Are you ready for in-email video?

As online video continues to develop, video email marketing is revealing itself as a fast growing tool for marketers. More recipients than ever before are now able to quickly view video.

There are 3 common email video marketing practices currently in use.

1. Static Image Hyperlink. The most widely used practice. This is done by attaching a hyperlink to a static image within the body of an email. Usually, these static images contain a “play” button to let the viewer know where to click.

2. Animated .gif or .png.As with a static image, animated .gif or .png files are used as a “teaser” for video content, and almost always contain a hyperlink to the video itself.

3. In-email video. The video is integrated into, and plays from within, the body of the email. As opposed to a hyperlink, an in-email video does not click-through to any other site. The video is NOT attached or sent as a part of the email, rather it is hosted remotely and plays via the HTML of the email.

Mail-Client Support for In-Email Video

Most mail clients now support full in-email video/audio, the exception being Outlook 2007-2010, and Android phones running Gingerbread or earlier platforms. All webmail clients except Hotmail are able to display silent and animated .gif and .png files.

However, the proper way of coding in-email video is to provide either a static image hyperlink or an animated image hyperlink as a fallback in case the user’s email app does not support in-email video. That way, an in-email video campaign need not lose any viewers because of compatibility issues, and there is little impact on deliverability.

Embedding Your Video

Properly embedding your video in an email is a challenge and requires some knowledge of HTML5 to get the job done.If you’re looking to outsource the encoding, there are a number of email services to do this for you. Covideo, and Videoemail are two providers that code and optimize your in-video for a fee.

Other full-service email marketing providers such as MailChimp or ConstantContact, both offer automated video embed solutions which integrate a clean looking static image, .gif, or .png which links back to a video sharing site where the video is hosted. They do not offer an in-videooption at this time.

Is it worth it?

The pros of in-email video is that it provides a superior user experience; it does not require that the user leave the app he or she is in to open a browser. On mobile in particular, this can be a big deal. The flip side of that is that this may be a feature not a bug: you may want the user on your site rather than in their email inbox. The option you pick will depend on what outcome is preferable in your situation.

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