Do Emails with Video Have a Higher Open Rate?
Explainer Video

Do Emails with Video Have a Higher Open Rate?

By Mainak Biswas November 28, 2014 - 1,454 views

Bulk email marketers often find their emails going to spam folder due to lack of content, poor email address, and poor subject line. However, even if all the factors are taken care of, a plain email is still unable to garner a high open rate. A video, on the other hand, contributes significantly to the success of your email marketing campaign.

As of 2013, there were nearly 3.9 billion email accounts all over which are likely to become 4.9 billion by 2017 according to Radicati Group research.  For every $1 spent on email marketing, the average return is $44.25 according to Email Expert. This clearly shows that the potential of email marketing campaign will increase tremendously if it uses a video along.

Videos can be used to the best of their capability to provide maximum information in minimum time. We often notice a video ad before our YouTube video starts playing. That apart, we love searching YouTube to see a video of our choice. Marketers have exploited this opportunity to their benefit to penetrate their target market. Videos have always been enchanting for the marketers as they relieve the customer from reading exhaustive text.

Videos are comprehensive in nature as customers show a willingness to understand a new product or service without getting bored. There are many other mediums of increasing the visibility of your video like website, blog, social media and through video-hosting sites like YouTube. In this blog, we are specifically going to discuss about the probability of getting your message across customers by using a video link in your email communication.

Why do emails with video have a higher open rate?

Mobile/smartphone presence

Majority of the customers today open their emails on smartphone. Going by the statistics, there are 897 mobile email users across the world including both business and consumer users; and 48% of emails are opened on a mobile device. With high stream internet services available on smartphones, watching videos on phone has become a growing trend.

Nowadays, customers are not supposed to open their laptops or PCs just to watch a video. Big and wide mobile screens offer the same experience of watching a video on phone as computers do. In such a case, an email that contains a video link will more likely be opened in contrast to the one with just text or image.

Video testifies authenticity

An email containing a video naturally grabs more eyeballs. It gives the impression that the marketer is authentic and really has something significant to share. Whether the video itself is clicked, not clicked or half-seen is another matter, their mere presence in the email makes a drastic difference in the perception of the customers towards the marketer.

It also minimizes the chances of your email to go to the spam box. Besides that, you need to make it a point to add a link to your website or blog at the bottom of the email as you don’t want to miss any opportunity of reaching the customer.

Pre-requisites for a video email campaign

1. Optimum video quality and compatibility

Using optimum video quality is essential while taking into consideration your growing mobile users. Avoid using HD videos (though there is nothing wrong in that) as it might be time consuming for users with comparatively low internet speed. Your video dimension needs to be such that it universally fits all screen sizes. A common resolution used for 16:9 aspect ratio is 480×270.

The video format needs to be easily playable on most of the mobile devices. For instance, H264/MP4, OGG and WEBM work well with most of the devices. Using the appropriate frame rate is another factor you have to take into consideration. Higher the frame rate per second, higher is the file size. If you want to reduce the file size for mobile viewing, always reduce it by using a full fraction to avoid jittering.

2. Short in length

You should not take the leverage of extending the video length beyond a particular time length. Always presume that your customers are busy and they have no time for your emails. When you presume that, you become extra vigilant in designing your emails; and when the videos are part of your email, they have to be short in length to convey a clear message.

One might argue that a short video length would be insufficient to share the information you wish to share. But you need to remember, it is just the beginning and you have to get another click from the customers to go to your website to explore for more information or fill in the contact form.

If the video can engage your customer from the very beginning, nothing can be better than that. So, avoid testing their patience with a long video. Instead, ask them to subscribe to your video channel (if you have one), if you wish to share multiple videos.

3. Focus on content

Videos embedded in emails are not limited to explainer videos that tend to explain the product or service to the customers. Here the marketers can take the leverage of exploring their ideas to share content which they deem, will reinforce their brand image. Sharing event highlights, customer testimonials at trade shows, highlights of interview with industry experts, employee testimonials and interaction, company culture reflecting vision and mission and so on.

Utmost care needs to be taken to keep your approach professional. A professional approach not only means that the video needs to look professional (which is obvious), it needs to clearly reflect the value of your product offering to customers. Why should they bother about you? How do you differ from your competitors? With this, it also brings us to think that you are not the only marketer who is using video email marketing campaign to target its customers. So, make the most of the opportunity.

4. Use a hosted video link along with image or infographic

Video can be either hosted on your own website or on third-party website. If you host it on your domain, you are simultaneously advertising your domain name. So, the chances of getting the customers to explore your product or services are higher in this case as they remember your domain name and the unique experience they had on your site.

On the contrary, if the video is hosted through YouTube (most start-up companies prefer to do this as it is free), it might require you to share multiple videos consistent in quality in a periodic manner. You don’t want your customers to forget you instantly. Use appropriate gif thumbnails that gives a snapshot of the video.

The video link needs to be accompanied by interesting imagery or infographic that gives a momentary glimpse of information about what your company does. The whole idea is to stimulate the audience to click on the link; and when the audience actually sees the video in the email, they come one step closer to you.

5. Subject line should mention the word video

Your customers are bumped with numerous marketing emails on a daily basis. But very few emails contain a video in it. When you begin a video email marketing campaign, you don’t want to work on presumption. If your email contains a video, it needs to be explicitly highlighted in the subject line of your email.

The mere use of the word “video” in the subject line increases the open rates by 7% to 13% according to a research carried out by Experian. Customers don’t often want to read marketing text, so the word video itself drives them to open the email to see if there is any interesting content. Otherwise, we very well know that most of the emails are just left unread or deleted instantly to clean/free some space in the mail box.


Email marketing is still going to remain the most preferred way of engaging with the customers. An email containing a video will definitely receive more clicks than the one without it. The focus of the marketer, thus, needs to be on creating quality video content.

Keep the look of the video consistent from the point of view of branding to strengthen your brand image in subsequent communication. It is unanimously accepted that videos are an exciting way to engage with the consumer as it increases web traffic, improves conversion rate, generates email subscription, creates awareness and builds brand image.

To create quality explainer video for your email marketing campaign, get in touch with the video experts at Oomphbox.

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