Animals in Email Design: The Trick to Grabbing Your Readers’ Attention?

You want to be memorable. Shared. Go viral, even.

The solution? Animals. People can’t resist cute animals. They’re even reported to get more attention than major media outlets. It’s the reason why John St.’s “Catvertising” pitch became a viral hit.

But you can’t just slap a random picture of a kitty in your design. It looks out of place, and a little desperate. The key is to use images that work with the flow of your email.

Here are five examples of how other businesses do that, and how you can apply it to your marketing.

Put Animals in a Logo

ScrapbookEden adds colorful images in the header, including, yes – animals! It’s a playful way to catch the readers eye.

This is easy to implement; have your company adopt a mascot and make it part of your logo. Mascots can help more than your design – they can be converted into stuffed animals, stickers, or posters that make for great free gifts.

Use Product Placement

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Coca-Cola gets product placement in different media outlets, but we love that picture of a cute puppy licking a soda can on the far right. Nothing says cute like a baby animal using a human product.

If you’re selling a tangible product, give it some animal love. Set up a pose with your pet or a friend’s, and share it with subscribers.

Contribute to a Charity

While the condition of the water 100 miles out to sea might not be on our minds, who can resist saving cute animals? Coca-Cola adds a note about their partnership to the Ocean Conservancy program in their emails.

This is another easy one for your business. Just pick an animal you love (if you picked a mascot already, that makes a good choice), and support a cause for it. As long as you don’t pick a squirrel, you’ll probably find some organization that supports that animal.

Provide a Secret Code

Like many companies, shanalogic requires subscribers to enter in a special code to get their bonus. Perfect opportunity to insert a random animal. Here shanalogic chose “PARROT” and has a parrot announce the code.

If you are inserting codes for people to download your product, access special offers or even see your website, consider using an animal friend to help.

Teach a Lesson

Tiny kitten in a hot pink cast: so sad, so cute, cannot look away. What’s this email about? Active Outthere sells goggles for skiing, and “Mr. Tibbles” forgot to wear his!

Awesome, so how do you do this? All you need is a ridiculously cute picture of an animal and tie it into your product. Does the dog look sad? Maybe he should have read your ebook. Does the ferret look bored? Should have watched your video. You get the idea.

Time to Brainstorm!

Think about what can work in your design. Remember:

  • Don’t look desperate
  • Have it make sense
  • Don’t let it be too distracting

Have fun, and let us know what you come up with!

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