How to Send Video in Email in 3 Simple Steps

Once you finish producing a great corporate video, product demo, or tutorial video, you want to get maximum exposure and value from the video you created. With email, you can have sales reps send out videos to prospective clients, or send out a newsletter to your existing customers introducing a new product.

And while you probably understand the value of online video by now, did you know that sending video in email can double click-through rates (MediaPost)? The study confirms a survey done by MarketingProfs, where 76% of marketers said campaigns that integrated video and email generated higher click-through rates.

Unfortunately, you can’t easily embed and watch a video inside of an email. Most email clients strip out embed codes and file attachments for security reasons, which produces an ugly looking email and a broken video. However, there is an easy way to combine email and video. A way that provides your customers with a consistent and functional viewing experience. Here are 3 simple steps for sending video in email.

Step 1: Create a Video Thumbnail

  1. Pick an interesting image. It could be a scene from your video (just take a screenshot), a photo, or a stock image. The more engaging and relevant your image is, the more clicks you’re going to get.
  2. Import the image in to an editing tool, like Photoshop Express.
  3. Crop the image so you only see the part of the image you want visible on the thumbnail.
  4. Resize the cropped image to fit in your email. The ideal width depends on the email service provider you’re using, but 500px is usually safe.
  5. Add a simple play button as a new layer on top of the image (see sample below). This will help readers understand that it’s not just an image, but a link to a video.

Email Video Embed Sample

Step 2: Create a Video Landing Page

You want to avoid linking to your video on YouTube or some other 3rd party host. You want to drive traffic to your website where they can easily learn more or contact you after watching the video. If you send people to YouTube, they’ll likely get distracted and forget why they went there in the first place.

If you already have the video embedded on your website and ready to go, you can skip this step. If not, here are a few handy pointers.

  1. Create a new web page just for your video.
  2. Embed the video and use a lot of keyword-rich content on the page, which will help drive traffic to your video. Make sure the content is similar to the content in your email so visitors have a consistent experience across mediums.
  3. Try to use the same thumbnail that you created for the email and make sure the video is the centerpiece of the page.

Step 3: Send the Email

  1. Using an email service provider (like MailChimp), create an email template and insert your thumbnail.
  2. Hyperlink the image to your video landing page (this can usually be done when inserting the image, or you can often right-click the image to add a hyperlink).
  3. For advanced users: try creating multiple variations of the video thumbnail (using various images and sizes) and use split-testing to see which thumbnails generate the most clicks. Eventually, you’ll find out what your readers like, and be able to create more effective email campaigns.

Sending video in email can be an extremely powerful marketing tactic when executed correctly. Have you tried to send video in email before? Please share your own tips and experiences in the comments below!

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