Marketing, particularly when you’re stuck in a saturated market, often becomes more about breaking the pattern than anything else.
You can break the pattern by exploring new content themes, or do something more adventurous. Including videos in your emails, if you’ve not done so earlier, can be a big decision. That’s because you will eventually need to plan on a well thought out email marketing campaign centered on video content.
Apart from this, there are quite a few technical aspects of adding videos to your emails, to make sure they load perfectly. In this guide, I’ll tell you why and how you can embed videos in your emails.
Why Consider Giving a Video Makeover to your Email Marketing?
An eMarketer study suggests that almost half the marketers who experimented with video in their emails experienced more click through rates, higher reading times, and more sharing. Video email marketing has some obvious benefits for brands. Some of them are:
- Videos attract and sustain your audience’s attention.
- Often, when text content becomes too complex, video emerges as a simple and effective alternative.
- The viral-potential of a video is always more than that of text content.
- Of course, your videos can be reused on almost all your digital marketing channels – Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, LinkedIn, and more.
Before You Begin Email Video Marketing, Read This
I understand you already have a stash of an awesome idea to create engaging videos that you can leverage in your email marketing. Before that, here are some hard facts worth knowing and remembering:
- A very few email clients offer the functionality of playback for embedded video content.
- Most of them only show a thumbnail of the video, which can be clicked, taking the user to the page the video is hosted at.
- You need to find a way to communicate a clear CTA via the video, which can be challenging.
Embedded Videos – The UX Advantage
Traditionally, adventurous email marketers used quirky tactics to improve the UX in terms of how email recipients could enjoy in-email videos. For instance –
- Superimposing a play button on top of an image, linked to the video
- Using a GIF image instead of static image to bring a sense of motion in the email
Embedding your video in your emails, however, delivers by far the best user experience, because the email recipient is able to see the video within the email body, instead of being redirected to another platform.
Also, the user only has to click on play once, as compared to clicking one more time when redirected to the hosting page. This alone can drive engagement significantly higher for your emails.
Getting Embed Codes
You can easily generate embed codes from any platform where you host your videos. Let’s take the example of YouTube.
- Go to the YouTube video you want to embed.
- Click on the Share button
- Click on Embed.
- You can copy the HTML code you see, or can specify the ‘start time’ of the video, and get the modified code.
- Use this code in your HTML code where you want to embed the video.
Similarly, you can even generate embed HTML code for video playlists.
Advanced Video Embedding Guide
Here’s the code you need to embed video in your emails:
<!– video section initially hidden –>
<div class=”video-wrapper” style=”display:none;”>
<p>Video Content: flv</p>
<video width=”320″ height=”176″ controls=”controls” poster=”http://www.samplesite.com/images/blog_images/sampleimage/2017/html5_video/video_cover.jpg” src=”http://www.videohost.com/html/mov_post.mp4″ >
<!– fallback 1 –>
<a href=”http://www.samplesite.com” ><img height=”176″
src=”http://www.samplesite.com/images/blog_images/sampleimage/2017/html5_video/post_image_backup.jpg” width=”320″ /></a>
<!– fallback section initially displayed –>
<a href=”http://www.samplesite.com” ><img height=”176″
src=”http://www.samplesite.com/images/blog_images/sampleimage/2017/html5_video/post_image_backup.jpg ” width=”320″ /></a>
Look for the following three parts to understand the code and use it as per your need.
- Poster attribute: For email clients that support video playback, poster attribute defines the cover image for the video.
- Fallback section: Here, you’ll need to provide the image you wish to appear in clients that don’t support video.
- Source tag: Add the link to your video file here.
Depending on the email client you intend to use, the code will need to be slightly modified. For instance, Yahoo Mail removes display:none inline, so you need to add a code to the <head>, such as:
Important Info on Clients That Support Email
You might be surprised to note that Gmail, with 40% market share in the email client market, does not support video playback for embedded videos. Outlook and Yahoo, with 23% and 21% share respectively, also don’t support embedded video playback in emails. Which clients support it, then? Here are some:
- Apple Mail
- iOS Native Client
- Samsung Galaxy Native Client
Best Practices to Follow
Now that you have understood the basics of embedding videos in your email, let’s learn some best practices that will make your video emails perform much better and help you achieve a higher CTR.
- Use a thumbnail that resembles the video. Choose an email client like MailChamp as it already has video merge tags for automatically embedding thumbnails into emails.
- Using the word “video” in the subject line can serve as a powerful CTA and can persuade the audiences to click on your email.
- Keep the video short and to the point. Also, ensure the video content matches the subject line of the email.
- People like to get entertain so entertain them while conveying your brand message. Don’t make it boring. Storytelling is a great way to share your message with your readers.
Video is proving to be the most popular content format for all kinds of content marketing. Email marketing is time tested and proven effective. Why not blend the power of the two platforms and bring about some stellar results for your digital marketing campaigns? The tips in this guide help.