Embedding a YouTube video in an email can work wonders for your marketing campaigns. 

But, there’s still a big debate on this topic. Does it even work and is this practice supported by email service providers such as Gmail? 

Let’s find out. 

Emails can be used for many things. These include informing, enticing, or making an announcement.  

But to get people to consume your content, your emails must first grab their attention.

Many email marketers use YouTube videos in their emails as a way to appeal to their subscribers.

Videos add to the visual appeal of your email.

If your video is interesting and relevant to your recipient they’ll be more engaged.

This will also improve your open rate in the long term.

The easiest way of embedding a YouTube video in an email is to paste your YouTube link directly in the email. 

But what if you don’t want to do this? 

What if you want to add the playable video itself to the email?  Or a thumbnail that recipients can click on. 

Is any of this even possible? 

The short answer is yes. All this is possible. 

The longer answer – while it is possible, creating an email with a YouTube video inside is tricky. 

Before we get to the technical side of things, let’s have a look at why you would want to do this in the first place. 

Benefits Of Embedding A YouTube Video In An Email

Increased Engagements 

Embedding a YouTube video in an email can improve engagement rates by up to 80%.

Studies show that using videos in an email increases the “click-through” rate over time. This is because videos target both your ears and eyes while texts only affect one sense organ. 

So, even if someone is not looking at your video they can still hear what is being said. You can also add texts as a visual aid so that your content can still be consumed even if musted. 

The effects of this are super impressive. People tend to retain audio-visual content easily. 

Plus, YouTube videos transmit more information and aid with comprehension. For example;

A tutorial done through video has a more significant impact than one written down. 

Recipients can follow along with steps that they can see. There is no room for misinterpretation as with plain text.  

Videos are more emotive, informative, and exciting. As such, they engage recipients better than plain text. 

Higher Open Rates

Most people will decide if they should open your emails based on your subject line alone. If you write good email subject lines and get past this hurdle then you’ve won half the battle. 

The other half can be won by providing engaging and valuable content to your subscribers. Also, your content should definitely be relevant to your audience. 

Embedding a YouTube video in an email is a great way to do this. As stated above, videos are really engaging and can provide more in-depth information. 

If your subscribers find your content valuable they’ll definitely look forward to them. 

Over time, this will improve your open rates. Especially if you send targeted email campaigns and have good list management skills. 

Increased Conversion Rate

The main reason for email marketing is to help you make more conversions. And the higher your open and engagement rates are, the better your conversions will be. 

Generally speaking, higher open rates and engagement equates to better click-through rates. This means that more people will click on your call to action. 

And so long as your end goal is congruent with your email content, you’ll definitely make more profits. 

Building Brand Relationship

Using videos in emails creates more familiarity between your brand and your recipients.

Your branding is what separates you from the competition and makes you relevant. 

Videos create an atmosphere of openness between your brand and subscribers.

They give you a great chance to show off your brand assets. These may include colors, language, and unique selling points. 

Also, using the same face/voice in all your videos will boost brand familiarity. 

This will allow your subscribers to build an emotional bond with your content over time. Which in turn will lead to brand loyalty, authority, and awareness. 

You can send easily digestible messages through videos. And this enables your recipients to feel like they are a part of a community. 

Increase YouTube Subscribers

And of course, embedding a YouTube video in an email is a great way to drive traffic to your channel. Many digital marketers use this technique to grow their YouTube subscriber count. 

But you aren’t limited to just free YouTube traffic. You can send visitors anywhere you want. To your blog, Facebook pages, affiliate offers, products, or services. Anywhere you want.

But, how do we actually embed YouTube videos into an email? Let’s get to the technical stuff. 

Embedding A YouTube Video In An Email Step By Step

Whether you use an email service provider or autoresponder, the process of embedding a YouTube video is the same. But…

You’ve probably noticed that you’ve not received a lot of emails with YouTube videos inside. 

At most, you might have seen emails with a YouTube thumbnail and a play button that takes you to YouTube. 

This isn’t by chance. 

Problems With Embedding Videos In Emails

Marketers have opted for the method mentioned above for two reasons:

  1. Email service providers (ESPs), such as Gmail, don’t support the newest video format, HTML 5. 
  1. Spam filters are working overtime. Emails with playable videos are often marked as spam.

So what does this mean? 

Well for starters, videos embedded in your emails may not play properly or show up on your recipients’ end. 

This could ruin your entire campaign and have bad outcomes for your business. You could lose a lot of loyal subscribers and have your content flagged as spam more than usual. 

Secondly, since spam filters are working overtime, your delivery rates could be affected. 

Many scammers may opt to hide unethical content inside videos. And since ESPs can’t read video content they can’t take any chances. 

So emails with playable videos end up in the promotion, junk, and spam filters quite often. 

So to avoid this you should follow along with the accepted method. This adds a clickable image with a YouTube Play button to your emails. When your subscribers click on the image they will be taken to your YouTube video. 

And despite the extra step, this method works quite well. Here’s how to implement it. 

Adding A Clickable Thumbnail To Your Emails

To start, you’ll need to create a YouTube thumbnail that’s congruent with your video content. Of course, you can use the same YouTube thumbnail that’s on your channel. Just ensure that it matches your brand. 

If you don’t already have a thumbnail you can create one using the free tool, Canva

Once you’ve created your thumbnail, you’ll need to add a play button.

From there, the next step is to go ahead and embed your image into your email editor

Just add the image as you normally would add any image when creating an email. 

Then be sure to insert your YouTube Link. The process of doing so is the same as the most popular ESPs. 

You just highlight your image and then click the insert link option. It should look something like this in Gmail:

embedding a youtube video into an email with youtube play button

From there, you are all set. Your receipts now are able to click on your image to watch your video on YouTube. 

If you are using this method with an autoresponder, such as Mailvo, the steps are also similar. 

Just insert your image and your link in the URL field provided. 

In Mailvio, this is how the add link option will look. :

clickable image in mailvio

Note that most autoresponders allow you to insert a YouTube embed code for your video. 

This will make your video playable inside your email, but they may not play on your recipients’ end. 


Embedding a YouTube video in an email is a fairly modern trend.

It’s a great way to boost engagements and get better campaign results. 

But it’s not as straightforward as some would like it to be. Adding a playable video to an email is not supported by ESPs such as Gmail and Yahoo. So the best option is to embed an image into an email with a YouTube play button. 

Embedding a YouTube video in an email has many benefits when it is done correctly. 

It increases open rates and click-through rates and builds a relationship with your subscriber. 

It is a more persuasive way to encourage a subscriber to complete a certain call to action. Adding videos to your content is a great way to drive up conversion rates. 

But don’t think that this alone will be enough to have a good campaign. You still need to provide valuable content and great email subject lines. 

With that said, is there any other aspect of your email writing that you’d like to improve? 

If so, let us know in the comment section below and we will do our best to help you out. 

That’s all for now, cheers to your coming success. 


Steven is the co-founder of Mailvio and oversees the operations and technical strategy and implementations. Steven has been an online entrepreneur since he was 14 years old and has been running SaaS companies for the last 10 years.

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