Marketing challenge

Have you ever wondered if you could get more from e-mail marketing? I did. As I work as an automation specialist, I wondered how I could make my/our campaigns more efficient, and thought about embedding videos in emails. As this was something our company does not do now, I needed to do some research and find out if using video in emails makes sense for our campaigns.



I wanted to check the feasibility of using video in emails, and I had to check what effect this might have on the efficiency of email marketing, and find out what impact embedding video may have on overall email performance including open and clickthrough rates, unsubscribes, and deliverability, taking cost into consideration as well.


Benefit for you: Improved e-mail efficiency

So I did some research: According to British marketing firm Adestra, you’d get 20% higher click-through rate by having the word “video” in your subject line, similarly, your open rate would be higher. Brightcove states that 77% of consumers say they’ve been convinced to buy a product or service by watching a video. So clearly this would be a great benefit for my company.


Facilitating interactions

When your video is on your own landing page, you have more control over your viewers' next action. They can leave a comment, ask a question, or start a discussion immediately after watching. They can explore other content on your site and consider signing up for an account. They can share your content, and the people they share it with can do it all over again.

Embedding a video into the email takes away the mystery of your video, and keeps your audience in their email client instead of on your website.

One other consideration with video embedded in email is being able to determine how many people who click the video, actually end up watching it. To track clicks, custom click tracking would also have to be implemented.


Benefit for your customers: Improved user experience

The main benefit of embedding videos to your email is that your audience will have a better user experience. On mobile devices, embedding video directly to email saves users a click.

Different clients work on different operating systems and have different video display capabilities. Video is one of the most interesting and widely supported features of HTML5. If a large number of your subscribers use Apple Mail/, you may want to try embedding an HTML5 video in your email. You can learn more about HTML5 later on in the risk paragraph. 



According to Campaign Monitor, 76% of marketers plan to increase their use of YouTube and video marketing. Video has an undeniable impact on email KPIs including:

  • Boost open rates by 19%.
  • Boost click-through rates by 65%.
  • Reduce unsubscribes by 26%.


The younger the generation, the more likely they are to watch videos

When it comes to video marketing, or online marketing, we need to have a look at the generation’s media consumption habits: how, when, where and so on. The younger the generation is, the more likely they are to watch videos – According to Video-university. Even more: they do expect videos.



Unfortunately, embedding videos into email is not that simple. Not every e-mail client is able to play embedded videos; popular services like Outlook, Gmail, and Yahoo being completely unable to do so. Thus, embedding a video in email becomes a gamble: users of 24% of the platforms will see it, but the other 76% will leave unhappy being deprived of the content that their email client doesn’t allow them to see.


Email Client Support:



Play Video

Show Fallback

Android Yahoo! Mail


Android 4, Native Client


Android Gmail


AOL Mail


Apple Mail




IOS 10, Native Client


iOS 9, Native Client


iOS Gmail


iOS Outlook


iOS Yahoo! Mail


Lotus Notes


Outlook 2003-2016


Samsung Galaxy, Native Client


Yahoo! Mail



*Source: Email on Acid


Support for HTML 5 video is still limited, but the clients that do support it represent over 62% of the market according to Email on Acid. Furthermore, email applications, like the native iOS client, Apple Mail, and the Samsung email client will allow recipients to play your video within the email client itself. Other clients like Gmail and the Android devices will display fallback image.

It is also important to consider ROI before using it as producing video can be a significant expense.


Why does an image-linking workaround work better so far?

As much as you want to embed a video in your emails, the current preferred method remains the same: not embedding video at all. Many designers, programmers, and email marketers avoid using embedded video once they’ve weighed its pros and cons.

Most of them prefer using animated GIFs and static images added with a play button to encourage users to watch the full video on their landing page.

This has a couple of advantages: it’s easier to code and allows click-through, making it easier to track which of your emails are driving traffic to your landing page.



Investigate your target audience and examine what device they use when opening the email.

An embedded video in an email does improve users’ experience. Despite that, we have to examine if it is worth the time and effort needed to embed a video to an email, at least for now.

It will probably still take time until HTML5 format gets more widespread. Some of the bravest email marketers might use it now, but those will be the exception. Again, what really matters for your results is which email clients your list uses most. It’s a good idea to check your email analytics to see which email clients your subscribers use. You could segment your list by provider and only send the video email to those subscribers who use providers that support the video, but this again has some costs, efforts.


Impact on business

Our company decision is to not embed video in email for now, as the potential benefits do not yet justify the additional time and effort. Also, only 10% of our target segment – according to our latest campaign results - would be able to see the embedded version. However, we will keep a close eye on this and be ready to use it when it comes to be widely supported.



In case you decide to use video in your email, check out the following example on how to add the video to your email in Eloqua10 using fallback image.


<!-- Video -->       

<video muted="muted" autoplay="autoplay" controls="controls" poster="" width="398" height="208">


<source src="" type="video/mp4"></source>


<img src="" alt="" width="12" height="9"><a style="color: #0067c5; text-decoration: none" href="" target="_blank">View Video</a>


<object width="398" height="208">

<param name="video" value="{fallbackimagelink ">



<!-- Ends Video -->


In case embedded video is not available to your customers, they will see the image you specify with the IMG part. For others, the video specified after the source tag will get the video displayed.

You can easily configure your code to start the video automatically wherever possible by adjusting the autoplay value.

The links listed are dummy versions of a used link so the relevant fields can be substituted.


Marketing courses with influence on this topic

  • Fundamentals of Segmentation
  • Advanced Segmentation
  • Fundamentals of Forms and Landing Pages
  • Blind Form Submits