As with audio files, most email programs can't display embedded video content and will strip that code from your campaign. In MailChimp, there are three easy ways to display a video player image and link to the video online: using our auto-convert feature, by manually adding and linking an image, or by using merge tags.

In this article:

Auto-convert your embedded videos

Are you already using embedded videos in your website, blog or RSS feed that you repurpose for email campaigns? If so, our auto-convert option is the easiest way to properly display them in your campaign.

In the Setup step of the Campaign Builder, expand the More Options heading and check the box next to Auto-convert video. That setting will tell MailChimp to search for video embed code and convert it into a screenshot and link the video file online, no matter how you build or design your campaign. Learn more about the auto-convert feature in this article.

Even though users can't play a video directly in their email inbox, you can design your email to look like there's a video in it. In the Campaign Builder, insert a screenshot of your video player and add a link to it. When the user clicks on the "play button," the video will open in a new browser window.

Need help taking a screenshot of your video player? Check out these tips for Mac and PC users.

Video merge tags

Video merge tags are another easy way to share your video content with subscribers. These merge tags work with popular video hosting services including Vimeo, YouTube, Blip.tv, Vzaar, or Wistia.

Rather than embed video directly into an email, video merge tags generate an image of a video player and link it to your video online. Although the video can't play directly in an email program, the video player image mimics an online player—with a play button and progress bar. When a subscriber clicks the image, they'll be able to watch the video in a new browser window.

Basic format

All video merge tags require you to enter some specific information about your video. They follow the format below:


*|SERVICE:[$vid=XXXX]|*

where SERVICE will be replaced with the service name where your video is hosted, and XXXX is the unique identifier for the video.

Services and unique identifiers

Several services are supported in MailChimp's video merge tags. Use the list below to find the service name and how to locate your video's unique identifier.

  • BLIPTV
    This unique identifier is found in BlipTV's embed code. Click the share option to get the embed code for the video. The video ID comes just after the iframe src= part of the code. In the following example, 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>
    
    
  • VIMEO
    The video ID is the number at the end of the video page URL. For example, 6223439 below:
    http://vimeo.com/6223439
  • VZAAR
    The VZAAR video ID is typically in the second part of the URL. For example, 344767 below:
    http://view.vzaar.com/344767.flashplayer
  • WISTIA
    As long as your Wistia video is public, the video's share link will include the unique ID at the end of the URL. For example mcLUn below:
    http://home.wistia.com/m/msLUn
  • YOUTUBE
    YouTube's unique ID is found at end of the URL. For example, fj77lSG6Bl8 below:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fj77lSG6Bl8

Video merge tag options

In addition to the basic video merge tag, you can set other parameters for how the video player image will appear in your campaign. Some video hosting services don't recognize all of the merge tag options. Be sure to check the table below to make sure your service supports the tags you add.

$max_width

Sets the width of the screenshot in pixels. Defaults to the width of the screenshot provided by the hosting service. Maximum value is 450. Can only be used to reduce the screenshot size.

$title

Sets video title visibility. Y/N value. Defaults to Y to display the video title. Set to N to hide title.

$border

Sets screenshot image border. Y/N value. Defaults to Y to include border. Set to N for no border.

$trim_border

Sets whether extra space is trimmed from screenshot. Y/N value. Defaults to Y to trim edges. Set to N to keep.

$ratings

Show or hide video ratings, stars or likes. Y/N value. Defaults to Y to display. Set to N to hide.

$views

Show or hide video views. Y/N value. Defaults to Y to display number of views. Set to N to hide.

$watch_URL

For Wistia only. Specify the URL for tracking subscriber interaction.

Here's an example YouTube merge tag with all of the supported parameters specified:


*|YOUTUBE:[$vid=fj77lSG6Bl8, $max_width=300, $ratings=N, $views=N, $border=N, $title=N, $trim_border=N]|*

Which services support which options?

Some services support certain parameters, and others don't. This handy chart identifies which parameters can be used in a particular service's video merge tag.

Service max_width title border trim_border ratings views watch_url
BLIPTV yes yes yes yes no no no
VIMEO yes yes yes yes yes no no
VZAAR yes yes yes yes no no no
WISTIA yes yes yes yes no no yes
YOUTUBE yes yes yes yes yes yes no

Examples

Blip.tv

bliptv merge tag example

On the left, just the video ID is provided: *|BLIPTV:[$vid=XXX]|*
On the right, the optional parameters are all set to "N": *|BLIPTV:[$vid=XXX, $max_width=250, $title=N, $border=N, $trim_border=N]|*

Vimeo
vimeo merge tag example

On the left, just the video ID is provided: *|VIMEO:[$vid=XXX]|*
On the right, the optional parameters are all set to "N": *|VIMEO:[$vid=XXX, $max_width=250, $title=N, $border=N, $trim_border=N, $ratings=N]|*

Vzaar
Vzaar example

On the left, just the video ID is provided: *|VZAAR:[$vid=XXX]|*

On the right, the optional parameters are all set to "N": *|VZAAR:[$vid=XXX, $max_width=250, $title=N, $border=N, $trim_border=N]|*

Wistia
Wistia example

On the left, just the video ID is provided: *|WISTIA:[$vid=XXX]|*
On the right, the optional parameters are all set to "N": *|WISTIA:[$vid=XXX, $max_width=250, $title=N, $border=N, $trim_border=N, $watch_url=http://mailchimp.wistia.com/m/6f2zqA]|*

YouTube
YouTube example

On the left, just the video ID is provided: *|YOUTUBE:[$vid=XXX]|*
On the right, the optional parameters are all set to "N": *|YOUTUBE:[$vid=XXX, $max_width=250, $title=N, $border=N, $trim_border=N, $ratings=N, $views=N]|*

Note

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.

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