Audience Development Strategy

How You Could and Should Use Video Email Marketing

One main advantage of multi-platform publishing is recycling content into videos.

Think about it: what entices a website viewer more than a video sample of exclusive, paid-for conferences? These events are the single biggest revenue channel for many publishers, where extra care is put into providing ticket purchasers with an experience they won’t have anywhere else. Recording these live events gives you heavy leverage for grabbing attention and converting potential buyers over email.


At Mequoda, we build multi-platform systems that attract, convert, engage and monetize website visitors. Part of the conversion and engagement process is the use of video email marketing. We send our email subscribers snippets of our training videos, marketing intensives, and webinars to push them further up the revenue pyramid.

We teach our clients to use the same method for connecting with their audiences. Although, we didn’t re-create the wheel: many publishers use video email marketing to their advantage. But we did run a test back in 2013 to see how email subscribers responded to messages with clickable video screenshots. The evidence was crystal clear: emails with video links had an increased click through rate (CTR) of 29%!

Using video email marketing to your advantage

When promoting conferences and seminars through email, publishers should provide snapshot video links within the message that redirects to their website or landing page. Also, just to be clear, not every video host gives you the ability to embed video in email (Wistia does, we like them). And embedded video in email might not even work across all email services. What publishers do instead is include a picture of a video segment with a clickable play button.

These snapshots act as links, which in many ways works better to your advantage–you can bring them directly to a landing page with the full video and call to action.

Here are 4 tips for using video email marketing:

1. Use a private video hosting platform like Wistia, which will give you an HTML5 embeddable video for email.  If not, loading your video content onto YouTube works, too. Or, use a screenshot.

2. Add a call to action. If the video content redirects to your website, you can make it clickable. Add language like “click on the video to register” and have the link go directly to a landing page for the aligned content.

3. A/B test different video thumbnails. Try one that features one person talking, or maybe one with a group of people laughing. Keep testing to see what makes people click on the video.

4. If you use a screenshot of the video, rather than embedding, you can use UTM codes to track all of the above just like any regular link. Just link the screenshot.

5. Brand your video content. If you’re uploading your promotional videos to a site like YouTube, make sure to incorporate links back to your website in the video description and in the video itself if possible. Or, make the videos private.

Publishers who use video content to promote their events and conferences

If you’re a publisher trying to raise ticket sales for upcoming events, using past video content is an effective way to convert email subscribers into purchasers. Publishers who record video content regularly at quarterly or annual events can easily repurpose that content in their emails, landing pages and web portals.

Here are a few examples we feel could be used for video email marketing purposes:

The Atlantic: Their annual CityLab: Urban Solutions to Global Challenges conference is extensively recorded and repurposed on their website. There are entire interview segments available for free online (from two years prior) which provide excellent content for video email marketing.

Association of Writers and Writing Programs: Every year, AWP throws one of the biggest literary events in the U.S. They also publish The Writer’s Chronicle six times a year and a weekly newsletter. As you can imagine, the extensive archive available online (for free!) includes numerous videos from panels and presentations given at the AWP conference each year. Sending out clickable videos through email could drastically increase their CTR and ticket sales.

TIME recently shot a “behind the scenes” video with Donald Trump for his cover story. That video could easily be used (as it was on Facebook) to provoke subscriber sales. One click from the email to their online magazine gives the backstory that entices readers to subscribe and read the full story.

Do you feel the future of email marketing is with recycled video content? Are there any examples you can think of? Post them in the comments!

By Amanda MacArthur

Research Director & Managing Editor

Amanda is responsible for all the articles you read on the Mequoda Daily portal and every email newsletter delivered to your inbox from us. She is also our in-house social media expert and would love to chat with you over on @Mequoda. She has worked with Mequoda for almost a decade, helping to evolve the Mequoda Method through research, testing and developing new best practices in digital publishing, editorial strategy, email marketing and audience development. Amanda is a co-author of our four digital publishing handbooks.

Co-authored handbooks:

Contact Amanda:

Contact Amanda via email at amanda (at) mequoda (dot) com, @amaaanda, LinkedIn, and Google+.

Leave a Reply

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