Animating emails using the marquee tag

Check out this Agent Provocateur email, it features scrolling HTML text at the bottom.


Marquee text


At first I assumed it was an animated Gif. Then I realized it’s animating HTML text using the marquee tag.



Marquee code {view email}

Here’s the code they used:

<marquee loop="infinite" scrolldelay="110" width="600">
<A style="COLOR: #000000; TEXT-DECORATION: none"
PROVOCATEUR's incognito seductresses reveal our new collection >></A></marquee>


Here’s how it looks:

AGENT PROVOCATEUR’s incognito seductresses reveal our new collection >>



Support for Marquee tag

Worth testing?
Email clients
Outlook 2000 & express Yes
Gmail no
Hotmail Yes
AOL no
Yahoo Mail Yes
Outlook 2007 no
Thunderbird no
Entourage ?
Apple mail Yes
Lotus 7 & 8 ?
iPhone/iPad/Kindle Yes
Web browsers
Firefox Yes
Chrome Yes
Internet explorer Yes
Safari Yes
Opera Yes



Email clients which don’t support the marquee tag, the text renders (centered) but does not animate. The one exception was Thunderbird, which displayed the pink bar, but no text. So fallback support is spotty.

If your using one of the clients I’ve not yet tested -  e.g. Lotus -  drop me an email anna (at) and I’ll forward it on.


Marquee text on the iPhone


Marquee text worked on the iPhone under Yahoo Mail.

The animation occurs with images disabled, which catches the eye.

You can adjust attributes such as speed, direction, bg color. You can also animate images using the marquee tag, or add a URL. Though trying to click on a moving target may be tricky. For a basic overview check out this or this website.



Marquee Vs. Gif ? {View}

Barnes & Noble animated email


Many retailers use animated Gifs to create a scrolling effect. See Bluefly and Barnes & Noble. It takes many frames, which increases the file size. The marquee tag is a lighter alternative, though animated Gifs have wider support.

Anyone seen other emails using the marquee tag?

Quick update - here’s an email from Travelocity using the marquee tag in the preheader from Oct 12th 2011.


6 Responses to “Animating emails using the marquee tag”

  • Make your emails 'pop' with the marquee tag | UK Email Marketing | JayMail - UK Email Marketing Agency
    August 4th, 2010 09:42

    […] caught a great post by Anna Yeaman here, detailing Agent Provocateur’s use of some nifty code to make their email stand out in the […]

  • Rene
    August 4th, 2010 15:16

    interesting - thanks sharing the email support of marquee! btw goes in a row with “” or “text-decoration:blink;”, which i witnessed only in one newsletter before ( can be effective, too, imho.

  • Anna Yeaman
    August 4th, 2010 16:02

    Cheers for the link to an email using the blink tag Rene. It’s described as “simply evil” on

    Read that there are some issues with it under IE…

  • Rene
    August 5th, 2010 08:45

    hm evil things always hold some temptation. ;) I superficially checked some desktop clients and the rendering in ff some time ago, when i received that email. looked fine at first (with static fallback in ie), but seemed buggy in outlook 07 though. btw nice resources @wikipedia. wonder what jacob would have said to this one: :)

  • Anna Yeaman
    August 5th, 2010 10:12

    Your right, I see blinking/manic animated Gifs all the time. I’m sure they perform well…

    I remember that UO one, also see: and a blinking CTA button:

    If a design element increases click-through, can designers afford to be squeamish? Same dilemma with pop-up subscription forms. We know they work but they irritate/turn off a % of visitors.

  • Andrew |
    August 5th, 2010 15:07

    Looks like a neat little trick as long as it is not over used.
    Roll on some standards for html email