How to use video to improve your email marketing rates

How can you send videos on emails? How can you use video to improve your email marketing open and click rates? Read more for some answers to these questions

We collectively send millions of emails every year. If you printed them out and stacked them up, they would reach all the way to Mars (most likely). Brands are contributing to the inbox avalanche. They're reaching out to their audiences more than ever before, and without a unique angle, your chances of standing out are about as remote as Mars.

Video can help improve this and marketers have started to take note. Videos are a great way to boost your emails. Including videos in your emails can boost your metrics to new heights: improving email opens, click-through rates, and conversions. Furthermore, they're great to get your customers engaged.

But how can you use and embed video in email marketing? Using video to help boost your email marketing is simpler than you think.

Find out how to add a video to your message, discover how to do it well, and learn about the benefits of video email marketing.

Why video email marketing?

Using video in your email marketing campaigns can help ensure that your message gets noticed.

Email has endured through countless predictions of its demise. Why has email remained a mainstay marketing channel, often one of a brand's biggest? Because it is a powerful owned channel. Video enhances email's innate strength.

Video in email can enhance your marketing conversions. An engaging, rich media format makes the most common marketing channel in the world even more enticing and effective. Emails that include video are hard to resist.

Video email marketing is frequently employed to describe the act of sending an electronic message with an attachment containing video content. Despite the phrase's implication, it is not a distinct form of marketing; it is a valuable addition to conventional email marketing. You can use it with virtually any kind of email you want.

Video email marketing is hot right now

It's easy to get started with video; you can put it anywhere and everywhere. Promotions? Sure. Triggers? Correct. Newsletters? You bet. Nurtures? Of course. The key is to test to see what works best for you.

From here on out, it is crucial to note that video in email is generally composed of an alluring thumbnail with a tempting play button. Very few email clients support video playing in emails, so you entice readers to click play with a visually appealing image. When they click play, they go to the video (or, more commonly, the landing page where it's hosted on) to view it.

Email should be an integral part of your organization's video marketing strategy. However, to achieve excellent results, you must first grasp the fundamentals.

Advantages of using video emails

Video is the greatest way to connect with your audience. It makes complex topics simple, people crave it, and it builds a connection that produces long-term loyalty. People are captured by video in email in a way that text simply cannot.

How do you add videos to emails

Saying that a video can be embedded in an email is misleading. It is, in fact, an email that contains a thumbnail picture of the video so that recipients can click through to watch the video on a website or landing page. There are several benefits to this tactic.

It's hard to keep up with email providers.

There are several unique characteristics in e-mail solutions such as Gmail, Microsoft Outlook, and Apple Mail. Some don't let you embed video in emails directly, and this varies by device. Marketers who don't want to remember that individuals using Gmail on their old Samsung mobile devices won't see the video may save a lot of time by linking to it. It also ensures that your audience will be able to view your video regardless of how they view your email.

How do you send videos through emails 

If you're trying to send a video for business reasons, follow some of the following tips. Take a screenshot of your video and use it as a thumbnail. Then, add a triangular “Play” button to the screenshot so that recipients recognize it as a video and want to press it. 

Save the public URL of your video on a video hosting site and create a new email with your email software. Include the thumbnail and link it to the URL of your video, ensuring that the thumbnail file name describes the content of the video in case the thumbnails are not loaded.

The more personal the video, the better

Tools like Maverick now allow you to personalize your videos at scale to boost your email marketing open rates and click rates. You only record once and Maverick uses AI to generate thousands of unique personalized versions of your base video where you greet each customer by name. The tool also enables you to send your videos automatically over email hosted according to video email marketing best practices mentioned above. There's zero engineering work required from your end to get up and running.

What types of emails are best to embed videos in?

Beyond standard campaign emails, it's recommended that you add video to triggered emails, welcome emails, post purchase thank yous, abandoned cart rates, newsletters, customer lifecycle emails, etc. You can use video to follow-up with your lapsed customers, make product descriptions or tutorials, announce a new release, or offer a tutorial in video emails. Likewise, try incorporating videos on emails where you need to improve your engagement rates.

Here are 10 best practices to use video in email successfully

1. Make sure to include ‘Video’ in the Subject Line of your emails

Studies have shown that using the word 'Video' on subject lines improves open rates significantly. Test it yourself. Try to make it extra clear by putting it in brackets at the beginning or end of the subject line. For example: [Video] How to provide an excellent customer experience.

Test it yourself, A/B test your subject lines, try adding the word “Video” to one of your subject lines and see what effect it may have on your open rates compared to other subject lines that don't mention this. 

2. Use copy before the video to introduce it

If not, your video alone will look like spam and recipients will get turned off. Your email should thus include a few words to introduce it. The text should be able to convey your message independently in case the video fails to play. (This might occur if their email client is configured to not automatically download images for example.)

3. Try including video captions

On many occasions, people won’t have headphones or don’t want to disturb those around them at work, so they watch videos with the sound off. For cases like this it helps a lot if your video comes with captions so that viewers can still understand the message even if the video is playing silently. This makes your video content more accessible.

4. Make thumbnail animated with a GIF

You can use animated thumbnails or GIFs to catch people's attention, and they're a great way to introduce your video. But be careful because not every email provider recognizes GIFs. Don't use this if most of your recipients are on Outlook 2007, 2010, 2014, and Windows 7 phones. They will only display the first frame. However the majority of other email providers do support them.

According to Litmus, 57% of email marketers that sent videos in 2018 said they sometimes used GIF thumbnails.

5. Reduce the size of your thumbnails.

Large files from unidentified senders can cause spam filters to trigger, according to Litmus. An email's images should not add up to more than 2.7MB of data. If your thumbnail is larger than that or adds to more than that with the other images you're including, reduce its size or compress it (you can use free tools available online for this). 

6. You should film your video to fit the device.

It is vital to determine where and how your video will be watched prior to recording it. If you're in B2B, a large portion of videos are still viewed on desktop computers, where low-resolution videos and large screens result in a grainy picture. 

Alternatively, if you're in B2C, clients may watch on a mobile device, where it may be difficult to read text. Keep in mind these 3 factors when recording your video: device and screen size, most common viewing times and location where most of your audience may be viewing from (offices, street, homes, etc).

7. Measure your Video Email A/B tests and results.

It's a best practice to include videos in emails, but the audience and situation determine whether this is the best approach. Try to do extensive A/B testing to determine whether an animated thumbnail or a static thumbnail works better, or whether more text or less text converts better, etc. Document your test results in a test log so your colleagues can build on your knowledge.

Using video emails, Ava Estell boosted their email CTR by 45%

Maverick worked with Ava Estell, a natural skincare brand to communicate with customers through personalized videos sent at scale via email. Each video was automatically generated using AI and in each video the founder greets the customer by name. After a very straightforward setup Ava Estell is now able to send personalized video emails to each customer for post purchase thank yous and abandoned cart recoveries.

Want to see Maverick in action? Tell us your name and we will send you an AI generated personalized video.
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