A member of our graphic design team here at NetAtlantic recently received this email at one of his personal email addresses:

Turn the limitations of animated GIFs into an opportunity

You can’t tell from the image above, but it’s made up of several of animated gif images, none of which were animating when he opened the email in his Yahoo account. (When viewed through a Web mail client, the image looks like this:  http://cache2.cv47.net/wpm/241/ContentUploads/UploadedContent_9186/images/4pizzas_cropped.gif).

Now, typically, using animated GIF images in email is considered a no-no because, as in the example above, it’s not supported everywhere. Papa Gino’s, however, managed to use these limitations to their benefit. They knew that GIFs get stuck on their first frames when viewed in a client that doesn’t support animated GIF images. So the person who designed the email came up with a functional contingency in case the animation couldn’t be viewed: The text at the bottom of the email, while minimal, includes a clear call to action, and a link to view the email through a browser.

Seeing the animation through the browser is certainly a more visually impressive experience. However, the point is that although the visual “pizazz” is missing in the static version of the email, it doesn’t affect the recipient’s ability to engage with the email and answer the call to action.

What do you think? Would you consider using animated GIFs in a future email campaign?  Let us know in the comments!