Why and how to create an end card for my YouTube channel

Millions of videos get uploaded to YouTube every day. And YouTube wants them all viewed

For this reason, when someone reaches the end of your video, YouTube will present a screen with “suggestions”. 

YouTube's suggestions will almost never include videos from your channel except if you are already one of the top YouTubers out there. 

YouTube's recommendations suck! Use annotations to bypass them


Moreover, YouTube ranking takes very much into account the watch time of your videos.

Forget your socials, your thumbs-Ups and your followers. They need view time so they can put as many ads in front of people’s eyes as possible. 

What can you do about this?  Keep your view times high by directing the viewers to other videos from your channel. 

How, you will say? Well, use an end card in your YouTube videos:

Big YouTube players use end cards to improve their views even more


What is an end card 

End Cards are the graphics at the end (or not) of your videos that you can use as a Call To Action.

Use them to ask people to subscribe and check out some other of your videos. Most people are doing it wrong (if at all) so, having an, at least half-decent, end card with a couple of videos related to the one they just watched, will keep your viewer watch time up and your subscribers increasing. 

End cards are the only legit way to bypass the youtube “relevant” mechanism and add your own to keep your viewers in your channel. 


End cards need to actually be part of your video file. A good guideline is to use the last 10 to 20 seconds of your video for your end card so your viewers have enough time to take it in.

What makes up and end card ? this is entirely up to you. But many YouTubers have found success with end cards that include one or two strong videos and a subscribe button:
DanTDM includes one strong video and a subscribe button in his end slate


Many go to the extremes including dozens of older videos. But what you need is to lead the viewer to choose quickly
After all, when the end card comes to an end in a few seconds, YouTube will again pop up those pesky "suggestions"

We found that including two or three relevant videos works nicely.

You might want titles with that. Adding the video title underneath makes clear to the viewer what the video is about. This increases the possibility of a click

How the end card should look

the template (the background) you use for the end card also plays a major role. You need something that while it will convey some meaning and follow the theme of your channel, will not be ultra-loaded and makes the videos hide in the mess.

Remember, it should be easy for the viewer to choose and click on a video. They should not search for them .

The following example is a badly executed end card:

Your end slate needs to be clean. You need to push the viewer make a quick decision


Yes, there are videos, but WHERE ? Ahh, there are two rectangles in the center that move. These must be them then?

On the other side, a clean end card puts your viewer’s eyes to where you want them. On the videos. And the less clutter there is, the more possible for the viewer to click on one of them and keep watching, increasing YOUR watch time. 

Titles help direct the viewer to a quicker decision that he/she will watch


When building your end card, you can use either still images or video to showcase additional content. Whichever option you choose, make sure it captures your viewer’s attention and entices them to click.

End cards are a great way of extending viewer watch time and you gain subscribers for your channel. And they add a nice level of professionalism to your videos. 

How to build one

YouTube doesn’t offer a tool to help you auto-assemble end card templates, so you’ll either need to create something yourself or find/commission one.

Using the Outromaker, you can select one of the ready-made templates or use the provided tools to make your own. At the bottom of this post, you can download a photoshop file with many backgrounds and border layers so you can get started.


Of course, you can create an awesome end card without photoshop. Online tools like, make this job easy as pie. Check out our tutorial here.

After you build the design, you need to populate the end card with snippets of your videos

This is done while you edit the video on your computer. You will have to decide which videos will show up on the end card and of course, if you do not have them archived somewhere, you may need to download them from YouTube.

Outromaker allows you to automatically populate the end card with the videos you choose from your YouTube channel. No need to search in old hard drives for your archives

Putting annotations on the end card

Once you’ve uploaded your video, you need to annotate the placeholders that you designed into your end card. The normal way is to go to the InVideo Programming section of YouTube and add them by hand. 

When working with end cards, you’ll likely want to use the Spotlight annotation so that you can see through to the content previews that you included.

YouTube has introduced Cards as well. These are another type of inVideo Programming that pops an icon at the top right of the screen which, if tapped, shows info and can link to videos as well. 

Since cards are visible on mobile devices as well, you need to add them too. 

Outromaker provides the auto-annotation tool which takes care of the tedious task of adding annotations and cards and linking them correctly to the URLs of your videos with just two clicks! 

Why having end cards in your YouTube video works

  • End cards can keep your fans engaged with your channel and related media.

  • Cards and annotations are clickable tools you can add to each of your videos that encourage viewers to take an action like watch another of your videos or subscribe.
  • By enabling viewers to watch more, you can help boost your channel’s watch time which helps your ranking in Search and Suggested Videos (of other youtubers that do not have an end card ;)


Go ahead and download our PSD file with all the components to make a great end card!

And please share the post with your friends!