Ayswarrya G
Ayswarrya G 6 June 2016
Categories B2B, B2C, Content, Email & eCRM

How to Successfully Use Video in Email Marketing – Strategy & Structure

Before you start with your video in email campaign, you need to know the answers to questions such as – why do you wish to create the email campaign?

Is it to show a glimpse of your work culture? Is it to give a 360-degree view of your product? Is it to make your subscriber feel more welcome? This is why you need a strategy. In this post, we'll look at different strategies for using video in email campaigns, and then we’ll explore how to structure these campaigns.

In my previous post, I’d talked about the different formats in which you can use a video in your emails. In this post, let's look into the purpose and structure of video in email campaigns. We’ll take a look at different strategies for using video in email campaigns, and then we’ll explore how to structure these campaigns.

Successful Strategies for Using Video in Email Marketing Campaigns

Before you begin, you need to know the answers to questions such as – why do you wish to create the email campaign? Is it to show a glimpse of your work culture? Is it to give a 360-degree view of your product? Is it to make your subscriber feel more welcome? This is why you need a strategy.


To help you get started, we’ve put together these successful, tried and tested strategies for using video in email marketing campaigns –

 1. Introductory or Welcome Email

Eloqua, an automated email marketing provider, noted that including video in an introductory email reduced the number of subscriber opt-outs by 75% and increased the clickthrough rate by 96%.

If you wish to send a video in your introductory email, you must clearly explain who you are, what the video is going to be about, and what you’d be sending them in your subsequent emails.

Asana, a tool that helps improve productivity at work, does this beautifully by sending its subscribers the following email.


Lyft, a taxi app, has a smarter and cooler approach to the same email type. It sends a welcome + how does the product work email, by including an animated GIF that explains how the app works and text that describes the app’s functionalities.


2. Tutorials and Explainers

When you have to demonstrate how your product works, there’s no better way of doing so than by using a video. Ghost, a blogging platform, sends this 60-second video tutorial to its users.


Shopify, on the other hand, sends this 25-minute explainer video to its users. That’s a huge video. That’s where Shopify gets creative. They detail out the various sections within the video and make the purpose of their entire email as well as video crystal clear.


3. Events

Rather than sending a plain and dull RSVP or Save the Date email, you can spice things up and make it exciting by including a video of your past events in the email. Take a look at this Save The Date email for Marketing United 2016.


4. Birthday and Holiday Cards


More than 30,000 people used this email each month to invite their friends for a birthday pint. This video in email campaign was so successful that it won the Grand Prix at the 2007 DMA Awards.

Here’s another example of holiday emailing done right. Moment sends an animated GIF of its products in this email.


Create a personalized campaign for birthdays and holidays and go the extra mile – include a video with a great offer towards the end. While creating these videos, you need to be extra careful to make sure it’s all about your customer, and not you.


Other than these four types, you could also send a video in email campaign to share customer stories and testimonials. These videos would help connect with your audience at a deeper level as these customers would be sharing their stories – the problems they were facing and how your product solved them. This would resonate with your audience as they’re probably going through something similar.

Another video in email campaign you could set up is when sharing about your company, your work culture, employees, mascot, etc. This makes you come across as human – regular humans going about their day at a great workplace. Such campaigns would make you more likable and greatly increase the amount of trust your audience have in you and your brand.

Structure of the Video in Email Campaign

Next up, you need to know who’s going to watch your video a.k.a. your target audience. This, in turn, requires you to delve into the buyer personas that you’ve built. Your buyer persona should give you answers to questions such as – who’s your ideal buyer, what are they looking for, why are they looking for it, and how could your solution help them.

This helps clarify the purpose behind your email campaign using a video. Once you have a clear purpose in mind, it’s going to be much easier working on the structure of the video and the email campaign.

Structure of the Email

You have a great video (or a series of videos telling your story) lined up. Great! Now, you need to focus on the structure of email.

Any standard email with a video should include – 

  • The company logo
  • Content briefly explaining the purpose of the email and the video
  • The video
  • A clear and catchy call to action
  • Links to your website and social media and an unsubscribe link


Let’s take a look at an actual video in email campaign. 5by (now acquired by StumbleUpon) scours the internet for the best videos and hand-delivers the ones you want to watch. Check out this email that they sent.


Structure of the Video

According to research, viewers turn off the video after just 10 seconds of viewing. So 10 seconds is all you have to grab your viewer’s attention. Research also found that videos that span for 60 seconds or fewer have better stats than longer videos. Moral of the story? Keep your video short, sweet, and to the point.

Now, this may put you in a dilemma – obviously, you’ve got a great product lined up with amazing services. But you couldn’t possibly explain all of it in 60 seconds. So, what you could do is tell a story in steps – one small step at a time. Stories are powerful, and combining the power of videos and stories is definitely going to make you a rockstar. Tell a story, one step at a time, to ensure that your viewers are hooked to your content and crave more.

How do you tell a story that your audience wants to hear? Here are three steps to telling an unforgettable story: 

  • Step 1 – Figure out your customer’s problems. A customer testimonial would highlight the problems the customer was facing, which led to the customer looking for your solution.
  • Step 2 – Show how your solution is going to solve your customer’s problems. An explainer video about your product or solution would be a great approach.
  • Step 3 – Throughout your story, make sure it’s always about them, and not you. That’s ultimately what’s going to help you build a relationship with your customer.

When it comes to storytelling, Google beats everyone with this emotional tear-jerking video called Reunion. They pick a story that they know would evoke an emotional response – the India-Pakistan partition. The video tells a story that’s probably all too familiar to several people from both countries – two childhood friends separated by the partition. Their family reunites them by locating them using Google. You can watch the video here. This video has subtitles available in English, French, Chinese, and 7 other languages.


The result? This video went viral – viewed more than 1.6 million times on Youtube. Notice how the story is about these people, and Google comes in only when they’re searching for something. This video gives us the impression that Google isn’t out to make money, but rather they are out to build a service to improve the lives of their users.

That’s how you should tell your story. Now, that doesn’t mean you have to hire professional actors, create a movie, and go viral. Just pick a problem that’s something your customers are all too familiar with, and show how your solution helps resolve it. Focus more on them, not you, and your video’s going to be a hit.

There you go. I hope that these strategies and advice come in handy when you’re creating your own video in email marketing campaigns. To help you out, I've created a PDF containing the strategies to create an email marketing campaign using a video that I’ve discussed above. You can download it here for free.


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