A/B Test: Mailchimp Video Blocks vs Autoplay Video Email by Playable

A test to investigate which approach drives the most response and delivers the deepest engagement

Driving video views from email, what is the most effective approach?

Using email to drive views of your video content is a tried and tested approach. But what is the most effective content to publish in your email to drive the maximum response to your video content, is a Video Block or a thumbnail of your video footage more effective than a video email where a video clip is played within the email?

We sought to answer this question with a simple A/B split test.

What was tested?

Using Mailchimp we created 2 email templates with identical content, bar the header image:

  • A Version: Featured a still image captured from the video, or Video Block as Mailchimp labels this, as the header image.
  • B Version: Featured a 10 second video clip that would play automatically at the moment the email was opened, at the head of the template.

Both the A and B versions featured a respective call to action to drive response to a designated landing page, where the full version of the video could be viewed. The test was designed to compare two key email metrics: The Click Through Rate and the level of Post Click Engagement, as measured by the time spent on site having arrived via clicking on the email.

The A versions call to action was limited to a Play Arrow Watermark in conjunction with a text footer “Click to watch the full video”. Mailchimp enables you to include a single line of text as a footer.

The B versions call to action featured animated text blocks, which featured as overlays on the video footage.

The header content featured in the A and B test segments are shown below.

  • Version A % Click Through Rate: Mailchimp Video Content Block 4% 4%
  • Version B % Click Through Rate: Playable 10 Second Autoplay video 21% 21%

Results of the test

  • Response: The B Version featuring the auto play video clip beat the Video Block A version by a multiple of 5x.
  • Engagement: Respondents who arrived at the landing page from the B version stayed on the page 7x longer than those that arrived via the Video Block version.
  • Video Delivery: 96% of recipients in the B version received autoplay video at the moment of opening the email. The 4% who where using Outlook on desktop received a still frame of the video.


Adding autoplay video to email outperforms a still image, or video content block, across all the response metrics.

To investigate further how adding video to your email delivers incremental response and video views check out our Introduction to Video Email, or preview a selection of recent Mailchimp Video Email Campaigns

Adding autoplay video to your Mailchimp email template

The short video tutorial opposite walks you through the simple process of adding an auto play video clip to a Mailchimp template.

Playable makes it quick and easy to embed video content within your Mailchimp email templates, it’s designed for use by marketers who want to evolve their email campaigns and enjoy significant shifts in response and engagement metrics.

Video emails by Playable are mobile, tablet and desktop friendly. To experience Video Email in your inbox check out the sample campaigns below in our “Seeing is believing” section.

If your preference is to upload your HTML templates to Mailchimp our tutorial on adding the Playable HTML clip to your template will help.

Video Email Examples

Each of the Video Email campaigns featured below where sent using Mailchimp with video powered by Playable
Preview Mailchimp Video Email Campaigns

Example Video Email campaigns

Check out a selection of our latest video email Campaigns
Retail Video Email CampaignsNon-Profit Video Email campaigns
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