Why You Should Use GIFs in Your Emails and 10 Examples You Can Learn From

With GIFs, you can go beyond a basic static image in your emails. Why use gifs in emails anyway? This article will give you insight into the benefits GIFs can provide to your email campaigns. You’ll also see 10 examples of GIFs used by real companies.

Why You Should Use GIFs in Your Emails and 10 Examples You Can Learn From

You need to take advantage of every opportunity to entice subscribers to engage with your emails. While a stationary image may be a good option that works well in email. You need to make your emails so engaging that it becomes impossible for your subscribers to look away. This is where GIFs come in. You may have seen GIFs all the time on the internet as well as social media. But did you know that you can use GIFs in emails? In this article, you’ll learn everything you need to know about GIFs and why you need them in your email marketing campaigns.

Let’s dive in!

Table of contents

  1. What is a GIF?
  2. Why you should use GIFs in your emails
  3. Points to consider when using GIFs in emails
  4. 10 examples of GIFs you can learn from
  5. Using an animated GIFs in your emails

What is a GIF?

GIF stands for graphics interchange format. Just like the JPEG or PNG file formats, GIFs are usually noiseless animations that are made from still images. They are ideal for communicating emotions and ideas. An outstanding feature of GIFs is that they play repeatedly like a flipbook. GIF files can load several pictures at a time, hence the reason it can be played repeatedly like a flipbook. GIF was developed by CompuServe in 1987. This proves that GIFs have been used since the early days of the internet. Today, many businesses and people use GIF as a means to communicate in emails and other marketing channels.  

Why You Should use GIFs in Your Emails

Animated GIFs are great for driving more engagement in your email campaigns. You can use GIFs in emails to communicate an element of surprise, humor or delight. Whether you plan to educate, instill a sense of curiosity, inform or entertain, GIFs can be helpful in boosting your marketing efforts. Here are some ways GIFs can improve your email marketing efforts.

1. Grab your subscribers attention

Using GIFs is a great way to grab your subscribers attention. The repeated motion of GIFs can easily get users fixated on your emails, directing them toward your CTA. This ensures that they understand your whole message.

2. Reveal your products and services

When you have a new collection of products to reveal to your customers. You can use GIFs to showcase your product’s collection in an engaging manner. This also allows for more creativity, so you can use your creative juices to design the best possible GIF for your email campaign.

3. Tease an upcoming event or content

GIFs provide an opportunity to tease an upcoming event or content. This way you can whet your subscribers’ appetite for the expected content. You can also instil FOMO (fear of missing out) to get subscribers more eager to engage with your emails.

4. Explain a complex idea

In some cases, you may need to explain the features of a complex product in a way that users would understand. Rather than using a couple of screenshots that may not really be engaging, GIFs can help you to break down steps to show your subscribers that things are easier than they think.  

Points to Consider When Using GIFs in Emails

While GIFs can be a great addition to your email campaigns, there are some questions you need to consider before using GIFs such as:

  1. Will the GIF work in email? You need to consider different email clients and ensure that they will support your GIF files. An  email client like Gmail supports GIF files but Microsoft Outlook 201o and 2013 don’t support a full GIF animation. If your reader’s email client doesn’t support GIFs then it will be really disappointing to include a GIF that your subscribers won’t get to see.

    Solution: ensure the initial frame in your GIF communicates all the important info or you risk your readers missing it. If the client doesn’t support GIF, that first frame will still be displayed.
  2. Will it provide value to your email? It's always a good idea to consider the kind of impression your GIF file will create for your audience. Your chosen GIF file should be value-based first, not just random GIF.

    Note: some GIFs can weigh down the size of an email, making it much slower to load. In this case, your subscribers may get impatient to open it. This means that a slower download speed can lead to lower engagement rates. So, you need to make your GIF files as small as is necessary. There are some online tools like ezgif.com that you can use to reduce the size of your GIF. This way, you can give your readers a better viewing experience.

10 Examples of GIFs You can Learn From

Now that you’ve learned the importance of using GIFs in emails. Where do you find examples of companies that use GIFs in their email marketing campaigns? If you need some inspiration on how to use animated GIFs in your email campaigns, this section is dedicated to helping you out. Here are 10 examples of GIFs you can learn from.

1. Lyft

This email is a great example of displaying your product feature in action. Did your product get a recent update? Animated GIFs in emails can be useful in showcasing your product’s latest feature. Lyft uses an animated GIF to inform customers about an update to their app. Rather than simply using a static image, this type of animation GIF easily captures the attention of people. As a result, users will be more encouraged to explore the product’s offering.

2. Ilia

Your email can never go wrong when subscribers see your products in action with real people. Ilia, a make-up brand leverages animated GIFs to showcase its product elements in a visually engaging manner. This way, customers would be more willing to go beyond the email and try out the product themselves.

3. Draft

Just like Lyft, Draft uses GIFs to showcase its products' features. Using a static image would be boring and readers may not really give your email the attention it deserves. With GIFs, you can freely showcase your product’s functionality in a more engaging manner. Subscribers can get a better idea of how the new features work without much hassle.

4. Converse

When there's a need to showcase a new collection, you can count on GIFs to showcase your products in the best light. Converse is aware of this marketing strategy and uses GIFs to reveal its new black canvas monochromatic collection. The visual is so engaging that it's hard to miss.

5. Google

You can use GIFs in emails to celebrate your subscribers. In this email, Google uses a catchy GIF to remind customers of how its features were beneficial throughout the year. This visually engaging display is sure to catch subscribers attention.

6. Nike

In this email, Nike uses an interactive visual element to showcase its promotion for running tights. This animation GIF features an attractive background with a changing pattern that easily catches the eyes. The hero text “make a statement” definitely reflects the GIF’s visual character.

7. Carhartt

A good thing about using GIFs in emails is that you can always add a touch of creativity to spice it up. Carharrt uses a creative design approach in it's email to announce upcoming black Friday sales. This type of GIFs easily grabs attention leading to more engagement.

8. Netflix

Do you have any new content you plan to release for your audience? You can use GIFs as a teaser for your latest content. Netflix is aware of this strategy and uses an animated GIF to get its audience in the right mood for the latest TV show.

9. Shoedazzle

Like we mentioned earlier, you can use GIFs in emails to showcase a variety of your products. Shoedazzle does this well in its email. Using a white background, each product clearly stands out making it easier for subscribers to identify their best options.

10.  American apparel

Like Shoedazzle, American apparel uses GIFs in its emails to reveal different colours of its tee's collection. However it doesn’t end there. This email also uses a compelling copy to entice users to try them out.

Using an Animated GIF in Your Email

Let’s face it, a static picture won’t do justice to a well designed email with a compelling copy and CTA. Using GIFs in your email would add more live to your emails and keep your subscribers engaged. You can go beyond the boring emails that subscribers usually receive. This will help your brand standout and keep subscribers interested in your products and services. This way, there’s an increased chance of boosting your click through and conversion rates.

So what are you waiting for?  Try to use GIFs in emails to get better results in your email marketing campaigns.