How to Send a Video Through Email | Simple 5-Minute Guide

Author Avatar Oliver Bridge wrote this on Aug 17, 2020

 

How do you send a video through email without running into issues like large file sizes or appearing like spam?

In this step-by-step 5 minute guide, we break down all the best practices for sending a video through email.

We take a look at common queries like dealing with large file sizes, thumbnails, GIFs, to hosting your videos, including CTAs, and optimizing the experience so recipients can watch and respond to your videos without any issues.

 

Why should you send a video through email?

Whether you want to answer a quick question, direct prospects to a landing page, or just check in with a client, bringing a friendly face into the inbox is a no-brainer.

Video emails have higher open rates and are more likely to get a response than their text-based counterparts. In fact Bonjoro customers get on average 70% open rates and just under 50% click-through rates on their video emails - how is that for engagement!?

Which brings us to this question—how do you email a video? Should you send the whole thing by embedding the video? Or take viewers to a second location?

The answer is—it depends. Size comes into play, here. As does context. Keep reading, and we'll guide you through.

 

Option #1: Send a video through email using Bonjoro

With Bonjoro you can record and share video through email instantly.

You'll add your customer's email into Bonjoro, record your video on our simple web or mobile app, and send it out. Super simple!

Here’s an example from one of our customers, showing how your video would appear in your recipient's email inbox:

When the recipient clicks your video thumbnail they arrive at your video landing page where they watch your video.

This video landing page can be customised with your own branding and call-to-action, which is handy if you want the recipient to take an action, like booking a call with you. Here's an example video sent with Bonjoro, shared by one of our customers (click to watch it):

The cool thing Alex does here is that he links a his shorter welcome video email to another resource that will be super helpful for his customer. That way, the customer gets a delightful personal message, which builds trust with him and his team, and they get inspired to go and read all the important info he put together.

Compared to a standard text based email, the experience so much more engaging, and the chance of Alex's new customer sticking with his product is way higher. That's why Design Pickle have sent over 12,000 video emails with Bonjoro, with an 85% open rate - and that includes cold prospecting emails!

TOP TIP:

If you're sending a video through a platform like Bonjoro, you'll have the benefit of being able to track things like opens, views and clicks, and replies. Meaning, you can track the results of your video outreach efforts from email to the point where they drop off or convert.

Option #2: Email a video with a link

Okay, this is probably the easiest way to add a video to an email, stick a link in the body of the email, add copy, and send. What you'll want to consider first is your relationship with the recipient.

For example, if you're sending this to a prospect or as part of a cold outreach effort, people might not trust you to take them to a second location. That's why we'd always recommend adding a thumbnail to your email that shows your face. This way your recipient is much more likely to click.

For this you can easily use a free screen or webcam recorder. Bonjoro has a free Chrome based screen recorder that gives you HD recording as standard, unlimited videos, and unlimited video length. You can upgrade if you want to add branding and CTAs to your screen recordings.

Just download the Chrome extension, record your webcam or screen recording, and then grab the link only, or the link and thumbnail and drop it into your existing email.

Here's how the video + thumbnail or video link only would look in your email:

If you need a non-Chrome screen recorder there's a list of the best ones here.

 

Option #3: Email a video via a clickable thumbnail

If you're not sending a personal video recorded via webcam, or screen recorder, one of the best ways to send a video through email is to include a linkable thumbnail in the email. Just drop in your thumbnail and embed a link to your video behind it.

You'll need a photo editing tool for this. Photoshop works great, but other options like Canva and Adobe Spark can work here, too. Photoshop is really only necessary if you're planning on adding branded graphics to your thumbnail image.

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The basic 3-step process is as follows:

  1. Take a screenshot of your video. For best results, we recommend choosing a shot that shows a smiling face or gives users a sense of what to expect when they open it up.
  2. Add a graphic that looks like a play button.
  3. Insert the image in the body of the email. Then, add a link to the image that takes the user to the hosting platform—that might be a video landing page, Vimeo, YouTube, or another solution.

Should You GIF Instead?

If you want to kick things up a notch, apply the same approach with an animated GIF. Head over to our help section to see how to create GIFs to go with your Bonjoros. The motion will capture viewers' attention and help you stand out in the inbox.

 

Option #4: Embed a video directly into your email

Can you even embed a video directly into your email?

The answer is yes...and no.

No email client guarantees that video will play directly inside the email and big email providers like Gmail and Outlook don’t even support embedded video.

According to Email on Acid, there's limited support for HTML5 video, though Apple and Samsung clients do play embedded videos—and those clients represent around half of the market share.

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Other clients like Outlook or Gmail offer fallback images—or an image of the video instead.

An exception to the rule is, if you're emailing a YouTube video to a Gmail user, they'll be able to watch the video.

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Unfortunately, you can't guarantee that all of your contacts are Gmail users. This is especially true if you work in the B2B space, as most email addresses will have branded domains. Meaning, you can't tell Gmail from Outlook or anything else.

 

TIP: How do you get people to click your video email?

Here are a few things to think about before sending your video out into the world:

Make it Clear There's a Video Inside

If you're sending a video, just say so. The simple act of adding the word video can increase open rates by 19%. We've seen this firsthand, too. Our top-performing Bonjoro videos included video in the subject line—and many of them were pretty simple. For example, one of our big winners was "I made you a video."

Spend Time on Subject Lines*

Convince and Convert found that nearly 70% of email recipients decide that an email is spam based on the title alone. Avoid this fate by making the subject line clear and descriptive. The aim isn't a bait and switch approach, so when in doubt, choose clarity over being clever (hopefully you can do both).

>> See our list of the Top 10 Video-Email Subject Lines right here <<

Send the Video that Best Suits the Situation

Not all videos are created equal.

Before you start sending users video emails, make sure that the video you send aligns with the buyer's journey. You'll also want to personalize the content based on the data you have including purchase history, the information provided in a lead generation form, etc. If nothing else, at least use the person's name to warm things up.

Is it an introduction or a follow-up? Keep things light and opt for a one-on-one video.

Consider linking out to a landing page where users can watch the video and take action at the same time. Here’s another example from the team at Design Pickle that shows how to absolutely nail cold prospecting with email!

 

Try Bonjoro free

Sending videos out through email is a great way to increase engagement and build relationships straight from the inbox. Bonjoro users can email videos from their account, no messing with YouTube or Photoshop required.

Sign up for a free account to see for yourself.

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