Top 14 Animated Emails of 09

Here are my 14 picks - in no order - from 2009, out of 149 animated emails:

1. Amazon Kindle Launch {View}

{03/06/09 /Amazon Kindle 2 Has Arrived}

Amazon kindle animated email

If its good enough for Amazon…multiple product shots of the Kindle.



2. Fredericks Color Switch {View}

{04/17/09 / 2 reversible bras + 4 panties = unbelievable savings}

Fredrick's color switch animated email

Reversible bra in action.



3. Urban Outfitters Get Manic {View}

{06/08/09 / New Right Now}

Urban Outfitters animated email

I’m not sure if this belongs in the best or worst category…

“Warning: blinking rainbow colors ahead!”  - @kristenbyers 

Horrific visual display” @jaycrimes

I thought it was manic but fun, impossible to ignore.



4. Express Christmas Greeting {View}

{12/24/09 /Our Gift To You! Get $30 Off + Free Shipping! Ready, Set, Glow!}

Express holiday animated email

Like Urban Outfitters, this psychedelic email was on brand for Express.



5. Clinique Make us Happy {View}

{04/18/09 /Get it in time for Mother’s Day! Clinique Happy Custom Bottle.}

Clinique personalized animated email

The photos add a personal touch to the perfume and this Mothers Day email.



6. Hugo Boss iPhone App {View}

{11/20/09 /Out now: HUGO BOSS iPhone App}

Hugo Boss iPhone animated email

Hugo Boss cycle through their apps features. Check out other emails promoting iPhone apps.



7. American Apparel Video Gif {View}

{08/28/09 /American Apparel: Thermochromatic T}

animated gifs in email

The 1st major retailer that used animated Gifs to simulate video. We tried it ourselves and saw a 26% lift in click through rates.

Other retailers such as Bumble&Bumble followed suit.  What Counts announced they would be using, “animated GIF images to indicate the availability of video content” in Dec 09.



8. Boden - King of Cute {View}

{08/06/09 /Back to school wear at Mini Boden}

Boden animated email

My newsletter readers voted this the cutest animated Gif, in a showdown with Hermes. Fun= sales.



9. Bumble & Bumble {View}

{12/22/09 /Late-December shopper? Get it there by Christmas with free overnight shipping.}

Bumble & Bumble animated email

Nice and whimsical for the holiday’s. Each pop-up links to the product page.



10. Neiman Marcus {View}

{06/10/09 /Invitation-Only Two-Hour EVENT STARTS 11:30 AM CT! + Free online shipping at ANY PRICE}

Neiman Marcus animated email

Neiman Marcus sent 9 of these emails - in different colors - over a two month period (Apr-Jun). I’m guessing they performed well.

Other retailers to use animation to highlight short term sales are, Horchow and more recently Banana Republic.



11. REI Subtle Touch {View}

{05/22/09 /Introducing REI’s New Kingdom Tent + Memorial Day Savings on Now}

REI animated email

Overall animated Gifs were more subtle and fun in 09. I loved the detail in this email, like the glowing lamp.



12. Evans 360 product shot {View}

{06/16/09 /Leggings - Buy 2 Save £5! Plus, This Week’s Top 5 Styles!}

Evans animated email

The first 360 degree product shot in an email. Inspired me to make my own.



13. Hermes *hearts* Whimsy {View}

{07/28/09 /Fishing for compliments.}

Hermes animated email

Hermes started using animation in Apr 09, complimenting their playful subject lines and illustrations.



14. Barnes & Noble 07 Fix {View}

{12/17/09 / 15% Online Coupon, plus 4 Days Left for Free Christmas Delivery}

Barnes & Noble animated email

The 1st frame displays the message, “4 Days…” for only 0.1 sec, so quick you miss it unless you’re an Outlook 2007 user.

Second frame is blank, then the text slides in from the right. Clever workaround for Outlook 2007, which only displays the first frame.



Here are a few botched up animated emails from 09. Not paying attention to the first frame, is the no.1 mistake people make.

1. Blunder - Tory Burch {View}

{12/25/09 /Happy Holidays!}

Tory Burch animated email

Not a great reveal for people using Outlook 2007, they can only view the first frame.



2. Blunder - Neiman Marcus {View}

{11/18/09 /STYLE RADAR tracks fashion as it happens}

Neiman Marcus animated email

Poor 07 users only saw, “ARE YOU”. Neiman Marcus made a few 1st frame blunders last year.



3. Blunder - Pottery Barn {View}

{12/12/09 /Dining Chairs to Suit Your Style}

Pottery Barn animated email

The animated Gif alone in this email is 1.34MB. Part of the problem is that its a 7fr sequence, that only needs to be 3fr.

I saved it out at 3fr and it reduced to 600K. Pottery Barn sent a series of animated Gifs, Oct-Dec, all with large file sizes.



November - most popular month:

Animated Gifs in email 2009

Here’s my not-so-scientific graph :)  I’m subscribed to over 100 retail emails, from both the US and UK. 52 of whom, sent me 149 animated emails last year.




Further Reading:

Animated Gifs in email (the basics) - My guest post on The eMail Guide

My top 10 animated emails of 08

Animated GIFs in email: advice and links  (Mark Brownlow)

Animation in Retail Emails Study: Executive Summary 07 (Chad White)

I think I have a Crush on an Animated GIF (Dylan Boyd)


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