How To Use Animated GIFs Effectively In Your Email Marketing

An animated GIF consists of a series of individual images or frames displayed in a sequence to create the illusion of motion or animation. Each frame can have its own time delay, allowing for different durations for each frame of the animation. Here’s a great example:

Animated GIFs are commonly used on websites and in digital communication to add simple animations, such as moving icons or short loops, without the need for complex coding or plugins. They have been widely used in sales and marketing to create eye-catching visual elements in online content.

Thoughtful, eye-catching animation in email can complement a marketing message rather than distract from it. Emma, a maker of simple, stylish, and smart email marketing, compiled content on effectively using GIFs in email marketing, complete with three customer examples.

Animated GIFs are currently dominating the internet because of their overwhelming ability to draw attention, which is what marketers want for their brands. Using animated GIFs in email marketing can make your content both easy to consume and more compelling than a stagnant image. However, don’t get sucked into the misconception that animated GIFs need to be funny, crude, or over-the-top. Classy, simple, animated images can do wonders to reinforce your brand when placed within the right email. Emma

Lee Floyd, Director of Brand

Examples of Animated GIF Use In Email

Tell a Story

When Los Angeles designer Paul Marra moved his showroom to a new location, he used Emma to get the word out to his clients. The animated GIF tells the whole story, from the trail on the map to the “We’ve moved!” banner to the new address listing. It’s lighthearted, stylish and inviting.

Draw Attention

Emma customer method is known for its use of coordinating color in product placement and text styles and white space to create an airy feeling in every email. In this email, they’ve used an animated GIF to draw focus on their 20% off promotion. It’s subtle and completely in line with their aesthetic and draws attention to their promotion.

Show More Products

If you’re an online retailer, animated gifs can change how email subscribers engage with your product. Consider this example from Emma customer Birds Barbershop: Isn’t this animated image a million times more compelling than a static grid of hair products?

5 Quick Tips for Using Animated GIFS in Email Campaigns:

  1. Keep your animation simple. Opt for the shorter sequence if you can say the same thing in 4 frames in 8.
  2. Make sure your animation reinforces an important point of your campaign. If it’s just for show, it’s just for show.
  3. Consider combining animated GIFs with videos. If you’ve got a compelling video on your website, create a simpler version like an animated GIF. Include the GIF in your email, but link it to the video’s page.
  4. Try a simple test. If you’re uncertain of whether animation will help you make your point, try sending an animated version to half your audience and send a regular image to the other half.
  5. Watch your file size. We recommend keeping your entire email’s size to under 40Kb, so it’s easily managed by servers and inboxes. Plan your animated gif accordingly, and opt for simpler colors and graphics in your frames to keep the gif’s file size in check.

What to learn how to create an animated GIF? Check out our article:

How to Create An Animated GIF with Photoshop

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