National Aquarium Rocks Video in Email Best Practices

3 min read · 7 years ago


Video in email best practices. It’s one of those hot topics customers often ask us about.

Can we use video in email yet?

How do we best send video to our subscribers?

When will video in email be supported?

Our recommendations have always been to:

Avoid using video directly in email. Only Apple Mail supports video played directly in the inbox, so it’s not worth sending to your full list when most subscribers won’t be able to play the video.

Instead, include a screenshot of your video with a play button overlaid.

Link to the video hosted on a landing page.

Be sure to give your subscribers a seamless experience when doing so, e.g. include your company’s branding and make sure the video is easy to find on the landing page.

Use an animated GIF to create a similar effect of a playing video in your email.

Recently, the National Aquarium blew me away with its take on using video in email. It combined the recommendations above: an animated GIF with a video play button overlaid.

The National Aquarium’s email was a “Species Spotlight” with a focus on green sea turtles.

It included an animated GIF of a green sea turtle swimming towards the reader with effects making it look like a video, including a play button. This makes it feel as though you’re actually viewing a small portion of the video.

As a marketer, you may not think anyone would believe it’s the video playing, but many subscribers aren’t as savvy as you. Regardless, the effect is impressive as a recipient.

Three other ways the National Aquarium got it right:

(1) Subject line: The subject line is “Turtle Tuesday Video.” The National Aquarium lets recipients know a video is included.

Watching is the main call-to-action (CTA) in the email, so the subject line sets clear expectations.

(2) Seamless click-through experience: The play-button/GIF links directly to the National Aquarium’s blog post about Turtle Tuesday, and you can’t miss the full video on the landing page.

The blog post’s title is even “Turtle Tuesday: Calypso’s Story,” so the interested readers know they’re in the right place after clicking through.

(3) Additional click-through opportunities: The Aquarium includes a big, blue, can’t-miss button at the bottom of the email with a clear message: Watch the Video.

Some readers respond better to images, some respond better to buttons, and some respond better to linked text.

Give recipients multiple ways to click through your messages in order to get the most out of your emails.

Two ways the National Aquarium could have done better:

(1) Bulletproof buttons: If your main CTA is linked within a button, readers won’t see it when images are off. Bulletproof buttons allow your CTAs to be viewed when images are off.

The National Aquarium’s other clickable link, (besides the video screenshot/GIF), is a button, so by using a bulletproof button, recipients would be able to see the “watch the video” CTA with images off.

Even more additional links: Give recipients as many opportunities as possible to click through your email.

The National Aquarium could have likely boosted its click-through rate by linking its preheader text, actionable text within the body of the email, and the headline.

Learn from your metrics to see what readers best respond to, but until then, give them many opportunities to act on your message.

Have you seen other senders execute an eye-catching an email with a link to a video or an animated GIF? Tell us about them in the comments section below.

This article was syndicated from Business 2 Community: National Aquarium Rocks Video in Email Best Practices

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