Video can be pure magic for promotional emails.

Just using the word “video” in the subject line boosts open rates by 19%, click-through rates by 65% and reduces unsubscribes by 26%.

Put a video in the body of your email and the all-important click-through rate can go through the roof. On average, emails with a video in them have a 96% higher click-through rate than those that don’t. That’s incredible.

However, there’s a rub. Most email clients don’t support video that actually plays in email (at least not yet.) Typically, the workaround is to display a static thumbnail of the video. The viewer clicks on it, and is taken to a web page where the video actually plays back. Which works well.

But there is a better way. Most email clients do support something called an animated GIF. That’s the small, constantly looping animation you sometimes see on web pages. In the early days of the web, you may remember seeing that ubiquitous construction worker shoveling away on the “Under Construction” page. That’s an animated GIF.

The Email Institute reports that an animated GIF in an email increases the click-through rate up to 26% versus a static image.

It is possible to distill an animated GIF from a portion of your video. Taking it a step further, the GIF can be personalized through our Personalized Video capability. The end result  looks like this:

Animated GIF

It’s hard to resist clicking on that button.

Our clients are finding that a personalized animated GIF can push the click-through rate to nearly 100%. Yes, you read that right.

Bear in mind that some email clients and some smart phones will show only the first frame of the animation sequence. So as a fallback, design your first frame as though it were a static image.

Even the best video in the world does you no good unless someone actually watches it. Consider using an animated GIF in your next marketing communication.

Bill Haley

P.S. Have a burning question about video? Let me know and I’ll try to answer it in a future post.