Tracking video performance in emails: 7 key metrics and analytics for success

Written by Lisa Hunchenko | 21st July 2023

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Lights, camera, action — and an inbox! As marketers and businesses strive to capture audiences and drive conversions, incorporating videos into email campaigns has become a vital strategy, taking engagement to a whole new level. But how can we track our video performance in emails to be able to truly capitalize on this powerful medium? While seamless integration with email sending API allows for sending and tracking your emails across the web, you’ll still need the right metrics and analytics to identify what works and what doesn’t when it comes to delivering captivating video content straight to subscribers’ inboxes. In this article, we’ll explore the essential factors you need to track and assess the performance of your embedded videos, ensuring that your email marketing efforts are hitting the mark. Here are the eight key metrics and analytics for success:

Video performance in emails: Video Open Rate

The first step in gauging the success of any email campaign is understanding whether or not your recipients are even opening your messages.

Start by examining your video open rate, which is the percentage of people who opened the email containing the video. This metric provides valuable insight into the effectiveness of your subject lines and preheader text in drawing subscribers in.

To improve video open rates, test different subject lines and preview text combinations to see which ones resonate best with your audience. Take note of trends and patterns that yield higher open rates, such as using emojis or personalization.

Video performance in emails: Video Open Rate

A high video open rate is great, but if subscribers aren’t clicking through to watch your video content, there’s still work to be done. The click-through rate (CTR) remains a foundational metric for all email marketing campaigns.

CTR rate measures how many people clicked on the video thumbnail within your email relative to the total number of individuals who opened it. Higher CTRs indicate that your video content is appealing enough to entice subscribers to engage further.

To optimize CTR, it’s crucial to experiment with various components such as subject lines, preheader text, and thumbnail images. A/B testing different elements will help you identify what resonates best with your audience and encourage them to click on your video content. Make sure your call-to-action (CTA) is clear and compelling to encourage viewers to click through.

Video performance in emails: View Count

Understanding the reach of your video content is crucial, and view count serves as a primary indicator of how many people have viewed your video. However, it’s essential to recognize that view counts are measured differently across various platforms. As a result, comparing view counts between platforms may not provide an accurate representation of your video’s performance. Here’s a quick rundown of how major platforms measure a view:
  • YouTube: A view is counted when someone intentionally watches your video for 30 seconds.
  • Facebook: A view is counted when someone views your video for 3 seconds (same for Live videos).
  • Instagram: Video views are counted after 3 seconds; Live video views are counted the second someone joins the broadcast.
  • Twitter: A view is counted when someone watches your video for 2 seconds with at least 50% of the video player on their screen.
  • LinkedIn: Same policy as Twitter: 2 seconds with at least half the video in view.
  • TikTok: A video view is counted as soon as your video starts playing in someone’s feed.
While view count can be seen as more of a vanity metric — since it doesn’t directly impact your bottom line if no other action is taken — it highlights the importance of making the first few seconds of your video highly engaging to capture viewers’ attention. By closely monitoring view counts and adjusting your content accordingly, you can optimize your videos to better resonate with your audience and maximize engagement.
A person sitting at a desk, smiling at their laptop, which is playing an explainer video, in front of a purple background.

Video performance in emails: Play Rate

Play rate is a crucial metric to measure for landing pages with embedded videos, as it reveals how many people actively clicked “play” to start watching your video. This differs significantly from scrolling down a feed with auto-play enabled, as the play rate requires intentional action on the part of the viewer.

So, now that your subscribers have opened your email and clicked through to the video, it’s time to track how many actually played it. To calculate the play rate, divide the number of people who clicked play by the total number of visitors who accessed the video landing page. This key performance indicator (KPI) provides valuable insights into whether your video content is engaging enough to prompt viewers to take action.

To increase your overall play rate, ensure that your video marketing is tailored to your target audience’s interests and needs, and consider implementing the following strategies:
  • Design an attention-grabbing thumbnail. A visually captivating thumbnail can entice potential viewers to click “play” and watch your video. Also, consider adding captions or a transcript for those who prefer not to watch videos with sound or have accessibility requirements.
  • Include a human face in your thumbnail. Human faces evoke emotions and foster connection, making them more likely to draw viewers in.
  • Test the location of the video on your landing page. Experiment with different placements of the video on your landing page to determine which position generates the highest play rates.

Video performance in emails: Engagement Rate

Video engagement rate measures how much of your video content is being watched by your viewers. It includes metrics like average view duration and completion rate. These insights help you understand if your audience is consuming your content in its entirety or losing interest partway through.

To enhance video engagement rates, focus on creating compelling and concise content. Keep videos short and to the point, ensuring they hold viewers’ attention throughout. Moreover, analyze viewer drop-off points to identify opportunities for improvement in future videos.
Two people are admiring a play button. They are connecting with the content.

Video performance in emails: Conversion Rate

At the end of the day, the ultimate goal of any marketing campaign is increasing conversions. Whether you want subscribers to purchase a newly introduced product, sign up for an event, or download an ebook, tracking conversions resulting from your video emails is crucial.

The conversion rate is the percentage of viewers who completed your desired action after watching the video. By analyzing conversion rates, you can determine if your video content effectively compels users to take action.

To increase conversion rates, ensure that your video content effectively communicates the value proposition of your offer and aligns with the CTA in the email. Test different CTAs and offers to discover what resonates best with your audience.

Video performance in emails: Social Shares

The power of social media is undeniable, making social shares an important metric to monitor. By tracking how many times recipients share your video, you gain insight into its viral potential and overall appeal.

Encourage sharing by incorporating easily accessible share buttons within your email. Additionally, consider leveraging user-generated content to foster a sense of community and encourage further engagement.


Tracking video performance in emails empowers marketers with actionable insights needed for successful campaigns. By paying close attention to metrics like open rates, click-through rates, play rates, engagement rates, conversion rates, and more, you’ll be well-equipped to optimize future campaigns for greater success.

So, keep experimenting, analyzing, and refining your strategies — and watch your video email marketing campaigns soar to new heights. Happy tracking!

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