Using Autoplay video in Email

Using autoplay video in email is not a new concept. An image in the browser or media player with a typical call to action (‘click to play’) is standard behaviour. Since the introduction of HTML 5, a video that starts playing as soon as you open the email has become simpler.

Whether you’re looking to use this in an upcoming email campaign or not is up to you. A recent study found that video in email marketing was shown to increase click through rates by over 96% in some cases.

Like most marketing techniques, there is a time, place and audience for which videos will work and improve conversion rates. If someone is at work reading your email and an autoplay video playing a soundtrack blares out of their speakers, it may not be appreciated. Video usually works well when aiming a campaign at a B2C audience, rather than a B2B.

However, HTML 5 is not the final solution for video in email. Not all email clients support HTML 5 and those that do sometimes disable the <video> tag. But there is some good news.

Apple Mail started supporting HTML 5 for most browsers. On iOS devices the video is shown as a clickable video link that starts the video in the media player. All other desktop and web-based email clients display the fallback image, this can then include the call to action to click and play the video.

Yahoo has recently released an add–on widget which allows video to be played in the body of the email without using HTML 5. So there are other techniques out there which may be suitable for email clients that do not support HTML 5.

Autoplay video could have a massive impact when used in the correct scenario with content that is relevant and exciting to the recipient. As always, the only way you’ll get it right is to test, test and test again.

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