Home Email Marketing How to embed videos in Gmail | Using YouTube + Canva

How to embed videos in Gmail | Using YouTube + Canva

by Stewart Gauld
Last updated on June 16th, 2023
How to embed videos in Gmail Using YouTube + Canva (2023)

If you’re a small business and want to learn how to embed videos in Gmail using Youtube and Canva to help drive more engagement within your emails.

Did you know that over 4 billion people all around the world use email, with that number expected to still increase in the years to come?

Thus, email as a form of digital communication certainly isn’t plateauing anytime soon. In fact, research shows that more than 300 billion emails are sent per day!

Additionally, email marketing is still the number one marketing channel for businesses to promote and grow their business and connect and drive engagement within their current audience.

So, how can you create and deliver compelling emails and compete with the multitude of emails floating around your contact’s inbox?

By adding credible and professional videos to your emails, your email recipients are more likely to open, read and engage with you and your brand!

With that said, let’s dive in and find out how to add videos to your emails, with the aim to generate a higher level of audience engagement.

Read more: Top 5 FREE email marketing software for small businesses

How to embed videos on email?

By learning how to add videos into emails and then sending those emails to your audience, we can guarantee your emails will instantly become more professional and captivating for your email recipients!

We’re going to walk you through the simple and best process of how to embed videos in Gmail so you can start creating enticing and engaging emails.

Let’s get stuck in and learn how to embed videos into emails using Canva and Youtube!

1. Getting started – how to add videos on Gmail?

Before we get started, it’s important to note that for the purpose of this tutorial, we’re going to show you how to add videos on Gmail as our email provider.

However, this process will also work with any other email provider.

Some email providers let you use HTML5 to embed videos within your email, however, this only works with some email providers.

Therefore, we’re going to guide you through the best and easiest way for you to simply add videos to your professional business emails, and maximize the chance of your email recipients watching your videos!

To get started:

  • Head over to Gmail on your browser.
  • Simply sign into your Gmail account.

Want to learn how to create a professional business email with Gmail? Check out our full tutorial here.

 Once you’ve signed into your Gmail account:

  • Select ‘Compose’ to create the email that you want to send to your contacts.

Getting started – how to add videos on Gmail?

We’ve created a quick sales email to send to one of our email contacts (see screengrab).

The purpose of this sales email is to help this particular contact drive more leads on their website.

We also want to add a video to this email, so the client can learn how to do it themselves (or they can get in contact with us and we can do it for them).

Read more: How to set up an out-of-office automatic reply in Gmail

2. Youtube for video hosting

For the purpose of this tutorial, we’re going to show you how to embed videos in Gmail using YouTube.

Youtube is a popular, credible, and free video hosting and sharing platform used widely around the world, and therefore is the perfect video hosting platform to use when adding in videos to your emails!

To add your Youtube video to your email

  • Simply head over to Youtube on your browser.
  • Sign into your Youtube account.

Don’t have a Youtube account yet?

  • Click ‘Sign in’
  • Select ‘Create account’.

Note: You’ll need a Google Account to sign into Youtube.

We’ll meet you inside your Youtube account!

Youtube for video hosting

Now, if you don’t have your video already uploaded to YouTube:

  • Click ‘Create’ in the top right-hand corner (see screengrab).
  • Select ‘Upload video’.
  • Choose the video you want to upload.
  • List your video as ‘Unlisted’ or ‘Public’.

We recommend keeping this ‘Unlisted’, as if your video is public, everyone will be able to see your video!

Once you’ve uploaded your video onto Youtube:

  • Click ‘Videos’ on your Youtube dashboard.
  • Select the video you want to add into your email.

We’re going to choose this video (see screengrab).


  • Click ‘Share’ below your video.
  • Select ‘Embed’ below ‘Share’.
  • Screenshot this image of your video.

The process of screenshotting is slightly different for Mac and Windows users.

To screenshot on a Mac computer:

  • Click ‘Command Shift 4’.
  • Select the top left corner of the thumbnail.
  • Drag your cursor down to the bottom right corner of the thumbnail.

That’ll take a screenshot of just your thumbnail image.

  • Click ‘Exit’.

To take a screenshot on a Windows computer, simply use the ‘Snipping Tool’ app within your computer.

When you’ve screenshotted your thumbnail image:

  • Click ‘Share’ again.
  • Select ‘Copy’ next to the link of your video (see screengrab).
  • Go back to the email you composed earlier.

Read more: How to create a Youtube Ad campaign

3. How to embed videos in Gmail?

Within your email, you should link your Youtube video in two different places:

How to embed videos in Gmail?

  • Within a text placement.
  • Within the thumbnail image of your video.

Your text placement should be a call-to-action within your email, with the text along the lines of  ‘Click here’ to watch this video’ or similar.

For example, the text placement we’re going to insert our link into is ‘Watching this video’.

Take the time to identify what piece of text you want your video to be embedded within, then you’re ready to add your video link into that chosen text placement!

To do that:

  • Highlight the piece of text (see screengrab).
  • Click ‘Insert link’ down the bottom of the email.
  • Paste in the link you copied earlier next to ‘Web address’.
  • Click ‘OK’.

This will automatically link your video within that piece of text, meaning when the recipient clicks on the text, they’ll be redirected to your video on Youtube.

Also, when the recipient opens your email they’ll see a preview of the video you added at the bottom of the email.

Now as mentioned above, the second place you want to add your video link into is your thumbnail image screenshot you took earlier.

To do this, you’ll firstly need to add your screenshot into the email:

  • Below your video link placement, click the spacebar twice on your keyboard
  • Select ‘Insert photo’ at the bottom of the email.
  • Click ‘Upload’.
  • Select ‘Choose photos to upload’.
  • Find the screenshot of your thumbnail.
  • Select ‘Open’.

Now if you scroll up on your email, you can see the image you just uploaded of your thumbnail! (see screengrab).

  • Click on the image.
  • Select the corner of the image.
  • Drag and drop the image to make the thumbnail smaller or larger.

The size of your thumbnail image is totally dependent on your personal preferences, however, you don’t want it to be too big and overpowering, or too small that people miss it!

  • Highlight the whole thumbnail image.
  • Click ‘Insert link’ at the bottom of your email.
  • Again paste in your Youtube video link next to ‘Web address’.
  • Click ‘OK’.

Now your contact can simply click either the text or the thumbnail image to take them to YouTube! (see screengrab).

Again, as YouTube is a professional video hosting platform, people trust YouTube.

Therefore, by adding the screenshot of your Youtube video thumbnail, there’s a higher chance of the recipient actually clicking on the link and watching your video!

So to summarize, people can click on the text placement, thumbnail or the attached video below the email to watch your video.

4. How to embed videos into emails using Canva?

Additionally, did you know you can make your own thumbnail within Canva, and then insert that thumbnail into your email?

Canva is our favorite online graphic design tool that can be used to create professional logos, newsletters, presentations, flyers, websites and more!

If you’d like to learn more about Canva, watch our complete tutorial on how to use Canva for beginners here.

Don’t have an account with Canva?

Get started with Canva for FREE here

*The link above is an affiliate link, which means we will get a commission if you upgrade to a paid plan (with no extra cost to you). This helps support our education-based website and we thank you in advance!

How to embed videos into emails using Canva?

Once you’ve signed up and signed into Canva:

  • Type in ‘YouTube thumbnail’ in the search bar.
  • Select ‘YouTube thumbnail’ from the drop-down list.

  • Canva will then generate thousands of fully-customizable templates that you can use in your email (see screengrab).

Alternatively, you can create a Youtube thumbnail from scratch by clicking ‘Create a blank YouTube thumbnail’.

However, for the purpose of this tutorial on how to embed videos in Gmail using YouTube and Canva, we’re going to select this thumbnail (see screengrab).


  • Next, simply customize each of the different elements on this thumbnail to make it your own.

For example, to change the text on your thumbnail:

  • Click on the text element you want to change.
  • Type in your own text relevant to your video.

To delete the default image in this thumbnail and upload an image of your own:

  • Click on the element.
  • Select ‘Delete’.
  • Click ‘Upload’ on the left-hand side bar.
  • Choose and click the image you want to insert into the thumbnail.
  • Click the image on the thumbnail.
  • Play around with the size and placement of your new image.

We’re going to make our image a bit bigger (see screengrab).

Read our beginner’s guide on How to create a logo for FREE in Canva

To add in a new element:

  • Click ‘Elements’ on the left-hand side bar.
  • Type in a keyword in the search bar to describe the type of element you want to insert
  • Choose an image or element you like the look of.
  • Resize or move the element around to where you want it to go.

For the purpose of this tutorial on how to add videos on Gmail, we’re going to insert a ‘Play button’ image, so we’re going to type ‘Play button’.

We like the look of this blue play button for our thumbnail (see screengrab).

Again, make sure you play around with every element until it looks the way you want it to look!

For example, we’ve strategically placed our blue play button in the middle of our thumbnail, so the recipient is more likely to click on it (see screengrab).

Once you’ve finished editing and customizing your thumbnail, you’re ready to download it:

You can do this by:

  • Clicking ‘Share’ in the upper right-hand corner.
  • Select ‘Download’.
  • Click ‘Download’ again.
  • When completed, your downloaded file will appear at the bottom of your screen.


To replace your thumbnail screenshot image with the one you just created within Canva:

  • Go back to your email.
  • Highlight the thumbnail image.
  • Click ‘Delete’.
  • Click ‘Insert photo’ at the bottom of the email.
  • Select ‘Upload’.
  • Click ‘Choose photo to upload’.
  • Simply find and click on the image you just created in Canva.
  • Select ‘Open’.

And your new thumbnail photo has now been added to your email! (see screengrab).

Now you just need to re-link your Youtube video to this image.

To do that:

  • Highlight your new thumbnail.
  • Click ‘Insert link’.
  • Paste in your YouTube link again next to ‘Web address’.
  • Click ‘OK’.

And now when you send this email to your email recipients, they can simply open your email and click on the thumbnail image or the hyperlinked text to view your video.

Want to send bulk emails and email campaigns to your email list?

We recommend using a dynamic email marketing platform like MailChimp.

With MailChimp, you can easily create professional email campaigns, and actually embed videos into those campaigns!

However, that’s everything you need to know about how to embed videos in Gmail using YouTube and Canva!

Read more: How to use MailChimp for email marketing

Video – How to embed videos in Gmail using YouTube and Canva

We’ve now shown you the entire process of how to embed videos into emails using Canva and Youtube that you can then send to your clients!

By following this process, your emails will be more credible, professional and enticing, meaning you can be sure to generate a higher level of engagement from your audience.

We hope you gained value from this tutorial, however, feel free to check out our full video guide below for more information.

You may also like

Leave a Comment

1 + 2 =