Animated Email Headers 
In an effort to increase open rates among email subscribers, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Division has increased the usage of animated headers (600px in width and 5mb or less in size). The goal is to entice readers to open an email to see what the new animation might be, and then engage with the content below. Email headers are made from videos, still images and combinations of both to create simple looping gifs or more complex cinemographs. Original department video and images, as well as purchased stock, are used to create the headers for the email based on the topic. 
The animated headers are created by Eric Hilliard, Digital Media Specialist for the Wildlife Division. Headers created by Eric for other divisions within the Department of Natural Resources are also pictured below. Each header can take anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours to create, depending on the complexity. As an example from the images below, The Run for the Trees animated header that was created for the Parks Division took the longest to create among these at about 4 hours, and utilized Lightroom, Photoshop and After Effects to get the finished result, while the fire header took about 5 or 10 minutes to create and only required Photoshop. The goal is to be able to create these as quickly as possible, though special projects are allotted more time when needed. 
It is too early to tell if consistent usage of animated headers will lead to an increased open rate, but the Wildlife Division has received emails from subscribers about  how they enjoy the headers, which is not something that occurred in the past with still imagery. Hopefully, this is a good sign that the goal of increased open rates as a result of the headers will come to pass as their use continues. 
Back to Top