Step-by-Step: How to Share Video via Email

How often do you click on a video in email? Research suggests simply putting the word "Video" in your subject line boosts open rates by 19% and click-through rates by 65%. But without some fancy compression it's hard to send an actual video in an email. You're either a.) going to get a bounce back that the email was too large to send or b.) you're going to seriously clog up your recipient's inbox.

So to avoid either of the scenarios above, you have these two options below. On the left, you'll see an email with a link. On the right, the email looks like it has the video in it, but it's just a link too. Which one makes you want to click?

Which email is more eye-catching? Hint: If you guessed "the one on the right" you're right!

If you're like me, the email on the right is much more enticing. Sadly, it's not quite as easy to craft as the email on the left, but we know you can do it! Especially when we're walking you through it.

Step-by-step Guide to Adding Video to Email

1. Put the word "Video" in the subject line. Refer to the stat at the beginning of the blog if you're wondering why.

2. Find an appealing thumbnail from the video. The really easy way to cheat your way through this is go to the video and play it until you get to a screen you like. Probably avoiding someone making a funny or frown-y face. Take a screen shot of that screen in your video player. I do that by holding down shift-command-4 on my computer and sizing it to fit the video player screen. 

3. Optional Pro Tip: Superimpose a play button over the screen shot. If this seems like too much, skip this step. But if you can handle it, this will give the recipient extra motivation to click and watch.

-If you have Photoshop then you simply add the button on it's own layer, size as necessary and you're done.

-If you don't have Photoshop or a similar editing solution, try Keynote or Powerpoint to layer the button over your image. Does this still sound over your head?

-If your video is in YouTube you can take a screen shot with their play button already on the image. You can also use your email blast provider like MailChimp. Insert the URL into a template then screen cap or email it to yourself. 

Here's the standard Youtube play button. Want something more custom? Google will give you a variety of options.

4. Hyperlink the image. Put that "video looking" image in your email and make it clickable. For me, that's clicking the image and holding down command-K. Then I just paste in the URL.

5. Add the URL. To dummy-proof your email, I like to cut and paste the URL separately into the copy. Even with the play button, someone might not realize the image is clickable. A clickable URL should clear up any speck of confusion.

6. Finally, make a mention in the text to click on the video.

These 6 steps to create an email like the one on the right will take you a few minutes longer. If it gets you more click throughs and views, isn't it worth it?