Videos are a highly shared media form in today’s world. It’s easy to share videos across social media platforms, but embedding a video to share in an email can be frustrating – pasting a YouTube video link in Gmail, for example, only adds a thumbnail of the video to the bottom of the email. These thumbnails are cut off from view if the email is long, and they can’t be embedded at specific places in the email.

In this article, I’ll show you how to embed a video in an email at the place of your choice to make it enticing and clickable. This is what it will look like:

Placing the clip where you want within the email makes for a more effective call-to-action and streamlines the reader’s experience.

There are three main steps to embedding the video:

  1. Add a play button image to your video clip
  2. Convert the video clip to a GIF
  3. Insert the GIF in your email and hyperlink the original video link

Step 1: Add a play button image to your video clip

  • Start by opening Kapwing’s homepage and clicking “Get Started.” Kapwing tools are free and don’t require user sign in. Kapwing’s Studio lets you adjust the visual layout of videos, images, and GIFs.
  • Next, upload or paste the link to the video you’re trying to embed. In this example, I pasted the video’s YouTube link directly in the box.
  • Trim the video by clicking “Trim” on the right side when the video is selected, then move the ends of the purple bar to indicate the section you want to use. The clip that results will act as the preview that will be embedded in your email.
  • Add a play button image over the video by clicking “Images” in the Menu bar at the bottom. Search for the play button you want, then insert it. Tip: add a .png image for a seamless appearance with the video clip.
  • Resize the play button image by dragging the purple dots around the image. When it looks the way you want, click “Publish” to process the clip. Because the video you just created is still an .mp4 file, it needs to be converted to a GIF in the next step to become embeddable.

Step 2: Convert the video clip to a GIF

  • Navigate to Kapwing’s Convert Video Online tool, which allows you to convert video .mp4 files to GIF format. Copy the link from the download page of the video clip you created in the last step and paste it into the tool.
Copy the link from this download page that was seen in the last step.
  • On the left sidebar, choose to convert to the “gif” format. Then click “Create” to finish. Click “Download GIF” to save the file.

In your email, upload/insert the GIF file, then hyperlink the original video’s link to the GIF. This way, if someone clicks on the embedded GIF it will take them directly to the video.

Hyperlinking the GIF in Gmail can be a little bit tricky but very doable. After inserting the GIF, click to the side of the GIF and drag the cursor over it so the image turns blue. While it’s blue, click the hyperlink button  at the bottom of the email.

Then click back on the GIF, where a pop-up box should give you the option to “Change.”

Clicking “Change” will present a screen where you can add the link to the video in the “Web address” box.

And that’s it! You’ve embedded a video into your email in a much more clickable and enticing way.

If you ever want to make other edits or share the video with other people, just go to “My Account” from the Kapwing homepage and find the video in your library. This will allow you to download the video again, share it with your friends, or return to the Studio to make further edits!

For more ideas, tutorials, and features, check back in at the Kapwing Resources page or our YouTube channel!