Animated GIFS in Email Marketing

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As you know many email marketers are always trying to improve their email campaigns – through use of copy, design and eye catching images. They are always on the lookout for something unique to set them apart from the rest of the drab emails in their recipient inboxes.

Many of them are finding that adding that extra touch of interactivity and personalisation is just the thing to increase engagement in their email campaigns. And to help them achieve that interactivity and personalisation is animated GIFS!

In this blog we are going to talk you through the strengths and weaknesses of using GIFS in your next email campaign:-

First of all, what actually is a GIF if you don’t know already?

A GIF which stands for Graphics Interchange Format, is an image format that rapidly displays a series of images to produce the illusion of motion. Like a little video image!

So what are the strengths to using GIFS in your email campaigns?

  • Using a GIF adds an element of delight to a campaign that isn’t normally possible with static email designs with lumps of copy.
  • GIFS can showcase new products and entice readers to click through with relevant call to actions. Such as a gift that is shaking to be opened with “Unwrap me” which will then entice readers to click through.
  • You can create helpful tutorial GIFS that will effectively work as a miniature ‘explainer’ video, rather than longwinded wordy explanations that could confuse your customers.
  • But even if you don’t provide full GIF tutorials, animated GIFS can help explain and illustrate many complex concepts that may not be as understandable in text form.

But there are always drawbacks to such fantastic inventions:-

  • The main definitive drawback is not every email provider supports animated GIFS L we’ve found newer versions of Outlook will not show the animation GIFS. Instead it will only show the first frame of the animation GIF…which may not be the strongest or most relevant frame in your GIF which could consequently ruin your email campaign.
  • GIFS are also known to have excessive file sizes which could affect your spam rating on email broadcast systems and effect loading times on your GIFS – especially on mobile devices. They may even get blocked for being too large… which could make your hard worked GIF totally useless.
  • Customers will get bored of seeing the same things, so use your GIFS sparingly. As mentioned above GIFS add an element of delight to your emails and if they are receiving them every week the delight will soon fizzle away… and your unsubscribe data will shoot through the roof!

The next step is deciding on whether you want to include GIFS in your next email campaign, so watch this space as we are going to talk you through how to create these exciting GIFS in our next blog post!

But in the meantime if you need any help with revamping the effectiveness of your email marketing… give us a call on 01635 48844, we don’t bite! Or alternatively email us at contact@purplefox.co.uk

 

The importance of Email Subject lines

Subject lines have always been something I’ve found quite difficult about emailing… when sending an important email to someone what do you want to say. You don’t want to say “Katie Dunn” they’re probably so important that they don’t even know your name yet and it doesn’t even explain what the email is about, hopefully “Katie Dunn” would come up in the From Name anyway… we hope, unless you’re using your Hotmail account from when you were 12 then it might be babigalkt_xox@hotmail.com or something hideous.

So I’m going to talk you through what I know about Subject lines after many years experimenting with our email marketing for many customers. But please don’t blame me when no-one replies to your campaigns or boring messages talking about how you would love a job at a fancy company. I am no expert, I am still learning too.

–          First off, keep it simple and certainly not too long! Because let’s be honest who sits there reading their subject lines? I don’t, personally key words just jump out at me like fashion, sale, or bargain (I’d like to receive more emails on bargains…)

–          However try to stray away from things like thousands of exclamations or currency signs as those emails are more than likely going to be blocked by a spam filter. OH AND DON’T FORGET ‘FREE’!!!

–          When I said keep it simple, don’t take it too literal like. ‘Marketing tips’ or ‘Fashion tips’ as it doesn’t really provide much information to what the message is about at least put what month the message is for like “This autumn/winters fabulous fashion tips” or “This Augusts successfully proven Marketing tips”

–          Oh and also, keep the capital letters for your Facebook arguments, I don’t and I’m sure a professional doesn’t care how urgent your message is, just keep it in lower case, although the capitals probably wouldn’t make it past the professionals spam filter anyway.

–          Also think about what people will be reading your emails on, such as a mobile device, if the subject line is too long it won’t fit onto a mobiles screen. As when you’re reading emails on a mobile you have limited character space.

However it’s all really simple common sense. You want the recipient to open your email so write something quick, snappy and worth opening but bear in mind my tips – quick and snappy doesn’t mean “CLICK HERE FOR A FREE £10 NOTE!!”.  We just don’t want something long and dull, no-one likes long and dull, especially the spam filter.

That’s it from me.

Katie

Top Tips for Email Marketing

This is the first part of our Email Marketing guide for marketer’s and business owners.

1. Only send emails to people who have requested to receive them – they have opted-in.

2. Only include content relevant to the type of content the person has requested.

3. Be consistent with your sending frequency (weekly, bi-weekly, monthly) and stick to that schedule.

4. Business to business emails receive higher response rates if sent Tuesday through Thursday. We’ve found the best times of day to send them are around 9.30am or just after lunch around 1.30pm. It’s best to avoid sending business to business emails after 4pm or on weekends.

5. It’s best to send business to consumer emails between 5pm and 8pm Tuesday through Thursday or betweekn Friday evening and Sunday afternoon.

6. To improve deliverability, add a message at the top of your emails that say something like “To ensure receipt of our emails, please add (our email address) to your Address Book.

7. Make the From Name for your email messages either your company name or the contact name of a person at your company. Receipients will decide in a split second as to whether they want to open your email.

8. Do we need a plain text version of our HTML. Plain text messages have zero impact on your inbox placement rate. Lots of factors weigh in on your ability to get into the inbox (as opposed to the spam or bulk folders) – domain reputation, IP reputation, content – but whether your email is HTML versus plain text isn’t one of them.

9. Don’t use all caps or multiple exclamation marks within your subject line or body. This will trigger SPAM filters.

10. Build your list of contacts at every opportunity. We ask our retail clients to collect data with a sign-up form at the point of sale. At conferences and events if you don’t have a scanner, print out sign-up forms and collect business cards. Add a newsletter or sign-up form to your website.

Want more information on Email Marketing check out this: Email marketing