A lot of people are talking about using video in their email marketing campaigns. Many love the idea, but sometimes it is easier said than done. Video is often a great strategy for marketers because videos can be more emotionally engaging than simple text or images. Researchers have found that emails with video content tend to have better open, click-through and conversation rates. It also improves engagement. However, there are definitely some complicating factors to consider if you’re thinking about mixing video and email marketing. Is using video in your email marketing the right strategy for you? I have compiled some pros and cons for you to help decide whether or not you should use video in your next email marketing campaign.

The Pros:

Every marketer hopes to get higher click-through rates with their emails. What better way to do that than an enticing video directly in the inbox? According to ReelSEO, videos in emails have a 55% higher chance of click-through rates. Even just the word “video” in the subject line is said to increase email opens by 20%. A few other things to consider:

  • Videos are very versatile. Videos can be used for product demonstrations, tutorials, customer testimonials, or even a promotion. In email marketing, it is important to try to get engagement from your recipients without overwhelming them with too much content. Video is a good way to do just that.
  • Videos help people connect with the content better. It allows for a personal touch where regular text does not. Viewers are able to put a face or voice to the company and associate the brand with real people. This creates a true personal connection between the recipient and the company. This helps to inspire brand loyalty.
  • Sometimes it is more effective to show than to tell. Our brains process visuals faster than text. Because of this, a video can help the viewer understand the content’s message easier. Having a visual and verbal depiction of something may help the email recipient to have a better understanding of the product or concept, and they will probably remember it better as well.
  • An interesting video has a better chance of boosting conversation and being shared than a text email. How often do you forward an email? How often do you share videos? Studies have shown that video emails have a 41% increase in the sharing or forwarding in emails.

The Cons:

Video is an effective way of spreading your message, but it does not always make sense to merge video marketing and email marketing. Knowing the format’s strengths and weaknesses will help you decide whether you should incorporate video into your email marketing campaign or not.

  • Many email clients, including Yahoo! Mail, Outlook and Gmail, do not yet support video embedding in emails. When readers use these email clients, your videos will not show at all. There isn’t a universal video format compatible for all email clients yet. That being said, 30% of email recipients should still be able to see the embedded video.
  • Deliverability can be a hassle. Since many email clients do not support embedded videos, including a video in your email can cause it to be marked as spam. Also, if the video requires a 3rd party plug-in to play, that is another likely indicator that your email will be marked as spam. Email recipients usually do not like 3rd party plug-ins, like Flash player or QuickTime, and they will often send emails that require a plug-in to the spam folder.
  • The video might be too big. If the video file is too big, it may take a while for your email to download, and your recipients might grow impatient. Even a short video can be 10 MB, and best practices recommend that files size be 101 KB or less.

Like I mentioned before, a universal video format that is compatible with all email clients is not available yet. But, marketers and coders have been working on that. HTML5 is more video-friendly, and it is compatible with email clients such as Outlook.com, Apple Mail, iOS devices, and Android. Though only 30% of email recipients are able to see embedded videos at the moment, that number is sure to grow as video technology evolves, HTML5 improves, and newer and updated versions of email clients and browsers form.

So, if you are ready to try video in your emails, and have the resources and skills to do so, then go for it! But, be sure to give yourself some time for testing and trial and error. If you are not ready yet but still want to incorporate a video into your email marketing in some way, there are alternative routes you can take. Animated GIFs are a great option to get you moving in the general video direction.  Thumbnails and image stills from the video itself are good alternative video email marketing strategies as well. You can link the image or animation to the video landing page where the full video can be viewed. These are easier options that will promote your video while also ensuring that your emails display correctly for everyone.

What do you think? Are you ready to start experimenting with video in your email marketing campaigns? Or do you plan to wait until support for video in email is more widespread in browsers and email clients? Let us know in the comments!