Videos in email marketing… what’s best right now?

The possibility of playing video directly within an email has been ‘on the horizon’ and rising quickly.

Video in email marketing

Smartphones (esp iOS), using HTML5, can now support video playing in email clients. Embedding videos vs linking to videos is something marketers need to revisit in their email marketing strategy on a regular basis. There are a number of factors, but the decision will always be based on your audience, your sector (eg B2B, B2C) and your products and services. Read more about this topic: DMA UK, Wistia and email marketer Tim Watson.

There is a strong case to be made to continue using thumbnail images rather than embedding the video. To watch a video in an email marketing message requires two clicks – one to watch the video in the email and one to clickthrough (you hope) to your call-to-action landing page after viewing the video. If you use a thumbnail image linking to the landing page, it only takes one click – and your reader is now on a landing page featuring both your video and your calls to action.

So, for many marketers the thumbnail image linked to the video on the landing page remains the optimum email marketing choice. Tim’s five tips for getting clickthroughs from those images:

  1.  Pick an engaging frame from the video to show as the static image – don’t assume it’s the first frame.
  2.  Overlay a play button on the frame image – YouTube has trained everyone to know exactly what to do … click.
  3.  Video content should be consistent with wha’s mentioned in the text.
  4.  WIIFM (What’s In It For Me) In the email copy explain – in a sentence – the value of watching the video.
  5.  Set up video auto-play on the landing page.

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