Animate Your Product to Move It Off the Shelf

The cosmetics industry lavishes millions of dollars creating gorgeous advertising campaigns for skin cream, blush, and mascara.

But the companies that provide the sponges, brushes, and bottles for these cosmetics advertise on a distinctly simpler scale, mostly through basic catalogs. Leafing through them, you’ll find mind-numbing choices in each product area, such as 10 full pages devoted to different versions of cotton and foam-tipped swabs.

How do you make these products come alive online so procurement managers will look forward to clicking on information about them?

Qosmedix, a leading supplier of medical disposable products for the cosmetic, skincare, bath, spa, and salon industries, came across the answer when it started animating products featured in its e-newsletters.

Take a look at this newsletter promoting a facial sponge. It rotates the sponge so you can view it from every angle, just as you would if you were examining it in person.

This isn’t animation on a grand scale, but it does provide procurement professionals with a sense of what the product looks like in real life.

Here’s an example for one of the company’s valves. It shows, in a series of animated diagrams, how the valve actually works.

Yet another example depicts the range of colors the company’s small polypropylene lotion jars come in.

Animation “Moves” Procurement Managers to Action

Although the company doesn’t sell products online through its Qosina and Qosmedix e-newsletters, the animated campaign spurred procurement managers to take the desired action: requesting free samples. Salespeople follow up on sample requests, which are used as lead generators.

Qosmedix’s open, click-through, and sample request rates are higher for e-newsletters with animation than those without. Here are the actual stats for the Qosina’s e-newsletter, which has 12,000 subscribers (results for the Qosmedix e-newsletter are similar):

Metric Without Animation With Animation
Open rate (%) 25-30 30-40
CTR (%) 2-4 5-9
Sample requests (ave.) 25-50 35-70

Response to the campaign has been enthusiastic. People on the mailing list seem to look forward to the e-newsletters. The open rates remain high despite very nonpromotional subject lines that don’t mention the animation.

How It’s Done

Jeff Greenspan, the company’s Web designer and e-marketing manager, uses Adobe’s ImageReady software to animate the photographs, which are taken with a digital camera.

The e-newsletter itself is created with Anconia RocketSales. It offers the benefit of click-through tracking at an individual level. Greenspan hopes to take advantage of this feature in the future to segment the list based on interests.

It all sounds easy and inexpensive enough, and it lends itself to a lot of interesting applications. Does anyone else have any interesting uses of B2B email animation? If so, send them to Karen.

Want more email marketing information? ClickZ E-Mail Reference is an archive of all our email columns, organized by topic.

Nominations are open for the 2004 ClickZ Marketing Excellence Awards.

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