Videos in Emails Shouldn’t be Embedded. Here’s Why.

Email marketing is a tricky tactic to get right. How many emails can you send without annoying your email list? What subject lines make them want to open an email? How can you get them to not only read an email, but click through to your website?

One popular way to inspire your recipients to do all of the above is to include video. According to eMarketer, one survey found that “respondents who had used videos in their email campaigns saw real returns on their investments. Fifty-five percent reported higher click through rates, 44% saw an increase in the amount of time subscribers spent with an email, and 41% reported an increase in the sharing or forwarding of emails.”

However, in order to get clicks that matter, you need to be strategic in how you attach your video to your email. While many marketers are enticed by the option of embedding videos, there are two reasons why doing so could be detrimental to your click through rate.

1. Embedded Videos Don’t Work For Everyone 

If you want to embed video so recipients can watch without leaving your email, we encourage you to resist the temptation: while some mail clients support embedded videos, many – including Gmail and Outlook – do not. We don’t recommend embedding videos because of the inconsistent experience your recipients will have.

2. Embedded Videos Won’t Bring Viewers To Your Site

You’re sending your email for a reason: there’s a good chance that reason is to lure recipients to your website. What happens when an email recipient has the ability watch an embedded email in their mail client? They’ll click play, watch the video, and then delete your email. While the convenience of watching the video without needing to go to a new page is great for the viewer (if their mail service supports embedded videos), it doesn’t support the goal of driving traffic.

So how can you get your recipients to watch your video AND visit your website?

Include a still from your video in the email that entices readers to click. Choose the screenshot carefully – the moment you choose to highlight can play a big role in the chances of someone clicking to watch. The video still can direct them to a landing page on your website that hosts the video – allowing them to watch the video and then easily check out the rest of your website when they are finished. As an added bonus, including the video on your website can support your SEO efforts, thanks to increased click-through rates, lower bounce rates and a higher likelihood of sharing.


Videos in Emails Shouldn’t be Embedded. Here’s Why.