Video in email
But, to further shore things up, Campaign Monitor has released a report on “The Current State of Video in Email.” Their results aren’t surprising:
To be honest, there weren’t a lot of surprises here. The OBJECT and EMBED tags remain as poorly supported now as they were 3 years ago. This instantly wipes out Flash, Quicktime, and Windows Media formats. As predicted, Java support was also a no show.
The best of a bad bunch
The results are quite conclusive – the only reliable way to embed video in email is an animated GIF. While it does render across almost all environments, there are (unfortunately) considerable downsides:
- Image blocking in most email clients means that it won’t be displayed by default.
- No support for sound
- Much larger file size and poor image quality.
- High CPU load (especially on Macs), so you can’t have a frame rate much faster than 10/second.
- Plays on load, user can’t control playback.
- Doesn’t work on mobile email clients because of significant CPU load.
Because of the large file size, we also had some deliverability issues related to the embedded animated GIF we tested. ISP’s such as AOL and Yahoo wouldn’t load the original animated GIF because of its file size. Externally referenced is certainly the way to go if your animated GIF runs for more than 5-10 seconds.Campaign Monitor, The Current State of Video in Email, Campaign Monitor Blog (2006), http://web.archive.org/web/20090116031311/http://www.campaignmonitor.com/videoinemail/ (last visited Feb 8, 2020).
I know it seems like such a waste to many marketers to not be able to put video messages in their campaigns, but in the current climate it continues to NOT be a best practice.