Most email clients can't display embedded video content, and will strip the code from your campaign. When you create a campaign in MailChimp, use our Auto-Convert feature, link an image, insert a Video content block, or use merge tags to share a thumbnail image of the video that links to the video's URL.
In this article, you'll learn about each of these options and how to use them in your campaign.
Insert Video Content Block
Our Video content block pulls a thumbnail image from your YouTube or Vimeo video and overlays a play button icon. The thumbnail is linked to the video URL, so subscribers can click the thumbnail to watch the video in a new browser window.
You can use videos from services other than YouTube and Vimeo, but you will need to upload an image to the Content Manager to represent the video.
Video Merge Tags
Rather than embed video directly into an email, video merge tags generate a thumbnail 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 thumbnail, they can watch the video in a new browser window.
All video merge tags require you to enter some specific information about your video. The video merge tag uses the following format.
Where SERVICE is 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.
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>
The video ID is the number at the end of the video page URL. For example, 6223439 below:
The VZAAR video ID is typically in the second part of the URL. For example, 344767 below:
For the video merge tag to work with Vzaar videos, the Public API Feeds setting in the API section of your Vzaar account settings needs to be set to either Public Videos Only or All Videos, so we can pull in your video through your Vzaar account's API.
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's unique ID is found at end of the URL. For example, fj77lSG6Bl8 below:
By default, the merge tag aligns your video's thumbnail image on the left side of the content block. To center the video, you will need to add some code to the content block's HTML code.
To do this on the Design step of the Campaign Builder, select the content block where you want the thumbnail for your video. Then click the Source icon (< >) in the editor toolbar, and add the following code where you want your video to appear.
<table align="center"> <tbody> <tr> <td> *|SERVICE:[$vid=XXXX]|* </td> </tr> </tbody> </table>
Replace SERVICE with the service name where your video is hosted and XXXX with your video’s unique identifier.
In addition to the basic video merge tag, you can set other parameters for how the thumbnail image will appear in your campaign. Some video-hosting services don't recognize all of the merge tag options, so check the table below to make sure your service supports the tags you add.
Sets the width of the thumbnail in pixels. Defaults to the width of the thumbnail provided by the hosting service. Maximum value is 450. Can only be used to reduce the thumbnail size.
Sets video title visibility. Y/N value. Defaults to Y to display the video title. Set to N to hide title.
Sets thumbnail image border. Y/N value. Defaults to Y to include border. Set to N for no border.
Sets whether extra space is trimmed from the thumbnail. Y/N value. Defaults to Y to trim edges. Set to N to keep.
Show or hide video ratings, stars or likes. Y/N value. Defaults to Y to display. Set to N to hide.
Show or hide video views. Y/N value. Defaults to Y to display number of views. Set to N to hide.
For Wistia only. Specify the URL for tracking subscriber interaction.
Here's an example YouTube merge tag with all of the supported parameters specified.
*|YOUTUBE:[$vid=fj77lSG6Bl8, $max_width=300, $ratings=N, $views=N, $border=N, $title=N, $trim_border=N]|*
Which services support which options?
Some services support certain parameters, and others don't. This handy chart identifies which parameters can be used in a particular service's video merge tag.
On the top, just the video ID is provided: *|BLIPTV:[$vid=XXX]|*
On the bottom, the optional parameters are all set to "N": *|BLIPTV:[$vid=XXX, $max_width=250, $title=N, $border=N, $trim_border=N]|*
On the top, just the video ID is provided: *|VIMEO:[$vid=XXX]|*
On the bottom, the optional parameters are all set to "N": *|VIMEO:[$vid=XXX, $max_width=250, $title=N, $border=N, $trim_border=N, $ratings=N]|*
On the left, just the video ID is provided: *|VZAAR:[$vid=XXX]|*
On the right, the optional parameters are all set to "N": *|VZAAR:[$vid=XXX, $max_width=250, $title=N, $border=N, $trim_border=N]|*
On the left, just the video ID is provided: *|WISTIA:[$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, $watch_url=http://mailchimp.wistia.com/m/6f2zqA]|*
On the top, just the video ID is provided: *|YOUTUBE:[$vid=XXX]|*
On the bottom, 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]|*
In the past, you may have used video merge tags that look like *|YOUTUBE:xxxx:max_width|*—these will continue to work, but you should use the tags above for new campaigns and templates.
Manually Link to Video
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. On the Design step of the Campaign Builder, upload a screenshot of your video player and add a link to the video's URL. When the user clicks on the image, the video will open in a new browser window.
Auto-Convert Embedded Videos
Use our Auto-Convert option if you already have embedded videos in your website, blog, or RSS feed that you repurpose for email campaigns.
In the Setup step of the Campaign Builder, check the box next to Auto-convert video under the More options heading. We will convert the embedded video code into a thumbnail image that links to the URL of the video.