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

Last Updated April 7th, 2016

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 when these video play rate improvements will be coming to your BombBomb video emails.


[UPDATE 4/21/16: This feature is now live for all customers and people with free trial accounts. Details here.]



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! When Can I Get This in My Video Emails?”

Great question. We’re running a third pass of tests right now to see if we can make some improvements to the animated GIF with the winning play bar.

When that’s complete, we’ll roll the best option out to all BombBomb customers and people trying BombBomb free. It’ll be the new standard.

You’ll still have the option of shooting a static thumbnail image to represent your video, but the default will be the pickup of your video’s first :03 as a looping, animated GIF.


“Interesting. So … When Do I Get It?”

We expect to turn the very best treatment live into your account the week of Monday, April 18.


[UPDATE 4/21/16: This feature is now live for all customers and people with free trial accounts. Details here.]



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Ethan Beute

Ethan Beute | About The Author

Chief Evangelist at BombBomb, co-author of Rehumanize Your Business, and host of The Customer Experience Podcast, Ethan collects and tells stories of clearer communication, human connection, and higher conversion with simple, personal videos. BA: University of Michigan. MBA: University of Colorado-Colorado Springs. Fresh air & clean water.