The Benefits and Challenges of Using Embedded Video in Email Marketing

Email marketing campaigns are a cornerstone in your business’s vital sales and marketing strategy, but finding novel ways to make your emails stand out is a perpetual challenge. According to a comprehensive survey by Statista, a staggering 333 billion marketing emails were sent every day in 2022, with recipients opening an average of 18% of them. That’s a lot of competition for your customers’ attention.

That’s why it’s so important to find new ways to differentiate your marketing emails to boost your brand awareness, promote your products, and encourage customers to engage with your company.

This is the second article in a six-part series exploring the ways email recipients interact with marketing content. In this article and the next, we'll look at how embedded video in email marketing can help your brand distinguish itself in a crowded inbox. We’ll cover the importance of video embedding to attract the audiences you want, and describe the challenges that businesses and marketers often face when incorporating this type of content for the first time.

Open Up the Possibilities with Embedded Video

With the popularity of social platforms like YouTube and TikTok, video has become the predominant and most engaging content form on the internet. Now more than ever, companies are using video content to drive sales and brand awareness.

Given the dominance of video in most other online marketing spaces, a growing share of email marketers are turning to video to help boost returns on their efforts. And with good reason!

An embedded video within an email provides you with a quick and unique means of engagement, allowing you to convey more specific information in less space. A short video of 8 - 12 seconds with a solid call to action (CTA) can be just enough to move your email recipient further into your funnel.

A clean and professional embedded video requires less scrolling, minimizing friction and guiding your recipient to click through. It also has the potential to capture viewers who normally don’t read through text-based emails due to their given learning style.

Embedded videos can increase open rates and extend the period of time a recipient interacts with your brand. Just by including the word “video” in your subject line, one study by HighQ clocked a 19% increase in open rates. Once they’re in, video can engage the view for longer than a traditional email which translates into more clicks and more sales.

Challenges of Embedding Video in Marketing Email

With all the benefits of embedded video in your marketing emails, there are also a few unique challenges to overcome when employing these cutting-edge tools. Security features and native software limitations used by top email clients like Apple Mail, Gmail, and Outlook can stand in the way of delivering your video message to your audience. Likewise, mistakes made on the content creation and implementation side can just as likely turn recipients off from your brand.

One of the biggest challenges with embedding video in marketing emails is that a large number of email clients don’t currently support embedded video. Neither Gmail nor Outlook (on Windows platforms) has the capacity to play embedded video natively. Apple Mail on both desktop and mobile does support embedded video, but real-world applications have had mixed results.

Limits on the amount of playback time allowed and inconsistent functionality mean embedded videos may not work the way they’re intended, even if the client claims to support them. For instance, audio may often be blocked by the device or email client, so the message in your video is lost even if the video component plays.

If an embedded video doesn’t function as planned, then you may end up creating more friction in your email than you would if you were to just exclude video altogether. Recipients who want to see the video will often need to click away from the email to load a YouTube or Vimeo page. While this would count as a “click-through,” they are not clicking on your desired CTA link. Instead, by directing them to a video hosting site, you’ve unintentionally added a step between your email and your funnel, which may dilute the effectiveness of your campaign.

There are ways to mitigate some of these challenges on the content design side, so content creators options to consider when creating video for email. Adding captions to your video to solve the problem of blocked audio is one effective strategy. With captions, you may opt to eliminate audio altogether in the embedded video since most recipients don’t want a loud soundtrack to begin playing when they open their email.

Creating engaging fallback images or animated GIFs is another great way to get around email client limitations. If a recipient's client won’t play your video natively, a static screen grab or brief GIF animation can encourage viewers to click through and view the video on a hosting site like YouTube.

Partner with Admail to Optimize Your Email Marketing

Choosing the right email marketing partner can mean the difference between optimizing the use of embedded video in your emails and losing traffic from potential customers because of poorly designed or executed video embeds.

Admail is on the cutting edge of embedded video content for email marketing. We partner exclusively with a leading video content service called Viewed to help our customers make the most out of this emerging content space. At Admail, we also have the expertise to help you overcome the current challenges with embedded video as this mode of marketing communication evolves.

Unlike our competitors, we work directly and personally with our customers to build the right email marketing strategy for them. Reach out to us to start your free 30-day trial of our services, and see how you can leverage embedded video and the rest of our cutting-edge services to help grow your business.

Check back soon for the second installment in this series to learn about the specific benefits of using Admail to embed video content in your email marketing campaigns!

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