Santa’s Helper - Animated gifs in holiday emails

Animated gifs give your holiday emails a helping hand, ensuring you stand out in the inbox. Widely supported, and easy to design animated gifs have become a hot trend during the holidays.

Examples from the 2007 holiday season:

Non-promotional holiday e-card

{12/24/07 /Happy Holidays from all of us at Norm Thompson!}

Click to view animated email

Holiday email marketing - Animated gif

This was one of many Non-promotional e-cards I received in 2007.  10% of the largest retailers sent out soft sell messages. You can purchase holiday artwork for as little as $1.40 on iStockphoto. The Santa image above used by Norm Thompson costs $14.

Dreaming of Juicy holiday campaign

{11/19/07 /FREE SHIPPING + Gifts for your pampered pooch}

Click to view animated Juicy email

Click to view animated gif

Juicy Couture ran a series of 5 animated holiday emails in 2007. They each show the recipient (dog, kid, women, baby & guy) dreaming of the presents they want. Using an animated gif,  you can show a selection of items rather than just one.

Gift a day holiday campaign

{12/04/07 / NO lumps of coal! See today’s hidden treasure + FREE SHIPPING}

Click to view the Gift a day animated email

Click to view a gift a day holiday campaign

Juicy followed up their, “Dreaming of Juicy” email series with a gift a day email campaign.  Not such a great reveal for people using Outlook 2007, they can only view the first frame.

Color your holidays happy 

{11/09/07 /An REI Favorite - The North Face Denali Jacket}

Click to view the REI animated holiday email

Click to view animated email

Both REI and Willams-Sonoma, used an animated gif to show the different colors a gift was available in.

{12/11/07 /Save 40% on Le Creuset’s Dutch Oven}

Click to view the Williams-Sonoma holiday email

View holiday animated gif

Post-holiday sales 

{12/24/07 /The Selfridges Sale starts Boxing Day!}

Click to view Boxing Day animated email

Boxing day sale animated email

This email was sent out Christmas Eve,  promoting Selfridges Boxing Day sale - day after Christmas in England. In 2006 the day after Christmas was the peak day of the year for retail email. It remained one of the most popular days last year. Holiday campaigns don’t end on Christmas day, have a post-Christmas marketing plan in place.  People often wait until after Christmas for deeper discounts. Its a busy time for shoppers who want to redeem gift-cards and return/exchange gifts.

Bells & Whistles 

From Nov. 1 until Christmas Day, 19% of major online retailers used animated gifs in at least one email last year - Retail email guide to the holiday season. With competition being so fierce this year, I expect to see more retailers using animated gifs and video to help their emails stand out.


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