Are you bored with your email marketing? Does it lack pizazz? Draw inspiration from social media, and spice up your emails with animated GIFs! GIFs can be used for a variety of situations such as promotions and tutorials. Within an email, it can be an effective way to add animation to entice individuals to engage with and arrive on your landing page.

But what is a GIF?

GIF stands for Graphics Interchange Format. This file format supports both animated and static images. GIFs can loop endlessly or only display a few sequences of the animation.

How to Create GIFS

There are multiple online resources where you can import your pictures and create a GIF perfect for your email or website. Some of these resources include Imgflip, Make a Gif, and GIPHY. These websites simplify the process by creating the GIF for you. All you need are the images or a video file. GIFs can also be produced in Photoshop. With these tools, you can create GIFs as simple as an image that changes color to as complex as a short tutorial.

Reasons to add GIFS

1. GIFs can quickly direct your attention to a call-to-action

Individuals are more likely to watch a GIF all the way through instead of scrolling past an image. If your call-to-action is prominent within the GIF, there’s a greater chance of someone noticing it and clicking through the email.

LOFT often utilizes GIFs in their emails including in the example below. They draw attention to the promo CTA with the rotating dessert GIF.

2. They can further illustrate product details

Are you trying to display how a product works? GIFs have the ability to show product potential or they can offer a quick tutorial.

Sprout Social easily explained how their new app works through the use of a GIF.

3. GIFs allow showing more products without overwhelming the viewer

It can sometimes be difficult to showcase all of the product options without creating a busy image. The goal is not to overwhelm the viewer, so a GIF allows multiple products to be shown through a quick animation.

For example, Kate Spade used a GIF to display the same handbag in different colors options.

4. They can support a promotion by adding a sense of urgency

If you’re implementing a promotion with a short timeline, it’s necessary to create a sense of urgency in order for your promotion to be successful. An animation can assist with creating this sense of urgency by including a count down or timeline.

Kohls used a ticking clock during one of their promotions to illustrate the short period of the promotion.

5. They can help you stand out from your competitors

A little creativity and animation is sometimes all you need to be noticeable in the competitive business environment. Bed Bath and Beyond showed the space saving benefits of Space Bags with a simple animation.

6. Finally, they add an element of fun

And who doesn’t enjoy a little fun?

Things to Consider

Be aware that not all email clients support the animation. Instead, they will show only the first image within the GIF. Windows Phone 7 and Outlook 2007, 2010, and 2013 don’t support the animation.

Many times, this issue can be solved by ensuring that the first image of your GIF includes the necessary information that you want the viewer to see such as the call-to-action, offer, or main image.

Also, be careful not to use GIFs too frequently. GIFs can be a pleasant surprise for the viewer or tiresome if they’ve grown accustomed to seeing them. When used sparingly, animated GIFs can add a new, welcoming element to your email and hopefully, invite people to engage with your content.