How to Add Video to Your Gmail Out of Office Email Responder

Last Updated May 22nd, 2018

The reason you need and want to send video from Gmail is the same reason you might want to send video in your out of office email responder.

To add personality.
To be more memorable.
To connect and communicate more effectively.
To get face to face at scale.

The benefits of replacing some of your plain, typed-out text are numerous and significant, so as you prepare for a holiday weekend or summer getaway, follow this step-by-step process to rehumanize your out of office email responder.


Add Video to a Gmail Out of Office Email Responder

I’ve added a video to my out of office responder a few times. It takes about 5 minutes total – and just 2 or 3 minutes if you skip step 2.


1 Record your video | In BombBomb

Obviously, to add a video to your out of office email, you need a video!

I recorded mine straight into the “Videos” tab in my BombBomb account. You can do the same. Or you can record it with your mobile phone and add it to your library with the BombBomb app (iPhone | Android). And you always have the option of recording any other way you’d like, then uploading that video file into BombBomb.

Once it’s in your account, BombBomb automatically turns the first 3 seconds of your video into an animated preview (GIF).

In the “Edit” screen, right click on the animated preview, then choose “Save Image As.” Give this GIF image file a relevant name and save it somewhere you can find it easily. You’ll need it in step 5.

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2 [Optional] Create an email | In BombBomb

Because Gmail doesn’t support video directly in the out of office email responder window, you need someplace to send people when they click your animated preview. Instead of linking through to the video on a plain viewing page or out in YouTube, I recommend taking the extra step of creating an email “landing page” to click through to.

I used our drag-and-drop Email Composer to put a logo at the top of the email, add the video I recorded, type in a little text and info below the video, and drag in and link up a call to action button for a free trial of BombBomb. You can see the email I made right here.

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3 Copy the link | In BombBomb

Every email, video, and form in BombBomb is automatically assigned a short url (, so any of them can be used as a landing page. In fact, many people use our contact forms as the click-through on Google and Facebook ads because they collect leads, add people to lists, and trigger email sends or drip sequences.

If you’re going to link the animated preview in your Gmail out of office email responder to a video, click “Link & Share” on your video in the “Videos” tab. Copy that short link ( or visit its landing page and copy the full link (

video link, video hosting, Gmail video, out of office email

If you’re going to link to an email, you can do the same thing in the “Emails” tab or you can get it from the “Options” area of the Composer. Grab the “Preview Link” address.

You’ll need the copied link in step 6.

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4 Go to your Gmail settings | In Gmail

Click the gear icon in the top right area of your Gmail inbox, then choose “Settings” from the menu that opens up.

Once you’re in Settings, you default to the the “General” tab. Scroll down to the bottom of that tab to the “Vacation responder” area. This is where you create and set up your out of office email.

Gmail settings, out of office email, email settings, Vacation responder


5 Upload the animated preview (GIF) | In Gmail

It’s time to represent your video inside Gmail.

Remember where your saved the automatically-generated animated preview (GIF) that BombBomb created for your video.

Click the “Insert Image” button (little mountain picture) in the “Vacation responder” editor. Then, upload your animated preview, which is simply an image file even though it has animation to it.

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6 Link the animated preview to your email or video | In Gmail

Use your cursor to select the video (it turns blue when selected), then turn it into a link. Paste the address you copied earlier as the place to send each click-through.

Now, when people click your animated preview, they’ll be sent to your link to watch the video.

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7 Touch it up and save it | In Gmail

Set your start and end dates. Add any additional text you’d like to the email. Then, “Save Changes.”

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Though I did lay this out as 7 steps, it’s a quick, easy process once you’re basically familiar with each step. This all took me less than 5 minutes.

Every time someone emails you during the dates you selected, Gmail will send them an email with the animated preview of your video. A click to play it will send them to your video or to an email with your video in it.

Your out of office email just got more personal – and it got more personality!


More Video in Gmail

In addition to being able to do things like add video to your Gmail out of office email responder using the BombBomb toolset, we have a direct integration that will improve the results from your Gmail inbox.

Click any of these links to learn more:

Record and send video in any Gmail Compose or Reply window

Track your Gmail email opens, link clicks, and video plays

Save time with canned responses in Gmail

Schedule your Gmail email sends for any day or time in the future

Get reminders about opportunities in your Gmail inbox

All of these functions and more (including screen recording) are part of our Google Chrome extension.


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Ethan Beute

Ethan Beute | About The Author

Chief Evangelist at BombBomb, co-author of Rehumanize Your Business, and host of The Customer Experience Podcast, Ethan collects and tells stories of clearer communication, human connection, and higher conversion with simple, personal videos. BA: University of Michigan. MBA: University of Colorado-Colorado Springs. Fresh air & clean water.

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