Embedding videos in an email campaign is a much-sought after feature. Unfortunately, there’s a lack of support across the major email clients, so for now it remains a somewhat of a pipe dream. However, that doesn’t mean that you have to give up on the idea altogether. There are a few alternatives that we recommend, read on to find which one is the best for you.

The questions you need to ask before including videos in an email campaign

Why are you adding a video?

First things first, have a look at why you want to include a video. If a video isn’t going to add value, there’s not much point in adding it to a campaign. If you’re doing it just to be flashy, then it’s not recommended. Some examples of when a video would be a good idea would be event announcements or new product launches.

How long is the video you want to add?

Keep in mind the attention span of your email recipients. They are being told about this video from an email, where attention spans are short to start with, and they may not have time to watch a lengthy, half hour long feature. Keeping your videos short is recommended, don’t make unreasonable demands on your readers’ time.

Alternatives to embedding a video

Once you’ve got the answer to those two questions, you can decide which of the alternative methods below is going to suit your situation best.

Animated GIFs

Converse GIF
If your video is really short, you might want to consider changing it to an animated GIF. GIFs are widely supported across email clients (with the exception of Outlook) so you stand a good chance of getting your message across to most of your customers. We’ve put together a How To guide for including GIFs which you can check out here.

Link a Static Image with a Play Button

Static Image with a Play Button

A GIF isn’t a one size fits all solution. Your video might be too long to make into a lightweight GIF, or the vast majority of your readers view your email in Outlook and a GIF won’t be the best solution for you. If that’s the case, then make a static image of your video that will link to wherever your video is hosted, and add a play button to the image. This makes it pretty clear to your subscribers that you’re going to be linking them to a video, and gets the point across effectively.

Link an Animated Play Button

Click-to-play-video-button

If you want to jazz up your play button, you could always animate it. This is the best of both worlds – those readers with email clients that support animated GIFs will see the animation, which draws attention, and those on Outlook will still get a static play button, which tells them where that link will go.

TouchBasePro making it easy

Vimeo video example

One of the features of our easy to use, in house template builder, is that you can now add a video link in your campaign. Currently, you can add any video hosted on Vimeo or YouTube to your campaign by copying and pasting the URL. Our template builder will grab the thumbnail of that video and include it as an image that’s linked back to your hosted video. It’s basically an automated version of the Static Image option above.

Bear in mind that, as we are pulling the thumbnail from Vimeo or YouTube and not hosting it, subscribers will have to click to download images in order to see it.

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