Video email marketing has become one of the hottest marketing tactics for email marketers. According to an article by ReelSEO, videos in email have a 55% higher click-through-rate than those that don’t, and adding the word “video” in the email subject line is said to increase email opens by 20%. If managed effectively, videos can be a powerful tool for email marketing.

Although it has become possible to embed videos within the body of an email, they are not compatible with all email clients. Popular email clients such as Yahoo Mail, Outlook, and Gmail do not support videos embedded in emails. Unfortunately, there isn’t a universal video format compatible for all email clients yet. Moreover, emails containing embedded videos are highly likely to be filtered out as spam. However, don’t give up just yet! There are other ways to promote videos in emails. Today, we are going to focus on one of the more popular ways to carry out video email marketing: linked thumbnails. Thumbnails are a better option than embedded videos at the moment. This will probably remain the case until embedded videos work on all email clients.

Thumbnail images can be added to any email campaign to promote your video. Clickable thumbnails take subscribers to a playable video on a website such as YouTube or a landing page for view. A great upside to having a video on a separate website rather than within the email itself is that you have more control over your viewer’s next action. They can leave a comment, ask a question, or start a discussion immediately after watching the video. They can explore other content on your site as well. Sharing the video becomes easier since it only requires the link.

They say don’t judge a book by its cover, but that’s exactly what thumbnails do for videos – and that’s exactly what you want. Think of thumbnail images as movie posters. They should advertise and explain what your video is about. Like a movie poster and book cover, the video thumbnail is the first thing your subscribers see. Their decision to watch or ignore your video depends almost entirely on that quick first impression. That is why marketers need to take the time and care to create the right video email thumbnail. Here are a couple of things your thumbnail should accomplish:

  • It should give readers a sense of the video’s overall premise.
  • It should compel subscribers to click for more.
  • The thumbnail should take the viewer to an external landing page to watch the video.
  • The thumbnail should look good on any device screen size.

A good thumbnail can be the difference between someone engaging with your video or ignoring it. Make sure to use a clear image that is inspiring, funny, or sparks your readers’ curiosity. It should be something that will make your audience want to click it. According to an article by Exact Target, thumbnails of faces work best because facial expressions tend to evoke emotions. Just be sure to use the right facial expression!

The advantage of using videos in emails is that subscribers are likely to find videos more interesting in comparison to your competitors’ plainer emails. At the end of the day, the primary goal of your email is to drive subscribers to your website. Video is a great way to do that. So, whether you are already using video email marketing and are looking for new ideas, or are figuring out how to incorporate it into your email marketing for the first time, try thumbnails out! For email marketing questions, feel free to call US Data Corporation at (888) 578-3282.