Top 12 Animated Emails of 2010

Here are my 12 picks - in no order - from 2010, out of 226 animated emails:

1. Harry & David {View}

{03/22/10 / Ear-resistible! Exclusive Easter Gifts They’ll Love …}

Animated email

The animation intersects the navi bar, positioning it in the preview pane. The animation then draws the eye down the page, encouraging scrolling. Sweet!

2. WeLove {View}

{10/08/10 / Introducing to you, the all seeing Lazaro…}

Animated email

This email reminds me of the Penny Arcade Museum, back home on the Brighton seafront. The animation adds to the atmosphere.

3. Bed Bath & Beyond {View}

{12/14/10 / Hurry! If you haven’t already activated your 20% off one single item online ACT NOW + free ship. Offer ends 12/16!}

Animated email

Often featuring a clock, animations emphasizing time-sensitive sales are on the rise.

Incorporating a clock in a mktg message reinforces message of timeliness, greater recall for consumer #LSBBU - @LorenMcDonald

Neiman Marcus sent this animated email 21 times over a two month period in 2010 (Aug25th-Nov4th) promoting their, “Midday Dash”.

4. Nine West {View}

Fall 2010

Animated email

The 2nd 360 degree product shot in an email, here is the first. Grab your camera and make your own.

Came across this email on the MyEmma blog, via Mark Brownlow’s newsletter.

5. Fredericks {View}

{07/02/10 /See the fireworks - panties from $4.99. Savings of up to 70%.}

Animated email

This is a patriotic use of a color switch Gif, sent out two days before the 4th of July.

6. Banana Republic {View}

{03/08/10 /Looking for the perfect jean? Look no further.}

Animated email

This email followed a static version. Adding animation, further mimics Flash controls.

7. bumbleandbumble {View}

{04/07/10 /April frizz? Fret not (+ free shipping on ANY order starts now)}

Animated email

As someone with naturally curly hair, this animation was a compelling argument in favor of their product.

8. UO {View}

April fools day

Animated email

A fun use of animation, courtesy of Dylan Boyd’s twitter stream.

9. Willams-Sonoma {View}

{12/02/2010 /Breville Pie Maker: A Gift for the Whole Family}

Animated email

Animated Gifs are often used for product demonstrations. This example shows us how easy it is to use the pie maker in, “3 Easy Steps”. Placing the Gif above the fold further caught my eye.

10. Bed bath and beyond {View}

{06/01/10 /Clip. Snip. Buzz. Gifts for the well-trimmed Dad.}

Animated email

Animated email

This Father’s day email - courtesy of Chad White -  illustrates how sophisticated animated Gifs in email have become. Though at 460K and 25frames, file size is something to keep an eye on.

On the other end of the spectrum, one trend is the understated Gif. Such as highlighting the Gift navi tab during Nov/Dec. Or in this Borders email, (keep your eye on the Kobo eReader in the header).

11. Gap {View}

{06/24/10 /LASY DAY: Roll the Dice & Get Up to 40% Off}

Animated email

One trend that emerged in 2010 were Mystery Savings campaigns. Retailers quickly started using animation, playing up the game of chance element. Here are two more examples from Banana Republic and Harry & David.

12. Neiman Marcus {View}

{10/05/10 /The Legendary Christmas Book}

Animated email

If you overuse animation, it can quickly loose its impact. Many retailers use it sporadically, to signal a special occasion.

Neiman Marcus likes to pull out all the stops when launching its Christmas Book.

Take a look over the years:

Christmas book 07 (static)

Christmas book 08 (animated)

Christmas book 09 (anyone have this?)

Christmas book 10 (animated)

Year of the Gif

Animated Gif usage is up 122% according to Chad White, who tracks the top 100 retailers in the US. Although my methods are less scientific, 2010’s folder has 226 animated Gifs, up from 2009 which had 149.

If I were to add art.com and bluefly, who feature animation in the header of every email. That number would likely triple. I like to leave these brands out to get a feel for industry wide trends, rather than have a couple skew the stats.

Though however you do the math, 2010 was the year animated Gifs became commonplace.

Animation in 2011

CSS3 animation: I’ve been using CSS3 for a few months now with CTA buttons. Great for mobile optimized emails that will likely use Webkit.

Javascript: Hotmail active views, Goodmail’s CertifiedCommerce under AOL and Gmail’s enhanced email all support Javascript. Though concerns about ISP specific creative remain, expect to see image carousels like this in your inbox in 2011. (Just not on your mobile).

Dynamic images: Allow you to run real-time animations anywhere images are enabled, controlled via a server side script. Check out the video.

Marquee tag: Animates HTML text with images disabled. See this Agent Provocateur email.

Check out:

Top 14 animated emails of 09

Top 10 animated emails of 08

 
 

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