"It can be done, I've seen it," says the Email Karma blog of Goodmail's email certification platform, which now enables users to include video in email messages. "However," the blog says, "if you don't have the marketing budget for certification, you can always try … converting video to an animated gif for email." Your customers should love it!

The Email Karma post links to the Style Campaign blog's step-by-step how-to guide, and offers a pro-and-con critique of animated gifs.

  • On the plus side, gifs attract a reader's attention with video-like motion, and link via simple tags that won't add unduly to an email's size, the blog reports.
  • On the down side, a gif won't have sound, and may appear choppy on slower Internet connections. Then there's Outlook 2007, which Email Karma notes "breaks animated gifs and only renders the first frame." So choose it wisely.

At the Style Campaign post, Anna Yeaman recommends renaming these completed gif files as jpgs. "We think the benefit to this is that gifs are sometimes flagged by anti-spam software," she says. "It's really an animated gif in disguise."

"The resulting jpg is streamed by the browser in the same way as any embedded object such as video or Flash," says Yeaman, adding, "You won't need to wait for the file to download ... before it ... play[s]."

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