Gone are the days of having to spend loads of money to create videos that show off your product or service. Today, making a video for your small business or nonprofit is easy with the tools that are available to you.

This is great news for all small businesses and organizations, especially those who use email marketing to connect with their target audience online.

Want to show off some new products? Want to personalize an offer or contest with a personal invitation? Include a video in your next email.  It’s easier than you might think.

Here are 6 expert tips to help you get started:

1. Get the right tools

You can record a video on a DSLR or a camcorder if you know how to transfer and edit the footage, but you really don’t need to do any of that. Most smartphones record in High Definition, making the quality of your videos pretty good no matter what. There are even apps like 8mm (Nexvio, Inc.) and Paper Camera (JFDP Labs), that let you choose distinctive filters to give your videos an array of stylistic options.

2. Keep it short

The shorter your video is the more effective it will be. Most people stop watching videos within the first minute. Unless you’re giving away a video podcast or a webinar, don’t make your video more than 90 seconds.

If you have an idea that you know will take more than 1-2 minutes, consider turning it into a video series. Instead of using a 10-minute video in one email, create five 2-minute videos, and promote them over the course of a month.

3. Pick a host

Most likely, you’ll need a place to host the videos you create. The best free site you can use to host videos is YouTube. YouTube gives you the opportunity to build an online channel that could prove to be a great asset for educating your audience and you’ll never have to spend a dime on storage. All you have to do to embed a YouTube hosted video in an email is click the “Share” button and copy and paste the embed code into your email.

4. Use your best image

Embedding a thumbnail image that links to your video is pretty much standard. You’ll want to choose a clear image that is inspiring or funny — something that will make your audience want to click it. Technically, you could just provide the link to the video, but embedding the link in a clickable image will be more effective.

Bonus: If you’re a Constant Contact customer, you can easily add a YouTube video to your next email with a simple copy and paste. This will automatically generate a screenshot that readers can click to watch.

5. Setup your video

Don’t just throw a video into your email and expect people to want to click to watch it.

Instead, take the time to effectively set up your video. Add a quick description about what people will find in the video and include a strong call to action to go along with it.

6. Analyze your numbers

After you’ve sent out your email, see who watched your video. YouTube offers free detailed analytics and reports you can download about the performance of your videos. YouTube also offers linkable text to overlay in your video to drive traffic wherever you want it to go.

Bonus: You can look at your Constant Contact reports to find out how many people clicked to watch your video.

Once you have that information, you’ll have a better idea of what’s working, what’s not, and how you can use video in the future to successfully engage your readers.

Videos are a great way to get your readers to remember your message and put a face to your organization. They are also easy to include in your next email.

Have you tried using video in your email marketing? Share your tips in the comments below.