How to Leverage Video Email Marketing to Increase Subscriber Engagement

Adela Belin

Did you know that video is the most effective medium for communicating with your target audience? 

In fact, 52% of marketing professionals say video content has the highest ROI as compared to other types of content. 

The main reason why video is the perfect vehicle for sharing content and increasing engagement is its ability to get the message home in an interesting and easy-to-understand manner. 

What’s more, it’s authenticity and ability to capture the attention of subscribers make it a no-brainer.

Although video content should be central to your social outreach campaigns, you cannot achieve substantial results without proper planning and effective management of your video email marketing campaigns. 

This article will walk you through the different ways that you can leverage video content to increase engagement in your email marketing campaigns. But before diving into more details, let’s discover some of the ways that you can use video content.

6 Types of Video Content to Include in your Emails

There are different types of videos that you can use depending on the goal of your email marketing campaign. Here are six of the most common ones:

1. Customer testimonials

76% of consumers trust content posted by customers more than brand marketers

Having an existing customer share their experience with your brand is therefore one of the most effective ways to promote your products and services. You can increase subscriber engagement as well as conversions by including customer testimonials videos in your emails. 

The bottom line here is building up interest in your offerings by letting customers tell your story. Here’s a good example where a cookware brand features a chef using their pan.


2. Event promotion

Sharing event promotion videos through email is super-effective because you’re delivering an invitation right into the recipient’s mailbox. An intriguing video that highlights an upcoming event will spark the interest of your audience and encourage them to attend. 

Other than event promotions, you can use videos to send event follow-up emails. Think of a high-quality video that compiles great moments from the event. 

It allows attendees to look back at the event while inspiring those who missed out to show up on the next event. In the example email below, Salesforce invites their audience to a webinar via email.


3. Service and product promotion

Using videos to preview a new product or service is a perfect way of generating excitement and sparking audience interest. 

There are different ways that you can provide a sneak peek into a new product. For instance, a furniture retailer can share a video compilation of imagery showcasing a new sofa in a living room. 

A restaurant can record their staff preparing a new menu item. A software-as-service can show their team using a newly rolled out feature in their software.

Here’s a good example where Spark introduces a new feature in their tool.



4. Educational tutorials and how-to videos

A video tutorial is a great way of sharing your expertise and delivering value to the target audience. 

You can add how-to and other educational videos in your emails to teach the audience about your products and services. In the example email below, Platforma uses video content to help customers get the best out of their product.


5. Industry news round-up 

If you ever feel like you’re going short of content for your email videos, which rarely happens, you can create a news round-up with the latest trends in the industry. 

Your audience will love it when you keep them updated with useful content. Here’s an example email that provides detailed news about a racing event.


6. Brand stories

This is one of the easiest yet most effective ways of using video in your email campaign. All you need to do is create a short video sharing your brand story

For instance, you can explain things that motivated you to start a business or the problem you were trying to address. Another idea would be explaining your business values and mission in a video.

American Airlines created a video with the CEO explaining how their company is helping Americans during the COVID19 crisis. This is an example of a brand video showcasing the company’s corporate social responsibility.


Using any of the above video types of videos will elicit a strong emotional response from the target audience.

7 Best Practices to Ace Video Email Marketing

After choosing a type of video that best fits your brand’s marketing goals, you need to adhere to some best practices in order to harness the full power of video email marketing. Here are seven tips to enhance the success of your campaign.

1. Use an attention-grabbing subject-line with the word ‘video’

The subject line determines the open rate of your emails. So, if you need subscribers to open your email, you must create a winning subject line that they can’t resist. 

Ideally, it should be short, descriptive, and attention-grabbing. You should also add an element of curiosity, fun, or controversy that compels the recipient to open it.

For your subject line to appear more attractive and pique the reader’s interest, you can add the word video. It encourages the subscriber to click on it and view the content.

2. Keep the videos brief 

Video length is one of the most important factors to consider in order to keep the audience engaged. If you create a long video, there’s a decent chance that the audience will lose attention watching it. 

For the best results, use a short video, ideally two minutes long. A study on optimal video length shows that videos up to two minutes long receive the highest engagement.

In the example below, the brand uses a captivating two-minute-long video for the best results.


3. Include video captions

Adding captions to your videos can boost view time by 12%, according to research by Facebook. This is because they make videos easier to stream regardless of where the viewer is or what they’re doing. 

If they’re in the office or using public transport and have no earphones, they will still engage with your content. Additionally, captions boost the viewer’s attention and comprehension, thereby giving you a clear reason to have them in your video emails.

Another benefit of adding captions is that they make your content more accessible to audiences with hearing difficulties.

4. Use a custom thumbnail 

The kind of thumbnail you use is a huge deciding factor of whether viewers will watch your video or not. To increase the chances of getting more views, consider using a compelling thumbnail with a play button overlay. The aim is to use imagery that draws in even the least intuitive viewers.

You can also use an animated GIF within your email. As illustrated in the example below, this GIF thumbnail draws the viewer's attention and places emphasis on the message.


5. Allow videos to autoplay but keep the sound off

Most online users hate it when videos auto play without their consent. However, this does not apply to video emails. The moment a user clicks on the thumbnail, they expect the video to start instantly without redirecting them to another browser before playing. When embedding the video to your email, enable the auto-play feature but leave the sound off by default so that it doesn’t inconvenience readers in a silent environment.

6. Ensure your email has a powerful call-to-action

The call-to-action is arguably the most important element in any marketing email. You want your readers to take action, so make sure your video email has a clear and actionable CTA. Some example CTAs that you can use include:

  • Request for feedback- You can ask viewers to complete a simple survey or poll.
  • Encourage sharing - You can place social buttons on your video and encourage viewers to share with their friends.
  • Offer a free trial-If your brand offers a subscription-based service, you can ask viewers to try it for free.
  • Create a sense of urgency- Ask viewers to take advantage of a limited time-offer, contest, or giveaway.
  • Link to related videos- You can invite viewers to watch a series of related content at the end of the video.

The good thing about CTAs is that you can also embed the message directly into the video so that it pops up during or at the end of the play. 

Here’s an example video email with a powerful CTA. Notice how the brand uses a clear CTA button when asking customers to check their winter collection.

7. Optimize your video emails for mobile

Finally, remember to test and preview your video email on a mobile device. This is because the vast majority of web users open emails from a mobile device. 

As such, you do not want to send your audience an email that looks good on a desktop computer but completely horrible on mobile devices. When optimizing your email for mobile viewing, be sure to break up the text into small paragraphs for easier reading.


Videos are a powerful communication tool that every brand can leverage to achieve its marketing goals. 

With its authentic nature and unmatched ability to convey information, you have all it takes to engage customers and create a successful email marketing campaign. So, follow the tips discussed in this article and watch your subscriber engagement levels and conversations grow to new heights.


About the author:

Adela Belin is a content marketer and blogger at Writers Per Hour. She is passionate about sharing stories with the hope to make a difference in people's lives and contribute to their personal and professional growth. Find her on Twitter and LinkedIn.  

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Adela Belin
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