Rick Boccard

TOMS Designs More Than Cool Shoes

Est. Reading Time: 3 minutes

I get a lot of e-mail – a lot of junk e-mail.   I know I’m not alone, but my inbox is full of a lot of e-mails that are fighting for my attention. Typically when logging into Gmail, I select all unread and then go down the left hand side of my inbox and uncheck the 2 or 3 emails that I feel are worth keeping and delete the rest.   There is no method to my madness when I do this.  It mostly depends on my mood.   Now certain emails I will always read, like emails from: family, colleagues and friends.  Yet promotional or newsletter e-mails – it really varies.  So sorry e-mail marketers, even I don’t know why I react to your emails.

Any who, I get e-mails from TOMS shoes, because I bought a pair and really like the concept of the company so I thought it would be good to stay in touch with what they are up and hopefully catch a discount code or something. We’ll I don’t think they have ever sent any kind of discount code…a couple of alerts about free shipping, but it wasn’t exclusive to email subscribers, so in short – I’ve grown pretty numb to their messages.

Until…I got this message…

Look close – you can see that the main image is starting to change…

Now it may look pretty blah in the still .jpg. Standard subject line, from name and of course no promotion.   Not really sure why I chose to open it, but I am glad I did. If you look closely at the .jpg, you can see that the image is the midst of changing.  It rotated through a couple of styles as you can see…

This email actually includes animation – how awesome!  I’m not sure I’ve ever seen this in an e-mail.   What a great way to showcase multiple items or in this case versions of an item without having to add clutter to your email.  Check out the e-mail in action.

Now I understand why people may oppose this technique in e-mail and I don’t believe everyone should try to mimic TOMS.   I can see where this could be a fail, like if you didn’t have images turned on.  Also, it takes a few seconds for the image to switch and with maybe 2-3 seconds to catch the subscribers attention – how do you time it?   Do you use items across different categories or do what TOMS did and rotate through different versions of the same product.   I don’t know, because I haven’t seen enough examples.  What do you think?

One Comment

  1. jcalogero Jennifer
    Posted January 13, 2012 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    Animated .gifs like this are actually a pretty small file size and getting to be super trendy. You lose a lot of image quality because a .gif has a limited amount of colors it can contain but you gain the ability to do simple animations like this. Tumblr is overflowing with cool .gif animation techniques and I see no problem in using them in email promos for certain things.