16 min read

How To Embed Video in Email with 4 Way + Examples

Embedding videos in your emails? A smart move for better open and conversion rates!

While using a direct link is a common approach, there are other methods too.

Let's explore four different ways together and make your emails more engaging!

Why Should You Embed Video in Email?

If you've been thinking about adding video to your email but aren't sure if it's a best practice, let us enlighten you with the latest statistics.

A report by G2 in 2023 found that almost half of all brands — 48% to be exact — are embedding videos in their email campaigns.

So why are these brands doing this? That should be the real question, luckily the answer is simple:

According to Wyzowl, 82% of customers were convinced to buy after watching a video.

It is evident that video is more than simply a trend; it is a game changer.

Here are several other reasons why embedding video in emails can be beneficial:

  • Increases Engagement: Videos can communicate complex messages more effectively than text. It allows you to explain products in a way that is easy to engage with.
  • Improve Click-through Rates (CTR): A video thumbnail, especially one with a play button, can entice buyers to click and watch, leading them to your website or a specific call to action. -We will cover this method in detail below :)
  • Strengthens Emotional Bonds: Through storytelling, facial expressions, voice tones and music, videos create a more personal and emotional connection with the viewer, which can be crucial in building brand loyalty and trust.
  • Supports Different Content Types: Email videos allow various content types, from product demonstrations and testimonials to tutorials and company announcements. You'll also find examples of how brands use each content type below.
  • Increases Time Spent in Email: A compelling video can keep recipients engaged with your email for longer.

4 Ways To Embed a Video in Email

Adding a video to your emails can make them stand out in a crowded inbox.

But knowing how to embed that video into your email can be tricky.

Worry not, I’ve got you covered with four user-friendly methods that will have you embedding videos in no time.

Here are the ways:

1. Embedding with HTML5 (Limited Support)

HTML5 allows you to embed video content directly into emails.

This method is more advanced as it embeds the video within the email itself rather than linking to an external site.

However, it's important to note that this approach has limited support across different email clients.

For instance, it may work in Apple Mail but not in Microsoft Outlook or Gmail.

Step 1- Prepare video file:

Ensure your video is in a web-friendly format, like MP4, which is widely supported.

Then, compress your video to reduce file size without compromising quality.

Step 2- Use the HTML5 video tag:

In your email's HTML code, use the <video> tag to embed your video. Here’s a basic example:

<video width="320" height="240" controls>
  <source src="path_to_your_video.mp4" type="video/mp4">
  Your browser does not support the video tag.
</video>

You can change the width and height variables to match your email design. The 'controls' element adds video controls such as playback, pause, and volume.

Step 3- Include a plan B for email clients that don't support videos:

In your email’s HTML code, right after the <video> tag, insert an <img> tag with the URL of your fallback image. Here’s a simplified example:

<video width="320" height="240" controls>
  <source src="your_video.mp4" type="video/mp4">
  <img src="your_fallback_image.jpg" alt="Video title" style="width: 320px; height: 240px;">
</video>

In this way, if the video can't play, the email client will show the fallback image instead.

Note: You cannot directly edit HTML to embed a video using the <video> tag in standard email clients like Gmail or Outlook. Services like Mailchimp, Constant Contact, or SendGrid can create emails using HTML.

2. Using a Static Image with a Play Button Overlay

This method involves using an image (often a screenshot or a thumbnail from the video itself) with a play button icon on it.

The idea is to make the image look like a playable video. When recipients click the image, they're going to a website where the video is hosted, like YouTube or Vimeo.

Step 1- Choose video hosting platform:

First, upload your video to a video hosting service. Popular platforms include YouTube and Vimeo. These platforms are user-friendly and widely accessible.

Step 2- Capture the thumbnail:

You need a visually appealing thumbnail for your video. Here are two easy ways to create one:

  • Directly from YouTube: After uploading your video, use the 'Share' button and then click on the '<> embed' option. A thumbnail of your video will appear, which you can screenshot.
clicking embed icon to take ss of thumbnail of youtube video

When you click on the '<> embed', a thumbnail of your video will appear, which you can screenshot.

thumbnail of youtube video in youtube which is a wellknown video hosting platform
  • Create with a Design Tool: Alternatively, you can create a custom thumbnail using a design tools like Canva. This allows for more creativity and branding.
creating thumbnail steps in canva

You will find hundreds of templates here; you can either start designing from scratch or choose one of them and play with it.

I suggest you add a play button to your thumbnail. Otherwise, it will not be clear whether the static image is a video or not.

add play button on thumbnail in Canva

Step 3- Insert the image into your email:

Now, insert this 'playable' thumbnail into your email.

You can copy the screenshot image and paste it directly into your Gmail. Now, you just need to add a link to this image.

linking embed video on Gmail

Ensure the image size is optimized for email - As a rule of thumb, static images should try to be below 200KB. You can use image optimization tools to ensure this.

3. Using Animated GIFs as a Teaser

This approach is great if you think static images are too plain or if you're concerned about the limitations of HTML5 in email clients.

Instead of a static image, you use a short, looping animated GIF.

This GIF gives a lively preview of your video content, immediately catching the eye of the recipient and encouraging engagement.

Step 1- Create an animated GIF from your video:

Choose a 5-10 second portion of your video that is visually appealing and represents the main point of the content.

Go to a website like EZGIF.com, Adobe Express or IMGFlip.com. I will now take Adobe Express as an example:

creating gif from your video in Adobe Express

Step 2- Insert the GIF into your email:

Once satisfied with the preview, download the GIF to your computer. Keep the GIF duration short and the file size under 2MB to ensure it loads quickly in emails.

Here's how it will look:

example of gif in gmail

Now you can link the url of your video to this gif just like linking a picture.

4. Using a Video Email Marketing Service (e.g., BombBomb, Vidyard, Wistia)

They have been created for this purpose, providing a simple way to include video into your email marketing.

It's important to understand the unique features and strengths of each video email marketing platform.

Here's a brief overview of them:

BombBomb: Seamless integration with various email platforms such as Outlook, Gmail, Salesforce…etc

bombbomb video marketing service landing page

BombBomb Top Features:

  • Tracking Views: This feature lets you see how many people watch your videos.
  • Automated Video Email Sending: This lets you send many videos easily without much effort.
  • Centralized Dashboard: This feature gives you a clear view of the performance of your videos.
  • Email Sequence Automation: This saves you time by setting up an email automation series and using pre-made templates.

Vidyard: Seamless integration with various email platforms such as Outlook, Gmail, Hubspot..etc.

vidyard video marketing tool landing page

Vidyard Top Features:

  • Pre-Made Video Scripts: You can use ready-made scripts to create impactful videos for different stages of selling.
  • AI Script Generator: This feature helps you quickly make personalized video scripts using AI.
  • Tracking Viewer Engagement: You can track who watches your videos and how they interact with them.

Wistia: Integrates with email marketing tools, including MailChimp, Constant Contact and Campaign Monitor…etc

wistia video marketing tool landing page

Top Features of Wistia:

  • SEO-Friendly Videos: When you embed a video using Wistia, it improves your video's search engine optimization (SEO).
  • Customizable Video Player: This feature allows you to customize the appearance of the video player so it matches your brand and email design.
  • Easy Creation of Embed Codes: You can quickly create embed codes for your videos, making inserting them into your emails easy.

Embed Video in Email: Video Types You Can Use with Examples

Here’s a simple guide on different types of videos you can embed in your emails, each serving a unique purpose, with examples to get you started:

1. Product Demos or Showcases

These videos showcase how your product works or teach something related to your product or service.

Ideal for: Product launches, e-commerce promotions, and tech newsletters.

For example, DJI Pro has added a button on the static image in this product launch email:

email example that include embedded video in email

2. Customer Testimonials

Videos featuring customers sharing their experiences with your product or service.

Ideal for: Service-oriented businesses or for new product endorsements.

In this testimonial mail from Better, a static image is used, and although there is no play button on it, the mail is supported with the button just below it.

better email that include embedded video in email

3. Tutorial or How-to Videos

A mini-lecture or a how-to guide to your audience on a topic of interest provides valuable insights or tips.

Ideal for: Educational content, user support, and engaging users who prefer visual learning.

In the example, Airtable offers a new user a resource in the email they receive after signing up - a video explaining the basics of using Airtable.

airtable email that include embedded video in email

Wrap Up

As we've seen, videos are a game-changer in email marketing, offering a dynamic way to engage and educate your audience.

With the straightforward steps provided for each of the four effective methods of embedding videos, you can now confidently choose the one that fits your campaign's needs.

Whether leveraging the visual appeal of animated GIFs or utilizing the robust features of a video marketing platform, each approach comes with its own advantages.

Use these tools to maximize your email campaigns' effectiveness, give your subscribers great content, and increase engagement numbers. Happy emailing!

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the Difference Between Attaching and Embedding Video?

Embedding video offers a more integrated and user-friendly experience. The recipient can view the video content directly in the email without the need to download large files, or be directed to the video via a link or image.

Attaching video means taht the video file goes with the email. People need to download the video to watch it. This can be less convenient because of the need to download and potential issues with file size limits.

In fact, as detailed above, adding video to emails provides a more seamless and engaging user experience than adding video, which can be more difficult due to file size and download requirements.

2. How Do I Embed a YouTube Video into an Email?

Embedding a YouTube video directly into a Gmail email isn't possible, but you can easily include it using a workaround.

Here's a simple and smooth way to do it:

  • Screenshot Thumbnail: Take a screenshot of the YouTube video you want to share.
  • Insert Thumbnail in Email: In Gmail, compose a new email and insert the screenshot as an image.
  • Add Video Link: Click on the image and use the link icon to add the YouTube video URL.
  • Send Email: Recipients can click the image to watch the video on YouTube.

3. How Can I Create a Video Link?

Creating a video link is easy, and once you have it, you can embed it in your emails. Here’s how to do it quickly:

  • Choose a Hosting Platform: Go to YouTube or Vimeo, and log in or sign up.
  • Upload Your Video: Click the "Upload" button and select your video file.
  • Set Privacy Options: Choose whether your video should be public, private, or unlisted.
  • Publish: After uploading, hit the "Publish" button.
  • Copy Your Video Link: Play your video and copy the URL from the browser.

Now, your video has a URL, which you can use to embed in your emails using one of the methods we've discussed earlier! :)

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