New APNG and WEBP formats bring to 90% the number of users who enjoy a multimedia experience in emails with Viewed videos

We have already spoken on several occasions about the persuasive power of video in your email marketing campaigns. But the truth is that adding video to your emails is not an easy task, unless it is done with the help of an automated solution to include videos in emails like Viewed.

Including a video in an email is not trivial

The difficulty lies in the fact that each device, mail client, browser or operating system is capable of interpreting or reproducing specific video or multimedia files and others are not. This makes playing videos in your emails non-trivial. In fact, if we only include an HTML5 video tag in our email template, what will happen is that approximately 7% of your recipients will see the video, but the rest will see nothing or an error message saying “the file could not be loaded ”.

There is also the issue of servers. Most ESPs (Email Service Providers) or Emailing Platforms do not allow including a multimedia file within the email because they do not want to carry the data traffic that this entails, they fear the saturation of their systems and they do not want to assume any extra cost. Some allow a maximum of a 2Mb file but that will only serve to include a file in GIF format with very poor quality.

Homemade solutions to include video in your email marketing campaigns

There are many posts on internet talking about the difficulties of including a video in an email, and in fact, most advise against it because they do not know how to overcome the technical problems it generates. So in the face of ignorance, they propose “homemade” solutions, from which you have to choose one of them. These solutions can be summarized as:

  • Include a frame of the video with a link to YouTube or another video platform.
  • Create a GIF from the video and include it in the email.

In the first option, the simplest of all, it is intended that YouTube or another video platform support the data traffic generated by the videos. This is not bad, but it is a solution that continues to deliver a static email and that achieves only 16% of reproductions compared to open emails, something that is far from the 85% of reproductions that is achieved with Viewed technology. In addition, once the user is on YouTube, his traceability is lost and he can lose himself in the visualization of videos of the competitors or others, losing the campaign all its effectiveness. Neither views are achieved nor conversions are achieved. Just a small increase in clicks.

The second option can seem very tempting, as a GIF looks a lot like a video, so why not give it a try. There are several platforms that create a GIF from a video, but none of them take into account that this GIF will be reproduced in an email and the limitations or problems that may appear. In fact, the GIF format is a sequence of animated images, so the weight of the GIF will be very similar to the weight of the sum of images it contains.

As this would be outrageous, to reduce weight, GIFs reduce the number of frames per second (which in a common video is 25fps or frames per second) as well as the number of colors to a maximum of 256, eliminating those colors that they are not in the picture to reduce that weight. This will always be a headache for an Email Marketing Manager who will ask his design team to create a GIF of the highest quality but usually less than 2Gb so that his ESP will let him include it and send it in his email. Then the designer will have to play with the resolution, the number of frames per second and the duration time of the GIF. Let’s see below some homemade examples of GIFs created from video.

Original video

Resolution: 600 x 338 pixels

Size: 6,1 Mbytes

Fps: 25

Duration: 30s

Homemade low resolution animation GIF

Low resolution animation GIF

Resolution: 300 x 169 pixels

Size: 7.6 Mbytes

Fps: 12

Duration: 10s

Homemade low fps animation GIF

Low fps rate animation GIF

Resolution: 600 x 338 pixels

Size: 3.9 Mbytes

Fps: 2

Duration: 2s

Professional solution to include video in your email marketing campaigns

So far we have talked about images with a link to YouTube or GIFs but we have not talked about videos or the new high-quality image animation formats APNG and WEBP. If you want to take advantage of all your creative potential and launch yourself to increase the results of your campaigns, you have to make professional video emails with tools like Viewed. But how does Viewed technology work and what is special about it?

Viewed video in email technology automates the entire process by creating more than 20 multimedia files to show each recipient the best possible format based on their technology, email client, device and browser. There are 4 groups of files that will be shown accordingly in each email:

  • Image linked to video
  • Animation GIF optimized for email
  • High Quality Animation (new APNG and WEBP formats)
  • Video

For each of these groups, different files are created, with different resolutions for mobile, tablet or PC / Mac, different characteristics and optimized codecs for each one of them. Once all the files and variations of your video have been created, you can copy a piece of HTML code to embed it or include it in your email template and send it with your ESP in the usual way. With those systems with which we have some video email integration such as Hubspot, Mailchimp or BEE Free, you will only have to copy the ID of the video and paste it into the Viewed module in your ESP, and follow the steps in the corresponding tutorial.

When you send your email with an integrated Viewed video, each user will receive the best possible multimedia file, and also Viewed servers will handle all data traffic automatically, so your ESP will not suffer because it will only be sending a plain text code. There will be no embedded file. Below is a generic scheme that indicates the % of users who will receive each experience in their email.

Viewed video-in-email compatibility percentages

Also with Viewed you will have metrics of everything that is happening with your videos. From your user panel you can access the statistics of your videos and analyze the number of views by device, operating system, browser, geolocation, as well as view the viewing time and events such as stop, play, rewind, pause, etc.

The following describes the characteristics of each of the groups of files created by Viewed:

IMAGE LINKED TO VIDEO

How it works: When you upload your video to the Viewed platform, it will automatically take the frame that matches the second 9 of your video, except if it lasts less than 10s, the second 1 will be taken. From the Professional Plan you can upload a different image if you don’t like the one that Viewed took by default or if you want to include a CTA (call to action) in said image to generate more engagement.

Resolution: the one you choose in Viewed when uploading your video; the same as the video. If you upload another image, remember that it must have the same resolution so that there are no problems with the design of your campaign.

Number of colors: 16 million colors.

Time or duration: Does not apply.

User experience: If the recipient is within that 10% who still cannot see multimedia content in their email, when they open their email, the chosen image will be displayed with an automatically superimposed “play” icon. You don’t have to add it yourself. If the user clicks, the system will take them by default to a landing page containing the video. From the Professional Plan you can change the click destination and embed the video on your own landing page.

Example: An example of an image linked to the video is shown below.

Image linked to video

Who will see it ?: The following table shows the list of technologies that will see an image with a link to the video.

image linked to video

ANIMATION GIF OPTIMIZED FOR EMAIL

Features: Viewed technology uses a self-developed algorithm to generate various animation GIFs from your original video. This algorithm optimizes quality and reduces weight, so that it complies with the limitations of some email clients such as Gmail, which does not allow to deliver files larger than 10Mb. The algorithm also creates different versions for computer and mobile devices. The size and quality of the resulting file is highly dependent on the original file. If the algorithm creates a GIF that is larger than 10Mb, then it automatically passes it back to just below that size. All of this runs fully automatically on Viewed servers in the cloud.

Resolution: the one you choose in Viewed when uploading your video; the same as video, with a maximum width of 700 pixels (height is calculated automatically). Additionally, a reduced version of 360 pixels is created that will be displayed on the screens of some mobile devices.

Number of colors: GIFs are files that are limited to 256 colors, so if the conversion is not done with the correct algorithm, the final result shows poor quality, pasteurized, no detail and grainy. This is especially noticeable on faces and gradients. The Viewed algorithm corrects and optimizes these effects.

Time or duration: 9 seconds.

Behavior: When the recipient opens your email, if the most suitable format for him is an animation GIF, it will be loaded in its optimal version and will automatically begin to play within the email. As it is a sequence of images, it will obviously not have sound, but an audio icon is included so that those who want to listen to the video can do so. Clicking on the audio icon will open a landing page containing the video in high quality and with sound. From the Professional Plan you can change the destination of the click and embed the video on your own landing page. It is also possible to change the GIF created by Viewed to one made by you, but we do not recommend it without the supervision of a Viewed account manager as the result may be worse than the original created by Viewed.

Example: An example of an animated GIF created by the Viewed algorithm is displayed.

GIF ANIMATION OPTIMIZED FOR EMAIL

Who will see it ?: The following table shows the list of technologies that will see an animation GIF:

animation optimized for email

HIGH QUALITY ANIMATION (NEW WEBP and APNG FORMATS)

Features: Viewed technology is updated and incorporates the new WEBP and APNG animation formats. These formats are the evolution of GIF as they allow up to 16 million colors with highly optimized graphic fluency and compression. The problem is that they are not yet compatible with all email clients and / or browsers, so it is necessary to detect the recipient’s technology in real time to deliver the correct file. Moreover, normally, the systems that can reproduce a WEBP animation do not reproduce the APNGs and the same in reverse.

Resolution: the one you choose in Viewed when uploading your video; the same as video, with a maximum width of 700 pixels (height is calculated automatically).

Number of colors: 16 million colors

Time or duration: 9 seconds.

Behavior: If the most suitable format for the user is a high quality animation, either WEBP or APNG, it will be automatically reproduced within the email. The result is very similar to a video, but as it is also a sequence of images, it will not initially have sound either. An audio icon is included so that those who want to listen to the video can do so. Clicking on the audio icon will open a landing page containing the video in high quality and with audio. From the Professional Plan you can change the destination of the click and embed the video on your own landing page. It is not possible to upload your own APNG or WEBP file, but you can request a custom one from the Advanced Plan.

Example: An example of a high-quality animation created by Viewed technology is displayed:

VIDEO

Who will see it ?: The following table shows the list of technologies that will see a high quality animation:

Animation hd

VIDEO

Characteristics: There are 55% of recipients who can already play video directly in their email, as long as the file is delivered in the correct format. These can be .mp4, .ogg or .webm, although for the user there will be no difference in terms of quality. Delivering a video file other than the one supported by your system will generate a display error. Therefore, it is necessary to use an intelligent technology that, in addition to delivering a high-quality image, GIF or animation, is capable of delivering the correct video to those who can already play it.

Resolution: the one you choose in Viewed when uploading your video with a maximum width of 700 pixels (the height is calculated automatically).

Number of colors: 16 million colors

Time or duration: the same as your original video.

Behavior: The video is played within the email. You can configure the behavior of your video when you upload it to Viewed. For example you can choose to play with autoplay or after clicking. It is also possible to decide if the video will start with audio or without audio, and if we want the video to be played in a loop or just once. Note that some systems will not play the video in autoplay if the audio is activated, since the market trend is for videos in autoplay with the audio muted by default to protect the user. It is something that does not happen only in email but in all digital channels.

Example: An example of a video that can be played in the body of emails is displayed:

Who will see it ?: The following table shows the list of technologies that will see a video within your email:

Video

Shall we summarize it?

Showing video and other multimedia files within an email is an excellent strategy to increase the engagement, clicks and conversions of your email marketing campaigns. Doing it by your own means is a chimera and ESPs do not facilitate the work, except those that have a direct integration with Viewed. Doing it using Viewed technology is as easy as uploading your video, copying the video ID or code, pasting it into your HTML Email Template and sending it as usual. Everything will work like a charm even if you send millions of video emails thanks to our powerful cloud servers capable of delivering multimedia content around the world.

This is the technology offered from the Free Plan (with watermark) to the Advanced. But you can still be creating much more impactful campaigns with the Enterprise Plan. In this case, you will be able to opt for personalized videos in real time for each user, for example to recover abandoned carts, including in the video texts, speech and images customized specifically for him. The behavior of these personalized videos in email will follow the same scheme as detailed in this post for common videos.

What are you waiting for to join the technological revolution of Viewed?