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Last Updated: August 10, 2021

[May 2021] Alternatives to autoplay on embedded videos. How to improve our conversions rates as it’s no longer working.

All browsers changed their auto-play policies in 2018.  If videos are set to autoplay, it will be muted on desktop.  On mobiles, it will not autoplay at all in most cases.

Video autoplay was very good to convert visitors into buyers on landing pages.  But there are alternative creative ways to encourage people to play them.

Alternative 1: Animated Video Thumbnails

A) VadooTV Player

VadooTV is a tool that can generate an animated thumbnail.

1,000 5-star reviews.

Normally $15/month, but now on offer at $39 for a lifetime license.  Pay one, use forever.

You can see it in action.

B) Presto Player for WordPress

PrestoPlayer was released in 2021 and has a great animated video thumbnail option and the caption integrated.

You can view the animated video on PrestoPlayer.com.

C) Thrive Architect for WordPress.

I use Thrive Architect as my primary page builder for the last 5 years.   In this example, I use animated GIF as the thumbnail as the primary image. There is a total of 6 elements, see if you can spot them, and watch the video to learn about them.

Watch this video to learn about the

6 elements of a high converting thumbnail.



D) Wistia

Another option is Wistia.  It comes with a built-in animated video thumbnail.  As you can see in this example below, you want to record your videos so you can see the face of the person before the button is pressed.

The example here is not ideal, as it is hiding my face, reframing the video would be better.

Click to watch

Alternative 2: Conversion-focused thumbnail with a Call to action and arrows.

Great thumbnails (with a human being on it, a call to action and an arrow) can make a difference in click-through rates.

Here is an example.  Of course that could be done in may different ways.  Here's what you can do with a tool like Canva.

a) Watch this video to see how you can improve your static thumbnails

Alternative 3: Only show a video when your landing page loads.

Use white space and Hide everything on the page until they click Play.

Click the orange button to open a new page to see an example.

It will open a new page/tab with the Auto-Play Video

Please note that the examples below are accessible by clicking the orange buttons. You can test with different browsers.

Alternative 4: Keep on using Auto Play, but with the sound muted at first.

a) Pressplay for Youtube, Vimeo, S3, Wistia

Pressplay is a saas-based video suite and  has a lot of features all focused on lead generation and conversions.


b) Options without a paid tool using an arrow

If you just want to use YouTube, you could still use the autoplay function, but as you will see in this demo, the sound will be muted, and people will have to find the unmute icon, and will have missed the beginning of the video.

It will open a new page/tab with the Auto-Play Video

Place your video in multiple places on your website.

For all the examples mentioned above, embedding your videos in multiple places on your page often results in more click-throughs.

If you want more inspiration and ideas, have a look at this blog post with more examples of design considerations when using videos for conversions.

If your landing page builder doesn't support video popups, you can create a similated popup like with a static page.

Other Considerations

Your page load speed might be affected, we have to deal with this trade-off between load speed and conversions.

Use Closed Captions

Closed captions is probably a very good element for conversion. Companies like rev.com allows for videos to be transcribed for you with the timing in place.

News laws now mandates the use of closed captioning.

FAQ: What actually happens to a embedded video if it's set to Autoplay?

As a general rule, this means that videos can be autoplayed on desktop, but without the sound. Some conditions allows for sound to be played, when a user has interacted with the domain for example. You can see all conditions for Chrome Autoplay Policy Change.

On Phone and Tablet, autoplaying videos do not work in most cases.  

Leave a comment or ask a question.

    • Denis Ethier says:

      Hi Musa,

      I am using Thrive Architect with WordPress, and it has the option of a video background in a Page Section (called Background Section). Not all tools have this option, but it might be available.

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    Denis Ethier

    I help startups and established businesses communicate the value of what they do using design, copywriting and the latest tools.

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