Internet users and Internet marketers alike are waiting on the final implementation of HTML5 to allow for embedded videos in emails. With the text format of weekly newsletters and blanket emails wearing thin, users are dying to use an engaging media like video to spruce up their email campaigns.
HTML5 aims to bring this universal change, but with Gmail not quite there yet, and many online users unhappy with the overall Hotmail service (which is the only email provider to allow videos in emails at the moment) video email marketing is still at a standstill. Even the iPad and iPhone uses of video emailing isn’t really cutting it for most brands, bloggers and businesses.
So, what can you do? Well here are 3 essential shortcuts for using video in your email campaigns without HTML5.
Gmail URL Preview
Video email campaigns on Gmail can make use of the video preview function to help make video URL links more prominent in amongst your email text. This does go on the basis of a simple URL placed within in the email, but its Gmails’ ability to preview this link that provides the video Thumbnail.
Be wary that the effect of this shortcut will be stunted if you try to include more than one video at a time. Try to keep the video content in your emails limited to just one link per email. A barrage of links will be just as off-putting as a barrage of text. Remember your Gmail preview will only work with other Gmail users or Hotmail users so you may have mixed viewership of your video content depending on the types of email account your recipients are using.
Video Image Hyperlink
If you’re a YouTube user you’ll be familiar with the concept of using hyperlinks to send users to pieces of video content. Users do this to send online audiences to other pieces of content they might enjoy. Your email can adopt a similar convention.
If you take a Screenshot (Print Screen) of your video Thumbnail on YouTube or on Vimeo, Daily Motion, Viddler, Bitsontherun, Brightcove or whatever video hosting site you’re using, you can then use that image, hyperlink it to your video content, and send users to your video that way.
Emails are always very happy with using image content and by using an actual picture of your video player Thumbnail you can encourage users into clicking the content as they’ll be expecting to see a video play). When they click the hyperlinked image they’ll land on your video page and receive the video content, except it’ll be presented in a different Tab or Window instead of within the email.
An alternative shortcut to getting around the absence of HTML5’s video email support is to make use of .”gif” files. Gif files are captures pieces of video that play on a loop with no audio. They’re traditionally found in online Forums and as such sometimes have a certain spammy or unfamiliar stigma attached to them. Although as you would make your own .gif image file for your content your email recipients would have no such issues with your content.
A .gif file can be hyperlinked much like an image and can help to encourage users to click on it in order to access the video content referenced in your email.
Here’s a tongue-in-cheek look at what I mean, the link is http://www.gifbin.com/985925
When HTML5 comes into play the platform for email marketing will take drastic shift. When it allows for effortless video integration Internet marketers everywhere will be able to make their email campaigns stand out from the crowd. Until it’s released though you can be sure to make use of these 3 essential shortcuts to help you market both your email campaigns and Internet video productions far more effectively.