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Trend: HTML 5 Gaining Momentum On Mobile & Email Platforms

HTML 5 and Email MarketingFor the widest audience reach, HTML 5 is your best bet.

Normally in Trends & Takeaways, we don’t discuss geeky technology topics. After all, this is a marketing blog. However, HTML 5 is emerging as a technology that marketers need to be mindful of when developing mobile and email strategies. HTML 5 has been around since 2009, and is the Web’s 5th generation markup language. Only recently, however, has the standard become widely adopted. In particular, this new markup language includes features to handle multimedia and graphical content on the web without the need for proprietary plugins such as Flash.

Since most video is now encoded using the H.264 codec, it was only natural for an open source technology to become dominant.  Steve Jobs helped to popularize the topic in a letter to mainstream media in April 2010 titled Thoughts on Flash, where he concluded that Adobe Flash was no longer necessary for web enabled video content. Hence, Apple does not support the display and rendering of Flash enabled video on iPhones and iPads.  As a result of Apple lack of support for Flash, HTML 5 is gaining momentum especially for mobile campaigns. Even more interesting is the emerging support for HTML 5 in email clients. On the desktop side, Apple Mail and Entourage currently support video using HTML 5 and recently Hotmail announced its support as well. We expect this trend to continue as email platforms strive to remain competitive.

Takeaway: Now it’s not an either/or. HTML 5 will win.
While some performance issues still remain in HTML 5 and several Flash-like capabilities have yet to be created, HTML 5 will be the future of mobile and email video.    When settling on your next mobile project or campaign, if large-scale reach is your ultimate goal, then HTML 5 is surely your safest bet. 
How To:
Incorporating video on a static landing page using HTML 5 is pretty straight Any competent web developer or designer should be able to assist you. However, using HTML 5 for sending video in email is much trickier. When incorporating HTML 5 into email campaigns for video display, always remember to include a fallback image linked to a landing page. This image will be displayed if the subscriber’s email client does not support HTML 5, instead of the default blue or red x or ?.
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