How to Effectively Embed Videos in Emails: A Beginner’s Handbook

Our independent research projects and impartial reviews are funded in part by affiliate commissions, at no extra cost to our readers. Learn more

Embedding videos as part of your email marketing strategy can be a confusing process, especially if you’re a beginner. This is why we have created this helpful guide on how to embed videos into your emails.

Emails are one of the best ways to market your online business, so in addition to being a really good skill to have, adding a video to your emails will improve communication with your customers, boost your engagement, and give you a better conversion rate.

We’ll look through platform options, how to create and prepare content that engages an audience, and the steps and best practices to get that sweet content into the inboxes of your audience.

Selecting the Right Video Hosting Platform

When it comes to video hosting platforms, you’re spoiled for choice! We’re all familiar with YouTube, but there are other options like Vimeo and Wistia, which could be better options for you.

We’ll highlight some of the features and customization options and pricing to help you figure out which platform is best for you and your email list.

YouTube: It has a massive viewership, unlimited storage for videos, and supports various video formats. It also gives you editing tools and, when you grow your audience, you can monetise your videos. It will automatically send your new YouTube video to your audience in an email if you want!

There are plenty of customisation options. You can make playlists, add channel art, and make categories for your videos. You can also boost your videos by adding annotations, captions, and end screens.

You can use YouTube for free, but if you want Premium, it starts at $13.99 a month. 

Vimeo: Lots of professionals and creatives use Vimeo because it has a high video quality and offers good privacy settings, which is great if you’re sending people previews for feedback.. You’ll get great analytics and collaboration tools. If you have access to the software, it’s compatible with Adobe and Final Cut.

You can fully customize your video players, add logos, choose your colors, and layout. Should you branch out and collaborate, you can make video showcases and portfolios to show off your hard work.

You can use Vimeo free, but if you want to share and collaborate on videos, or upgrade to premium tools and sharing, plans start at $9 a month.

Wistia: This platform doesn’t play around because it is all about business marketing. You’ll get advanced analytics, lead generation tools, and turnstiles, which are email capture forms within videos. These are great if you put your videos on your website!

Wistia integrates easily with marketing automation platforms like HubSpot and Marketo, which is great for your email campaigns.

Wistia also allows you to add custom branding, make interactive elements, and integrate with external websites. You can go one step further and personalize video experiences with calls-to-action and in-video forms!

You can use Wistia for free. With your free account you’re entitled to basic analytics, limited brand customization, 10 videos, and 200 GB of bandwidth per month. If you need more, upgrade packages start at $19 a month. 

A Wista social proof webpage featuring award badges and testimonials from customers in yellow boxes.
Wistia has numerous awards for its business-friendly video hosting platform.

Whichever platform you feel is best for you, make sure you check whether it is compatible with the email tools and the provider you use. If you use a specialized service like MailChimp or Constant Contact for your online business, they will have specific requirements that will need to be followed.

Each has a guide or customer service contact so that you can check to ensure you’re on the safe side.

Creating Engaging Video Content

There’s not much point in learning how to play a video in an email if the content you’re embedding doesn’t inspire them to click. To make the best content possible, give these points a thought:

The objective – What is it that you’re trying to do? Knowing your goal will help you avoid vague, muddled, or mixed-message content. It will also help you figure out what you want to say.

The audience – Who is your target audience and when do they want to receive emails

If you’re not sure about what they like, you can do some research into how they respond to similar content on different social media platforms.

Knowing your audience will help you figure out how to deliver your message and the best time to send your emails. You can also perform a test by splitting your audience in half, sending each half a different type of video. You will then be able to see which one gets more clicks.

Top Tip: Always keep the principle of “what’s in it for them?” at the forefront of your content, ensuring that your audience has something to gain by watching your content.

Storyboarding and scripting – These are the foundations of a structured and compelling video. If you are new to content making, this is probably going to be the hardest part of the process because it can be difficult to narrow down your options.

Storyboarding is a way to break down the story or message of your video into chunks,  breaking your video into a beginning, middle, and an end. There are plenty of free tools, including this excellent one by Miro.

A black website with a headline suggesting storyboarding to understand users. There's a complex storyboard on the right.
Storyboards can help you clarify your message because you can spot if something is missing. 

Your script will be the words you’ll use to let your audience  know you understand them, as well as entice them to feel a certain way.

While it can also be difficult to translate the ideas in your head into words that will inspire your audience to action, there are plenty of resources online that can help beginners with their content-making journey. However, if you have the budget for it, you can hire people to write scripts for you, and it will make a big difference in the quality of your content.

Filming and editing – As with the planning, storyboarding and scripting, there are plenty of resources for filming and editing. It may feel intimidating if this is something new to you, but we promise that it’s much easier than you think.

Even if you haven’t got expensive equipment, you’d be amazed what you can do with a smartphone and free (or very cheap) editing software.

Make sure you check your video platform’s resolution guidelines before you shoot. Aim for the best quality your camera and editing software can handle, which is usually 1080p or higher.

Whatever you decide to shoot and edit, use good lighting and make sure that the audio is clear and as free from background noise as possible. Edit your video to remove unnecessary footage to keep it engaging. Remember, your video doesn’t need to be long or fancy to make an impact. In fact, videos that are short, sweet, and simple are better for short attention spans.

Top Tip: Subscribe to your competitors’ emails to keep on top of what they’re doing.

Preparing the Video for Email Embedding

When you’re finished editing, you’ll need to export your video into a good-quality format that can be integrated into an email. The usual formats are MP4 or MOV (We recommend MP4, as it’s the most common).

We’ve got to flag something here that’s really important: videos are pretty large file sizes to send via an email. If you send a video that hasn’t been compressed to your customers, chances are that the file size will be so big that it takes up a large sum of space in their inbox.

If you compress your video file size, you’ll avoid this and make it easy for them to view it in the same quality.

The last step to get your content ready to embed is to make a cool thumbnail for your video. Thumbnails are the first image you see of a video. It usually contains a title, a still from the video, or an edited image.

The best ones will accurately depict what the content is about. Avoid clickbait-y thumbnails that are purely designed for clicks and not accuracy. You’ll turn your audience away and possibly receive negative reviews.

A collection of 3 thumbnails with black backgrounds from motivation channels.
The right thumbnails will make your audience want to click.

If you’re not sure what to do for your thumbnail, seek out similar channels on your video platform of choice and look at the thumbnails they use.

Now that your video is finished, it’s time to embed it into an email so that you can get your audience’s eyes on it!

Embedding Videos in Emails

Adding a video to your email can be achieved through two methods: embedding and linking.  When you link a video in an email, your audience will need to click on the link. They will be taken to a third-party website. Embedding a video means that the audience won’t have to go anywhere and your content is delivered right to their inbox.

So, let’s now focus on how to embed a video into an email.

Step-by-Step Guide to Embedding Videos in HTML-based Emails

If you have the skills to create HTML-based emails, follow these steps. First you’ll need to check whether your email platform allows embedding. Some of the biggest don’t, like Outlook and Gmail.

  1. Inserting the Video Element: Get the`<video>` tag in your HTML code. This tag creates the video player in your email where your video will be displayed.
  2. Specifying Video Source and Attributes: Inside the `<video>` tag, use the `<source>` tag to show your video’s URL. You can also add bonus attributes in the `<video>` tag to control the video’s behavior, such as whether it should play automatically or loop.
  3. Adjusting Video Size and Alignment: If you want to adjust the video size, use the `width` and `height` attributes in the `<video>` tag.  If you want to align the video, adjust the CSS properties like `margin`, `padding`, or `align`.

Now you know how to embed a video in an email. But, what if you’re dealing with non-HTML emails?

Alternatives for Non-HTML Emails

For non-HTML emails, there are still ways to make your emails visually engaging:

  • Using Animated GIFs: This  can be a snippet of your video that plays on loop as a fallback. Simply convert the GIF into a video format like MP$ or MOV, upload it to your hosting platform, and then insert an image or a text link that represents the animated GIF.
  • Inserting Static Image Thumbnails with a Video Link: If you would rather have a static image with a video link, this can work too! Design your thumbnail, make sure your video is uploaded to your hosting platform, and use the link your hosting platform gives you.

People love video, so embedding videos in emails can really boost your marketing power.

A yellow Vimeo webpage with a Black woman ordering something on her phone with her credit card. There's a pop-up to help embed an email.
Vimeo gives you easy prompts to insert URLs.

Videos in Email: Limitations and Considerations

Although videos are great for marketing, there are some issues to be aware of. When we’re talking about different video and email platforms as well as video format, compatibility can be a challenge. To save yourself time, check everything works together before you put together the email.

Autoplay and sound are important, too. Some people don’t like autoplay, so it might be worth letting your recipients choose when they want the video to play. In terms of sound, remember that many people check their emails in public spaces, and they might need to keep it on mute. So make sure your message still gets across even when it’s on mute.

Make sure the video is optimized and the file size is as small as possible so that your server doesn’t suffer from overloading problems.

Top Tip: Adding subtitles to your video is quick and simple, and makes your video more accessible to your audience. Check your hosting platform to find out how to add them.

Best Practices for Video Email Campaigns

Want to give your video content an even better chance of getting clicked on? Take note of these best practices:

Place the video in a strategic location so it catches the attention of your audience right away. The closer to the top the better, because if the audience has to scroll down to see it, you could miss out on the potential clicks.

Writing an irresistible email subject line and preview text can really boost the chance of your email getting opened. Use your subject line and preview text in a way that immediately gets their attention and makes them want to open your email versus all the other emails in their inbox. This will do wonders for increasing your email open rates.

Personalization and segmentation will also boost your success. If you tailor your video content to your recipient’s interests based on past buying behavior or demographics, you can make your email more appealing. If you use their name, even better.

Lastly, analyze how well your video does in your email. You’ll have the exact information you need to make your next video perform better. Analytics will let you know what’s working and what’s not in your video email campaigns.

Keep an eye on metrics like views, clicks, completion rate (how many people watch it to the end), and time spent watching the video. Then you’ll be able to adjust your strategy and do even better in the future!

A screenshot of YouTube graphs.
Take advantage of analytics – like the ones from YouTube – and make use of them when creating your next video.


There’s no doubt that embedding videos can really boost engagement with your audience. It also gives you an opportunity to flex your creative muscles and deliver your messages in a dynamic and appealing way.

Video boosts engagement and can lead to much higher conversions. To reach this point, it’s all about making sure your content is fresh and suitable for your target audience, following the procedures for embedding, and making sure your email campaigns follow best practices.

It doesn’t matter if you’ve had an online store for a long time or if it’s brand new. Embedding a video in an email is a good strategy that’s worth exploring because it can help you reach more people and create a meaningful connection with them.

Go ahead and give it a try!


The biggest mistake that people can is to attach incorrect links or send out emails with missing embedded videos. It’s harmful and looks unprofessional, which is why it’s important to proofread and check everything. And if you can, get a second pair of eyes on it because fresh eyes can usually catch something you haven’t.
You can view the performance metrics, which are usually provided by your email platform. These include the open rate and the click-through rate (CTR), which tells you how many people clicked on the video. You can then compare these against the engagement metrics mentioned in this article to tailor future content.
Yes! There are plenty of free music library sites that will give you music to use in your videos, such as You’ll just need to credit them in your video. Always check and follow their guidelines so that you can continue to use the music for free.
Written by:
Smiling headshot of Amanda Graham
I started writing for Website Builder Expert in 2022. I love copywriting for ecommerce, website, automation, and website brands and I’ve ghostwritten and content strategised for some of the largest multinational brands in the world. I have years of writing experience for the BBC, including documentaries, scripts, and Twitter campaigns. With such a wealth of experience to draw on, some of my best work on Website Builder Expert focuses on topics such as ecommerce strategies, marketing tips, and small business advice. I hope you enjoy my articles!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *