How Video Thumbnails In Your Emails Are The Next Big Thing

3 min read
Dec 23, 2016 10:51:26 AM

Video and email make for a pretty powerful pair. Using video as part of your marketing strategy is an important way to reach your audience because they like watching video content. Chances are they like it even more than reading a piece of content. They also find it valuable for helping them to make a decision to purchase. Video Thumbnails In Your EmailsIncluding video thumbnails in your marketing emails increases click-through rates and time spent reading an email; higher engagement will generate leads and conversions. A video on a landing page can increase conversion by 80%, and when a video is included in an email, click-through rates were found to increase by 200-300%!   

If you’re looking to use video and improve your email marketing strategy, here are some things to consider.

To Embed, Or Not To Embed?

When including a video in an email, you can choose to either embed the full video directly into the email body, or to use a thumbnail that directs people to a landing page to watch the video. You might think that the whole point of having a video in your email is to make it so that people can actually watch it in their email. However, many clients do not yet support embedded video in email, so you run the risk of people not being able to view it.  

In Favor Of The Thumbnail

In most cases, you will be better off using video thumbnails in the body of your email and linking to a landing page. This ensures that anyone who wants to view the video will be able to do so. 

In addition, linking to a landing page gets people on your website, which opens up the opportunity to continue exploring your content, convert on the video’s CTA, and easily share the video on social media.   

Best Practices For Using Video Thumbnails In Email: 


Just like with the rest of your marketing strategy, you need to segment your contact list and send video content to the right audience. Think about the goal of your email and the video to help define your segment. You can leverage video content just as you would written content to nurture leads and engage your audience. 

Thumbnail Images 

The goal of your video thumbnails is to entice people to watch the video. A picture may be worth a thousand words, but according to Forrester, one minute of video is worth 1.8 million words, so make your thumbnail count.

Create a thumbnail image that will get your audience to click by giving them a clue about the content. Use a custom image instead of sticking with the default option and include a headline or other keywords.

Short And Sweet 

Most of the time, you will want to keep your video short and to the point. Nobody is going to watch a 20 minute product demonstration without getting bored. 1 to 2 minutes is a good length to keep in mind for your videos to ensure that people stay engaged through the whole thing. 

Use The Word "Video" 

Including the word “video” in the subject line of your email has been shown to increase your open rate by 20% versus not using it. So don’t be shy about telling people what the email has in store for them (an awesome video).


If you are using platforms like YouTube or Wistia to host your videos, be sure to monitor the analytics to better understand what your audience is engaging with and how you can improve your video marketing strategy.

We all know that you need to know who your buyer personas are before you even start any of this. If you need help, download our customizable template and get started!

Capture your Audiance with the ultimate buyer persona


Get Email Notifications