How to Embed Video in Email: A Step-by-Step Guide for Beginners

Videos are a great communication tool. But when paired with email, they become even more formidable. In this quick guide, we’ll show you how to effectively utilize the power of video in your emails.

By the end of this article, you’ll know why you should use videos in your emails. What videos you should include in your emails. How to embed a video in an email. Why it’s not always the best idea. And what you should try instead.

Embedding video in email can be a game changer for your marketing campaigns. Adding visual content to your emails can boost engagement, open rates, and click through rates compared to plain text messages. By providing a rich, interactive experience right in the inbox, video emails allow you to tell stories and make connections with your audience.

While embedding video used to be tricky, it’s now easier than ever to include video content directly in your emails. In this beginner’s guide, we’ll walk through the steps for embedding video in the most popular email platforms. With the right strategies, you can turn simple text emails into compelling multimedia messages.

Why Embed Video in Email?

Here are some of the key benefits of using video in your email marketing:

  • Increased Engagement Video is inherently more engaging than text, Embedding video content directly in your email keeps viewers interested,

  • Higher Open Rates: Teasing a video with a clickable thumbnail boosts curiosity and incentivizes opening. Open rates for video emails can be up to 20% higher.

  • Improved Click-Through Rates: Calls to action paired with video see higher interaction. For example, a “Watch Video” buttonnext to an embedded video can boost clicks by 200-300%.

  • Storytelling Capabilities Video allows you to tell a story and make an emotional connection with viewers This builds familiarity and trust with your brand

  • Memorable Messaging: Viewers are much more likely to remember your video content compared to text. Video messages make a lasting impact.

  • Enhanced Brand Awareness: Video gives your brand personality and flair. It shows you’re progressive and tech-savvy in how you communicate.

The benefits are clear. Now let’s look at how to put video in your emails with various platforms.

Embedding Video in Gmail

Gmail makes it simple to embed video content directly in the body of an email. Here are the steps:

  1. Compose your email as normal in Gmail, including the recipient, subject line, and any text.

  2. Add your video by clicking the attachment icon (paperclip) and selecting your video file. For YouTube videos, copy/paste the video URL instead.

  3. Size your video appropriately so it displays well on all devices. A width of 500-600 pixels is recommended.

  4. Insert a preview image so recipients see a still thumbnail before hitting play. This builds intrigue.

  5. Include a CTA button like “Watch video” that recipients can click to view the content.

  6. Test and send. Review how your embedded video looks and functions in a test email before sending.

The great thing about Gmail is recipients don’t need any plugins to view embedded videos. The video plays right in the email body.

Embedding Video in Outlook

Outlook uses a clickable thumbnail method for embedding videos. Follow these tips:

  1. Upload your video to a host like Vimeo or Microsoft Stream that allows email video embeds.

  2. Grab the video link and paste it into your email body.

  3. Add a preview image and link it to the video URL to create a clickable thumbnail.

  4. Size your image appropriately, such as 600 x 400 pixels.

  5. Include compelling text around the thumbnail to provide context and a CTA.

  6. Send a test to ensure the linked video plays properly before mass sending.

This method allows you to simulate a video embed by linking the thumbnail image to the full video hosted externally. The video will open and play when viewers click the thumbnail.

Best Practices for Video Emails

Once you’ve got the basics down, here are some best practices to maximize your video email effectiveness:

  • Mobile-optimize your videos for small screens and slow connections. This improves playability.

  • Shorter is better – aim for videos under 1 minute long to ensure viewers watch the whole thing.

  • Include captions so viewers can understand your video with the sound off.

  • Align visuals to messaging so the video reinforces what you’re communicating in text.

  • Spotlight your CTA – the call to action should stand out and prompt viewers to take your desired action after viewing the video.

  • Personalize your video content to resonate better with each recipient whenever possible.

  • Test rigorously across devices and email clients to confirm compatibility before sending.

Follow these tips and you’ll see higher engagement, click through rates, and overall performance from your video email campaigns.

Troubleshooting Common Video Email Issues

Here are some frequent issues that arise with video emails and how to address them:

Videos not playing – This is often due to incompatible video file formats. Stick to universally supported formats like MP4. Also, ensure your video is hosted on a platform that allows email embeds.

Large file sizes – If your video exceeds 10-15MB, it likely won’t send or play properly. Consider compressing your video to reduce file size.

Playback issues – Low resolution, buffering, and other playback problems come down to improper video optimization. Be sure to compress and render videos appropriately for email.

Thumbnail not displaying – Double check that your preview image is linked properly to the external video URL. Also confirm your image is in a supported file type like JPG or PNG.

Videos downloads instead of plays – This happens when the video isn’t properly embedded. Be sure to use the email client’s tools for inserting embedded videos rather than attaching the video file directly.

Broken embed code – If you’re manually inputting HTML embed code, any errors can prevent the video from displaying correctly. Triple check your code or use an email service’s simplified tools instead.

With the right optimization and testing, you can avoid these common pitfalls.

Email Platform Support and Limitations

It’s important to be aware of the video capabilities and limitations across popular email platforms and clients. Here’s an overview:

  • Gmail – Fully supports embedded video up to 25MB. MP4 is the recommended format.

  • Outlook – Limited embed support, so focus on linked thumbnails to external videos instead.

  • iPhone Mail – Plays inline MP4 videos up to 10MB that are embedded using attachment tools.

  • Android Mail – Supports inline video playback like Gmail. MP4 up to 10MB is recommended.

  • Apple Mail – Allows video embeds via attachment. But functionality is limited on iOS Mail app.

  • AOL – Does not support embedded video. Only thumbnail links work.

  • Yahoo – No embedded video, but clickable thumbnails link out to videos successfully.

  • Gmail App – Plays inline video great. But limited formatting and controls on mobile.

The best approach is to focus on universally supported file types and sizes. Test across major platforms to ensure your video displays properly everywhere.

Email Design Best Practices for Video

Besides getting the video embed right, crafting an effective video email also requires design and layout considerations:

  • Lead with a compelling headline to capture attention alongside your thumbnail.

  • Keep body text minimal – let the video do the talking and avoid walls of text.

  • Make your CTA stand out using contrasting colors, size, placement, etc.

  • Leave ample whitespace around the video embed so it’s the focal point.

  • Ensure imagery aligns – other visual elements should reinforce the video content.

  • Consider mobile scaling – will it display nicely on a small screen? Test to make sure.

  • Use brand colors and fonts to maintain a consistent look and feel.

  • Focus on readability – use paragraph spacing, hierarchy, and contrast to make body copy easy to digest.

  • Confirm functionality – test across devices to catch any display issues.

With thoughtful design tailored to video content, you can craft truly stunning and impactful video emails.

Increasing Deliverability of Video Emails

Adding videos can sometimes complicate email deliverability if not done properly. Here are tips to ensure your video emails reliably reach the inbox:

  • Avoid huge file sizes that trigger spam filters. Stick to 10-15MB maximum video files.

  • Host your video externally on a reputable platform vs attaching directly to the email.

  • Use an allowed domain for video hosting – common ones like YouTube and Vimeo are recognized as safe.

  • Include alt text and captions to describe your video for accessibility and spam scanning.

  • Don’t make the video play automatically – require a user action like clicking a thumbnail.

  • Preview the first frame as your thumbnail to provide context on content.

  • Avoid clickbait-y elements in your email that may seem suspicious to filters.

  • Review spam test results to catch issues specific to your sending domain, links, etc.

With the proper

how to embed video in email

What videos should you include in your emails?

Well, there are quite a few options you can pick from.

You could for example use:

  • A how-to video
  • A webinar replay
  • A video case study
  • A product tour video
  • Or even a brand video

Whatever you choose, keep in mind that adding videos in your emails just for the sake of it won’t do you much good.

You need to make sure that your video actually adds value to your email. And that it addresses the needs of your recipients.

Embed a video with HTML 5

The most engaging way to email a video is to embed it. That way your recipients will be able to watch the video directly in your email.

But be warned. This doesn’t always work. Most email service providers (ESP) don’t support embedded videos.

You can’t embed a video in Gmail or Yahoo for example. And embedded videos may work in certain versions of Outlook. But not in all of them. Source : Email on Acid

Which is why you need to include a fallback . This will be displayed if your recipients’ email client does not support the HTML5 tag.

To embed a video in your email, you can use the following HTML5 code snippet ⤵️

However, we don’t recommend using this method to send a video in your email. It will result in a poor user experience for some of your recipients.

Fortunately, there are other ways to send a video in an email.

How to Embed Video in Email (3 super simple ways)


How can I embed a video in an Outlook email?

Copy and paste a Stream video share link into the email body. Alternatively, you can attach a video from OneDrive or upload and share a video to OneDrive and see the link transform into an embedded media player right in your email.

How do you insert an embed in an email?

Note: Quick guide to embed HTML in email You can embed HTML in email with the ‘Insert as Text’ option. Select ‘Insert’ > Attach File > Select the htm. file > Click on ‘Insert’ dropdown bar > Select ‘Insert as Text’.

How do I embed a YouTube video in email?

If you are using Outlook’s desktop application to embed videos in email, directly pasting a YouTube link only adds a link in the email without the video’s preview. A great workaround is to insert the video’s thumbnail photo and embed a link of YouTube video to it. Here are the details: Get the video thumbnail of a YouTube video.

How do I send a video via email?

Simply attach the video file to an email and send it, as usual, to send a video via email. This can be done through most email applications on iPhone and Android devices. If you’re using the built-in messaging app on your device to send and receive videos, try editing the video before sending it.

How do I add a video to my email template?

You can use a platform like Sendspark to do the heavy lifting for you. With Sendspark, you can record, request or upload a video online, customize a video landing page and GIF thumbnail, and then easily add that to your email template. On Mailjet, this is as simple as adding an image on Passport and linking to your favorite landing page.

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