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The complete guide to embedding video in email

Ilma Nausedaite Ilma Nausedaite
· 14 min read · Email marketing · Nov 24, 2023
Santa, People Operations Manager.

Engage your audience like never before! With over 2 billion users glued to YouTube, the magnetic pull of video content is undeniable.

While embedding videos in emails isn't new, its power remains untapped by many businesses and freelance email marketers.

Consider this: a staggering 76% of consumers admit to being swayed into making purchases after watching a video. In fact, just the mere mention of "video" in your email subject can skyrocket open and click-through rates while slashing unsubscribe numbers.

Ready to supercharge your emails with video? Let's dive into easy, actionable steps to make your emails irresistibly engaging. Read on!

Embedding a video in your email is easy with MailerLite. Follow along with the step-by-step instructions below to learn how to use our pre-built video blocks.

How to embed videos in the Drag & drop editor

The embedded video block is just one of many interactive blocks found in your enhanced Drag & drop email editor. You can find the video block in the sidebar under Elements. Then all you need to do is drag and drop it into your newsletter.

A screenshot of the drag and drop editor in MailerLite annotating where to find the video block.

To add a video to your new video block, click on the block to select it. Then in the right-hand sidebar, enter the share URL of the video you wish to embed in your newsletter and click the green return icon.

A screenshot of the drag and drop editor in MailerLite annotating where to input your video link.

Then, you can edit the following settings:

  • Video preview - Determine how your video is displayed in the inbox by choosing between a Static image or an Animated GIF

  • Video link - Choose where your video block links to. You can link it to the video source or a custom link

  • Play button - Select the color of the play button on your video

A screenshot of the drag and drop editor in MailerLite highlighting the settings in the right sidebar.

When the subscriber clicks the video block’s play button, the video link will open in a new tab.

How to embed videos in rich-text emails

You can also embed videos in your emails if you use the rich-text editor! Simply hover over any block, click on the + icon, and select the video block.

A screenshot of the rich-text editor in MailerLite highlighting where to find the video block.

Then, just like in the Drag & drop editor, click the block to select it and apply your settings in the right-hand sidebar.

A screenshot of a video embedded in a rich-text email.

Embed unsupported videos with the fake video block hack

If you’ve uploaded videos on a platform unsupported by the video block, you can still add them to your emails in MailerLite with this nifty workaround!

1. Take a screenshot or record a GIF of your selected video (make sure to include the play button in your screenshot).

2. Upload the screenshot to your file manager and add it to your image block.

3. In the right-hand sidebar, add the URL of your video in the field marked Enter URL.

And that’s all there is to it! When subscribers click to play your video, they’ll be directed to the URL you entered in the block settings.

Fun fact

A video play button usually generates more clicks than any other CTA!

You can also embed video using the HTML editor

If you prefer to develop your newsletter with our HTML editor, you can write and use your own code to embed a video in your emails. This will enable you to embed videos that are watchable directly from your email, but remember—not all email clients display embedded emails.

Partially supported
Not supported
Apple Mail (MacOS) Apple Mail (iOS 12.4/13.3) Gmail
Outlook (Windows 2003, MacOS 2011/2016) Samsung Email (Android 6.0) Outlook (Windows 2007-2019, iOS, Android)
Mozilla Thunderbird (MacOS)
Orange (Desktop, Android) Yahoo (Desktop, iOS, Android)
SFR (Desktop, iOS, Android) AOL (Desktop, iOS, Android)
Proton Mail (Desktop, iOS, Android)
Orange (iOS)

For this reason, if you want to embed a video within the email, it’s important to include a fallback image. Any subscribers using an email client that doesn’t support video will instead view the fallback image which will link to your video. 

You can embed a newsletter video with the following HTML5 code:

<video poster=“Cover image file URL” width=“100%” height=“50%” controls=“controls”>

<source src=“Video file URL” type=“video/mp4″>

<a href=“URL of video”><figure><figure><img src=“Fallback image URL” width=“100%” height=“50%” alt=“image instead of video”></figure></figure></a>


The “video poster” image URL is the cover image that you would like the video to display. 

The “source” video file URL is the link to the file you want embedded in the email. 

The “URL of video” is the link to the video uploaded online, for instance, a YouTube video. This is where subscribers will be directed when they click on the fallback image.

The “Fallback image URL” is the link to the image file you want to be displayed when subscribers are using email clients that do not support video.

If you aren’t using one of the MailerLite email editors, there are other ways you can embed video thumbnails into your emails. Here are the two main techniques that you can use with email providers like Gmail and Outlook.

Adding a video link to a static image

The easiest method is to select a static image of the video and add a play button. Let’s try this out using one of our MailerLite videos.

1. Take a screenshot of the video.

2. Add a play button to the image.

If your screenshot doesn’t have a play button, you can use a free tool like this one. All you need to do is upload your image using either a URL or by importing it directly from your computer. Then, select the play button you want to display and click ‘Create Play Button Image’. 

Then you can either copy or download the new image. Easy peasy!

3. Add the image to your email.

Make sure you add the image to the body of the email, not as an attachment! For this example, we’re using Gmail.

A screenshot of an embedded video in the body of an email in Gmail.

4. Add the video link to the image.

Find the link that you would like to use, and then highlight the image in your video email. In Gmail, this part can be tricky, because if you just click on the image, it will only give you the option to resize the image.

Instead, you need to click and drag your mouse over the image. This will highlight the whole image in blue. In the bar below, you will then see the option to add a URL to your image. Paste in the YouTube or Vimeo URL of your video.

A screenshot showing a video thumbnail highlighted in the body of an email.

Congratulations! You've just embedded a video link in a static image. Send a test version of the email to yourself to make sure the link works and you’re good to go.

Want to show a preview of your video as an animated GIF? No problem! Just find the URL of the video or have the downloaded version ready on your computer. Then follow these simple steps:

1. Open your favorite GIF-maker.

There are lots of free GIF-making tools that you can use. Find your favorite and upload your video file.

Screenshot from imgflip GIF maker

2. Follow the instructions to create your GIF.

In imgflip, you can click and drag the arrows to decide where your GIF starts and ends. When you’re happy with your GIF, click ‘Generate GIF’.

Screenshot from imgflip GIF maker

3. Add your GIF to the email

Just drag and drop the file into your email body. Below the GIF, create a call to action (CTA) with the URL, where people can view the full video. And you’re done!

Bear in mind that Outlook 2007 - 2013 and Windows 10 do not support GIFs, and they will show them as static images. So before you send out GIFs in your emails, check your mailing list and see which email providers they’re using, to make sure that your email will display correctly.

Let’s look at some video block examples to get your creative juices flowing.


Hiroshima is an independent art space dedicated to exhibiting performing arts, live music, and contemporary thought. They have great video content to showcase their artists and use video blocks quite successfully by producing eye-catching gifs.

Videos in email inspiration Hiroshima


Founded in 2008, MODEKUNGEN® offers a wide selection of clothing and accessories online. They use video blocks to give a behind-the-scenes view of the company and its photoshoots.

Videos in email example by MODEKUNGEN

MailerLite webinars

If you’re on our email list, you’ve seen our webinar invitations. Marcin always includes a video that explains what people will learn in the webinar. This works well because Marcin also hosts the webinar, so people can “meet” him beforehand.

mailerlite embedded webinar video


KALBA is an educational company based in Lithuania. They show a preview of one of their tutorials, using this animated GIF with a play button.

KALBA embedded video example


AmiGO is a Dutch travel company. In this embedded video, they show their customers having fun at a beach sports day. It’s a visual way of showing the value they offer, and it catches the eye straight away.

AmiGO embedded video example


Readdle creates productivity apps for iPhone, iPad and Mac. In this new feature preview email, they’ve used a combination of photography and graphic design for the thumbnail image of their video.

Readdle embedded video email example


Is there anything that gets your senses tingling quite like the image of delicious food? ThermPro makes it hard to resist clicking on their video with this thumbnail of the ingredients for their stuffed winter squash recipe. 🤤

thermpro email with embedded video

Snazzy Little Things

Created by Jeanette, Snazzy Little Things is a beautiful and inspiring decorating and DIY blog. In this video email example, she uses a stunning static image from her trip to Israel for her video thumbnail that entices the subscriber to click through and watch the video.

Snazzy little things video email

If you’d like some more inspiration, check out our video newsletter gallery! And if you're unsure how to design your newsletter, we also have lots of email templates to help you get started.

There are a few things to consider before embedding a video into your newsletter. For starters, the video should be relevant to your newsletter topic.

If the video is the right fit for the newsletter—excellent! You’re halfway there. Let’s take a look at a few other points to consider before you embed video in email:

  • Less is more: Be careful not to overuse videos. Yes, they work well, but if you are inserting videos in every newsletter, they'll lose their power

  • Context is everything: Insert the video under a headline or description so that your email subscribers know what they are going to watch

  • Include the word “video” in the subject: Our subject line data shows that subject lines with the word “video” in them tend to perform better than average. 

  • Preview on mobile: Before you send the newsletter, preview it to ensure it looks good on mobile

  • A/B testing: You can test GIF vs static image, video location in the email, or mentioning the word "video" in the subject line

  • Provide alternative text: Not all browsers and email clients will immediately load images–help those subscribers, and visually impaired readers, understand what your video is about by adding alternative text

Did you know that 90% of customers say that video helps them make purchase decisions? People love video, so why not benefit by inserting them into your newsletter?

P.S. Already using video in email marketing? Share your experiences in the comments. How do your customers react to video? Are they more engaged?

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in 2018. It has now been updated it with new tips and examples from our updated Drag & drop editor.

Ilma Nausedaite
Ilma Nausedaite
I’m Ilma, President of MailerLite. I love seeing our customers succeed. When they win, we win (like being named one of the top 5 fastest growing SaaS companies). Email is my passion, although I took a rather unusual path. Before MailerLite, I worked in finance and art, which turned out to be the perfect mix for marketing.