The marketer's guide to embedding video in emails

Brands are finding it harder and harder to reach customers’ inboxes with 21% of legitimate emails ending up in spam folders.

Other companies struggle with creating engaging email content. Their email marketing metrics are declining and they are losing customer engagement.

In this blog post, we will show you how to generate more engaging email content using video email marketing strategies and techniques.

We will dive into how to embed video in emails (video encoding language, video formats, etc.), tips for using video in email marketing, and best video email examples.

Video in email marketing

Video consumption is growing as more people choose VOD- Video On Demand, over television.

Not-including-streaming-TV-and-movies--how-much-time-do-you-spend-each-day-watching-video-online_pie chart-

Source: HubSpot

And this phenomenon isn’t limited to your favorite series or the latest Netflix Original. Businesses are producing videos too.

According to animated explainer video company Wyzowl, 81% of businesses had started using video at the beginning of 2018, an 18% increase from early 2017.

This is because videos are more attractive, engaging, and entertaining than text and static images. But also because you’re able to convey far more information in 2-3 minutes than by sending your subscribers 1000-2000 words to read.

Video is also far more memorable and effective than text since the human brain processes images 60,000 times faster.

 If you are not sure how to create great videos, an online video editor tool such as VEED.IO is a great tool that you can use. With so many features that you can leverage to use such as an audio joinerMP3 to WAV, and many more you are sure enough that you can create great videos for your business brand.

How to embed video in email marketing?

We have put together a FAQ all about the different ways to use video in your email marketing campaigns, and how to include video in your email marketing without any issues or technical challenges.

This series of questions and answers will help you learn how to embed video in your email message and how to effectively include video in your email marketing.

What is the best language for embedding videos into email?

After producing and editing your video using a video editing tool, you should prepare it properly to be sent out via email. This process is called “video encoding” when your video is encoded to be compatible with different email requirements.

The best video encoding language for embedding video in email is HTML5. In fact, HTML5 is used by 78.3% of all websites, according to a study conducted by in July 2019.

Here is why HTML5 is the best language for video email marketing:

  • Mobile Friendly
  • Cross-Browser Compatibility and responsive behavior, unlike Flash, which is not supported on every browser
  • No need for plugins or external tools to play HTML5 videos, contrary to Flash

Which email clients support videos in email?

There are only 5 email clients that support HTML5 encoded videos in emails:

  • Apple Mail
  • Outlook for Mac
  • iOC 10+, Native Client
  • Samsung Galaxy, Native Client
  • Thunderbird

The rest of the email clients that don’t support HTML5 videos show fallback GIFs or fallback static images.


👉 That is why it is important to include a fallback GIF for your HTML5 video that will appear in email clients that don’t play videos in email. And to have a fallback image for your GIF for the few email clients that don’t support animated GIFs.

Soapbox embedded a video in their email using HTML5. This allows their customers to click and view the video inside the email, without having to redirect them to a separate landing page. This is here is an example of what “single tap” in video email should look like.

Introducing Soapbox, Wistia’s video creation tool


Soapbox’s video email design is simple and puts all the focus on the video.

Their clean email design highlights the video, which lets the subscribers know instantly that they should play the video. They accompanied the video with a short description and a straight-to-the-point call to action.

What is the best video format for email?

HTML5 only supports three main video formats: MP4, WebM, and OGG.

However, MP4 video format is the best video format for email, since it is the most compatible video format supported by almost all portable devices, and still retains a good level of quality.

It’s also worth mentioning that Apple only supports MP4 in their email clients because of intellectual property issues, which makes MP4 the safest and most reliable choice when it comes to video formats to use in email marketing.

Can I put GIFs in emails?

Yes, you can. Using animated GIFs and PNGs is actually a very common hack in video email marketing since most email clients support simple GIF animation. GIF and PNG videos don’t support sound, however, they are more engaging than static images.

👉 You can easily send a video compressed into a smaller file size using Giphy.

Which email clients don’t support animated GIFs in email?

Most email clients support animated GIFs. However, there are a few that won’t show the animation in the email, such as Outlook 2010 and Outlook 2013.

Instead of playing the animated GIF in the email, these email clients will only show the first frame or a fallback image.

That’s why you need to make sure that you include a fallback image to your GIF, and ensure that the first frame of your GIF shows all the vital information you would like to communicate (display the best product, including the call to action, etc.)


MOO decided to use a GIF to spice up their email. This simple, yet clever animated GIF makes the subscriber eager to pop the balloon. The GIF is accompanied by a simple, yet effective, call to action button.

🎈Ready for a colorful surprise? 🎈


Without needing fancy video editing and elaborate email copy, MOO team was able to promote their discounts in a playful and intriguing manner.

This goes to show that even if GIFs don’t support sound, and are limited to a few frames, you can make a real impact and come up with a great campaign. All you need is a little creativity!


You can find more examples of brands that used animated GIFs in their email marketing campaigns to boost engagement here.

Can I add a video to my email signature?

Yes, it is possible to add a video to an email signature, but using a little hack.

Here’s how you can add a video to your email signature:

  1. Create a video thumbnail image
  2. Add a play button on your static thumbnail image to make it look more like a video
  3. Resize your image to fit in your email signature (scale it down)
  4. Go to the “Settings” section in your email account
  5. Access to the “Signature” section
  6. Add your thumbnail image
  7. Link your image to the hosted video
  8. Test your new email signature

This is a video email hack that you can use to add a video in your email signature. Many online email signature applications might provide this feature.

 👉 Read more | Your guide to email signatures

Static image with play button

Remember our little video email hack for email signature? You can actually use it to link from your email to a video hosted on your website or on a video platform like Youtube or Vimeo.

All you have to do is insert a static image in your email, with a play button on top of it. When the subscriber clicks the play button, a browser will open where they can view the complete video.

First look at our new TV advert


This is a great way to eliminate any issues with sending video in email. It’s also an effective trick to get your subscribers on your landing page. Using static images with play buttons in emails is also useful when you want to showcase a longer video that can’t be sent via email.

How to embed video in email builder platform

Using Chamaileon, you can embed videos in your email templates, without needing HTML5.

The day we installed it, people were flocking in to the room


How to embed videos in email templates using Chamaileon?

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to send a video through email using our email builder.

  1. Drag the Video element from the left-hand panel and drop it in the body of your email
  2. Insert your video link. Chamaileon will automatically generate your video’s thumbnail and show it. Don’t forget to add alt text for your video.
  3. Choose the icon type of your play button (that will appear above the video thumbnail). You can also change the icon size and color.
  4. In the right-hand panel, you can change the size of your video element, add margins and padding, edit the border radius, thickness, and color.


👉 If you’d rather watch a tutorial video on how to send video in email templates using Chamaileon, check out our help center article.

How to insert GIFs in Chamaileon?

Here is how you can embed an animated GIF using our email builder tool.

  1. Save your animated GIF on your computer (you can find fun and playful GIFs online, or simply create your own animation)
  2. Open Chamaileon Application
  3. Drag and Drop the image block in your email template
  4. Double click the image block
  5. Upload your GIF
  6. Click on GIF and add your link (Optional)

Pros and cons of embedding video in email

Email Marketing and Video Marketing are both effective tools. But the magic happens when you combine the two and create fun and engaging video emails.

In this section, we will answer the question: what are the advantages of sending video emails? And why you should be careful about sending video in an email?

Benefits of video email Marketing:

Here are the reasons why you should make your video email a vital tool in creating an effective marketing strategy:

  • Video in email can lead to a 300% increase in click-through rates.
  • Video email marketing increases conversions, builds up your brand awareness and helps you educate your customers.
  • Using the word “Video” in the email subject line increases open rates by at least 6%, and even reaching 19%.
  • Sending video clips via email drives traffic toward your landing page and generates leads.
  • Video for e-commerce and live video shopping are on the rise.

Cons of embedding video in email

Three years ago, email developers and marketers were divided when it came to using video in email marketing. This was due to technical challenges, rendering problems and issues with sending video in email.

A study conducted by Litmus in 15-16 showed that 86% of companies never used embedded video inside email ( i.e. using HTML 5 video, Liveclicker, Movable Ink, etc.).

Marketers and email developers were reluctant to embed video in email for the following reasons:

  • Email clients that don’t support videos
  • Inconsistency in video rendering in email
  • Confusion about the call to action in video email (in video email marketing, is the call to action about getting the user to click and watch the video or go through to the landing page?)

However, over the years, video in email became more commonly used as email clients and email designers found ways to reduce technical problems related to video emails, while email marketers came up with useful tips to improve video email marketing metrics (open rates, click-through rates, conversion rates, etc.).

10 Tips for embedding videos in email

Here are the 10 most important tips that will help in incorporating video into email marketing effectively.

Plan your video email marketing campaign

Like every other marketing tool, using video in email has to be based on a well-planned strategy.

Set specific goals

Know what you want to accomplish and make sure your goal is closely related to the most crucial goal in business: Sales Conversion Rate.

Track relevant metrics

Identify the metrics you’ll track and make sure they are relevant and directly measure your bottom-line.

There are different applications and extensions that you can use to track the success of your video email marketing campaign.

They follow subscribers’ viewing behavior such as the number of times they viewed your video inside the email, the device they were using to view the video (mobile, desktop, tablet), the number of minutes/seconds viewed in the video, whether or not they shared your video, etc.

Benchmark against your competitors

Keeping an eye on the competition is a great way to always be updated, inspired, and relevant. When planning your video email marketing campaign, you need to do thorough research and look at what type of emails your competition is sending out.

Test your video email

Before sending out your video email campaign, you should test it across multiple email clients and devices. This can quickly be done using any one of the online email testing tools, such as Email on Acid or Litmus.

👉 Learn all about email testing in our comprehensive testing guidebook

You should also test the quality of your video, regardless of the rendering and technical aspects. Show your final video to your colleagues or friends to make sure that they understand precisely what you intended.

Create engaging and entertaining videos

You’ve got a good idea of how to structure your email. Now it’s time to look at how to ensure that you produce your best videos.

Amazing and memorable videos can capture a viewer’s attention immediately, evoke an emotional connection, and send out a clear message.

Here are some tips that you can use to create and send high-quality video emails:

Use storyboards

Storyboards are crucial when creating a video. Sure, you could simply point and shoot, but there’s a good chance that the end product won’t be that convincing.

Storyboards help you introduce structure to your video.

You’ll be able to focus on the right aspects of your message at the right time, which is vital to capture and hold your viewer’s attention.

Create an emotional connection

Emotional connections are a critical element of effective video production. When you identify and evoke an emotion that your audience can relate to, creating videos that generate result becomes much more manageable.

If you want to evoke a particular emotional reaction from your subscribers, simply think of their pain points related to the topic of your video. Dig deeper and create a narrative to go along with this pain point and finally highlight your product/service as the solution.

For example, knowing that having to stay late at work isn’t fun for your audience is okay. But knowing that it’s not fun because they miss out on the chance to have dinner with friends and family, or catch a movie is better. The more you can articulate how a specific emotion influences your viewers, the more information you can drop into your messaging to show your viewers that you get them.


Use a script and keep your video short

Viewers tend to stop watching videos that beat around the bush too much. To avoid stuffing your video with useless information, prepare a video script beforehand that is conversational, personable, and that includes the most important bits of your message.

Research shows that you only have 10 seconds to prove yourself to your viewers before they decide to click away. That’s why you need to deliver your message quickly and briefly, go straight to the point and make sure your video is fun and captivating.

Focus on delivering a more concise, strong message that’s easy-to-understand and includes clear calls to action.

Create high-quality video

Your email video should have excellent quality. You don’t need to own expensive video recording equipment to shoot impeccable videos. All you need is a video recording app or online video-making software and a creative idea. A subscription to video editing services could be helpful polishing your videos.


Share your video on social media

Share your video on different channels and platforms like Youtube or Vimeo, but also on your social media accounts such as Twitter and Facebook. You can even edit your email video to feature a short snippet on Instagram.

Don’t forget that Instagram launched their new Reels feature, which allows you to drive more traffic towards your landing page through video content. There is also Tiktok composed of mainly millennial and gen z audience.

Check out our article to learn more about integrating your email marketing and social media marketing efforts to create a holistic digital marketing strategy.

Consider creating a video series email campaign

Heard of episodic content? It may seem like a complicated concept, but it’s quite straightforward. You’re creating content that tells a story, just like your favorite series or trilogy. And it’s highly successful!

You can use the same approach in your video email marketing campaign. Video series are useful if you have a lot of information you want to communicate with your subscribers. Instead of sending out one long video, that your users will probably skip, you can break it down and send it as a series of short videos. This way, you keep your viewers’ attention and leave them wondering what’s coming next.

Do not autoplay embedded videos in email

Autoplay means that the video will start playing immediately when the user opens the email. Experts on the internet say that this feature is probably not a good idea. Your subscribers want to feel in control, and when you set up your email to play the video automatically, you run the risk of pushing your users away.

You want your subscribers to click, play, and watch the video of their own will. That way, you can be sure that they will at least pay attention to your video.

Opt for single tap video

…instead of double tap for videos in email marketing campaigns.

Single tap means that once clicked, the video plays inside the email.

Double-tap means that your subscriber needs to tap the video in the email, which opens up a link to the video content hosted on sites like Youtube and Vimeo or your own landing page. The subscriber has to then click on the video again to play it.

It’s best if you use single-tap emails (more accessible for the viewer). However, if you HAVE to link to an external browser, your video should be hosted on your own website and not a third-party platform.

Use the word “Video” in the subject line

A study by Superoffice showed that by merely using the word “video” in their subject line, they increased open rates by 6%.

Use a strong call to action (CTA)

When we talked about video marketing cons, we mentioned that it’s challenging to include a call to action in video email marketing because the user can get confused and disoriented.

This is why setting a clear and specific call to action (CTA) is crucial in video email marketing. Your call to action message depends on the overall goal of your video email marketing campaign.

Your call to action can be to click and play the video, watch it, and share it. It can also be to fill in the contact form that will appear at the end of your video. Or it can be to visit your landing page.

Whatever your call to action is, you need to tell your viewers what to do at the end of your video- get them to perform the actions that drive results for your business. Use visual cues along with verbal instructions to get your call to action across, clearly.

Always create value

One of the most important marketing rules is to place your subscriber at the heart of your content, always.

Your messaging must clearly and consistently show the value you have to offer your user.

If your video email is not able to provide a strong enough ‘why’, you’re likely to lose your viewer’s attention.

Here’s an example that comes from Asana. By using a GIF that shows how their calendar works, Asana is making sure that the email is going to capture the subscriber’s attention as soon as they open the email.

And by using concise messaging, they’re making sure that the audience understands the value that their platform offers.


Summing up

Email and video present businesses with an amazing opportunity to marry two very effective marketing tools.

As you use video in email marketing campaigns, aim to make them your most effective marketing tools.

Plan them strategically. Know your metrics, make sure you understand what your audience wants to see, and incorporate the email design and video production tips above.

Before you know it, you’ll be producing strong and compelling content that your readers look at and say, “I want to see more!”.