Video in Email Marketing Campaigns: A Complete Guide

Video in Email Marketing Campaigns: A Complete Guide

Since the emergence of YouTube, we’ve seen video advertising become ingrained in our everyday lives. However, for email, the uptake has been much more gradual, with obstacles like file size and inbox provider compatibility standing in the way of marketers being able to leverage video. In this blog, we'll explore how you can effectively use video in email to increase engagement amongst subscribers. 

Why is video a powerful tool in email?

In recent years, we've witnessed the growing prevalence of video in consumer decision-making. Unboxing and comparison videos have become a ritualistic part of our purchasing journeys. Bringing those video assets paired with emotive brand storytelling creative into your emails helps to drive engagement. Campaigns with video, generally achieve higher click-through rates and increased revenue per recipient.

Applying video in email without harming deliverability

When incorporating embedded video code into your email, challenges arise. Most inbox providers will strip out the code as they mark it as a security risk. This leaves the recipient unable to see the video when they open the email and increases the risk of your email ending up in the spam folder, which massively harms your deliverability. However, fear not! The silver lining is that effective workarounds and new technology exist to allow you to integrate video into your email without harming your deliverability. 

How to present video content in email

As we’ve established, embedding videos directly within the email is sadly not an option that we can reach every subscriber with. Instead, the emphasis should be on guiding subscribers to the landing page on your site where the video is hosted. There are several effective ways of doing this:

YouTube Thumbnail: An option that many brands go for is to include an image styled like a YouTube thumbnail, encouraging the recipient to click it.

GIF of Video: Taking a snippet from your video and creating a GIF can help bring your email to life and entice the reader to click through to watch it. Rab Equipment does this extremely well as a brand, creating epic movies about their epic adventures, where they test how far they can push their gear.

Rab Example

Direct Link of Copy: Keep it straightforward by including a link in your text. The choice depends on the style of your emails and what aligns best with your brand's communication approach.

Like every aspect of email, the best way forward is to test, test, and test again. The only way to find out what works with your audience is by analysing your email performance data to determine the best way of displaying your video assets.

The most effective times to include video in email

There are various stages in a customer's lifecycle where video can be highly effective. For instance, when a consumer first engages with your brand, incorporating a video into your welcome series provides an ideal platform to introduce them to your brand's foundations. This can include showcasing the founder's story or simply the brand mission.

Video can also be the final bridge in a customer’s purchasing decision. Including an unboxing or product review video in your abandoned cart flow can be that gentle nudge your customer needs to purchase. 

Furthermore, videos play a vital role in post-purchase communication. They can provide essential guidance on caring for their new product or offer tips to maximise their subscription. This type of messaging transforms first-time customers into loyal brand advocates.

Could embedded video soon be available in email?

Although most ESPs are still advising marketers to stay away from embedded video code in email, there are some signs that this is beginning to change. The likes of Hubspot and MailChimp now offer integrations with new cutting-edge tools that Enchant Agency are currently testing, which allows brands to upload video content, which is then converted into an HTML 5 file. The code can then be added to the email HTML. Before the email reaches the inbox, the software will identify the subscriber's inbox provider and the device on the email will be viewed. This enables the software to select the most appropriate file to display in the inbox. If the subscriber's inbox supports video files, such as Apple Mail, then a version of the video file appropriate for the device (video length and resolution) will display when they open the email. However, if the subscriber's inbox provider doesn't support video files, such as Gmail/Outlook, then a GIF of the video will be displayed instead.

This is a significant step towards video becoming a possibility in email.  This tool could offer a promising solution for brands whose campaigns are predominantly opened by Apple Mail users. It will enable these brands to replace bulky file-size GIFs with high-quality videos for key product launches or grand announcements.  

Enchant loves how these brands use email

Louis Vuitton

The email below from Louis Vuitton exemplifies the effective use of video to celebrate milestones with subscribers. This campaign not only extends New Year wishes but also promotes Louis Vuitton's Ecard service, featuring one of their designs. A compelling call-to-action (CTA) is positioned below to drive traffic to their website.


This campaign from Sony below is a fantastic example of leveraging video for an important product launch by showcasing the celebrity it was built in collaboration with using the product.


This campaign from Mulberry is arguably the most effective, despite the design being basic compared to the other two examples. It instantly conveys the message to the recipient upon opening the email.

Wrap up

Including video in email is one of the best ways to ensure your video marketing efforts don’t go unnoticed. Just by uploading it to YouTube or Vimeo, there is still a chance that it might not reach your audience. Including video in your email strategy is a great way to showcase branded videos to engaged community members. Check out our service, where we where we explain how best to implement a consulting strategy to achieve better results!

To ask any questions about how you could include video in your email strategy. Contact our email heroes today for expert guidance.

Ready to Improve Your Email Marketing?

Our team of email marketing consultants are here to help you today

Let's Talk Email

Ready to Improve Your Email Marketing?

Our team of email marketing consultants are here to help you today

Let's Talk Email