Video is still a no-no in email marketing, but hope is on the way
There are two platforms that, just by mentioning them, will cause any web designer to shudder: Internet Explorer 6 and email clients. While technically, IE6 is dead and buried, many publishers still rely on email marketing to communicate with readers.
Problem is, designing an email is like taking a trip back to 1996. Want to freely use CSS? Good luck. Forget to specifically define the size of your images? Nice knowin’ ya.
So trying to put video in your email newsletter is a lot like trying putting airbags in a horse and buggy: It would ignore the sizable growth the technology needs to finally catch up to modern times.
While online video has successfully proliferated on the rest of the web, publishers are unable to use video in email marketing campaigns, causing some people to get a bit… creative. The current best practice is to take a screenshot of your video with the play button fully visible to entice the user to click through to a landing page (see below).
On the surface, the idea works, driving clickthroughs. Though I think the practice is one that largely revolves around deceit, which is never a good user experience. Also, many email clients block images by default.
So is there any hope?
There are a few email vendors out there like Goodmail working to overcome the video hurdle. However Goodmail only works with web-based email clients, and the company must work out deals with individual service providers.
Otherwise, at least for now, it looks like we’re still stuck in the horse and buggy days.