Does including image or video impact negatively cold email deliverability?

Sept 08, 2023

cold email delivrability


Cold outreach emails are a crucial part of modern business communication. Whether you're reaching out to potential clients, partners, or leads, the effectiveness of your email campaign depends on a variety of factors, one of which is engagement. In this article, we'll explore why incorporating video and images into your cold outreach emails can significantly improve engagement without jeopardizing email deliverability.

Embed videos in emails

Large file sizes can get you caught in the spam folder. Instead of sending a .MP4 or full video file, tools like RepliQ gives you an embedded HTML code that generates a GIF preview of your video that links to a video landing page.

To understand the rest of the article when we say video it is actually an image + a link that you are sending, not an actual video. 

This GIF + Link method - will let recipients see an animated preview of your video in their inbox, and then click to watch the full video in their browser.

RepliQ let you record, create or upload a video, and then automatically generate email embed code to make it easy to send your video in email. 

cold email screesnhot

Cold Email Deliverability insights

Let’s debunking myths and talking about what actually impacts deliverability the most. 

cold email deliverability

As you can see from the graph, certain factors dominate email deliverability – warm-up strategies, technical setup, and essentials like sending volume. These are your top priorities, significantly influencing your email's reach.

Slightly further down the list are elements like email bounce and spam report, still important but less impactful.

Now, here's the important part: at the bottom of this hierarchy sit links and images. Yes, you read that right – adding images or videos to your outreach doesn't jeopardize deliverability. In fact, they're far from harmful; they enhance engagement without compromising your emails' ability to land in inboxes.

Video Emails: Debunking the spam myth

One common concern when it comes to including videos or images in cold outreach emails is the fear of landing in the dreaded spam folder. However, the reality may surprise you. Properly formatted video emails are less likely to be flagged as spam compared to text-based emails. In fact, they tend to perform 2-3 times better in terms of engagement.

Optimizing email outreach with images and videos

The impact of images and videos within your email outreach is a topic that can't be overlooked. Lemlist, a pioneer in email outreach, made extensive research on millions of campaigns to provide invaluable insights into optimizing your email content.

As seen in the above graph, it's worth noting that the inclusion of images or videos inside an email comprises less than 5% of its overall impact on deliverability.

Moreover, Lemlist's research unveiled a significant finding: campaigns featuring a single image or video experienced an impressive 42% higher click-through rate. Incorporating images and videos into your cold outreach emails enhances the performance and engagement rates.

cold email deliverability

Engagement and cold email deliverability

The key reason video emails are favored by email service providers (ESPs) is their inherent ability to boost engagement. ESPs closely monitor the engagement levels of emails to determine whether they belong in the inbox or the spam folder. When recipients engage with video content, it sends a strong signal to ESPs that the content is valuable, increasing the likelihood of landing in the inbox.

When CTR and engagement increase, reply rates increase and as a result conversion

cold email deliverability

Conversion potential with video and images in cold Outreach

Integrating videos or images into your cold outreach emails isn't just about visual appeal; it's a game-changer for conversions. Firstly, it allows you to unleash your creativity in crafting subject lines that captivate recipients' attention, leading to higher open rates.

But the real magic happens when you consider the impact on click-through rates. Studies have consistently shown that emails with embedded videos enjoy significantly higher click-through rates. This translates into more prospects taking action and, ultimately, higher reply rates.

And here's the proof – Jordan Platten, an expert in the field, recently shared his success story in a video. He revealed how the strategic use of videos doubled his reply rates, ultimately leading to more booked meetings. You can check out his insightful video here, gaining valuable insights into leveraging video for enhanced conversions in your cold outreach endeavors.

Overcoming the cold outreach objection

Now, let's address the common objection raised by skeptics: the concern that video and image inclusion may affect email deliverability negatively. To alleviate these concerns, here are some essential steps to ensure your video emails maintain high deliverability rates.

cold email deliverability

1. Set up your email address correctly

Properly configuring your email address is a critical step in ensuring your email outreach is trusted and effective. Here's how to set up your email address correctly to establish legitimacy:

  •  SPF, DKIM, DMARC, and BIMI authentication protocols. These measures signal to email providers that you are a legitimate sender, bolstering your email's credibility.

  • Domain alignment: Ensure that your sender address aligns with your domain. A sender address matching your domain demonstrates authenticity and minimizes the risk of being mistaken for a phishing attempt.

By adhering to these guidelines, you can fortify the legitimacy of your email address, enhancing the trustworthiness of your email communications.

2. Use good email copy

In the realm of email outreach, the content you craft plays a pivotal role in engagement. Here are some essential guidelines to ensure your email content is effective and trustworthy:

Prioritize Well-Structured Copy: While the subject line grabs your prospect's attention, the introductory text is equally vital. Sometimes, in our enthusiasm to share a video, we overlook this crucial element.

Meticulous Grammar Matters: A couple of typos may not be disastrous, but poorly written or bot-like messages can land your emails in the spam folder. Maintain a high standard of grammar and language to convey professionalism.

Simplicity in Design: Avoid using an array of colors and unconventional fonts in your emails. Such practices not only trigger spam filters but also make your emails challenging to read for recipients.

Link Integrity: Email providers exercise caution when it comes to links, and with good reason. To establish trust, adhere to best practices for links:

Never use misleading links (e.g., linking the word "Google" to your domain).

Avoid link shorteners that obscure the destination URL.

RepliQ's Solution: RepliQ offers a video CNAME feature, allowing you to use your custom domain when sharing videos. This enhances recipients' confidence when clicking on links in your emails. Learn more about setting up a custom domain in RepliQ here.

By following these email content best practices, you can create engaging and trustworthy emails that resonate with your recipients.

cold email deliverability

3. Use 1-2 sentences of text in your video emails

Email service providers analyze the balance between visuals and text in your emails, considering both the image-to-text and HTML-to-text ratios. To optimize your deliverability, it's advisable to include a brief text description (typically 1-2 sentences) alongside your embedded video or HTML content. This ensures a harmonious blend of elements in your email, enhancing its chances of reaching the recipient's inbox effectively.

4. Gradual IP address warming

When dealing with a new email sending domain, the process of warming up your IP address is a vital one. Rushing this phase can have detrimental consequences. Instead, follow a gradual approach to establish credibility for your email sending domain.

5. Vigilant reputation monitoring

Maintaining a vigilant watch over your email reputation is essential for preserving your deliverability rates. Here's how to effectively monitor your email reputation:

Regular spam score checks: Routinely assess your spam score to promptly identify any issues that may arise.

Leverage Google's spam scores: Google now offers Spam Scores in its search results, which you can access by searching for your domain. These scores are sourced from Moz.

Prioritize a low spam score: Aim to keep your spam score consistently below 5%. If you detect a gradual increase, consider temporarily reducing the volume of outbound emails while you refine your email processes.

By diligently overseeing your email reputation, you can proactively address any concerns and uphold a positive sender reputation for successful email outreach.

6. Monitoring email engagement metrics

As previously highlighted, email engagement stands as a pivotal factor influencing your email deliverability. Email clients closely evaluate the engagement levels of emails similar to yours to determine their relevance and whether they belong in recipients' inbox or spam folders.

why use personalized videos

This is why video emails actually help your email deliverability — they get 2-3x more engagement than their text only counterparts. 

You can keep your email engagement high by…

  • Targeting the right audience
  • Verifying emails with an email verification tool
  • Removing unengaged contacts from your list
  • Sending engaging video emails!
  • Personalized videos drive email engagement and deliverability

7. Use a spam checking tool 

Still not sure your email is safe from the spam folder?

Check your email with a spam grading tool before blasting it out. 

There are plenty of free email graders to give you feedback on how to optimize your email to avoid the spam folder.

How to send personalized videos and images with RepliQ:

Upload your pitch video here

repliq dashboard

Upload your file with your leads info or copy paste your list

repliq dashboard

Customize your video

repliq dashboard

Download your file with the personalized videos RepliQ generated for you

repliq dashboard

For Email outreach: The file will have a column called “html email code”, enrich your original prospect list with that column, upload the file in your favorite outreach tool and use the links as customized variables to each prospect.

repliq dashboard

For Linkedin outreach: Use the column “result videos URLs” instead and upload to your favorite Linkedin outreach tool.

repliq dashboard

Go to your outreach tool and upload the RepliQ file (we use Lemlist in this example, but it would work similar in any outreach tool)

lemlist dashboard

Map your field or create or use a variable that contains the RepliQ html link (in this case "icebreaker" as an example)

lemlist dashboard

Use the variable in your email copy and review each lead

lemlist dashboard


RepliQ empowers you to elevate your cold outreach game by harnessing the persuasive power of video and images. With RepliQ's user-friendly features and best practices, you can confidently engage your audience while maintaining excellent email deliverability rates. Remember, the key to success lies in delivering content that resonates authentically with your audience. Experiment, refine, and let RepliQ be your trusted partner in creating captivating cold outreach emails that recipients eagerly anticipate. Unleash the potential of video and images with RepliQ and watch your outreach efforts thrive. Good luck and happy emailing!

Get started with RepliQ today.

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