3 Easy Ways to Embed Video in Email

Do you want to know how to embed a video in an email for your marketing strategy? Here are reasons why and how to do it.

Zight | August 19, 2022 | 6 min read time

3 Easy Ways to Embed Video in Email

If content is king, then video is the crown jewel. Whether you decide to embed your video in an email, share on social media, or part of an ad campaign, it’s an interesting strategy to promote a product, explain features, and get your message out.

Cisco predicted online videos would make up over 82% of all consumer internet traffic by 2022. In a poll, HubSpot found that 44% of marketers consider email a top channel for sharing marketing videos. You can find many more studies and surveys proving why video is so vital in today’s marketing world with a quick search.

Video can boost click-through rates and encourage customer engagement. Once you’ve created a video, you can repurpose it into even more content, such as GIFS, screenshots, video ad variations, and more!

Why Promote Videos in Email?

Many marketers use social media to share their videos, but sharing by embedding a video via email works, too. Email marketing still has a lot of power, and you can leverage your existing subscriber list to promote your content.

Email marketing can be a lot more personal than social media marketing. While social posts, especially organic ones, can be buried by the platform’s algorithm, you can trust subscribers to receive an email.

Here are some reasons to embed videos in an email:

  • Share a marketing video
  • Show fun behind-the-scenes content
  • Introduce a new product feature
  • Explain complex information
  • Create instructions or a step-by-step guide
  • Provide tips or advice in a “snackable” format


How to Embed Videos in Email

We don’t recommend directly embedding video in an email. Major email clients like Gmail, Outlook, and Yahoo don’t support the option. Therefore if you are looking for how to embed a video in an email, it is a method that simply isn’t recommended.

Even if you send to an email client that supports embedded videos, it can lead to a host of issues. For example, there’s a risk that the email will be flagged as spam and miss the subscriber’s inbox entirely. Videos can also be quite large, bloating the email file size and making it slow to open and load.

Even though you typically shouldn’t embed a video in the email, email is still an excellent channel to spread the word. You can still convince people to click through to watch the video where it’s hosted somewhere else.

Here are a few ways to share with your subscribers.


Option 1: Add a screenshot with a play icon

One of the most straightforward ways to promote a video in email is with a screenshot and play icon. Although there is no video embedded in the email, it looks as if it is. This is an excellent place to start if you want to keep things basic to test the waters.

For this method, simply capture a still image of the video you want to share. If you take a screenshot while the video is paused, you can capture the play button from the video player. Otherwise, you’ll have to add your own play icon.

You can use Zight (formerly CloudApp) to capture your screenshot and a design tool, like Photoshop or Canva, to create a play icon. With the pro version, you can then annotate your screenshot with a play button emoji. No need to jump between multiple programs and websites!

The play icon is an essential part of this method. In our video-filled world, we’re trained to click on the play button. When subscribers see the familiar icon, they’ll know that the image is clickable and what to expect from the link.

All that’s left is to embed the image into your email client. Link the image to the full video.

Image best practices

Follow email accessibility best practices, such as including a helpful alt-text description and keeping the file size small. This will help your email load quickly or explain the content to subscribers who can’t load or see images.


Option 2: Add a GIF preview of your video

Want a step up from a still image? Try a GIF!

GIFs are a powerful, eye-catching element you can embed into an email to capture a subscriber’s attention. You can use GIFs to tease a video’s contents and encourage subscribers to click.

The thought of creating a GIF may intimidate some marketers. Traditionally, creating GIFs could only be done by a designer, and adding another design task to the plate would slow down the email workflow process.

But there’s no special knowledge needed if you use Zight (formerly CloudApp). With our GIF Creator App, anyone can make a high-quality GIF in seconds — no design knowledge necessary!

Once you’ve made your GIF, embed it into your email. Add a link to the full video, too.

GIF best practices

When embedding a video GIF into an email, keep it short. GIFs have a much larger file size than still images, and they can easily make your emails much too large. This will make emails slow to open and load. Some subscribers will not load the GIF on poor-quality internet connections.

Also, keep in mind that some email clients will not play GIFs. Instead, those clients will only show the GIF’s first frame as a still image. Make sure the first frame of your GIF makes sense and can stand on its own.

Finally, some email clients will warp the GIF and make it appear stretched. Test your emails with GIFs with a tool like Email on Acid or Litmus before sending in mass to your lists.


Option 3: Embed video in email with HTML5 code

Most email clients will not support embedding video in an email. However, there are a few email clients that allow embedding video in emails by using HTML5 code. For example, in your Gmail account, select the source file of your video (i.e., MP4) and copy the HTML5 code from YouTube on the same screen.

Then, go into Gmail and paste HTML5 code in the body of your email and save it as a draft. You can email it to yourself to make sure that it works. Make sure that your recipients have some sort of HTML5 compatible email account (just like Gmail, for instance) otherwise they won’t be able to see/watch the embedded video you emailed over.

Depending on your subscriber list, this option may make sense for you. For example, you could segment your list so that only supported email clients receive the email with an embedded video. Everyone else can receive a version with the screenshot or GIF instead.

We don’t recommend embedding video in email, however. The video file size may make your email large and slow to load and some email clients may flag your email as spam. Overall, it’s much safer to use a GIF or screenshot instead.

Still, want to know how to embed a video in an email? It will require a bit of technical experience. Here is what the HTML5 code in your email might look like:

<video width=”300″ height=”200″ controls>

<source src=”movie.mp4″ type=”video/mp4″>

<source src=”movie.ogg” type=”video/ogg”>



Other than messing with the email code, you can also add the video as an email attachment. However, many customers find email attachments to be off-putting and suspicious, so use that option with care. The best option? Link to a Zight (formerly CloudApp) video from an image in the email. Zight (formerly CloudApp) makes it easy to screenshot the video, so it looks like you embedded it without the hassle of being flagged by an ISP, hit by a spam firewall, etc.

Whatever option you decide to go with, test your emails before sending them and carefully track the results. Measure how embedding video in an email performs compared to simply including an image or GIF that links to the video.


Create screenshots, GIFs, and videos in seconds

Life is faster in the cloud, whether you’re embedding video in email, troubleshooting a bug, or explaining step-by-step instructions to a client. Zight (formerly CloudApp) makes it easy to create, edit, and share content in seconds. We securely host anything you create on our servers for easy sharing while maintaining SOC2 compliance.

Record your screen, voice, and face. Capture and annotate screenshots. Communicate instantly by sharing your content as a link. Supercharge your workflow with a tool that works as hard as you do!

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