Video Inspiration, Video Marketing

5 ideas for adding video to your email marketing

By Ryan Gould | Dec 10, 2018


An expert search, social and content marketer, Ryan Gould leads Elevation Marketing‘s digital strategy department, helping brands achieve their business goals, such as improving sales and market share, by developing integrated marketing strategies distinguished by research, storytelling, engagement and conversion. With a proven track record of energizing brands, engaging audiences and managing multidiscipline marketing teams, Ryan is a respected expert in achieving consistent results through creative design, thought-provoking narratives and innovative problem solving. In this guest post, he gives some great tips for any marketer looking to add more video to their email marketing strategy.


Humans are visual creatures, so much so that studies have found that 90% of the info transmitted to our brains is indeed from what we see. Marketers have known this for generations and have tailored visual content using the popular mediums of the times. These days that’s online, and it’s done with video. But while there’s near limitless potential for video marketing on social media, websites, clip-sharing sites, and more, there’s one area where adding video has remained more challenging: email marketing.

Studies have shown that just adding “video” to an email’s subject line can boost its open rate by 19% – and adding video to email as part of your strategy can boost CTRs by up to 300%. But where it becomes tricky is that most email providers don’t allow for embedded video. Still, there are ways around this so that you can absolutely add video to your email strategy. Here’s how.

1. Upgrade from newsletters to “vNews”

It’s common practice these days for marketers to include newsletters/news roundups in their email marketing. It’s a solid tactic: offering regular news updates maintains a relationship with your audience while keeping them up to date on everything your brand is up to. But even if you’re adhering to best practices and sending newsletters out once a month or so (regularly but not too frequently) it’s still going to lack that dynamic edge. The way to remedy this is to add video.

For these purposes we’ll call it video news, or “vNews.” Video-hosting company Wistia added video to their email marketing and as a result they saw 40% more engagement. Now, as mentioned above, you may not be able to embed video, but you can try other options like adding thumbnails like Wistia did in the example below. Other options include image screenshots, gifs, and even regular links.


2. Promote your product or service

There’s an old literary saying that goes, “Show, don’t tell.” So while you could certainly send an email telling those on your list about your product or service, it’s far better to show them. To that end, include video of new product launches or short explainer videos about how your service works. Utilize animations and bold colors and attractive graphics—anything to capture your audience’s attention visually.

Previewing new releases is a good way for your company to generate buzz about any new products and services you have on the horizon. Even better, anytime you can show a product or service in action with video means you’re that much more likely to generate interest.

3. Work video into event follow-ups

One of the most crucial parts of event marketing is the follow-up. If you’ve pulled off a great trade-show, conference, or convention, and have accumulated many good leads, then you obviously want to keep that momentum going post-event. Also consider that some 87% of customers will buy a product or service after an event at a later date.

But rather than sending a typical thank you letter, you should incorporate video to help your message stand out. Definitely film your event or conference and cut the footage together in an easily snackable few seconds of compelling video. HubSpot, in fact, found a direct correlation between using videos in sales emails and higher open rates.

There are also good opportunities to personalize the video email marketing here. Maybe you have footage of your reps meeting leads at a booth or event. You could incorporate that clip into the video, which will help you connect on a human level with your prospect and build trust in the process. Check out the header of this email that Wibbitz sent out after their last Storyteller Circle in NYC, to drive both attendees and those that couldn’t make it to a landing page with some awesome recap videos (created in the Wibbitz platform, of course!)

4. Include a video FAQ/tutorial

Hopefully, as a marketer, you’ve done a great job at promoting just how much money your solution or product will save your target audience. Maybe you’ve convinced them that it boosts efficiency and productivity as well. But perhaps you’re still losing them in the minutia of the operation. If this is the case, sending along a long FAQ sheet or white paper, no matter how authoritative, likely won’t be enough to educate them.

Adding video tutorials or FAQs to your email is the ideal solutions because, as we all know, many people are visual learners. Also, a majority of your target audience likely don’t have an hour or two to spare to pour over a white paper. So if you can put together a quick tutorial together, not only will it engage your audience visually, but it will also take the onus off of them reading long portions of text, and they can thus kick back and let the info wash over them.

5. Give a behind-the-scenes look at your operation

Everyone likes to know that whoever they’re receiving emails from isn’t some faceless, monolithic corporation, but a business staffed by real people. So why not show your audience this? Include a video link to some behind-the-scenes footage of workers on the factory floor or different departments preparing to launch products. Even better, introduce new-hires and show their enthusiasm. Not only will this humanize your business but, showing happy employees will do wonders for your recruiting. Here’s a great example of this practice from Awesome Merchandise’s newsletter:

With so many variables and ideas for capitalizing on video email marketing, there’s no reason you shouldn’t be doing it by now. Get creative and get personal with your audience. And if you’re having trouble gaining traction with them for other reasons, check out these best practices for email marketing that every advertiser should adhere to.

Written by
Ryan Gould

Vice President of Strategy and Marketing Services, Elevation Marketing

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