Animated gifs: Top 5 reasons why you should give them a try Published April 9, 2015 Animated gifs seem to be much more common in email these days. As well as being appealing to look at, the animation can help with several areas of your digital marketing campaigns. Below are my top five reasons why you should be using animated gifs in your emails, social and all digital marketing. 1. To instantly draw attention to your call to action As a recipient, it is really hard to ignore an animation and this means that whatever is animated immediately draws attention, so why not animate your main call to action? As always this must be a very clear instruction in order to maximise conversions but bear in mind that some inboxes don’t show animations, so you must make sure that the first frame is the most important, most eye catching and the most instructive. 2. To show off your products Animations give you a great opportunity to show off every aspect of your products. You can display multiple angles to make the product stand out and give a 3D feel to your messages. Remember to ensure that the first frame is the best angle of your product for the non-supporting inboxes. 3. To show more products or different product options Animations allow you to get more content into your message without making it too long. You can go all out and show different products which increases your changes of grabbing every recipients eye. Alternatively you can keep it as simple as displaying a range of product colour variations. 4. To add a sense of urgency Using animated count downs, clocks or stock numbers can help to add urgency to your message; this can help drive instant clicks and conversions. People have an innate need to fit in and not to miss out so why not use this to your brand’s advantage? It doesn’t even matter that the animation is just on a loop, the effect on the recipient is the same. Remember to think about the length of the loop however, to ensure it’s not too obvious. 5. To just add some fun Plain and simply put, animations can be fun. Even something seasonal like an Easter Bunny hopping across your header or an ever enticing glass of bubbly sparkling can really make your message stand out against all the rest. Adding some personality to your brand and communications really helps to increase consumer engagement and animations can help with this, as long as they are appropriate and on brand. Golden Rules of using Animations Always remember that not all inboxes or browsers support animated gifs so make sure that the first frame of the animation is the most important and conveys the full message you are trying to get across. Don’t give your recipients a headache. Animations are supposed to add to the enjoyment of your marketing messages not confuse things so consider the speed of the animation, the colours you use and the message you are trying to get across. The example below is so bad that I am not even going to name the offender! If you are not sure that adding an animation will do anything to improve your email marketing then why not do a test? Most (if not all) online marketing software these days offers the ability to run A/B split testing and this is a great example of something to try. When online retailer, BlueFly, did just that they found that shoppers who clicked on an animated email (opposed to a non-animated email) generated an additional 12% in dollars spent. So not only can animated gifs make your messages more creative, appealing and unique but it would seem they can help you earn more money too! Give it a try, what have you got to lose?!