10 Creative Ways To Add A GIF In Your Marketing Email

10 Creative Ways To Add A GIF In Your Marketing Email

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a moving picture is worth ten thousand! Adding a bit of movement can bring your emails to life, leave a mark and make your email marketing more effective. GIFs and animations can draw user attention and effectively drive subscriber engagement. 

If you are new to the concept of including GIFs in emails, here are some ways to do it right.

1. Showcase a Product 

Animated GIFs can make parts of your email message stand out. It can, therefore, be used to highlight various products and their features. The effect of movement can showcase the product range better and interactively present new collections. 

Source: Really Good Emails

The above email from Reebok showcases the various color options and styles of their new product range with a single animated GIF, thereby saving a lot of space. 

2. Make Emails Memorable

Make your emails impossible to ignore using attractive GIFs in a fun way. Using engaging GIFs in your emails can bring a smile to the readers’ face and help in building real relationships with your subscribers. Check out this email from Headspace.

Source: Really Good Emails

Headspace uses GIFs in most of their emails to support their copy and message. Even though this email does not have rigorous movements that divert attention, the graphics and animations help the users to recognize the brand. 

3. Demonstrate – Step-by-Step 

The message in your email must be concise, yet needs to contain enough details to entice users to click through. Hence, describing product features or illustrating the product can often be a challenge. GIF animation makes the job easy by visually explaining new features or step-by-step procedures in a confined space, making it easy to understand for the subscribers. Such GIFs are a replacement for long and descriptive paragraphs of text. Here’s an example.

Source: Really Good Emails

This email from the brand Asana uses GIF animation in the form of a video tutorial to demonstrate their new feature. The animation explains the process in a much more effective way than images or words can. 

4. Bring Static Images to Life

Make boring images come to life by animating them. GIFs add vitality to the simplest of images and grab more eyeballs than static images. Here’s an example of the brand Baggu using a GIF to animate a simple image. Take a look!

Source: Really Good Emails

5. Typography- Emphasize on the Message

If your email contains majorly text, has fewer images and you want to highlight certain parts of your email copy, then GIF can be extremely effective. It can put your text in a different light and make it stand out, which would otherwise look flat. Check out the below email.

Source: Really Good Emails

Want to try adding GIFs to your emails?
Begin with a free HTML email templates order at Uplers.

6. Add Movement to Backgrounds

Using GIFs in the background can add to the theme of your emails. GIF backgrounds work well, especially for holiday emails. It can be used to add a seasonal touch, such as snowflakes for Christmas, hearts for Valentine’s, and fireworks for New Year’s.

Source: Really Good Emails

The above email from Tock uses background GIF in their New Year’s email. The background sure makes the email more lively.

7. Highlight Calls-to-Action

Moving elements capture users’ attention better than still text and images can. The way offline stores use flashing lights to stand out and grab attention, GIFs can be used to highlight the email CTAs. When you have multiple offers or specific objectives, GIFs can do wonders in getting people to click through the CTA. Take a look at this email from Tictail.

Source: Really Good Emails

Although the CTA button says ‘Refer a friend’ as in normal emails, the email uses a GIF to drive the focus to the main offer and message.

8. Add Cinemagraphs

Cinemagraphs are a mix of video and image. They are live photographs where a part of the image remains frozen while a part of it is animated, creating a seamless illusion.  It can be used when you want to highlight specific areas of your email content. It is a cheaper substitute to using video.

Source: Really Good Emails

The brand Tinker uses cinemagraph in the background to give the visual effect of a video and highlight the main product.

9. Create Urgency using Countdowns

Playing with the fear of missing out (FOMO) of the customers and creating urgency is a great tactic followed by marketers to drive conversions. In emails, using countdown timers is a great way to improve engagement. While countdown timers can be included separately as an email element, it is also possible to depict urgency by using GIFs. Here’s an example.

Source: Really Good Emails

 10. Use GIF as a video teaser

Videos in emails are not supported by most email clients, and hence it is a safer and easier option to use GIF instead. A short 6-second animation can serve the purpose of creating the preview of the video, which can be linked to the original video hosted on an external page. 

Source: Really Good Emails

The above email from Litmus uses GIF as a replacement of the video and shows a sneak peek into what’s there in the video.

Wrapping up

While GIFs are supported by most email clients, it is advisable to display the main information in the first frame of the animation, so that the message is conveyed even if the animation fails to load. Try using the above methods to add GIFs and make your emails more lively, and you are sure to drive more engagement. To get started, use free HTML email templates and customize them as per your brand guidelines and goals.

Author Bio

Kevin George is Head of Marketing at Email Uplers, one of the fastest-growing full-service email marketing agency that specializes in crafting professional email templates for businesses, PSD to HTML email conversion and ESP email templates in addition to providing email automation, campaign management, and data integration & migration services. He loves gadgets, bikes, jazz, and eats and breathes email marketing. He enjoys sharing his insights and thoughts on email marketing best practices on his blog.

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