Imagine combining two powerful elements of your marketing strategy – doing so would create a highly impactful and efficient tool to reach out to your audience.
Believe it or not, you can do this – by embedding videos in emails. While this might seem like a complicated task, we promise you it’s easier than you think, and it comes with an extensive list of benefits for your business.
Why Should You Use Video in Emails?
Using video in emails can be a hugely beneficial tactic within your marketing strategy. Reports show that using video in emails reduces unsubscribe rates by 26 percent and boosts click-through rates by 65 percent.
But video emails benefit more than your marketing department – they are also beneficial for sales and service professionals.
Why Marketers Should Use Video in Email
Video is an excellent communication tool for marketing professionals who want to make an impact on their audience. For starters, video is an important aspect of successful content marketing strategies featuring a wide breadth of quality material. In fact, 76 percent of marketers intend to increase video use in their marketing strategy.
Videos create emotion within your audience that regular text emails can’t match. Utilizing emotion makes for a highly effective marketing strategy, as consumers react to it strongly.
Additionally, descriptive videos about your products are far more engaging than a simple list of features. People like to be shown rather than told, and it’s always easier to understand when there’s a visual aid.
Why Salespeople Should Use Video in Email
Using personalized video in emails is a great way for sales professionals to foster stronger connections with their prospects and clients. Being able to see and hear you, as opposed to simply reading an email, creates a more direct, personal line of communication.
Nurturing stronger relationships like this can increase your closed deals and boost your customer retention rate.
You can use tools like Soapbox to quickly and easily record a short video of yourself speaking directly to individual prospects or clients, and then insert it into your email to them.
Why Service Teams Should Use Video in Email
Video can be a useful communication tool for service professionals as well. People always prefer to speak to other people, rather than a robot.
Using videos in your emails to engage with your disgruntled clients adds a much more human element to your message and shows that you’re actually engaged with your customer’s concerns. This will lead to a much higher customer satisfaction rate, and thus better client retention.
How to Use Video in Email
There are a number of different ways for you to incorporate video and kinetic visuals into your emails. The process for each is relatively simple, and we’ve outlined the steps for you below!
How to Add Static Images With a Play Button
One of the easiest ways to include video in your email is to add a static image with a play button.
Obviously, regular static images don’t come with a play button sitting over them, so try taking a screenshot of the cover slide of your video.
If the cover slide of your video isn’t that impressive (You want a bold image that is going to grab your audience’s attention.), then find a stronger screen grab from your video and put a play button icon over it using a photo editing software like Photoshop.
Once you have your static image, insert it into your email by clicking the image icon on your editing bar and selecting the file from the menu.
Next, add a hyperlink to the image, so when a viewer clicks on the play button, they’ll be taken to wherever your video is hosted – Vimeo, YouTube, etc.
How to Use Animated GIFs in Email
Animated GIFs have become the bread and butter in today’s age of digital communication. If you don’t want to include a full video in your emails, a GIF is a great alternative. They make for lighthearted, funny exchanges that fosters a more personal form of communication with your prospect or client.
Inserting a GIF into your email is very simple. If you’re working on a computer, you can simply drag and drop the GIF from your desktop into the body of your email. Or, you can insert it the same way you insert a photo, by clicking the icon on your editing bar.
How to Create Cinemagraphs
A cinemagraph involves a primarily still image with one moving element. It’s similar to a GIF, but it’s more of a photo with an aspect of constant, looping motion.
A few years ago, the only way to create a cinemagraph was through a complicated process in Photoshop. Luckily, tools like Flicktive have now been developed to make the process much easier.
You’ll need a video to work from – whether it’s your own, a YouTube video, or one provided by Flicktive. The downside is that most computer based software tools for creating cinemagraphs will cost you a monthly subscription fee. However, there are plenty of easy-to-use free mobile apps, like Mask Art or Draw Motion available.
To insert a cinemagraph into your email, simply follow the same steps that you would to insert a GIF.
How to Add Videos to Your Email Signature
Adding a video to your email signature is similar to the process of adding a static image. You’ll need a screenshot of your video’s cover page or a static image with a play button.
Next, navigate to the settings of your email account and find your “signature” preferences. You should be able to insert an image into your signature, and then attach the video hyperlink to that image.
A note for troubleshooting: if you have trouble uploading the image to your signature, try resizing it to be smaller so it fits thumbnail specifications.
4 Examples of Videos in Email
Still having a little trouble picturing the use of videos in email? We've put together a few examples to show you the different ways it can work to your advantage!
1. Trip Advisor
Check out this use of video in email by Trip Advisor.
They've included a static image with an overlaid play button. From the text information provided, it's obvious that this video is about a pride parade. However, we can also make this assumption simply by looking at the static image – it's a quality photo that clearly displays the subject matter.
Trip Advisor gives the viewer two clickable points to watch this video – through the play button over the image and a CTA just below it.
Their use of video in this email is highly effective for their purpose – they want to share why people love pride parades, "the music, energy, and community." It's much more impactful and effective to show this kind of knowledge than to simply write about.
In their email promoting the latest season of The Handmaid's Tale, Hulu combined a GIF and a static image overlaid with a play button.
The GIF builds anticipation for the new season by displaying little snippets of the show. Then, the "play now" button encourages viewers to go and watch immediately.
3. University of New Hampshire
I received this email from my alma mater, the University of New Hampshire. UNH sent out an email to its alumni inviting us to an event. Like Hulu, they combined a gif with an overlaid play button
While UNH uses a similar tactic to Hulu, their product is very different. For starters, the video is self recorded, featuring a primary speaker talking to the audience. Using a GIF of the speaker talking and waving, instead of a static image of her simply sitting there, is much more engaging. It grabs the recipient's attention.
Marketers, salespeople, and service professionals take note – their CTA is highly effective because it says "watch your video." The use of 'your' in this CTA makes the video feel individualized and directly relevant to the recipient, creating a much higher probability that they'll watch it.
4. The Scottish Ballet
Like Trip Advisor, the Scottish Ballet uses static images overlaid with play buttons in their email campaigns. They've created an aesthetically pleasing diptych design with two videos – one of a performance, and a behind-the-scenes video of a project.
Additionally, the entire design is consistent within their color scheme – featuring lots of white space with light green and and deep purple accents and text.
Including videos in their email campaigns is a great way to engage their customers and intrigue them into purchasing tickets for future shows. It also gives them a sneak peak into the deeper workings of the ballet – something that avid fans will appreciate.
As we've seen, using video in email can have a myriad of benefits for marketing, sales, and service professionals. The first step is planning out what content within your business would make for engaging video material. Or, you can simply record direct videos to send to individual clients, like the University of New Hampshire did.
If you're going to choose this route, make sure you have a small studio set up in your office to record high-quality videos. Low-quality videos will look unprofessional and likely drive business away.
No matter what you choose to do, make sure that your videos are impactful and serve a productive purpose within your email. They should add value to your campaigns to make for a more successful email marketing campaign overall.