First, the bad news: Most email programs can't play audio or video files directly (a plugin or another program is required), and so this content is often stripped from emails completely. The code required to display videos can also trip spam filters, which block emails from being delivered.
The good news is that there are a few ways you can get music and videos to your subscribers. Read on for more details.
If you're a band or label with songs or artists on iTunes, check out our iTunes AutoConnect template. We'll pull artist and song info directly from iTunes and put them in your campaign. We also have an Amazon AutoConnect template to pull product information for a books and music sold on Amazon. To access the AutoConnect templates:
- Navigate to the Template step of the Campaign Builder.
- Click the Themes tab.
- From the drop-down menu, choose Autoconnect.
- Choose the template you want to use and follow the prompts to insert information into the campaign.
Link to .mp3 or other music and media files
You can host your music file on your own server, and add a link for that file in your campaign, or let us host it for you and link to that hosted file instead.
Auto-convert your embedded videos
Do you have videos embedded in your content? If so, our auto-convert option is the easiest and quickest way to properly display them in your campaign. Give it a shot here.
Video merge tags
If you don't already have embedded videos (or if you're having problems with auto-convert), our video merge tags make it super easy to create a screenshot of a video and link to it right in your campaign. So, if you want to include a link to a video hosted on Vimeo, YouTube, Blip.tv, Vzaar, or Wistia, we have the merge tags to save you time.
Video merge tags automatically generate a screenshot of the embedded video player in your campaign that's linked to the standard location of the video online. The video won't play directly in the email since it's just a screenshot. Instead, when a subscriber clicks the video, it opens a normal web browser window and plays there. The screenshot is complete with the standard play button and progress bar used by each service and appears ready to play.
Here's the most basic format for the video merge tags:
where SERVICE will be replaced with the service name where your video is hosted, and XXXX is the unique identifier for the video. For most, the unique identifier is at the end of the URL for the video. Here's a list of the service names for the merge tags and how to find the ID for your video:
- BLIPTV To find the unique video identifier for a Blip.tv video, select the share option to get the embed code for the video. Look for iframe src= in the embed code, and the unique identifier comes just after that. For example, in the following embed code, the video ID is AYLljHwC:
<iframe src="http://blip.tv/play/AYLljHwC.html?p=1" width="550" height="339" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><embed type="application/x-shockwave-flash" src="http://a.blip.tv/api.swf#AYLljHwC" style="display:none"></embed>
Additional options for video merge tags
You can use the basic merge tag for any of the video services, and we'll take care of everything for you. But if you want more control over how the screenshot is displayed, we have some additional parameters that can be included. Some services don't support all of the options, though, so check out the chart below to see whether the options are available with the service you're using.
Here's an example YouTube merge tag with all of the parameters for the YouTube tag specified:
*|YOUTUBE:[$vid=fj77lSG6Bl8, $max_width=300, $ratings=N, $views=N, $border=N, $title=N, $trim_border=N]|*
- The width of the screenshot, in pixels. Defaults to the width of the screenshot provided by YouTube. Maximum value is 450. Can only be used to reduce the screenshot size.
- Y/N value. Defaults to Y to display the video title. If set to N the title won't be shown.
- Y/N value. Defaults to Y to wrap the screenshot with an HTML border. If set to N, no border will be added.
- Y/N value. Defaults to Y to trim white/black space from the screenshot. If set to N no trimming will be done to the screenshot.
- Y/N value. Defaults to Y to display the number of stars a video has received ("Likes" for Vimeo). If set to N these won't be shown.
- Y/N value. Defaults to Y to display the number of views a video has received. If set to N these won't be shown.
- A Wistia-specific option to specify the URL for tracking how your subscribers interact with the video. More details can be found here.
Which services support which options?
Not all of the tags support all of the parameters. This handy chart identifies which services support each optional parameter.
This feature is available to users with Author level or higher permissions. Take a look at this article to learn more about the different access levels for a MailChimp account.
You might be used to video merge tags that look like this: *|YOUTUBE:xxxx:max_width|*—these will continue to work, but you should use the tags above for new campaigns and templates.