4 Creative Uses of Video in Email


On a recent OI-members-only Live Zoom discussion we spent some time talking about how to leverage video in email campaigns. The conversation was spurred by Tejas Pitkar’s (Netcore) recent OI blog post and there were a lot of great ideas brought up by the group. So, I thought it would make for a good blog post topic, all by itself. I decided to focus on the creative uses of video in email, rather than the more technical aspects of actually including streaming video within an email vs. having a static image or play button that links to the video on a web page. 

First off, some quick video marketing stats to set the stage.

  • 81% of businesses now use video as a marketing tool in 2020. (Hubspot)
  • 78% of people watch online videos every week and 55% view them every day. (Hubspot)
  • Users view more than 1 billion hours of video each day on YouTube. (YouTube)
  • Adding video content to email campaigns can increase click rate by 300%. (Hubspot)

Safe to say that people are drawn to video content and engaging with it has become a daily routine for most folks. However, like any communication channel, it isn’t as simple as creating just any random content and having your audience flock to it. Video is incredibly versatile and while that is a huge benefit, it can also make the possibilities seem overwhelming. So, here are 5 video strategies and tactics to consider, along with some ideas about how they play into your email strategy. Not every idea will be relevant to every company, but hopefully, there are at least 1-2 that might be useful for you or could help brainstorm your own ideas.

1. Meet the Team

Companies have used video as a way to feature members of their team for years. It’s a popular strategy because it can be so effective at introducing the actual people on your team to your customers and prospects. It adds a human element to your email campaign that text or static graphics really can’t match. As they humanize your company and brand, they can also adapt easily to fit your communications style. Whether you want to demonstrate honesty and transparency or play up the humor, these types of videos can be very effective.

Meet the team videos can easily be incorporated into your email campaigns, either as the main feature of a dedicated email or series of emails. It can also work as an element of a newsletter, new customer welcome email, and many other types of regular customer communications. They can also be a useful element in your acquisition emails, by highlighting the people a new customer will get to work with.

2. Play up your Brand Personality

Video can be a great way to communicate your brand image and personality to your audience. Meet the team videos can be a part of this video strategy, but there are also a wide variety of other approaches to consider. Companies using the strategy will still often feature their team members prominently in these videos, but less individualized. So, it might be footage of various teams in the office, at an industry event, having fun outside of work, supporting the community through volunteer work, or any number of other activities. One important aspect of using videos to successfully portray your brand personality is to make them authentic. We’ve all known companies whose public brand image is actually quite different than the actual way the company operates. But, when you can deliver a true reflection of who the company is, how it treats its employees and customers, video can be the perfect medium to communicate it to your audience.

Again similar to meet the team videos, more general brand personality videos can be incorporated into your email program in a variety of ways. This type of content can be very effective in your acquisition email program, as it becomes part of introducing your company to prospective customers. It also fits well into a welcome email to new customers or evergreen content to include as a small part of numerous company-focused emails.

3. Highlight your Product/Service

Video may be a powerful tool from a branding standpoint, but it can also play a role in more sales-focused marketing initiatives. While it depends largely on the product or service you are promoting, video can be an effective way of focusing your audience’s attention on the key features and benefits that they deliver. Some products/services will more easily lend themselves to video representation, but even when it isn’t straightforward, you just need to get a little creative with it. Have a complex SaaS solution to promote? Consider some form of explainer video, possibly with animation to visually demonstrate how it works. Promoting a simple consumer product? Create a video of people actually using and enjoying the product.

Videos that focus specifically on a product or service fit perfectly into your sales emails, drip campaigns, and other product-related email messaging. Pick and choose which emails

4. Focus on a Special Offer

Special offer campaigns are a favorite of marketers in many industries. They can lend the element of immediacy and time-sensitivity that don’t exist in evergreen sales content. While video is highly effective as long-term evergreen content, that doesn’t mean it can’t function just as well in a situation where it may be used only once or just for a short time period. Because video is so engaging and attention-grabbing, it ties perfectly into special offer or promotion campaigns. In a video, you can easily deliver the key points of the promotion more quickly and easily than in text. It is also more memorable than text, with studies showing viewers may retain up to 95% of a video message vs. 10% of what they read. (Covideo)

It’s a safe bet that email plays a prominent role in your marketing arsenal when promoting special offers (if not the leading role). Video makes the perfect complement to those email promotions, by amping up the engagement and putting the spotlight on the offer.

One Last Tip

Now that you are inspired to include video in more of your email campaigns, here’s one last tip. Use it in moderation. As the group discussed on the Zoom call, if it is overused, video content can become tired and lose its impact. Unless you have a rare case where you can create an unending amount of unique video content and your audience indicates that they will eagerly await each of your video releases like the next episode of Tiger King, then you will likely want to use it in moderation. This helps keep the impact fresh and even somewhat unexpected when it shows up in an email to your regular audience.

If you’re interested in seeing some of the video content we have put together in 2020, check out the OPTIZMO video library.