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Using Video in Email!

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In times of intelligent spam folders and inbox zero dreaming, it might surprise you to hear that email is still one of the most efficient forms of online marketing. Why? With over 4 billion email accounts it is the most universally adopted marketing channel, offering great ROI and huge potential for personalization. Combine that with the hottest form of marketing (of course we’re talking about video, what did you expect?) and you have the holy grail, right? Unfortunately, things are not that simple yet.

The technical struggle is real

At this time there is no easy way to play video in emails. The problem is this: video files are just too damn big. Most current email services don’t support huge file sizes and your perfectly crafted email won’t make it to its destination.

How about embedding?

62% of email clients support embedding. That doesn’t sound too bad, does it? Sadly, Gmail and Outlook are two major email clients that don’t. Odds are that you (and your viewer) are using either of those two bad boys. You would miss out on too many opportunities with embedded video.

So what do I do?

There aren’t too many solutions right now. What you can do is use GIFs in your emails. The downside is that they are relatively low resolution and have no sound. Also: Outlook won’t have anything to do with this modern GIF business and will only show the first frame of your animation.  

Don’t shy away from GIFs though. They add a fun dimension to your email and can also be used as a hyperlink to your high quality video hosted elsewhere.

A small bonus tip: add a play button to your image or GIF. It will prompt people to click on it like they usually would, as evidenced by higher clickthrough rates. Another clever tidbit? Explain the added value of the video in one or two sentences.

The strategic advantage of the landing page

  • Add extra flavor to your video with a branded landing page rather than that white YouTube whatchamacallit.
  • You’re playing on home turf. Take advantage of those added tracking capabilities and lead customers through their journey like Moses led his people through the desert.
  • Use autoplay on your landing page. It decreases the amount of clicks needed from two (once on the video, once on the call to action in the end) to one (once on the video image)

One last tip before we go: adding the word ‘video’ to your subject line has proven to increase opening rates.

So in short:

  • Step 1: Pick a strong title that includes the word ‘video’.
  • Step 2: Use a clever GIF or picture with a play button to lead your viewer to your landing page.
  • Step 3: Autoplay your kickass video on your landing page.
  • Step 4: Keep it simple!


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Tags: Distribution, Marketing