Turner, Target, Others Testing Video in Email

Turner Broadcasting and Target have begun using a new service that allows them to insert video directly into promotional emails. When consumers click on a link, the video is simply ready to watch.

The system, branded as CertifiedVideo and launched in mid-April, comes from Silicon Valley’s Goodmail Systems and has obvious value to media companies — a la Turner with their appealing video. Turner is using the service for its NBA TV network, while concert promoter Live Nation is expected to also be an early adopter to plug its acts.

Goodmail CEO Peter Horan, who spoke Tuesday at the MediaPost Email Insider Summit, said an afternoon TV talk show is set to send out emails with “behind-the-scenes” footage, and of questions for the host that end up on the cutting-room floor — both of which will be exclusive to the email. He declined to name the show.

Marketers could use the embedded video for revenue generation as well as for promotional purposes by selling pre-roll ads for the videos.

Target has run two campaigns with video in its marketing emails, including one linked with Earth Day promoting green products. Horan said retailers can “leverage content and advertising created for other media.” (Target could also generate revenue by employing an extension of its offline campaigns with pre-roll for brands it sells.)

Lifestyle Web sites Daily Candy and Thrillist have signed on to use the system, as has Fox Digital for its Beliefnet site.

With streaming video exploding online, Horan said CertifiedVideo looks to bring “the best of the Web” to email.

When an email is opened, the video’s sound is off and doesn’t start until a consumer opts to view it. A Daily Candy-type outlet can insert video strategically in an email newsletter, while a network may opt to have an email with just video.

Marketers pay Goodmail either on a CPM basis per email sent out, or via a revenue share that could be based on sales of pre-roll ads.

CertifiedVideo is offered via AOL, but Horan said other ISPs will come on board soon. Five-year-old Goodmail, which specializes in email security, is based in Silicon Valley.

Marketers had the ability to embed video in emails several years ago, but ISPs effectively shut it down to avoid spyware and viruses.

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