Email Marketing & AutomationSales Enablement

Sendspark: Best Practices And Fallback Methodologies for Video In HTML Emails

Getting the attention of your subscribers is becoming more and more difficult, necessitating strategies like interactive elements to entice a subscriber to engage with each email. One strategy that’s been growing in popularity is the use of videos in email.

Video Support In HTML Email

It’s important to note that when we say video in email, what we are really speaking to is support for the video HTML tag in email, not an actual attached video that the subscriber can download and watch. And… not all email services or email clients support the playing of videos in emails. We’ll discuss some fallbacks and best practices for sending videos in this article.

These email clients DO support videos embedded in emails:

  • Apple Mail (Mac and iOS)
  • Superhuman
  • Outlook on Mac
  • iOS Mail
  • Samsung Mail
  • Thunderbird

These email platforms do NOT support videos embedded in emails:

  • Gmail
  • Outlook (everywhere except Mac)
  • Android
  • AOL Mail
  • Lotus Notes
  • Yahoo! Mail

How To Include A Video In An HTML Email

Gmail and PC-based Outlook make up approximately 60% of the market and do not support embedded videos, but there are some backup methodologies and properly written HTML for emails can incorporate fallback methodologies. For email clients that do not allow playing the embedded video, they can alternatively display an image. Here’s an example:

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html lang="en">
<head>
  <meta charset="UTF-8">
  <meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width, initial-scale=1.0">
  <style>
    body {
      font-family: Arial, sans-serif;
    }
    .container {
      max-width: 600px;
      margin: 0 auto;
    }
    .video-wrapper {
      position: relative;
      padding-bottom: 56.25%;
      height: 0;
      overflow: hidden;
    }
    .video-wrapper iframe,
    .video-wrapper video {
      position: absolute;
      top: 0;
      left: 0;
      width: 100%;
      height: 100%;
    }
  </style>
</head>
<body>
  <div class="container">
    <h1>Your Video Email</h1>
    <p>Dear user,</p>
    <p>We have an exciting video for you. Please watch it below:</p>
    <div class="video-wrapper">
      <video width="100%" height="auto" controls>
        <source src="https://your-video-url.com/video.mp4" type="video/mp4">
        <!--[if !mso]><!-->
        <a href="https://your-video-url.com">
          <img src="https://your-image-url.com/fallback-image.jpg" alt="Fallback image">
        </a>
        <!--<![endif]-->
      </video>
    </div>
    <p>If you cannot see the video, please <a href="https://your-video-url.com">click here to watch it on our website</a>.</p>
    <p>Best regards,</p>
    <p>Your Team</p>
  </div>
</body>
</html>

Replace https://your-video-url.com/video.mp4 with the URL of your video file and https://your-image-url.com/fallback-image.jpg with the URL of your fallback image. The fallback image will be displayed as a link to the video when the video cannot be played in the email client.

Best Practices for Video in Emails

If you’re subscribed to my email, you’ll notice that WordPress replaces a video with a static image. That’s pretty much what the code does above but I’ve seen far better implementations, though. Here’s my advice:

  • Poor – Provide a static image that’s a frame of the video with an external link to watch the video in a browser. At issue here is that there’s nothing to denote that it’s a video and should be clicked so your subscribers may not even try.
  • Good – Overlay a play button on the image so that the user recognizes that it’s a video that can be clicked to be played. Insert the static image with an anchor tag that is linked to the page the video will play on.
  • Better – Do everything in Good, but also add a note there’s a video that’s included and if the subscriber is unable to see it, they can watch it if they click the following link.
  • Best – Convert your video to a short animated GIF that also incorporates the play button. Animated gifs are a fantastic way to instantly show the subscriber that there’s a video they can click and watch.

Sendspark Sales Outreach

SendSpark is a platform that allows you to create, personalize, and track personalized video messages for email outreach. Platforms like Sendspark do a fantastic job of embedding video in email for either one-to-one emails or one-to-many emails. Here’s an overview of the platform.

Sendspark Video In Email Features Include

  1. Video Creation: SendSpark allows you to record videos using your webcam or upload pre-recorded videos. You can also add captions, trim the video, and include calls-to-action within the video.
  2. Personalization: SendSpark enables you to personalize video messages with merge tags, custom thumbnails, and animated GIF previews to increase engagement and click-through rates.
  3. Video Landing Pages: You can create custom video landing pages to share your videos with your audience, complete with your branding, custom messaging, and calls-to-action.
  4. Video Library: SendSpark provides a video library where you can store, organize, and manage all your videos in one place.
  5. Integrations: SendSpark integrates with various email marketing and CRM tools, allowing you to incorporate video messages seamlessly into your existing email workflows and campaigns.
  6. Analytics: SendSpark offers detailed analytics on video engagement, including view counts, watch time, click-through rates, and conversions, helping you measure the effectiveness of your video messages.
  7. Team Collaboration: SendSpark supports team collaboration features, enabling multiple team members to access and contribute to the same video projects.

You can test their platform for free and Martech Zone readers can get 10% off when they sign up with promo code SCALEYOURSELF.

Send Your First Video In Email With Sendspark

Disclosure: Martech Zone is an affiliate of Sendspark and we are using our affiliate links in this article.

Douglas Karr

Douglas Karr is CMO of OpenINSIGHTS and the founder of the Martech Zone. Douglas has helped dozens of successful MarTech startups, has assisted in the due diligence of over $5 bil in Martech acquisitions and investments, and continues to assist companies in implementing and automating their sales and marketing strategies. Douglas is an internationally recognized digital transformation and MarTech expert and speaker. Douglas is also a published author of a Dummie's guide and a business leadership book.

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