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HTML5 video in mailer

     
11:25 am on Oct 13, 2015 (gmt 0)

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I have created an HTML5 mailer which contains a video. Ideally I would like a user to click "play" and then the video should play within the mail client. Currently this is not working and the fall-back image is displayed, which contains a link to the video on a website. The video fails in both Gmail & Outlook. The HTML mailer includes videos in .mp4 and .ogg formats. Is there a better way of doing this and how widely is it supported? Seems to be supported better on Apple Mail & Outlook for Mac.

I have omitted the full HTML however, here is a excerpt of the video section:

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html>
<head>
<title>Video</title>
</head>
<body>
<video width="100" height="100" controls="controls">
<source src="http://www.example.com/video.mp4" type="video/mp4">
<source src="http://www.example.com/video.ogg" type="video/ogg">
<a href="http://www.example.com/video"><img width="100" height="100" src="http://www.example.com/image.jpg" alt="" /></a>
</video>
</body>
</html>

Thank you in advance for any assistance.
1:23 pm on Oct 14, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Any guidelines here, please. I know Doctype used to be ignored by mail clients. Is this still the case? Do non-webkit browsers support HTML5 mailers?
6:52 pm on Oct 14, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Personally I have never seen a video play in an email, so I did not even know it was a possibility. I would send it as an image and make it look like it has a play button on it, when they click to play it, send them to a page/lander that autoplays the video.

Assuming your action is to get them to do something on a website, you would need them to go there anyway?
8:59 pm on Oct 14, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Currently this is not working and the fall-back image is displayed

Wouldn't that mean that the reader has to click twice? First to Load Images, which no thinking person (and few email programs today) does by default, and then again to play the video. Seems like it would be simpler to keep it as a link that will open in the user's browser.
4:49 am on Oct 15, 2015 (gmt 0)

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This could be related to security settings in the email client not letting content display.

Does an attached video play in the embedded viewer?
7:43 am on Oct 15, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Thank you for your responses.

werty, I agree with you for the most part, except auto playing a video on a website. In my opinion a user should still be given an option to play a video once they reach a page.

lucy24, yes, a reader will need to click twice, however in all mailers I have worked with the reader needs to click to see the images initially, so I don't think this is a big ask. Including just the link in a mailer, would be a last resort in my opinion, because it's not very "easy on the eye" and images may be more attractive, especially to a client. I agree that it would be the simpler solution though. Gmail seems to handle youTube links the best, by allowing a user to play the video within the browser by displaying a lightbox, but for other mail clients it's rendered as just plain text.

Hoople, the software I am using to send the mailer does not support attachments. I think this is the case with most software, to prevent large attachments being sent and also for security purposes (sending viruses as attachments).

Seems like it will be some time yet before me can include videos and HTML5 in emails.
10:56 am on Oct 15, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Is this an opt in list? Opt ins are usually more receptive because they chose to receive the email.

I have this feeling that it won't be possible for the vast majority to receive, even if you can send it.

Most e-mail clients have imagery of all kinds turned off by default. I know that i would not play a video in an e-mail primarily because of the threats associated.

By all means, send a link to the landing page with the video using the format that werty suggests.
12:21 pm on Oct 15, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Yes, it's an opt-in list. Thanks engine.
11:30 pm on Oct 16, 2015 (gmt 0)

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What you mentioned about YouTube makes sense. Have you put the video on Youtube and then embedded that into the email? That you would think would work on gmail (maybe all of android), and show as a link in other apps.
 

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