Customer Success Story: Live Video Email drives highly engaged viewers to live coverage.

Live Video Email

The Client

ESPN delivers video sports content via TV broadcast, web, mobile apps, OTT, smart TV apps and game console apps.

 espn logo

The Challenge

ESPN was sending out millions of emails prior to the start of their broadcasted fixtures, designed to drive views of the fixture online. They used a simple call to action in each of the mailings: “The match is about to start, watch it here live”

The issue was that these emails were being opened over a prolonged period of a few hours – normal for any email campaign – but a problem when the content you are promoting is live now and relegated to history within a couple of hours, at which time the email becomes irrelevant and ineffective.

ESPN’s only option was to send multiple emails during the fixture, with updates on the score and key plays. Though this proved ineffective, as it still failed to engage the audience, as the game was in progress and ran the risk of over mailing the audience that would quickly further degrade response rates.

The Solution

Playable provided ESPN with the ability to include a live steam of the fixture within their emails, so on opening a 10 second clip of the live game would be played to the recipient within the email, with a call to action to catch the game now, live.

Once the game had finished this live stream was switched to a 10 seconds of highlights prompting the recipient to check out the full highlights (This is what is featured in the sample you can request opposite). Playable’s video email platform was used to ingest live video streams in real-time, and compile and transcode the video into the hundreds of versions to deliver an optimal video email experience for every ESPN subscriber.


  • Response uplift – up to 7.2x -10.9x versus a static screen shot of the fixture, as measured by CTOR (click to open rate).
  • Audience Engagement uplift – up to 7.6x as measured by post click time on site.

To experience the ESPN video email in your inbox enter your email address opposite and hit the send button.

  • Click Through Rate (%) 10.6% 10.6%
  • Time on site post click vs Static image version 70% 70%
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