using-animated-gifs-in-emailsHow do you create a successful email marketing campaign? In general, you need a professional-looking design, engaging copy and a compelling call to action. While these things will usually get you a decent return on your investment, sometimes you just need a little something else to help you stand out from the crowd. Animated GIFs can help you do that.

Animated GIFs are nothing new: they’ve been used on websites since the late 90s. However, in recent years, they’ve become a lot more sophisticated. And, with more and more email clients becoming compatible with them, people are starting to see the benefits of using them in marketing emails.

Why Use Animated GIFs in Emails?

With people’s inboxes increasingly getting filled with things they generally have little or no interest in, sometimes something different is needed to capture your subscribers’ attention. An animated GIF can grab the attention of your readers in a way that static emails can’t. GIFs are often used to add humour or create intrigue, but they can also be used for more than just gimmicks. Twitter often uses animated GIFs to demonstrate new features. This one appeared on their blog, but it could easily have been used in an instructional email to their subscribers:


Some Tips

If you want to use animated GIFs in your emails, here are a few tips to help you make the most of them:

  • Don’t use them just for the sake of it:

Animated GIFs can look great in emails, but your subscribers will soon get bored of them if you use them in every email you send. Use them only when they can enhance what is already in your message. Look at this example from Pizza Express:

Pizza Express

An email like this doesn’t need a lot of copy, and just a large, static image would have looked rather dull and lifeless. This simple animated GIF catches the eye and gives the email a bit of life.

  • Test:

There’s no sense in using animated GIFs if they don’t actually increase the click through rate of your email. Make sure you test them before you start using them frequently in your message. Use a small group of your subscribers and send half an animated email and the other half a static one. You can then see which one yields the best results.

  • Don’t forget about incompatible email clients:

Nowadays, the majority of email clients are compatible with animated GIFs. However, some of your subscribers might be using clients that aren’t. They will only see the first frame of your animation, so you need to make that first frame count.

Take this example from L’Occitane:


The simple animation they have used is a nice way to illustrate their time-limited offer. However, even without the animation, their message is clear.

Animated GIFs can be a great tool to help your emails stand out in busy inboxes. So, next time you want to give your marketing emails a boost, try adding an animation!