How can I experiment with using video in e-mail?

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Answer: Video in e-mail has been a code that many e-mail marketers have been trying to crack for years. But the efforts aren’t always successful and can be very costly. There are some things to consider before moving down this path.

First, determine if including video is going to enhance the message or if you’re just doing it to be really cool. Next, the production of quality video can be very expensive. If you’re going to experiment with video in e-mail, make sure it’s of the highest quality. Don’t let poorly made video be the cause of failure. Last, decide if you actually want to include the video in the e-mail or if you just want it to appear that the video is in the e-mail. Let me elaborate:

Including video in the actual e-mail message can be handled in a couple of ways. The first is when the video file is physically attached to the message and then referenced in the e-mail code. This method allows the video to be embedded and play directly in the e-mail, whether automatically or with a rollover. A video compression process is needed to keep file size as low as possible. Plus, the code used to embed a video is not widely supported.

The other, more preferred and widely used method is to place a .gif or .jpeg file in the e-mail, which appears to be a media player when in fact it is just a graphic. Upon clicking, the recipient goes to a landing page where the video plays. While you will lose the sizzle of having the video play directly in the e-mail, you can avoid the issues that go along with the first method. Plus, using this method, you even have a trackable click-through metric to gauge recipient interest in the video.

Kara Trivunovic is director of strategic services at Premiere Global Services, eMarketing Solutions (

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