There it is, you've come up with a great idea for your next communication campaign: share a video by email and convey your message in a dynamic, engaging way.
In fact, you’d be mistaken not to go for it: whether to communicate with your marketing targets, or internally with your employees and colleagues, video is undoubtedly one of their preferred formats.
However, there’s a catch: video and email just don’t seem to get along very well. You can't upload your videos as attachments, otherwise your emailing service will hit you on the head. And to place your video behind a simple hyperlink seems a bit... ominous.
No problem: before you decide to send your video via Wetransfer, we have something to make you smile again.
Find out below how to embed a video in an email, and discover some tips about creating a video specifically to be distributed through this communication channel.
Some good reasons to embed a video in an email 💡
It would be a missed opportunity if you don’t take advantage of video’s power in your email communications.
Both formats are very popular with your target audiences, whether you work in external or internal communication, or in marketing:
- Email is the preferred communication channel for 73% of millennials when they are contacted by businesses (Hubspot report, 2020).
- Video is used by 86% of internet users to search for information (étude Think With Google, 2017).
This research suggests that email and video is a winning combo.
And other figures clearly point in this direction. According to a Syndacast study, using the word "video" in an email subject increases the open rate by 19%, the click rate by 65%, and decreases the unsubscribe rate by 26%.
This confirms your initial idea was a good one... but it doesn't help you to solve your initial problem. We promise we won't make your mouth water for no reason: the most important thing is to understand how to get around this apparent mismatch between email and video.
Video + email = an impossible love? 💔
It's a fact: by default, through an emailing service, it seems almost impossible to embed a video directly into an email. You can try to insert in the body of your email the "embed code" of your video, i.e. the HTML code that allows you to embed a video on web pages... but the result will probably be disappointing.
Maybe you already know this, but email can be a fickle format. The issue comes from a hard reality: not all email servers (Gmail, Outlook, Yahoo Mail, 1&1...) read your emails in the same way. Result: you may have designed a fantastic email for your recipients, but not everyone will see it displayed the same way, depending on whether they are on a mobile phone, a desktop computer, or even on different messaging systems or browsers.
If you talk to your IT department, your developers may tell you that it’s possible to integrate your video by implementing a specific HTML5 code. If done this way, in just a few lines of code, your video can be launched at the opening of the email, as if it were integrated into a traditional web page. Hurrah...?
However, beware of this geeky alternative, which has several drawbacks:
- Not all email servers support HTML5. And even if those which do support it represent almost half of the applications on the market, be aware that large email servers, such as Gmail or Yahoo, do not tolerate it. ouch.
- If your recipient's email application doesn't support HTML5, it will display a still image. A reasonable alternative, but not really satisfactory for your communication goals.
- This process of embedding a video in an email may seem somewhat complex, if you want to send a video by email regularly.
But don't panic! Before throwing in the towel and declaring this love affair between video and email to be heartbreakingly impossible, take a look at the alternatives you could consider.
The keys to embed a video into an email effectively 👌
No more teasing: now it's time to give you some advice on how to truly matchmake email and video.
Choose an alternative method to combine email and video
Do you want to quickly integrate your video into an email, without asking your developers or webdesigners? Opt for one of the two following techniques.
👨🎨The graphic designer’s technique
To use this technique, nothing could be simpler: choose an image representative of your video, integrate it into your email, and insert a link that leads to the page where the video is hosted. All you need is a visual creation tool such as PhotoShop or Canva.
For the most successful effect, which will boost your click rate, consider choosing a key moment of your video and taking a screenshot of it. Add a "Play" pictogram to it, which will encourage the click.
Why not draw some inspiration from YouTube videos, and create a dynamic, intriguing thumbnail without falling into the disappointing click-bait trap?
PlayPlay Pro tip
If you choose to insert a visual in your email, make sure to optimize its size. The risk attached to a large file? An email lagging behind, which lands in the "Spam" inbox, and harms your overall deliverability rate.
So, think about reducing the image size to 1Mb max, without altering its quality, in a simple way: an online compression tool like TinyPNG will do the trick. JPEG or PNG, it doesn't matter - as long as your large files stick to their dieting regime!
🤓 The digital native’s technique
If someone says "video," you probably think "YouTube channel" or (for the chauvinistic among you) "Dailymotion." And if they say "GIF," what do you think?
Here it is, your solution to overcome the blighted love affair between email and video: the GIF format, which is tolerated by all email clients. What's more, your youngest targets love it: GIFs will boost your email marketing or internal communication strategy with Millenials and other Z generations.
To create a GIF out of your video content, there's no need to involve your webdesigner. Just select the part of the video you want to turn into a GIF, and go to EZGif, a free online tool. You can then select the scrolling speed of the different shots, and optimize the size of your final file.
PlayPlay Pro tip
If your GIF is just a teaser for your full-length video, don't forget to add a call-to-action button underneath, which indicates that the entire video can be viewed by clicking on it.
Take advantage of the video format in your email subject line
Now you know how to integrate a video into an email. But don't stop there. Create an email subject that your recipients won't be able to resist.
You've seen the proof yourself: including the word "video" significantly increases the open rate of your emails. So think of subject lines such as:
- [video] ...
- ... in video
- video interview with...
You had a fantastic idea for an email subject, but didn't have enough characters available to include the word "video," without losing that 'wow' factor? Don't forget to mention the term in the first 35 characters of your pre-header (the small paragraph that appears below your subject line in your recipients' mailboxes).
Design your video format specifically to be viewed on email
You wouldn’t watch a video embedded into an email as you would on the YouTube application itself, or on a desktop screen. To make sure your video will have the impact it deserves, tailor it to the way your recipients will view it.
Some examples to inspire you:
- For internal communication: Do you send an email early on Monday morning to your employees to motivate them for the week ahead and keep them up to date with company news? Produce a video in vertical format, which your recipients will view from their mobile phones on the way to the office.
- For marketing: Are you creating a video to present your latest innovative product? Make it short and quick, and include an effective call-to-action at the end of your video.
- For the media: Are you creating a daily digest for the latest headlines? Offer your readers a dynamic and fast "Top 5 news to remember" video, with short and punchy subtitles.
- For public institutions: Are you promoting the next event that's coming to your town? Think of your video as an attractive, engaging slideshow, and end it with a call-to-action to get your audience to sign up.
You know your recipients better than anyone else. Think of them first and ensure that your communications achieve the biggest impact with video-embedded emails. 💪