This guide will be updated with new information as email innovates for video!
Part of the reason video has risen so quickly and is so established as a key marketing medium is its versatility. You can incorporate an explainer video that you’ve created for your website into your company Facebook, YouTube channel, and most any social media strategy to increase engagement with your content.
However, featuring video in email involves some planning and has a different set of factors and technical limitations to have in mind.
In this guide, we’ll show you how Wideo uses video in email newsletters and provide best practices for incorporating video into your own emails.
Why video in email?
When combined with email, video can help you meet your email goals. For us, most of the time that goal is getting our readers to visit our site to do something, including reading a post, watching a video, or even signing up for a new offer. How does video help achieve this? By providing the attention-grabbing visual element that either complements text, or gets the idea across in lieu of it.
Quick best practices for email in video
Currently, Apple Mail is the only email client that supports direct video embed. If most of your subscribers do not use Apple Mail, we don’t suggest embedding your video in email. (Campaign Monitor has a comprehensive list of emails and their type of video support.)
However, you don’t need video playback in your email in order for your video to be effective. Instead, you can use animated gifs or thumbnail images of the video that you can link to your website.
What is an animated GIF? A GIF is a type of image file that can contain animation. They provide the visual element of moving images without the technical limitations of embedded video.
In order to use video and email together for conversions, we follow a few best practices.
1. Mention the video in the email subject and body text
2. Pick an inviting thumbnail to use in your email. (Try using the most visual scene in your video, or a shot of lots of friendly faces.)
3. Include a play button in the image thumbnail and link that thumbnail to your landing page
4. Instead of using a thumbnail and play button, try a looping animated GIF
Here’s how our email with our 2015 Year in Review video looked with all the elements put together. Try using a catchy and direct text describing what viewers will get out of your video.
- Try using a tool such as LICEcap to create animated GIFs. All you need to do is record a part of your video and the tool will automatically create the GIF.
- As a rule of thumb, keep GIF file sizes around or under 1MB — anything a lot over will load slowly, and anything significantly less will not have good image quality.
- Limit your calls to action so to keep focus on your video.
- Experiment with email formats and compare results.
Using video and email together successfully depends on your audience and goals. Remember to never stop testing: The more you understand about your results, the more you will be able improve the impact of your video.
Success Story: Video in On-boarding Emails
Key Travel needed a way to explain their services in a visual way and they saw video as the perfect opportunity to engage their new customers where they were: in their inboxes.
So they began using Wideo to create explainer videos for their email on-boarding campaign. The videos have improved their customer experience, not only in email but also on their website and other online channels. Read their full story here.
“Video content has helped increase our email marketing click-through rates by 2.57x since we started creating affordable, engaging video content.”
Peter Harris Digital Manager at Key Travel
Have you tried using video and email marketing together? Share your experience or questions in the comments below.