Video has been one of the biggest, fastest-growing trends in digital marketing for several years now – and it shows no signs of slowing down.

Given that some email clients (Outlook, for instance) can’t handle embedded videos, though, this poses a challenge to email marketers.

How do you make the most of email video marketing without putting video directly into your emails?

In this article, we’ll look at:

  1. Just How Big a Deal is Email Video Marketing?
  2. What Kinds of Video Can You Insert into Email?
  3. Using Play Buttons
  4. Merging GIFs and Images

Let’s get to it, shall we?

1. Just How Big a Deal is Email Video Marketing?

Including video content in your marketing emails increases your click-through rate by up to 50% and, furthermore, your email open rate by around 19%. Those are some pretty impressive numbers.

Not only that, but it gives you a great basis for click-through links and compelling CTAs in the first place. Additionally, as we’ll show you in a moment if you’re smart about it, including hyperlinked video is a very effective way to direct people to a landing page or your social media channels.

Basically, it’s one of the very best tools you can use to boost engagement with your marketing emails.  

2. What Kinds of Video Can You Insert into Email?

While it *is* possible to embed a video directly into an email with HTML5; you can’t be sure that all your recipients will be able to view it. A lot of email clients can’t handle embedded video files; it can be really fiddly trying to get this to work at your end anyway.

A more reliable way to control how your content will look like is to use animated GIFs or cinemagraphs. These are super easy to make, too – here’s a free tool.

Not sure of the difference between the two? Well, GIFs look like this:

Or, if you’re making a snazzy marketing one, like this:

They’re basically a series of looping PNG files, so any email marketing platform or email clients should be able to handle them, on any device.

Cinemagraphs are a type of GIF that works in pretty much the same way, except that only part of the image changes from frame to frame, like this:

These can breathe life into your emails, and also, add visual interest or a hint of cool that really draws the reader in. Basically, it’s video without the hassle.

3. Using Play Buttons

If you want people to watch a specific video (as opposed to a GIF) but don’t want to risk trying to embed it, a popular and effective alternative is just to take a still or cover image from your video, whack a play button on it, and hyperlink it.

That way, people will naturally click on the play button as they would with any other video, but instead of playing inside the email, this takes them to the original video or to a landing page with the video on it.

Incidentally, this is also a great way to encourage click-throughs and user/readers onto your site.

4. Merging GIFs and Images

Here’s an awesome trend that’s sprung up recently: mixing together GIFs / cinemagraphs with the play button/click-through approach to create an animated play button or video preview that people can’t resist clicking.

For example, check out this marketing email that was sent out by Harley Davidson. While the end video has since been taken down (it was for a time-limited campaign), you can see how attractive that play button looks when you mix it with the clever GIF.

Why not experiment with using video and GIFs in your video marketing emails today?

And, whilst you’re at it, why not take a look at our 8 Online Marketing Tools article; it’ll certainly give you some pointers on how to grow your business faster.

Oh, and don’t forget to sign up for your free email marketing account today and test your ideas, for free.

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