Video in Email

Video support in email is quickly becoming the hottest topic in email marketing circles. Many years ago most desktop and web-based email clients actually supported video in email. As security tightened and spam became a bigger problem, the belt was tightened and video support became a thing of the past.

The Verdict

No!

Avoid video. Video only works in Apple Mail. If you absolutely must have moving images, the only reliable solution is to use an animated GIF.

With the proliferation of video on the web the past couple of years through improvements in software, bandwidth and available content, the email industry is again begging the question: can it be done? We decided to find out.

Embedding methods

Just like the web, there is a range of different approaches you can take to try and display video in an email. Here’s a list of the approaches I tried for the purpose of this test.

Email client Flash Quicktime Windows Media Animated GIF Java Applet Emb MPEG HTML5
Desktop
AOL Desktop 10.1 No No No Yes No No  
Apple Mail Yes Yes Yes Yes No No Yes
Entourage 2008 No No No Yes No No  
Lotus Notes 6.5 No No No Yes Yes No No
Lotus Notes 7 No No No Yes Yes No No
Lotus Notes 8+ No No No Yes No No No
Outlook 2003 No No No Yes No Yes No
Outlook 2007+ No No No No No No No
Thunderbird No No No Yes No No  
Windows Mail No No No Yes No No No
Web-based
AOL Web No No No Yes No No No
Gmail No No No Yes No No No
MobileMe No No No Yes No No  
Outlook.com No No No Yes No No Info
Yahoo! Mail No No No Yes No No No
Mobile
BlackBerry No No No Yes No No No
Android (default) No No No Yes No No No
iPhone No No No Yes No No Yes
Windows Mobile 5 No No No No No No No
Windows Mobile 6 No No No Yes No No No

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