Animated GIFs are considered a good multitasker when it comes to making web banners or articles more dynamic. However, it can also add motion to email, making your campaigns more fun to receive and read. Moreover, according to Marketing Sherpa, an email with an incorporated GIF can generate better click rate (42,6%), way better conversion (103%) and improve your revenue by 109%. Not bad for one small image, isn’t it?
Advantages of Using a GIF in Emails
- Boosts readers’ engagement.
- Encourages response.
- Makes campaigns more entertaining.
- Spices up plain text emails.
- Delivers mood and emotions.
- Highlights the most important part of the campaign.
- Can be used with a transparent background.
- Easy to insert in emails.
- Doesn’t require a plug-in to view.
- Supported by most email clients.
But the best part about animated GIFs is that they can be great storytellers. A well-thought GIF can convey any idea in a much better way than words would normally do. Moreover, it can be really space-friendly: a thousand words may fail where one small image would succeed. Visual support is especially priceless when you need to convey emotions and set the definite mood for your email.
Nike has perfectly coped with the task, adding festive vibes into their campaign with a well-designed animation piece.
Disadvantages of Using a GIF
We won’t speak about the necessity to correspond to the usage of animated formats with your audience specifics: what can benefit one business, can make a big disservice to another. A toy company or a flower shop is likely to incorporate cute cartoon or nature-inspired GIFs, but it’s hard to imagine a cancer drug producer opting for chirpy GIFs in their newsletters. Like any other tool, animation in email marketing should be applicable and reasonable.
But let’s say animated GIFs are exactly what your campaigns need to get a bit of refreshment; there are still some issues you need to consider.
- Watch the size. Most email editors support a GIF format that doesn’t exceed 2MB. Moreover, emails larger than 102KB can be clipped by Gmail, not displaying the full content.
- The color palette for GIFs is limited to 256 colors. It’s just for your general information, as normally they’re enough to create a good picture.
- No audio can be included into a GIF.
- No complex or multi-shot animation is supported.
- No editing is possible after the animation is coded into the gif file.
As you see, most of the above issues mainly concern technical moments. In case you’ve taken a good time and designed your GIF taking into account all the requirements, there’s actually nothing to keep you from using it.
Where to Take a GIF and How to Insert It
You can either use already-made GIFs or create your own animated pieces. It’s not necessary to hire a designer and spend extra money: you can create custom images by yourself, using any of the multiple online free GIF makers. Such tools as Giphy's GIF Maker, Instagiffer, or Filmora Meme Maker don’t require special tech skills to use and allow you to come up with your own unique designs.
Once you’ve decided what GIF to use, the next step is to insert it into your emails. Different editors have different procedures, but in the eSputnik system the process is rather easy. You can download a GIF straight from your computer, add the previously uploaded unit (as in the below example), or insert the HTML code into the appropriate section.
Top 10 Creative Campaigns Using GIFs
The below top ten list contains the campaign examples by different companies with different target audiences. Regardless of the type, style, and purpose of the email, these companies managed to make the most of GIF animation, smoothly embedding it into their campaigns. The ranking is based on the eSputnik authors’ votes, so it may be a bit subjective. You’re most welcome to rebuild the list up to your preferences and tell us about your top 10 in the comments.
#10. As a developer of mobile apps, Asana bets on a running person image, highlighting the company’s aim to provide quick team task management.
#9. Nothing fancy. Just a bit of movement by Harry’s which yet looks organic and to the point in this short promo.
#8. “Why to choose,” thought The Knot and teamed up regular images with animated elements.
#7. Fundbox who “provides revolving lines of credit for small businesses” managed to visualize their motto in their Christmas campaign.
#6. The Thanksgiving campaign by Nordstrom looks like a full-scale cartoon rather than an automated email.
#5. This campaign reminds an episode from Alice in Wonderland: Whittard’s designers definitely deserve an award for creativity.
#4. The message by Anthropologie is rather clear: the presents are on the way, come and get them.
#3. Well, who else could benefit more from the image of the rushing car, than a mail card producer?
#2. As they say in Rue La La, the early bird catches the limited offers.
#1. And the first place goes to Headspace, as nothing conveys the idea of urgency better than melting ice-cream.
These cool GIF email examples prove that animated GIFs can be used in any types of emails: product recommendations, newsletters, post-purchase emails and shipment confirmations. Your main task is to pick up the right image that would match the right occasion.
And this is where our compilation steps in. There’re a couple of weeks left till autumn comes into its right, and you might have already come up with several campaigns to make your subscriber’s inboxes happy. If no, it’s high time you checked our September Guide: it has plenty of content ideas to get in touch with your customers in the first month of autumn.
But we’ve went even further and searched Giphy for the best fall ideas, and are ready to share them with you. You may consider adding any of these animated GIFs to your autumn campaigns (if they’re not subject to copyright), or use them as inspiration for your own custom design.
A well-though GIF positioned at the right place in the right email can surely make your campaigns more entertaining and contribute to their overall value. However, make sure not to overdo it: increased unsubscribe rates aren’t what you’re looking for, right? Follow our blog to get more ideas on how to properly build your emails, incorporating various dynamic elements.