How to Embed a Video in an Email

Want to take your sales emails to the next level and skyrocket engagement? In this comprehensive guide, we'll walk you through exactly how to embed videos in your emails step-by-step, whether you're using Gmail, Outlook, or a sales engagement platform. Plus, get pro tips and best practices for creating irresistible video emails that get opened, watched, and acted upon.

Embedding videos in your sales emails is a powerful way to grab attention, build personal connections, and increase engagement with prospects and customers. By including a video thumbnail image or animated GIF that links to your video, you make your message stand out in a crowded inbox and entice recipients to watch.

Studies show that including video in emails can boost click-through rates by 200-300%, increase open rates by 19%, and reduce unsubscribe rates by 26%. Plus, 90% of customers say videos help them make buying decisions.

Follow these steps to easily embed a video in your emails, whether you're using Gmail, Outlook, or a sales engagement tool.

Choose a Thumbnail Image or GIF

The first step is selecting an eye-catching thumbnail image or GIF to represent your video in the email. This graphic snippet is what email recipients will see before clicking to watch the full video. A few tips:

  • Choose a high-quality, relevant image from your video that conveys the topic
  • Consider using an animated GIF to really grab attention and hint at the video content
  • Make sure the play button is clearly visible so people know it's a video
  • Add a short text caption like Watch Now near the thumbnail to reinforce it's a video
  • Avie automatically generates optimized thumbnail images and GIFs when you create a video

To use an Avie thumbnail:

  1. In your Avie account, go to the video you want to embed
  2. Click Share and copy the thumbnail image URL or GIF URL
  3. Paste this URL where you want the thumbnail to appear in your email

For best results, place the thumbnail high up in the email and make it large enough to be easily noticeable (around 400x250 pixels). Avie's auto-generated thumbnails are already optimized for embedding in emails.

How to Embed Video in Gmail

In Gmail, you can easily embed a video thumbnail that links to your video:

  1. In the Gmail compose window, click the Insert Photo icon (mountain shape)
  2. Paste the thumbnail image URL or GIF URL you copied from Avie
  3. Gmail will automatically add the linked thumbnail to your email
  4. If you want to edit the link, highlight the inserted thumbnail and click Change under the image
  5. Paste the URL of the page where your video is hosted (provided by Avie) in the Web Address field
  6. To adjust the thumbnail size, click Size under the image and choose Best Fit
  7. Compose the rest of your email and send

When the recipient clicks the linked thumbnail, they'll be taken to a branded landing page to watch your video. Avie provides the video landing page URL under Share - simply copy and paste it.

How to Embed Video in Outlook

The process is very similar in Outlook:

  1. In the Outlook compose window, place your cursor where you want the thumbnail
  2. Click Insert and then Pictures from the menu bar
  3. In the Insert Picture dialog box, paste the thumbnail URL from Avie
  4. Click the arrow next to Insert and select Link to File...
  5. Paste the Avie video URL in the Address field and click OK
  6. To resize the thumbnail, click on it and drag the handles
  7. Compose the rest of your email and send

A tip for Outlook: If you have Outlook connected to the desktop version of Office 365, you can also embed videos by clicking Online Video under Attach. Paste the video URL there and an embedded video player will be added, rather than a linked thumbnail.

How to Embed a Video if You Are Using an Email Tool

Most sales engagement and automation platforms like Salesloft, Outreach and Hubspot allow you to embed videos using HTML. Here are sample code snippets - just replace the image source and link destination with the URLs from your Avie video.

  • For a static thumbnail: <a href="LINK_TO_VIDEO_PAGE"><img src="THUMBNAIL_IMAGE_URL" alt="Video Thumbnail"></a>
  • For an animated GIF: <a href="LINK_TO_VIDEO_PAGE"><img src="GIF_URL" alt="Video Thumbnail"></a>

Adding the "alt" attribute with a short description is a best practice for accessibility. It will display if the recipient has images turned off in their email client.

Paste this HTML snippet into your email template where you want the video thumbnail to appear. In most tools, there's a button to "Insert HTML" or an "HTML" entry field.

When using a sales engagement tool, be sure to preview and test your templates across devices to make sure the video thumbnail renders properly. With Avie's auto-generated thumbnails and GIFs, your video previews will look great no matter where they're viewed.

Include a Compelling Call-to-Action

To maximize video views, include a clear call-to-action (CTA) alongside your video thumbnail. Your CTA should give the recipient a reason to click and watch. A few examples:

  • Watch this 2-min video to see how [Your Company] can help you [solve X problem]
  • I made this quick video to walk you through our new features - check it out now
  • I wanted to share a helpful 90-sec video on [Relevant Topic] with you - just click below to view it
  • Got 2 minutes? See how other [Industry/Roles] are using [Your Product] in this video

Keep your CTA concise, compelling and benefit-oriented. It should let them know what the video is about, create curiosity/FOMO, and highlight what's in it for them to watch it now.

Best practices for CTAs:

  • Keep it short - 1 to 2 sentences max
  • Use active language - e.g., watch now vs. feel free to watch
  • Focus on them, not you - emphasize the value they'll get from watching
  • Create urgency with words like now and today
  • Place the CTA right next to or below the video thumbnail
  • Consider buttons instead of just hyperlinked text for your CTA - they stand out more

An effective CTA is essential for getting prospects to take the next step and hit play. Treat this copy as just as important as your email subject line.

Other Tips to Encourage Video Views

Besides an enticing thumbnail and strong CTA, here are some other ways to drive more video plays:

  • Keep your videos short and snappy (under 2 minutes is ideal). Let recipients know the video length in your CTA.
  • Put the video thumbnail and CTA near the top of your email so they are seen right away without scrolling.
  • In your email copy, reiterate why the video is uniquely relevant and valuable to the recipient.
  • Consider making the thumbnail a larger size (up to 600 pixels wide) so it's more eye-catching.
  • Test including the word [VIDEO] in your subject line, which can boost opens by 6%.
  • Add captions or subtitles to your video for recipients who prefer to watch on mute.
  • Include a fallback link to view the video on your site in case the thumbnail doesn't load.
  • Keep mobile in mind - most business emails are now opened on phones. Make sure your thumbnail looks good on small screens.

Lastly, always track and measure the performance of your video emails. How many people are clicking the thumbnail? How much of the video are they watching? How many take your desired action after viewing? Use these insights to optimize your video strategy over time.

Embedding videos in emails is a powerful way to engage prospects and customers. By following these best practices, you'll be creating highly effective video emails in no time.

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