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This is a guest post from Leland Frankel at Lemonlight.

Every day, all across the world, we send and receive an estimated 239 billion emails.

From friendly reminders to quarterly reports, birthday invites to newsletters, emails are one of the most efficient ways to connect audiences to their content. And if you represent a brand or company, emails are also an ideal method to deliver essential information directly, both to existing and potential consumers. With billions of emails flitting around the globe, how do you make your messaging stand out in a sea of data?

The answer is simple: video marketing.

By incorporating video content, your brand can boost engagement stats across the board. But once you decide to include video marketing as a major element of your email content, how do you optimize your strategy and take full advantage of video’s impact? There are an array of simple tricks and complex techniques to finesse the way you utilize video content in your email marketing strategy.

Read on to find out what they are.

One simple word

Incorporating video marketing into your email strategy starts the second you place a video in your email. But remember, a change in strategy only affects those willing to engage with you in the first place, so getting consumers to make that initial click is arguably your biggest threshold to cross.

Luckily, research already shows that just including the word “video” in the subject line of your email will boost open rates by 19% and click-through rates by 65%. That’s a pretty serious increase for such a small adjustment. By promising video, you’re already creating anticipation and excitement instead of a run-of-the-mill email—a key difference that can set your content marketing apart.

Embed wisely

If this is your first time trying to include video content in your email marketing, you might just try copy/pasting it directly in your message and expect the clip to play. But despite the fact that over 60% of business use video as a marketing tool, many of the biggest email platforms, from Gmail to Outlook, still don’t support intuitive embedding.

To remedy this, study the popular mark-up language HTML5—while it’s far from universal, it still represents 62% of the market. Because of this statistic, HTML5 will be your best solution for embedding a video (one won’t need to click through to in order to watch).

If you don’t want to deal with HTML, the next best solution might be creating a still image thumbnail of your video (with either a static or animated play button acting as a mini call to action) that looks like it’s embedded.

In actuality, it will act as a link connecting viewers to the video on another page—hopefully your brand landing page, and not a hosting site like YouTube or Vimeo. But if, like those sites, you still want your video to autoplay upon their reaching that next page, just follow these easy steps.

Foo Fighters is an American rock band with a thriving following. When they wanted to get the word out about their new album and HBO special, ‘Sonic Highways’, they turned to video email marketing.

Answer the call

Sometimes opportunities are so simple that we overlook them. For instance, many brands new to video marketing forget you can simply just ask viewers to follow instructions.

Featuring a call to action (CTA) in your video marketing can lead to 380% more clicks, but each one of those clicks still needs to be carefully considered. Embedding your video without autoplay means that potential consumers will have to click twice: first to watch the video, then again on a link to your landing page.

Every click decreases the chance of conversion (hence Amazon’s famous one-click approach) so a compelling CTA is essential.

We recommend including both verbal and visual CTAs in your email video, for maximum effectiveness. Whichever style you prefer, make sure to place it right at the start of your content—studies show that only 25% of viewers watch through to the end of an embedded video, meaning that the more you delay your CTA, the more you risk (75% of your potential audience, to be exact).

Moving images

Maybe you have terrific video content you want to feature in your email marketing, but you’re feeling less-than-certain about integrating it flawlessly. Creating GIFs is another powerful way to add a touch of video to your email marketing strategy, without having to worry about embedding or double-click conversion. Just take that video, trim it into a few looping seconds, and without another minute of filming, you have a totally new piece of content to use.

Beck - Email Marketing Campaign - This is an example of using GIFs and video in your email marketing.

Though they may initially feel less impressive than a full-on video, GIFs can still have a potent effect on viewers. For example, when Dell used GIFs in their email marketing campaign for their convertible laptop-tablet, they increased revenue by 109%.

Even a little bit of movement will catch a potential consumer’s eye more effectively than a static image, but make sure to mind your file size—articles like this can help you optimize GIFs for smoother, faster load times and prudent data usage.

Old meets new

Email marketing continues to be a successful revenue source, and content marketing has shown to have lower initial costs and deeper long-term benefits than paid search. However, the integration of email and content—especially video content—can be truly dynamic for your business.

Wrap up

When you add video content to your email marketing strategy—whether it’s a high-production video or a fast-moving GIF—you build a bridge between the old way of doing things and the new.

Starting with a powerful, established technique like email marketing and accentuating it with video content can add a totally new dimension to your marketing strategy. And your audience will notice: Instead of just sharing information, you’re sharing content—creating something genuine people want to watch and enjoy.


Leland Frankel is an award-winning filmmaker and contributing writer for Lemonlight. Lemonlight is a Los Angeles video production company that empowers brands by crafting high-quality, affordable video content that enhances their marketing and tells their story in an inspiring, authentic, and unique way.

This blog provides general information and discussion about email marketing and related subjects. The content provided in this blog ("Content”), should not be construed as and is not intended to constitute financial, legal or tax advice. You should seek the advice of professionals prior to acting upon any information contained in the Content. All Content is provided strictly “as is” and we make no warranty or representation of any kind regarding the Content.
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