How to Use Video in Email Marketing

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Video has been touted as the next evolution in email marketing for years, but implementation challenges have slowed it down. Limited file size and production time due to email clients not supporting it.

Animated GIFs and static images with play buttons have replaced them. It’s not the video experience we expected.

Animated GIFs are more like static animation than video. However, users must leave the email to view the video (often on a third-party site like YouTube) and then take another action on your site.

Now that 98 percent of email clients support video, the top content type for consumer research, it’s never been easier to add video to your email marketing. Here are some ways to use video in email marketing.

Using Social Media and Email Videos in Unexpected Ways

Videos are popular on social media, with 60% of 18-64 year olds watching video on sites other than YouTube.

Turn your most popular videos, like Instagram Stories, into emails. A great way to reduce content production time while still providing content your customers want.

A couple more ways to incorporate social media and video into your emails are:

  1. Unboxing videos: Customers opening your carefully branded packaging can be unboxed by users. These videos are great for showcasing products and the purchase process. Add value to cart abandonment messages to build excitement for a potential purchase.
  2. Social invite messages: You’re probably used to seeing generic “connect with us on social” emails in welcome series. Instead, use videos from your social media accounts to show what shoppers can expect when they visit your pages.

Utilizing Video in Automated Lifecycle Messages

Automated lifecycle messages already achieve a higher level of email engagement than average, and video offers an opportunity to further engage and entice email subscribers. While you can use video for virtually any lifecycle message, consider the following opportunities:

  • Welcome series: Rather than a generic welcome graphic, include a welcome video featuring the company founder, showcasing products, reinforcing a lifestyle, or communicating the company’s mission.
  • Post-purchase emails: The intention of these emails are to improve the customer experience and foster loyalty. You can express gratitude to customers and introduce additional post-purchase content, such as how-to or resource sections, product review requests, and contact information for customer service.
  • Lapsed-purchase series: These messages are sent to customers who have made a purchase but have not returned. Introduce new or trendy products and styles to re-engage them with your brand and products.

Lights, Camera and Most Importantly, Action!

Finding the time and resources to create video content is a common issue for retailers. Aside from creating original content, don’t feel obligated to reinvent the wheel.

Use existing content, such as videos shared on social media or videos in your ecommerce or resource sections.

Playable CEO Bob Hitching advises keeping videos in emails to 10 seconds or less. This works well with Instagram, SnapChat, and TikTok videos. The shorter length also help marketers source and create content.

What of those 2% of email clients that don’t support video? Subscribers using those clients are in the same boat: The video’s first frame will be static. Whether or not your email client renders video, make sure this first frame supports your overall message.

If used properly, video can enhance the email experience and make your brand stand out from the crowd. Tactical overuse can cause subscriber fatigue. Find emails that can benefit from video and use your existing content to give your emails a boost.

Email marketing will benefit greatly from video.

Promotional Emails and Other Uses

Video can be used in almost any message, but the trick is to use it to add value to the message. Add video to your promotional email mix by:

  1. Tell your brand’s story with video: Employers can use it to show consumers behind-the-scenes footage of events, such as volunteer work, office life, company outings, This type of content is perfect for a promotional email.
  2. Daily deals: Do you have a daily deal for a specific product or category? Use video to show why the product is great or to show customers using it.
  3. Top-rated products: Email is a great way to use social proof in marketing. Instead of static images, use video to showcase one or all of your top products, customer testimonials, or build anticipation as you “unveil” the top product.

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