Dynamic content is the way to go, especially when its video being added to your email sauce. Platforms such as YouTube, with its 6bn video views from 1bn unique users every month, have shown us that to stay in the leadership position, you need video. If you’re not using this type of content, you’re not dead in the water, but you’re missing out.

In fact, 2015 saw 4 out of every 5 marketers say they planned to make use of video content in their email campaigns.

But why? Simple.

Video, unlike copy and flat images, is more immersive. It’s capable of narrating a more involving story that invokes an emotional response, requiring less effort, from the audience. So it’s a no brainer – sort of.

In terms of the moolah, the chances of the audience purchasing goods increases by a quarter, compared to those who consume text and image heavy emails.

But how does one use video in email marketing to stimulate sales? To start off, let’s discuss how not to use video content in your emails.

Don’t embed

Whatever you do with video, stay away from embedding. It might seem more convenient because the audience get to view it on the email, but you’re creating more problems than solutions. Email clients are created differently (e.g. Outlook doesn’t support videos and GIFs), therefore you might have compatibility issues when it comes to displaying the content. This can either result in higher email bounces, low engagement or just a whimsical, but pointless looking email.

Getting started

About 43% of marketers don’t use video, citing the lack of content as the reasoning. Sadly, and there’s no way around this, you need to have your own branded videos. They need to be crisp. And by crisp, we mean they should be relevant, of high quality and well narrated. Anything that looks like it was shot at the back of a garage with a VGA camera should be kept at the back of a garage, along with that VGA camera.

Creating video does require budget and strategy, but well thought out video campaigns pay off, with an increase of up to 55% in click through rates and 24% conversions rates.

Where do you place a video?

It’s all about design. If you have the video, it’s time to look at how the user is going to experience your email. Because customer’s are inundated with emails, they’re attention is limited. So adding video above the fold of your email would be your best bet. This increases the likelihood of them noticing it when they open the email, thereby increasing the chances of them interacting with it.

How to add the video

You have two options when it comes to video. You can add it as a flat artwork, or GIF. GIFs are the most advisable as they are animated, thereby still allow you to show a short snippet of the video. The downside of GIFs is that they won’t function on some email clients such as Outlook.

However, there is a way around this. It’s basically how you would display a video as a flat image. If you’re using a flat image to display a video, you should capture a still snippet of the video. Ideally you should capture a section that tells a thousand words (i.e. a snippet that stands out).

This is exactly what you should do with your GIF. The first frame should be a snippet of the most compelling section of the video. When it displays on Outlook, it will display a still image, showing the first frame you chose.

Now that you have designed or captured the GIF or flat artwork, add a recognisable play icon on it. This will act as your call to action.

Where do they click to?

As you might have noticed, your email now either features flat artwork or a GIF of your video. So where is the video? Definitely not, and shouldn’t be hosted or embedded, on your email. It should click-through to where the video is being hosted, preferably on your website where the product you’re promoting is. You can make it click-through to a video hosting site like YouTube, but you risk losing the customer as their attention might be seized by another competitor or videos of cats. If your video is on YouTube, embed it on your site as well.