video in email marketing

If a picture’s worth 1,000 words, what’s a video worth? According to a recent study by Email Monks, using video can boost your email marketing returns by 280%. Yet only 25% of email marketers are doing it. With so many different uses for video—from product demonstrations and customer testimonials to training videos and factory walk-throughs—there are endless opportunities to leverage the power of video in your next email marketing campaign.

Use the following video best practices to ensure you get the most ROI for your buck in your next campaign:


  • Keep your video short. The shorter the video, the more likely viewers will watch it in its entirety and take action. Plus, concision packs power and helps ensure you’re communicating as effectively as possible. If your topic can’t be trimmed to less than two minutes, consider dividing the video into a series.
  • Use the word “video” in your subject line to draw focus to it and attract an audience interested in video. After all, if you’ve spent your time and resources creating a video, you don’t want it to be overlooked.
  • Turn sound for auto-play videos off for those who are opening their email in quiet offices.
  • Keep it action-oriented with a clear call to action. Clickable buttons and links enhance viewer engagement and help to prevent you from losing leads.
  • Pay attention to quality. Poor sound or image quality in your video can be a big turn-off. Make sure voices are audible and images are at the proper resolutions.
  • Include non-video elements, such as a web URL and a short description of the video, for viewers unable to watch it within their emails. While HTML5 is growing in popularity (allowing more people to view video within emails), not all email clients are on board just yet.
  • Use a fallback “still shot” that is a good representative image so viewers who are unable to watch video directly can understand what your video is about. If the image is enticing enough, they may be more inclined to click on a URL and watch your video elsewhere.
  • Keep your bandwidth 150-200kB/second or less so your video loads smoothly.
  • Include share buttons so viewers can promote your video on social networks. You will also be able to identify these advocates and further segment future messaging accordingly.
  • Follow up with auto-responders to deepen engagement with viewers who have taken specific actions.


  • Overlook content. Content quality is still king when it comes to videos. Rather than send out frequent videos, focus on sending relevant videos.
  • Assume you need a big budget. Keep in mind some of the most popular videos were made for nothing (Think of cat videos.) Production costs do not have to be high in order for your videos to be effective. And because most smart phones are capable of recording video in HD, you don’t have to invest in expensive equipment.
  • Get too ambitious. Start small and test the waters. Set up a focus group and ask for suggestions. Then, once you’ve seen how your audience reacts, you can plan and invest more.
  • Get caught up in perfection. Making videos is about connecting to your audience, not being the next Spielberg. Don’t lose sight of that goal.

With just a little forethought, a strategic approach to video can take your email campaigns to the next level. Ready to take your email list to the next level? Download our eBook “5 Easy Ways to Take Your Email List to the Next Level” today!