Email is a great tool to share your video with a large audience, but unfortunately, most major email clients (including Gmail and Yahoo) do not support playing video directly in an email. That being said, there are a few different options you can use to add your video to an email.
✦ Insert an image file that links to your video page on Vimeo (recommended)
If you are using another service to generate an email campaign, it’s likely there are tools within that service to help you embed your video as a clickable image. Here are some helpful resources for a few different providers:
- Mail Chimp: https://mailchimp.com/help/add-video-to-a-campaign/
- Constant Contact: https://knowledgebase.constantcontact.com/articles/KnowledgeBase/6227-insert-a-video-link-in-the-next-generation-editor?+target=&lang=en_US#VideoBlock
- Drip: https://help.drip.com/hc/en-us/articles/115003729431-An-Alternative-to-Embedded-Video
- Campaign Monitor: https://help.campaignmonitor.com/email-builder-video-and-music
For email clients like Gmail, you can also manually insert an image file and add a hyperlink to your video page on Vimeo (e.g, https://vimeo.com/76979871), a review page (e.g https://vimeo.com/staff/review/76979871/3b3934c24b), or the standalone player itself (e.g https://player.vimeo.com/video/76979871). The standalone player link can be found in your video’s embed code.
When linking to your video from an image file, it’s best to use a static image that contains a play button. This will give the illusion of a video player and alert your audience that they are being directed to a video. The simplest way to generate a thumbnail with a “play button” graphic is by taking a screenshot of the Vimeo player.
Here is an example from the video settings page:
(💡TIP: Plus members and above can customize a preview player in the Embed section of the video settings page)
Developers can also use the Vimeo API or oEmbed to pull a thumbnail with a play button. More information on our API can be found in the resources below:
You are also free to design your own video thumbnail and get as creative you want (keep in mind that animated GIF’s are supported by most email clients).
✦ Embedding your videos using HTML
If your audience is primarily using email clients that do support playback in email (such as Apple Mail), you can embed your videos using custom HTML code.
Note: This option requires the following prerequisites:
- Some technical knowledge of HTML
- An email client that allows you to edit the HTML of your messages directly.
- A Vimeo PRO account or higher
To get started, you’ll need to access direct file links to your hosted video file on Vimeo, and then insert it into an HTML video tag in your email client. You can find direct links to your video in the “Distribution” section of the video settings page as shown below:
(Note: Standard def is recommended as it’ll be easiest to stream across different internet connections)
Similar to the thumbnail option above, you will also need to create a “fallback image” for the email clients that don't support video. For example, your code might look something like this:
<video width="320" height="176" controls poster="https://i.vimeocdn.com/filter/overlay?src0=https%3A%2F%2Fi.vimeocdn.com%2Fvideo%2F452001751_295x166.webp&src1=http%3A%2F%2Ff.vimeocdn.com%2Fp%2Fimages%2Fcrawler_play.png" src="https://player.vimeo.com/external/76979871.sd.mp4?s=64f8b272e5a5a47e8c5208f68beabc71a443a61e&profile_id=112" >
<!-- fallback 1 -->
<a href="https://www.vimeo.com/staff/player" ><img height="176"
src="https://i.vimeocdn.com/filter/overlay?src0=https%3A%2F%2Fi.vimeocdn.com%2Fvideo%2F452001751_295x166.webp&src1=http%3A%2F%2Ff.vimeocdn.com%2Fp%2Fimages%2Fcrawler_play.png" width="320" /></a>
You can find a detailed overview of using HTML5 video in email from Email on Acid: https://www.emailonacid.com/blog/article/email-development/a_how_to_guide_to_embedding_html5_video_in_email