They’re funny, witty, charming, and sometimes downright adorable. A GIF, or Graphics Interchange Format, is an image file that combines multiple images to create an animated clip or short movie, that often plays in an endless loop. They’re great when you see them on Twitter or in your Facebook feed, but are they right for your marketing efforts? Are animated emails for B2B or B2C appropriate for your audience, or will they just turn customers off?
Sure, the Dramatic Chipmunk, Dancing Baby, and Peanut Butter Jelly Time may not be right when you’re marketing to professionals, but GIFs and animated emails for B2B or B2C can be used to make a statement, highlight your brand, or showcase your products and services in a unique and memorable way.
Bottom line, GIFs and animated emails for B2B or B2C delivered in the right way and at the right time, can be powerful, effective messages. You may think they’re inappropriate, but when done right, GIFs and animated emails for B2B or B2C could be the shot in the arm your marketing needs.
GIFs and Animated Emails for B2B or B2C are More Than Funny Animals and Cute Kids
You can go online and search for GIFs and find thousands of them at your disposal. But animated emails for B2B or B2C are most effective when you create them yourself and make them about you. Believe it or not, GIFs are easy to make and you don’t even need Photoshop or a dedicated graphic designer.
So, what should your GIF be about? Show people how your product or app works. Tell a quick story about your employees. Showcase company events or your presence at tradeshows. Highlight special sales and promotions. It can be a full movie, or just animated clips. The possibilities are literally endless.
Whatever you do, tell a story and focus on one singular idea. As with most marketing efforts, brevity is key. Keep it short, simple, and sweet. When using animation, don’t just use it for animation’s sake. Make sure the items you’re animating are highlighting the main focus of your campaign, not the cute or funny window dressing.
And while most email clients these days will support GIFs and animated emails for B2B or B2C (and if they don’t, they will soon), keep your file size small (under 40K) so it will easily pass through servers and land in inboxes. If your subscribers use an email platform that does not support GIFs (we’re looking at you, Outlook), don’t be discouraged. Outlook will display the first frame of an animated GIF as a static image. Just make sure your first frame works as a standalone element, and you’re good to go.
Can’t I Just Use a Regular Video?
Yes, embedding a video into an email is still an effective marketing method. And if you’ve got a longer (but not too long!) message you need to convey, a video is the way to go. But if you’re looking to make a quick, memorable impact, GIFs and animated emails for B2B or B2C are the way to go.
More than anything, GIFs are just easier to consume. They’re highly visual and appealing to today’s multi-tasking, mobile consumer. Research has shown that 20% of people remember what they read, but 80% remember what they see and do — visuals are processed 60,000 times faster than text. You want a real call to action? Forget the big text box that says, “Click here!” and consider using a memorable GIF.
GIFs are also easier (and cheaper) to create than video. They’re mobile-friendly and can be consumed right in the email. And when they auto loop, they continue to reinforce and drive home your message. Think of viewing email on your mobile device. You have a marketing email at the top of your inbox. Each time you view and delete a new email, you go back to that marketing email. What will you remember more – a video thumbnail, or an eye-catching, looping GIF?
GIFs are more shareable too. If social media is a big part of your marketing efforts (and if it’s not, we need to talk), GIFs are a great way to get your message out into the wild. People love GIFs and are often inclined to share them, if for no other reason than they’re compatible with virtually every social network and messaging platform.
Remember, people don’t want commercials. It’s why DVRs and ad blockers were invented. People want unique, interesting, and appealing content. They want to be engaged. Boring marketing messages will be ignored, but GIFs and animated emails for B2B or B2C can be used to make any product or service pop. Take, for example, online print and design company MOO. In this unique email, they use a GIF to showcase their Rounded Corner Business Cards. Business cards are often an afterthought for many companies, but MOO utilizes fun and memorable marketing to make the simple concept of a rounded corner business card seem like the greatest thing since sliced bread.
So, don’t fear GIFs and animated emails for B2B or B2C. Embrace the technology and spice up your marketing. Of course, know your audience and be sure to toe the line between cute and funny and professional. But once you find that sweet spot, your marketing will be a win, not an epic fail.
Ready to create memorable animated emails for B2B or B2C? Contact CC Marketing and Communications today.