Test Results: Animated GIF Delivers 48.9% Lift in Video Play Rate

Ethan Beute, BombBomb, Chief Evangelist, The Customer Experience Podcast, Wall Street Journal bestseller, Human-Centered Communication, Rehumanize Your Business.

Ethan Beute

Former Chief Evangelist


January 27, 2020

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An animated GIF to represent your video upon arrival in the email inbox.

We teased it up when we shared these video play button test results here on the BombBomb blog.

Since then, we’ve been running more tests.

The results? Statistically significant and perfectly clear.

See the results and find out how to best use animated previews in the post below.

The Animated GIF as Video Thumbnail Image

The tests we’ve been running are on BombBomb company and employee sends and on sends from hundreds of BombBomb Insiders, customers of all kinds who’ve volunteered to test new features.

Here’s a video email we just received from one an excited Insider …

Look at that subject line. Clearly, Alex noticed the animated GIF test we’re running in his account, which has Insider status (click here to sign up for yourself).

Click to play the video and see what the GIF looks like inside my Gmail inbox.

Again: this is upon receipt of the email. I’ve not yet clicked to play Alex’s video.

From here, it performs like a regular BombBomb video email. The purpose of the animation is to increase the likelihood that your recipients click play to watch your video message.

Are More People Clicking on the Animated GIF?

We tested the new video play bar on top of video thumbnail images.

This design produced a nearly 20% lift over the control (our original play button).

Second Round Testing: The Animated GIF

We ran two treatments, both with the same play button – the winning video play bar from the first round of tests.

The two treatments:

  • A static thumbnail image
  • An animated GIF looping the first :03 of the video

Here are the test results …

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The animated GIF provided a 22.5% lift over the static thumbnail in this head to head competition.

So, how much of an improvement is the animated GIF / winning play bar combination?

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Compared to the original control, the animated GIF with the winning video play bar provided a nearly 50% lift.

“Awesome! How Can I Use Animated GIFs to My Benefit?”

To get started, all you’ll need is BombBomb Video Email account. Hint: you can sign up for a 2 week free trial in the box at the bottom of this page.

Once you get started, use your animated GIFs to stand out to prospects and clients. These videos should be personalized so your future and current clients can see that your team took the time to specifically create a video just for them. Many of our users have seen great success using a whiteboard and writing their contact’s name, company name, or other relevant information that will entice them to click.

In fact, we’ve heard tons of success stories from customers who have used animated previews to help them set and hold appointments. Click here for more appointment setting strategies, and how to use animated GIFs to close more deals.

Appointment Setting

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