As marketers, we are always trying to find new and engaging ways to reach our audience. We already know that storytelling is a very important technique when it comes to grabbing attention. We also know the power of imagery, and when the two are combined, it can be very successful. It doesn’t stop there though.

What happens when you combine all of the above and add the magic of animation? You get awesome animated GIFs! GIFs have made a trendy comeback in recent years, but have dominated the internet as entertainment since the 90s. And, when something is around long enough and gets enough attention, you can bet marketers are going to try to use it as a new marketing tool. Using GIFs in email campaigns is the new movement (pun intended).

GIFs in email campaigns can bring them to life and take your marketing efforts to the next level. GIFs in email is great because they do not take up much space, they are simple yet eye-catching, and they can tell a story or demonstrate something more easily than a still image.

GIFs in email campaigns are a great way to show off products and entice viewers. They are definitely a favorite marketing technique amongst retailers. For example, a product like a jacket can be shown from multiple angles and shown off in different colors. The GIF can zoom in and out and draw attention to the product’s details as well as draw attention to promotion details.

Almost everyone with internet access has come across a GIF before. In case you have not been on the world wide web for a while, a GIF (Graphic Interchange Format) is a file format made up of several photos that are strung together and looped to create the appearance of animation. Kind of like a digital version of a flip book.

Many marketers have found that adding GIFs in email campaigns increases audience engagement, leading to higher click-through rates. This is great news considering our super short attention spans and all the competition out there. In just a couple of seconds, a GIF can show products or highlight a specific area in the email campaign without having to deal with large files like a video. GIFs in email campaigns have the same kind of engagement capabilities as videos but are much simpler and efficient, like static images. GIFs are the perfect middle ground between the two.

Here are a few things you should be aware of before using GIFs though.

  1. GIFs are support by most mail clients. Unfortunately, Outlook 2007/2010, Apple Mail 3.0, and Windows Mobile 7 do not. The first frame of the GIF shows on Outlook though, so make sure you make that frame count.
  2. Size matters when it comes to GIFs. It is recommended to keep emails under 125KB in size. If it is bigger than that, the GIF may not load completely, causing it to freeze or not load at all. When this happens, it is likely that the recipient will delete your email and move onto the next one. No one has time for loading. Keep in mind that many emails are checked on smartphones now, so it is important to keep emails small so they accommodate mobile networks as well.

Photoshop can be used to create GIFs. If you do not have design knowledge, there are plenty of online tools that can help you make GIFs, like imgflip. Not only are GIFs in email campaigns a great attention grabbers, but they are also great for displaying information about a product, while doing so in a limited space of an email.