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Embedding video into your email – will it work?

Check out the updated version of this post.

Video in email is a common topic of discussion with clients, but it is often shrouded in mystery”¦ will it work? Or won’t it? Which email clients support it and which don’t?  Many of  us use a static image to link to a YouTube video which is perfectly acceptable, but with the rise of emails being opened on mobile devices and modern browsers, there hasn’t been a better time to actually look at how you could potentially increase engagement by delivering rendered video directly in your email campaigns.

In fact, our latest Campaign of the Month winner did just that.

VideoEmailAt Adestra, we partner with VideoEmail by Liveclicker to deliver rich video content into the inbox of your recipients.  Importantly, by using VideoEmail, we can assure clients that all mail clients capable of supporting video will render it, while all non-supporting mail clients receive a properly formatted animated .GIF video or a regular image. Currently, B2C mail clients are delivering fully-embedded video within email to 61.4% of all mail recipients on average.  B2B mail clients reach 36.7% on average. And that number is continuing to rise.

So exactly which clients can or can’t support embedded video?  Lets have a look below…

Mail clients supporting full video w/audio in email:

  • All iOS devices (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch), when the email is opened in the native mail client
  • Android tablets running Honeycomb (3.x.x) when the email is opened in the native mail client
  • Certain Android phones (not all Android phones support embedded video)
  • Hotmail (now, when viewed in an HTML5 compliant web browser (IE9+, Firefox 3.5+, Chrome, Safari 3.1+, Safari 3+ on iOS, and all Android releases)
  • Apple Mail 4
  • Outlook for Mac 2011
  • Thunderbird

Mail clients that display a silent animated .GIF or animated .PNG in place of video:

  • All webmail clients except Hotmail (, when viewed in a desktop browser, including Gmail, Yahoo, and AOL
  • Hotmail (, when viewed in Internet Explorer 8 or earlier
  • Outlook 2003, 2000, and Outlook Express
  • Lotus Notes (all versions)

Mail clients that will display a static image in place of video:

  • Outlook 2007 and 2010
  • Some Android phones running Gingerbread or earlier (2.3.6 or earlier) or Ice Cream Sandwich (4.x.x)

If you’re thinking about rendering video in your email campaigns, take the time to examine which email clients your recipients are using to view your emails by looking through the email client detection reports.  If you are targeting B2B customers with a high number of opens in Outlook 2010, then it’s obvious that the impact you might get from delivering rich video in email is going to be significantly lower than a B2C business hitting a high number of regular mobile openers.

For experience-focused emails, whether it be retail, travel, automotive, event or entertainment sectors, the emphasis on video within email has become more and more popular as businesses start to try and enhance the inbox experience of their recipient.  It is especially common to deliver film or video game trailers to an audience of engaged recipients who are also in touch with technology and expect to get the full experience on their mobile device. That instant impact is something which is ever more important in getting users to stay engaged with your brand.

Why not start a conversation today? If you’re an Adestra client, contact your Account Manager to learn more about how video in email can work for you, and what you need to do to get started.


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