Many email marketers try to steer clear of embedded videos in email, scared away by the fact that some of the most popular mail clients such as Outlook 2007 and 2010, not to mention a huge number of Android smartphones and tablets will refuse to support that playback. However, no matter what your industry niche, you should be able to reach anywhere between 60 and 75 percent of your recipients with embedded video in your emails and that’s a considerable majority that will be impacted by your state of the art video experience.

Default non-supporting clients to animated .gifs

When setting up embedded video as an integral element of your email marketing campaign, the first consideration has to be what the minority with the non-supporting clients will view. Instead of seeing some version of a broken icon, there are ways to serve up a conventional still image or even an animated .gif. The latter is a great way to reach the non-supported, as you can distill your video into a Vine-type of presentation and still get the gist across. Note that some antediluvian clients will display animated .gif as still ones, but in a fragmented multi-platform cyberverse you can’t win them all.

Holland America doubled their CTR

The reasons for embedding videos in your email marketing messaging are simple: It works. Holland America cruise lines doubled their click through rate, fashion retailer Express witnessed a 55 percent jump in revenue for each email opened, and cosmetics company Bare Escentuals saw their click through rates leap by 50 percent, while mega big box store Costco watched their average order value rise by 40 percent. Considering that to arrive at results this significant would require selling the first born child of most email marketers to Lucifer, the simple act of plunking in an embedded video is a preferable ploy for everyone involved, especially Junior.

Industry studies prove embedded video effectiveness

According to leading industry studies:

  • 63.9% of recipients will view a video embedded in an email to its completion.
  • Embedding a video will result in an average conversion rate hike of 21%.
  • Video emails receive 5.6% higher open rates.
  • And (this one is the most jaw-dropping of all) they receive a click through rate which is 96.38% higher!

Key factors to please, not irritate your customers

Some of the key factors to keep in mind when embedding videos into your email marketing campaigns can make the difference between this type of superlative success and a real irritant to your customer recipients:

  • Never exceed a total bandwidth requirement for about 175 kB/sec as not all of your customers are on 4G LTE.
  • Unless you’re doing full tutorials, keep your videos at a minute or less.
  • Make the first frame of the video tell the story for the browsers and clients who will get stuck there.
  • Remember that some have blocked images, so make your call to action visible as a text link.
  • Ensure that your subject line includes the word video to give your customers a heads-up.
  • Inform your reader of what will happen when the video is clicked to avoid surprises.
  • If you absolutely have to set it up as autoplay give the recipient the option to turn on the sound as they’ll hate you for interrupting their rapturous listening of Bathory Death Metal.

When you’re coding your embed, make sure that you have your most critical elements properly configured to provide the best viewing experience for your customers:

  • Width, height. Select an aspect ratio and pixel size which suits the majority of the device displays.
  • Poster. Provide the still image to be displayed prior to the video starting.
  • Source. Your video URL … and be absolutely sure it works by checking it over and over.
  • Backup. This is the HTML code which will be read by clients without HTML5 video support. It trips up a lot of coders as it’s not specifically named by an identifier but is just an img src after the dimensions and source code.

Don’t be dissuaded by the seeming technical complexities as many email service providers can make embedding videos into your messaging a simple process!