Email is a familiar and simple form of communication. It's also very abundant, so many company employees are inundated with dozens (or hundreds) of emails every day. Having an email, newsletter, or marketing correspondence stand out among all those emails can be a challenge. Using enticing images and videos are great options for engaging recipients/customers.
Embedding a video thumbnail or link in an Email
Some email clients (Apple Mail, Outlook, Thunderbird, etc.) and/or services (Gmail, Yahoo! Mail, Outlook.com/Hotmail, etc.) may dynamically support video playback, but it's not consistent. Currently, the only method to embed a video within an email would be to insert an image of the video's thumbnail. This is because the email standard doesn't currently support the embedding and display of videos. Adding a play button on the image will make the image look like a video player, and the viewer will be tempted to click. You will need to link the image to where the video is hosted. There are three locations you could link to:
- The video embedded on your website - This gives you the most control over the video experience, and keeps the viewer within your brand experience. See example below.
- The video on viddler.com - If you don't have a website where you can embed your video(s), then you can use the link to the Viddler video page (example: viddler.com/v/7c1804e8). This will take the viewer to a nice, big player of your video, but will somewhat take them out of your brand experience.
- Linking directly to a video file - It's possible to link directly to the video file(s) we host. However, this is not recommended because the viewer experience will be different depending on the browser they're using (some may play the video, while others will force the video to download to the viewer's computer/device). Any views in this manner won't be accurately tracked by analytics. The file URL may change at any time, and this will result in a 'File not found' if you use an old file URL in your PDF.
Example of thumbnail image in an Email