A guide to video email marketing

We answer all the key questions, what duration of content, what video file type, what calls to action and more to help you create the most effective video email campaign.

The consumption of online video continues to grow with the onward shift of consumer preference for video content. Over a billion hours of content are watched every day by You tube users, around the globe, with 45% of people watching more than an hour of Facebook or YouTube videos a week. A plethora of forecasts have been published on how large online video will become, the consensus of this work suggests that by 2019 online video will account for at least 80% of all consumer Internet traffic. So it’s pretty safe to say online video is set to dominate our consumption of content across the Internet and the battleground will move toward driving views of this video content.

Driving video views

Until recently email strategies for driving video views have been limited to the use of static images or simple animated Gifs designed to encourage readers to click through and view the video content in a web browser or on YouTube. This approach certainly has its merits, and if you combine it with the word “video” in the subject line of the email, Cisco reports you’ll see a shift of between 7 – 13% in your open rate.

Driving video views with video email

Video email changes the game by making it easy to stream video within email that reaches 95% of all users, the other 5% being Outlook 2003, 2007, 2010, 2013 and 2016 for Windows users who default to the old approach of static images, referred to earlier. Embedding video in email delivers two significant shifts in metrics:

  1. Click through rates to the full version of the video increase by 30 – 150% vs. static images, with the larger shifts generated where the video is published solus in the email and the lower shifts reported where video is included in a newsletter type format.
  2. Recipients who clicks on the video within the email are up to 10x more engaged during their site visit vs. those arriving having clicked on a static image, as measured by time on site. See our ESPN case history which features a campaign for the NBA playoffs which delivered these levels of shifts in engagement.


How to maximize the effectiveness of video email

Video emails are a highly effective way to, inform, engage, and entertain your subscribers, eMarketer reports that over 50% of email marketers who have sent video email campaigns see increased click-through rates, increased time spent reading the email, and increased sharing and forwarding. Here at Playable our clients are reporting up to 300% uplift in click through rates coupled with 8x uplift in post click engagement, as measured by time on site, with the most dramatic shifts driven by live video email streams, designed to drive views of a live event.

Whether you are looking to optimize the effectiveness of your current video email campaigns or looking to test video emails the Playable video email checklist is designed to help.


Top 10 tips to develop effective video email campaigns

  1. Video duration – A 10 second edit of your full form video is the most effective, as they load quick, and are long enough to convey the message and intrigue the viewer to take action to watch the full video, or simply engage with your proposition.
  2. Video content – Use the 10 seconds of video wisely, include the key proposition from the full video. If you are promoting an offer or deal include the primary proposition in the 10 seconds.
  3. Optimize your content – Your video email will be viewed on a multitude of devices, browsers and connections you’ll want the users experience to be excellent across them all, Playables patented technology ensures your video content is optimized to deliver the highest quality video experience for all recipients.
  4. Use audio selectively – The ability to include native audio within video email is evolving with circa 45% of viewers having the ability to receive audio on opening the email. Be aware that the inclusion of audio may potentially slow down the streaming and reduce the quality of the video.
  5. Consider using captions – If you choose not to use audio, captions can be effective at reinforcing your key message within the 10 second clip.
  6. Keep calls to action simple – “Click to view the video” wins every time in all our tests, ensure it is on the end frame and consider including it as a caption for the full 10 second clip.
  7. Live streaming – Where the objective is to drive views of a live event use a live 10 second stream in your video email to maximize relevance and caption the content as being “live”. See how ESPN used live streaming to drive audience engagement during the NBA play-offs
  8. Reporting – Continue to report on your key email metrics, but add in here post click stats on video viewing, including time on site, browser and device used to ensure you are developing content in synch with how your audience is consuming your video content.
  9. Real time A/B splits – Test different edits of your content and use Playables smarts to switch to the best performing video edit real time during campaign deployment.
  10. Video Hosting – Choose your video hosting partner relative to the scale of your audience, be sure that your hosting partner can deal with your video viewing levels and provides deep analysis of how your content is being consumed.

Streaming video in your email marketing is without doubt an engaging and entertaining way to connect with your subscribers. With 64% of users more likely to buy a product online after watching a video, the upside is clear. To experience what can be achieved send a sample video email to your inbox using the forms below and view it across multiple devices to experience how the Playable email video snippet is optimized for both your device and connection.

YouTube is now the second-largest search engine in the world, a position it has attained based largely on consumers preference to seek information in video format as opposed to text. Adding a YouTube Video to your email is covered in our step by step video Tutorial

By choosing to include video into your email marketing activity you are catering to your audience’s preferences, to help you get started check out our how to guide on including video in your email.

Seeing is believing

Send yourself an example of a video email campaign from a selection of recent campaigns below.


Playable creates 10 second clips of videos which are configured to play on any device and any connection when sent using any of the popular email service providers. 


Latest Video Email Campaigns

Check out a selection of our best video email campaigns across Retail, Automotive, Technology, Entertainment, Travel, Sport and Non-Profit