which isn’t shared publicly on the website. Email subscribers expect quality content, and using videos enriches the process. Here are some bite-sized benefits:

#1 Time Saving
As quoted in the above statistics, videos simplify the communication as the subscribers play the video instantly, watch and interact with the person. Long-form texts are time-consuming but necessary while explaining concepts and perspectives. Email open rate and CTR of embedded links increase.

#2 Social Sharing
Interesting videos get shared; get viral coverage. Sending interesting videos via email marketing campaigns gets massive social coverage. Imagine if a website has thousands of emails subscribers with high email open rate, and a large percentage of them share the videos. It’s free marketing and tons of social love. Otherwise, additional expense is necessary for social promotion.

#3 Sales
Subscribers are aware that email marketers will upsell. These upsells bring $100K+ upwards a month to a selected segment of email marketers. The reason is quality email content, that is, content relevancy. Email subscribers list created with a weight loss website won’t appreciate receiving product upsells for gaming systems. The relevancy is of vital importance. Certainly, not every email marketing campaign should be about generating sales. One campaign a month to start with is enough. The videos should have a personal touch.

Additional Read: Using Keyword Properly on YouTube: Video Marketing Help!

Video Email Marketing Examples

Did anyone experiment with video email marketing before? Let’s look at some examples.

#1 Monica Vinader

A celebrity contemporary jewellry creator, her email newsletters contain static images with the Play button. Clicking on the image takes the viewer to the actual video hosted on sites like YouTube or Vimeo. Save a click for the viewer by adding ?play tag at the end of the video URL. The video will autoplay when the viewer clicks on the image and comes to the landing page.

#2 Trelise Cooper

Take a step ahead – instead of static images with a Play button, embed a .gif. Click on this Trelise Cooper image link and see the above .gif playing beautifully. Why .gifs? They are akin to miniature videos comprising of few slides.

#3 Harley Davidson

A combination of the static image and animated. GIF is beautifully crafted in the Harley Davidson campaign.

#4 Ralph Lauren

Ralph Lauren is a good example for cinemagraphs. They are like videos running in a loop; a combination between photographs and videos. Cinemagraphs deliver a specific perspective in a single image without losing its meaning.

Cinemagraphs and animated GIFs work perfectly in email marketing campaigns. A study by Experian reports that 72% marketers who experimented with them reported an increase in transaction-to-click rates. Brands like Helzberg Diamonds and Dell experienced 288% and 109% increase in email marketing results using GIFs. Creating these GIFs and cinemagraphs are easier with tools like and for Mac and PC.

Apart from these methods, enrich the user experience by offering live video streams sometimes, covering relevant concepts beneficial to the subscriber base. Send them a shout out to join a webinar or Hangout, and Live stream via YouTube.

Unless already noticed, videos aren’t directly embedded in these examples. It’s either static images with Play button CTA or animated GIFs and cinemagraphs. The reason is problems with visibility in the popular email clients – Outlook and Gmail.

In the Outlook email client, the animated GIFs isn’t completely visible. The subscriber views the first GIF slide only. It’s a significant limitation but a workaround on this is to create the first slide conveying the complete message, without any clutter and over-information, like the Ralph Lauren image. It’s crisp, concise, and clear.

Apple Mail and iOS email clients allow the subscribers to play the embedded video within the email client whereas Android and Gmail email client often displays a fallback image. It isn’t easy to embed videos in email marketing campaigns but not impossible. Use the robust HTML5 language to manually code and embed within the email template. A guide to embed HTML5 in email is available on

There are other tools which helps with embedding videos. There is Mailchimp which uses video merge tag to create video screenshot and links it to the original video hosted on Vimeo, YouTube or other social sites. Aweber and Constant Contact recommends using a static image and linking it to the video, like example #1. They have nice tutorials on their website to guide with the process. With Infusionsoft, there is the possibility to insert the YouTube video link directly on the newsletter. Tailored Mail uploads and embeds videos directly in the campaign and tracks each individual’s viewing behavior – time, social shares, and devices. Campaign Monitor offers a drag-and-drop email newsletter template builder to embed the video link where it will appear.

12 Video Content Tips

What kind of content should the email newsletter contain? Here are some pointers in content and presentation.

  1. Add the word “Video” in the email subject.
  2. Add a CTA like ‘Limited Time Offer’, ‘View Now’, ‘Don’t Miss The Opportunity’.
  3. Add social share buttons.
  4. Avoid autoplay and use single tap.
  5. Share interviews of industry leaders.
  6. Share customer testimonials.
  7. Keep the length to below one minute if offering a product. A longer version of the video can be shared on a specific landing page.
  8. Use nice editing and HD specifications.
  9. Explore with videos.
  10. A video series is better than standalone videos.
  11. Avoid UPPERCASE, exclamation marks, and glaring colors. Keep it classy.
  12. Write the script beforehand unless extempore is preferred.

Tracking Video Email Responses

Metrics are essential to help measure the ROI. With video email marketing campaigns, check these statistics specifically.

  1. The email open rate. Since the word “video” is added to the subject line, it sensible to measure the email open rate to understand whether the adding the word make a difference or not.
  2. Check the geographical areas, access devices, and timezone to understand the audience profile.
  3. Click the CTR of the email content. Are subscribers clicking on the static images or GIF to view the landing page/video? Are subscribers clicking on the Play button within the email client and viewing the video? Are they viewing the full video or abandoning in between?
  4. Check the conversion rate. If there is a product offer, what’s the funnel conversion? How many people are viewing the videos, checking out the product, adding the product to cart and actually checking out? If there is a high percentage of cart abandonment, changes are necessary for the product presentation or video content.
  5. Keep a track on the social media sharing rate.

Ideally, the email marketing client used offers all statistics listed above. The tools offer integrated data on the Dashboard to draw a proper analysis. Better data processing and tracking is possible with various external tools such as Wistia, Vidyard, BrightCove, and Shiny Stat. With these tools, a marketer can collect responses (email forms), each individual video watching duration, pageviews beyond the specifically shared video, add email gates to capture new audience exposure through social sharing, customizable call-to-action, video republication tracking and more.

Beginner marketers should read this guide on creating YouTube videos, which talks about creating annotations, design layouts, creating watermarks, tagging, quality content, and communication expressions. Master these steps and then move to creating complicated videos through premium tools.

Closing Note

Emails are the oldest form of Internet marketing. Combine it with videos and internet marketers have a powerful tool to reach out and engage subscribed audiences with a positive intent on returns. A lot of testing and experimentation is required along with in-depth data analysis to build a performing audience profile. Try this in the next email marketing campaign.

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