Here’s An Easy Way To Do Video Emails

Videos are a great marketing tool – they get your prospects’ attention, they let you show (not just tell) about your products, and they get passed around (helping you to get more subscribers virally).

However, as many people have found out, creating “video emails” by embedding the video directly in an HTML email (like you would on a web page) doesn’t fly. It’s simply not reliable because most email programs disable or strip out the video.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t take advantage of video’s appeal in your emails!

You just have to get a bit creative…

Easily Send “Video Emails” Using Image Links

In a recent addition to our Knowledge Base, we’ve shown step-by-step how to drive your email subscribers to watch videos that you’ve posted to your site or video hosting sites like YouTube.

A Couple Pointers

I recommend using an image to link to your video – you can use text, too, but the image will naturally draw the eye and increase your response.

That said, not all of your subscribers will have images enabled in their email programs.

So, remember to put appropriate ALT text for your image, so that if they have images turned off, they know there’s a video to click to.

Example:

Sample of Image with ALT Text

Have You Used This Tactic?

Has linking to videos this way worked well for you? Have you learned anything along the way that you think our readers could benefit from when creating their own video emails?

Share your thoughts below!

82 Comments

  1. Brian Ward

    1/4/2010 1:53 pm

    Video, text, html, …the appeal of these formats depends to a great extent on the recipient’s personal preferences, or persona. Think of it this way:

    Some people prefer speed
    Some people prefer to move slowly
    Some people prefer to base their decisions on logic
    Some people prefer to base their decisions more on emotions or feelings

    Put it all together, and you come up with four distinct personas. The population is more or less evenly distributed between these personas:

    1. Fast Paced/Logical
    2. Fast Paced/Emotional
    3. Slower Paced/Logical
    4. Slower Paced/Emotional

    So, an emotionally worded long web page would appeal to persona #4 above, but would probably frustrate the other personas, regardless of whether you use text, html or videos. So here’s a way to approach these personas:

    Persona #1: Provide the facts and a logical argument QUICKLY
    Persona #2: Provide an emotionally laden argument QUICKLY
    Persona #3: Provide the facts and a logical argument, building up your case SLOWLY
    Persona #4: Provide an emotionally laden argument, building up your case SLOWLY

    Each of these approaches can be incorporated into text, html or video, though in the case of images and videos they are likely better mediums than plain text for supporting the emotional approaches.

    Hope this helps!

  2. Don

    2/8/2010 3:30 pm

    I had tried to use video on my email marketing before but it did not work! However I have just tested your suggestion and it worked like magic… I added a picture link to a video I had published on my website, then I tested it and I can now say, it works. Now I will use it for real.

  3. TDG

    3/14/2010 10:08 am

    Just stopped by to say this is some very good information on how to add videos to your email.

    Thanks for the great tips.

  4. Yegred

    3/24/2010 11:58 am

    I wondered why marketers didn’t use videos more in their email messages. I heard that people don’t open the email because there’s an attachment, but this method bypasses that problem. Worth a try. Thanks for the info.

  5. Tom

    4/10/2010 5:39 am

    My comment starts with Anita’s question way above. Go to your YouTube account and email yourself the video you want to show people. When you open the email YouTube sends you, You will see a little image of the video screen with the start button. Right-click on this image and "copy" or "save as" to save this image for later use.

    When you paste the image, it will still be linked to your YouTube account, you don’t want to send people to your account, you want to send them to your website. Right-click on the image and select hyperlink and change the address to your desired landing page with the video.

    The little image with the proper link also is great to add to your signature line for your email correspondence.

  6. Karen McMillan

    5/8/2010 8:09 am

    Many people are empowered by CHOICE and EASE.
    AWeber provides the CHOICE of HTML or plain text.

    Recipients (email list) choose preference,HTML or PLAIN TEXT…
    they then have the CHOICE to read or watch.

    You CHOOSE text, HTML, image or text only links. (heck, you get to read all these comments and make a choice that works best for you and your readers)

    Everybody is, or has the choice to be, happy.
    Thank you AWeber for the choice of blog (text), video tutorial, and more.

    Gratitude for each of you for making the CHOICE to contribute to this blog community and our learning. Collective wisdom ROCKS!

    I will use both, as I choose.
    Namaste

    P.S. I liked the simplicity of this email. The subject pulled me in and the little cam pic was attractive. I am rebranding and making more YouTube videos so this is a valuable tip for me… and a great place to choose to return.

  7. Stephen J Baker

    6/9/2010 1:03 pm

    Thank you for the awesome content from AWeber. You guys have been around a long time and I appreciate the value I receive from your updates.

    Using media such as videos is a wonderful way to get high search engine ranking very quickly (sometimes within hours on Google) provided you put in your key words in the title of your videos.

  8. Beautii Joseph

    6/17/2010 2:02 pm

    This is awesome. I’ve recently started putting videos of my product on YouTube and linking it to my site. But publishing what I need to say via email & video is a great idea.

    It will definitely get my point across much faster. Plus my lead will know that I’m a real person.

    Thanks for the info.

  9. Brian

    7/12/2010 8:23 am

    I have used tested both and the click thru rate went up 17% by using a video first, then they liked the automated system when use.

  10. Dawn Marrs

    7/17/2010 2:18 pm

    I love the idea of using an image to lead people to click through to a video! I’m definitely going to try it and see if it gets a better click-through rate.

    Love these tips guys… keep ’em coming!!

  11. Patty Cisco

    8/29/2010 3:50 pm

    Could you provide an example or two of what you mean by this technique?

    thank you!

  12. M.J. Plebon

    9/8/2010 8:13 pm

    I have been using video email and creating V-mail for clients for a couple of years now. Here are some of the things I have learned:

    1. People are generally lazy and like to be entertained by a video message.
    2. Keep you message short.
    3. On the Thumbnail for your video, tell them to turn on their speakers and also tell them how long the video is.
    4. Never set the video to start automatically. Let the viewer click to start the message when they are ready.
    5. Make sure your message is about your audience, not about you.
    6. If making a video seems overwhelming, then register an account on http://www.Brainshark.com. This is free. You can then create your visuals in PowerPoint and narrate your message either on your computer or by phone. Load the PPT and audio file and BrainShark will process it and give you a URL address. Insert this link into your email. Here is the best part. BrainShark will play the video message on a computer, Blackberry, iPhone or Android. You can’t beat that. You can also insert links to your website, sales page or ask to have the viewer send it to their colleagues and provide a link to the email system. (You can even send them to another video message if they are interested.)
    7. If you produce a general video message about your offering, put the link in your signature file.

    Overall, video beats text hands down. Video plays on several senses at once and your message becomes more memorable, your branding stays in tact and you can have this spread like a virus.

  13. aharon

    9/16/2010 2:18 pm

    thanks, i am marketing for a yarn store in Israel which requires me to get my message across in English and Hebrew- but it takes me too long to write in Hebrew- this could be a perfect way to market in both languages. Write emails in English with a video of me speaking in Hebrew. i just had this idea from reading your article.

  14. Dr. Michael Haley

    9/21/2010 6:51 am

    I learned this lesson the hard way. I tried many times to embed the video and have a text link backup further down in the email. My clickthrough rate was low. Then, I went to youtube and used "printscreen" to capture the video image with the arrow on it, cropped the image, and used it to link to the video. My clickthrough went way up. Good tip.

  15. Erecia Williams

    9/25/2010 9:09 am

    Great idea. I never thought about this. Thanks for the article.

  16. Liat Gat

    10/5/2010 2:01 pm

    This tip was exactly what I needed! My entire business focuses on video – video knitting tips and techniques, to be exact. I was so disappointed when I learned that you couldn’t really embed video in an email.

    This idea was the perfect way to make my e-newsletters come alive, look like my blog pages, and really get people to click the videos.

    Thank you!!!

  17. Glenn

    10/7/2010 2:32 pm

    Hmm – this is extremely useful info, thanks for it. I’ll be ramping up some video marketing soon, and I think this sort of advice is just what I was looking for. All the best

  18. J.F. Herrera

    10/8/2010 1:46 pm

    Excellent tutorial. I will use this to increase my email campaigns open rate. Keep the good info coming.

    By the way, I use Jing, a free screen capture and remote file host, to create and host my images.

  19. Rekha

    10/20/2010 11:29 am

    Video marketing is becoming more popular and effective too. It is good to learn how to use videos in emails. Thanks.

  20. Carol Piro

    1/12/2011 11:24 am

    awesome… so many helpful comments… thank you everyone!

  21. Wade Dockfield

    1/27/2011 10:27 pm

    This is an awesome post…..the blog itself is very informative, but I also learned a lot from the comments.

    Using multiple platforms (audio, video and images) is definitely a very effective means to get your messages across.

  22. savita

    2/22/2011 1:11 am

    I appreciate all the positive comments and additional tid bits of information.

  23. Terry Johns

    4/11/2011 7:35 pm

    So… we talking Genuine Video Email here ? Or just a graphic of the video start page that links out to a webpage playing the “supposed Video Email” ?

    Believe it or not, Google Apps Feedburner.com via YouTube delivers real genuine VIDEO EMAILS – whereas the video is actually embedded inside the actual Email msg body.
    Anything less is just BS and a further screw of reality !
    Disagree – live with it.
    Agree – you pass Sanity101.
    Terry

  24. Tom Kulzer (AWeber CEO)

    4/12/2011 8:21 pm

    Terry,

    Sorry, but I have to disagree with you.

    Show me an example of Youtube (or any other type of video) in Apple Mail, Thunderbird, Outlook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail, Comcast, or the many dozens of other types of email clients and I’ll believe that raw playable video exists in email.

    Unfortunately, it doesn’t exist because email clients don’t support native video inside email clients widely.

  25. jaime

    4/23/2011 9:37 pm

    @Terry

    Tom is right. I have not seen video with the capability inside the inbox. It is usually a image link to the video to be played. I have not personally came across any email client that would allow such a powerful solution to email marketing.

    If this were to happen there will be less spam and junk mails individual’s mailbox. I on the other hand love spam. Especially those with a personal email address behind it. I use these for reverse marketing showing the sender the power of video email and how it will change the way we communicate

  26. George

    5/5/2011 7:21 am

    I am going to try that method once I find a simple way to create a video with my webcam and slides

  27. Melanie

    7/10/2011 8:15 am

    Since I’m now in the business of helping customers utilize video easily in their marketing I love and use this method with my aweber account!

    Yes it’s true there is still the place for a text email and all people learn differently so you don’t want to replace text.

    I’ve found video to be the most effective in building relationships with people. I use it in my networking process both on and offline as well as in my client retention practices.

  28. BB

    8/5/2011 12:23 pm

    I’m thinking of creating a video campaign and had a couple of questions for you guys.

    1. Can you create this just the same as a normal drip campaign?
    2. Who do you guys use for your Video Hosting? I’ve looked at viemo.com, amazon s3 and using that combined with Easy Video Player. Any thoughts on which one to use, or what works best with Aweber?
    3. What about protecting content if you have a paid course and don’t want the links / videos to be shared?

    Any advice would be appreciated 🙂

  29. Justin Premick

    8/5/2011 3:33 pm

    Hi BB,

    1. Yes, you can do this using an autoresponder/drip campaign.

    2. We self-host some of our videos and host others on YouTube. When we self-host videos, we play them using FlowPlayer: http://www.flowplayer.org

    3. You could use a membership site software such as aMember or Wishlist Member or Membergate to manage that.

  30. Brian Shafer

    8/7/2012 3:00 pm

    I have tried a few video email providers for my business. I used springdo back in the day but they are no longer around. For the last couple years I have been using http://www.covideo.com for my videos. It has integration into outlook plus direct integration into aWeber and other email marketing platforms using their advanced embed codes. They track who watches your video, how far into the video some watched and what parts are watched more than once. It’s pretty cool.

  31. Will Franco

    3/11/2013 1:13 pm

    Hyperlinking an image is definitely the way to go! At least, until HTML5 is supported by all the major clients. YouTube is one video system you can use, but you don’t get granular viewer analytics or a close and customizable sales funnel. jiveSYSTEMS http://www.jivesystems.com/ video email software has an integration with aWeber. You can drop the Embed in Email code directly into an aWeber email template. In addition, you get granular viewer engagement analytics and you and configure calls-to-action at the end of your videos, e.g. Download My eBook.

  32. john

    10/24/2013 2:32 am

    Great stuff for video email marketing… thanks for sharing.