With the amount of email found in most inboxes today, getting consumers to engage is tough. You have just seconds to attract their attention and convince them to act. Until recently email marketers had to rely mainly on strong subject lines, catchy headlines, and inviting images. But now there’s an exciting new option: Video In Email.
Video is arguably the most popular form of content on the Internet. According to Google, Internet users spend an average of two hours per day watching video – including ads – versus just eleven minutes reading text. With its sound and motion, video enables viewers to comprehend and emotionally connect to a subject unlike static text or images. The ability to instantly engage users makes video ideal for email.
Adding video to email is more than just a gimmick. The rich experience of video can significantly boost engagement and conversion. Video in email has been shown to increase click-throughs by 96% according to a 2010 Implix study.
In spite of the obvious upside, marketers have largely avoided the use of video in email due to a variety of issues. Until recently, the use of video required a plug-in player application. Plug-ins like Flash and Quicktime can open the door to malicious code, so they pose a security risk. As a result, plug-in dependent video messages could negatively impact deliverability because they were often caught in spam filters.
Even in cases where the required plug-in was resident on the user’s system, rendering could be less than optimal due to file size. With email best practices for file size at about 100 KB or less and just a few seconds of video weighing megabytes, adding video could potentially cause users to wait minutes for an email to download. Wait time means negate time when it comes to email, so video was pretty much dead on arrival.
Now things have changed for the better. The debut of HTML5 and its rapid acceptance among email clients means the addition of a simple tag within an email’s code can deliver video to the inbox without the need for a third party plug-in. The delivery of video files over HTTP via progressive download enables users to start watching video without waiting for the entire file to download first. Bypassing the need for plug-ins and overcoming the issue of file size means users on desktop and mobile devices with 3G or better connections can finally experience smooth video playback within email.