GMS Insights

Animated Graphics in Email and Advertising

Make your emails or online ads really pop by rekindling this old technology.

Story_2_7_secondsIt’s no secret that getting your email responded to is a real challenge. Millions of emails are going out every day and they’re all stacking on top of each other like pancakes at Denny’s on a Saturday morning. Talk to most email experts and they’ll tell you the most important portion of your email is the inbox subject topic. If your subject isn’t strong or intriguing or clear then your mail will go directly to the trash bin.

Email open rates hover around 20-30% so your goal is to be in that range or better.

Step two is to create an email that grabs your recipient’s attention and makes them read on longer than the typical 5 seconds the average user spends on an email. That is what this article is about. Since we should assume that our email has mere seconds to send its message it’s important to look for new ways to accomplish this task.

heritage airport board2A GIF file is an animated graphic that takes the place of a still JPEG image. The GIF (Graphics Interchange Format) was introduced all the way back in 1987 and was an ideal animation for old style modem dial up connections. The drawback was they GIF animations were fuzzy and short. As internet speeds increased the GIF file lost favor to Flash animations and then video.

More recently the GIF format has seen new life in two primary uses. Emails and Online Advertising. The format has increased clarity and size but the increased bandwidth plays GIF files with no problem at all. What is most important about a GIF file is that it does not need any kind of player and runs automatically in a loop as long as it is in view.

Story_12_videoNew programs are now available to take short videos and turn them into GIF files. These files can be of larger size and have clear enough playback to resemble standard JPG image files. But with GIF you can be much more creative and expand your message greatly.

  • Some examples of modern GIF files include:
  • Animated typography with multiple messages
  • Timer countdowns to alert readers of deadlines
  • Animated functionality of products or processes
  • Cartoon characters or people moving or using products
  • Slides 2-3 that play automatically presenting a complex message

There is no end to the creative uses for these larger GIF files and because of the more limited use of the format they can be real attention grabbers. Unfortunately the animations do not carry sound but you could also include an embedded sound file in and email but they work independently.

Instead of long headlines, imagine rotating headlines. Or what about asking the reader a question and then answering it. What about showing a product in action or showing a sales chart growing as a result of your services. It’s all possible with a convenient GIF file. For more information and help on putting GIF files to work for you. Contact General Marketing Service today.

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