Elevate Your Email Marketing With Video

17.05.2022 Video Marketing
Molly Howe

Every day, the average office worker receives around 120 emails and overall an immense 290 billion emails are sent worldwide. The vast majority of these are low-quality, spammy advertisements. You must stand out from this sea of content.

Recent studies have demonstrated that the inclusion of video in emails can lead to an increased click-through rate of 300%. This is game-changing! By just using the word ‘video’ in your subject line it is possible to increase email open rates by 19% and reduce unsubscriber rates by 25%. 

Clearly, it’s worth including video in some of your email marketing content, but what is the most effective way to do so? In this article, I will take you through how to make the most impactful video emails, but first, let’s take a look at the very basics.          

Email marketing
Email marketing

What is video marketing?

Video marketing utilises various forms of video media to promote and market a business’s products and services. It aims to attract and educate audiences, retain their interest and convert them into customers. Its highly shareable nature also contributes to the success of video as a marketing tool.

A staggering 86% of businesses use video content as a marketing tool, this figure suggests that video, quite simply, works. It’s a long and ingeniously developed method to increase engagement, leading to a highly converted target audience.

VIdeo marketing
VIdeo marketing

How to incorporate video in your email marketing

Incorporating video into your email marketing is much easier than you might think. In most cases, it’s just as simple as adding a thumbnail and a link. 

It’s highly likely that you already have an established email subscriber list of people that you regularly connect with, adding video to these communications is all you have to do! If you do not currently have an email subscriber list, then why not! It’s a personal, efficient, and targeted way to stay in touch with your audience and encourage conversions. 

Benefits of video email marketing

Marketing with video emails has a host of benefits, let’s check them out;

Metric Improvement

Video email marketing has the ability to greatly improve your most important performance metrics. These include:

Click-through rate: 

The click-through rate (CTR) can be used to gauge how well your videos are performing. 

CTR is the number of clicks that your video receives divided by the number of times it is presented to viewers.

Clicks ÷ Impressions x 100 = CTR

Video emails entice audiences to click and watch. This could be due to an intriguing subject line, exciting thumbnail, or even just natural intrigue drawing them to the video.

Open rate:

This is the total number of emails opened by recipients divided by the total number of emails sent to the recipient. Then of course multiplied by 100 to calculate the percentage of emails that were opened. 

Emails opened ÷ Emails sent x 100 = Open rate

As previously mentioned,  just using the word ‘video’ in your subject line can increase email open rates by 19%. A study by Wyzol has revealed that this is likely because 72% of consumers would prefer to learn about products or services through video instead of through text. 

Videos provide audiences with information in a quick and efficient manner, anything that saves consumers time is likely to garner attention. 

Conversion rate:

Conversion is the point at which a desired outcome is achieved. In marketing, this is most frequently when a potential customer turns into an actual customer through purchase, but can also be a lesser action for instance signing up for marketing emails.

Conversion rate is the percentage of people that engage in your marketing content that end up converting. It is one of the most important data points for your business to consider.


Including a linked video in your email marketing will increase traffic to your website. This has a direct impact on SEO. Video marketing users typically get 41% more search traffic than non-users. 


Other benefits:

  • Video emails can boost social media engagement. It is possible to publicise your social media campaigns through video emails. If you have partnered with a celebrity for an Instagram campaign for instance, share a video of them letting everyone know about the collaboration and share it to your email subscribers. 


  • Videos are generally more accessible than text. Using subtitles, animation and simple visualised information it is possible to communicate effectively with almost all groups in society including those with visual impairments, audio disorders, and learning disorders. A highly visual language also enables non-english speakers to better understand information. 


  • Emails are not the best place to send out lots of complex textual information, it is likely that the content will be skim read, skipped entirely, or even cast out as spam. Video allows you the opportunity to convey huge quantities of (potentially complex) information through email, without scaring away the receiver. 

When not to use video email marketing

Video emails may not be so effective at attracting brand new customers or targeting an entirely new market sector as these groups are highly unlikely to be subscribed to your emails. Other channels of video marketing will produce a higher return on investment, including the use of social media and television. 

Types of video email

Numerous types of video will be effective when incorporated into an email campaign, this includes:

  • Product introductions
  • New service introductions
  • New feature introductions
  • Sales videos
  • Onboarding videos
  • Personalised greetings
  • Event invites and event follow up videos
  • Annual reviews

How to add video to your email marketing

There are two distinct ways to include video in your email marketing. We recommend the second option, but let’s take a look at both…


It is possible to directly embed your video into your email through email marketing services like Hubspot. This really does sound like the best option – recipients are able to instantly click to watch your content, saving them time, but the wider implications of email embedding will come back to haunt your business.

The first reason to avoid embedding video in your emails is the fact that many widely used email providers do not support the viewing of such content and may even report it as spam. This includes Apple and Gmail, the largest worldwide email providers. Linking the video allows everyone to view the content. 

The second, and most important reason to stay away from direct embedding is that the practice will take away from the metrics of your hosting site. This means that you will not amass any new views or any constructive data to learn from. 

Email client marketshare 2022
Email client marketshare 2022


The best way to include video in your email marketing is to use a clickable thumbnail link. This will allow your video to gather views, data, and metrics like engagement rate. From this, it is possible to analyse your video email campaign, understanding where it has been successful and where it could be improved.

How to craft a clickable thumbnail for your email marketing

Step 1: Choose an enticing thumbnail

A thumbnail is a compressed, preview image that is used as a placeholder on hosting sites like Youtube. Think of them as book covers, they are a fairly similar concept. You aren’t supposed to judge books by their covers, but I can bet you that audiences will almost certainly judge your video by its thumbnail.

To pick a thumbnail image it’s best to use either a pulled frame from your video or a photograph taken on the day of the production. Custom thumbnails can be developed on free sites such as FotoJet, or priced sites like Photoshop. They should work with your brand, demonstrate the theme of your video and convey emotion if necessary. If you really want your thumbnail to pop, make sure to use a bright color and large text overlay. 

Step 2: Create ‘fake’ play button overlay

Add a ‘fake’ play button to your thumbnail. This can be done on any photo editing software, simply create a triangle and place it in the centre of your image. This encourages the recipients of the email to click on the image. 

Step 3: Insert

 Insert your thumbnail into your email marketing program, then using your hosting site URL link, attach the video to the image. 

Here’s one I made earlier!

Fake play button
Fake play button

How to produce high performing video email marketing

Subject lines:

Make sure to use the word ‘video’ in the email subject line. For example:

‘Video: Why our brand is becoming carbon neutral’

Compelling subject lines, especially those that contain the word ‘video’ increase the number of opens you will receive. This will in turn, hopefully, lead to more click-throughs and conversions. 

Avoid spam:

Spam algorithms are an email marketer’s worst nightmare. To try and subvert the algorithm, make sure to include text in the email, and remember to use a linked video instead of an embedded one. 

Sometimes large file sizes can also trigger the spam filters, make sure to keep the thumbnail file size at around 600px to 650px, and no more than 2.7MB. There are lots of free online tools to change photo file sizes. 


Call to action is a term used in marketing to describe any prompt designed to ignite an immediate and voluntary response from a potential customer, increasing the likelihood that they will interact with your brand.

CTAs typically include commanding words that are subtly, or not so subtly incorporated into advertising messages. Your email should encourage recipients to watch the attached video by using a CTA like:

‘Watch the video below’

The ‘fake’ play button is also a form of CTA enticing people to click through to the linked video. 

Optimise to your targeted medium:

Are you hoping for your video to be viewed on a large computer screen or smaller mobile phone? If you would like it to be viewed on a mobile device, make sure to optimise it accordingly. This includes creating:

  • Short-form content
  • Vertically filmed video
  • Correct aspect ratios
  • Soundless optimisation
Computer emails
Computer emails

Target the right audience:

Getting to know your audience is one of the most important steps in developing your video email marketing strategy.

  1. Who are they?
  2. What are their demographics?
  3. What are their hobbies and interests?

Once you have analysed your audience you will be able to cater your video email marketing to them. Try to find out where your target audience likes to watch videos, and on what platforms. For instance, business people are more likely to watch videos on a computer screen than teenagers. 

Video email marketing efforts should be crafted around these factors to ensure that your target audience is receptive to your campaign. 

Target audience for email marketing
Target audience for email marketing

Using video email for internal communications

Video emails are not just effective for marketing content, using them for internal communications purposes can be just as effective. As the numbers of people who work from home rises, companies face the challenge of retaining employee engagement through digital streams. Video content is able to break through the barriers of distanced working to ensure all employees retain a strong sense of company culture and belonging.

Internal communications videos can include:

  • Yearly reviews
  • Company culture videos
  • Message from CEO interviews
  • Onboarding for new employees
  • Introduction to new manager
  • Explainer video for new practices or services
  • Event reviews

Why not create one of these and then distribute it via email to reach all your employees directly and instantly, no matter where they are working. 


Email is one of the most effective marketing tools out there, and guess what? Video is the best marketing tool – so combine them and what do you get? The potential to exponentially increase your audience reach, engagement, sales, and metrics whilst also generating achieving an immense return on investment. 

If you would like to create a video intended to be marketed through emails, contact Kartoffel Films. From concept to planning through production and delivery, our highly skilled team will ensure that your film or animation is a sure-fire hit with your target audience.

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