However, when the competition is so tight for achieving attention, it’s no surprise that you want something that sets you apart. There is one way to consider – Animated GIFs.
As an email marketer, you are always focusing on finding what can help and improve your campaign. It includes the use of copy, designs, and images.
Well, to learn how you can use the GIFs in your email with all related information, here is what can help you.
What To Know About GIFs?
GIF stands for the Graphics Interchange Format. It’s an image format that was developed by CompuServe in 1987.
Due to wide support through email liners and browsers, it has been listed as one of the popular formats since the early days of the internet.
More than that, GIFs can be animated. Similar to the way in which flipbooks work, GIFs also display the image series rapidly in order to reduce the motion illusion.
During the early years of the internet, GIFs used to be the primary method for adding movement to the web page.
However, since the 1990s, a lot of things have changed. Animated GIFs are now renaissance on web and email marketing.
While there is still some debate on how the GIf should be used and pronounced, it’s still an excellent marketing tool.
How Can Personalized Personify Email Marketing?
When you are using the GIF correctly, then it can help you in bringing an air of delight to the email.
With this, it can help in telling you the story, which is much more visually grabbing and attention-holding. Also, it can be 80% more visually appealing and can increase the number of folks who want the readers to read by 80%.
Well, with this, GIF can personalize your message and take it to another level; it includes :
Setting The Right Mood
It takes a lot of work to get the recipient to open the email, and make them read the whole thing.
This can be tiring and takes a lot of work, and that’s why GIF can help you in setting the right mood and can spice up the setting.
Polishing The Brand Personality
Another reason is that using GIFs can help in polishing the brand personality. You can make your brand personality much more attractive and appealing.
This helps the brand improve the chances of getting more clicks on the email, and create messages that hold the attention of your reader.
Create Better Integration That Stationary Images Cant
Static images can’t tell you the story effectively as well as moving pictures can.
The same goes for the love for talking newspapers in Harry Potter instead of the normal and regular ones.
GIF helps in telling the story and explaining things to the audience in a much more space-efficient manner.
So you can summarize the scenarios in words that take space and time, where images do it much faster.
Replacing Video That Does Not Support By Email Clients
GIFs are considered as great alternatives to the videos in your emails.
This helps in conveying the story without taking too much data, especially for those recipients who are viewing an email on their phone.
When You Should Use GIFs In Your Emails?
There is no doubt that using GIFs is a smart idea. However, it’s important to find out the right time and understand when to use it.
You can use it whenever or whichever email campaign you want, but some of the common ones that you can consider here :
Launch Of New Collection
One of the smart times when you are considering using the GIF is when you are launching a new collection of your product or services.
Not just GIFs are a great way that can help you in getting the attention of your audience but also helps you in showing the product which is featured.
Show How Product Works
Next, you can consider using it when you are displaying how the product is going to work. You can display the product and its function. This tactic is considered to be great especially when you are aiming to boost the confidence of customers in your product.
Once they know how the product works, they become certain that they are not going to get scammed and trust in spending their money to buy the product
Explaining Complicated Ideas
As a viewer, who would you prefer? Reading paragraphs that explain the complex idea or a shirt and fun GIF?
GIFs are great when you are explaining complicated ideas or concepts Because they don’t give the vibe that you are trying to teach. This can help you convey a message within a series of pictures that would take around a long text paragraph.
Showcasing The Product Line
Well, if you want to show off the product and what this can help you with, nothing fits more than showing the GIF to your email.
This can help in knowing about the product you are introducing, and understanding the product line to showcase.
How To Insert A GIF Into Your Email?
Well, once you are aware of the basics. Now it’s important to learn how you can use it for your email.
You might have figured out how to use the GIFs on Twitter and Facebook, but with email, there are some basic steps to follow.
In order to spice up the email marketing campaign as well as capture the attention of your customer, here is a guide on adding GIFs to your email.
Step 1: Copy The Link Of Your GIF
Once you find the GIF that you want to add to your email, you might want to right-click and save it on the computer.
But it won’t work, as when you are saving the GIF, the computer only saves the single frame as opposed to all frames.
So when you have one frame, it won’t work as GIF is a series of images that creates the illusion of motion.
When you need it, you need to click on the link and save it. Also, it depends on the source of your GIF.
If it’s on a website such as Giphy, you can copy the link through the prompt. Such websites also offer different options for copying the link, such as HTML, a shortened version of GIF, and creating a short URL.
If it’s not on the GIF website, but you have found it on some other site, then you need to right-click and then click on the copy image address.
Step 2: Open Your Email Account
Well, the next step is after you have coined the image address of your GIF, now you need to proceed with the email account.
On the way here, make sure you are not copying something else, such as the email address of your recipient, because if you do, you will end up losing the address and will have to do it again.
Here you need to open a window for a new message, just as you would do it normally.
Step 3: Maneuver To Your Insert Photo Section
After you open the new email window, you can now see the icon on the bottom, which is shaped similarly to a square with a mountain inside.
When you get it, click on that button, and this will lead you to insert a photo section.
From here, you get four tabs which include albums, photos, web addresses, and uploads. In order to do what you are looking for, click on the web address.
Step 4: Paste the Address Of Your Image
Here you will need the address you have copied; this is where you need to paste it.
Well, before you do, you will see an empty bar, and it will be labeled with paste an image URL here.
In order to do that, right-click on the empty bar, then click on the paste button.
With this action, you will get two things, the bar is now filled with the GIF image address, and the GIF will appear below the bar.
Step 5: Click On The Insert Button
Now you just have to click on the insert, which needs the blue button you get on the screen, the bottom left side of it.
Once you do, this will be taken back to your new message window, where you will see the GIF in the body of the email and completely animated.
Step 6: Play With The GIF
Here you get what you need, as you have mastered the art of copying the image address as well as relocating it into the email.
However, you might find that the GIF you added is a bit too big or the placement is not exactly right.
In order to fix this, you need to click on a GIF, and once you do it, a blue online will appear. Now you can click and hold the corners, and this can scale the images as you want to fit them.
Or you can use the prompt that appears below the image outline. This helps you in scaling the images automatically with their preset standards, such as small, best fit, and original size.
How You Can Use GIF In Different Email Providers On the Web?
Well, the steps are designed especially to work with the functionality of Gmail since it’s the most popular email provider.
When you want to add the GIF to an email, different providers might have their requirements; some might even have simpler ways than Gmail.
If you are using Yahoo, then you don’t have to use the step of copying the link of your GIF.
Since yahoo provides you with a button, especially for adding GIFs, it is simply labeled to find it easily.
Here you need to click on the button, and you will be redirected to the search engine to search the GIF much easier.
Not just that, you can specify the keyword or do the search based on available categories such as popular, love, and cheers.
The next you get is outlook, the process is much similar to yahoo, and the button you get is to insert emojis and GIFs.
When you press the button, this takes you to a search engine from where you can discover the GIFs.
Tips For Animated GIFs In Your Email
In order to use the best of the GIF, you need to understand how you can use it and how far you can take it in order to improve its overall functionality and usefulness.
Well, to improve your work and results, here are some of the tips that can help you; these includes :
Make Sure You Have A Purpose
GIF is not for use as garnish; it is for keeping the plate look much more appetizing. When the GIFs are developed, they become the star of the whole thing, and there is nothing you can do to challenge the dominance.
That’s why you require to think really carefully to know the purpose and why you want to add the GIF in your email; for example, you can consider using GIF for :
- Announcing sale
- Introducing a new feature or product
- Enhancing the overall mood
- Setting the scene, the email
- Drawing attention to the new content
- Preview of the new video-related content
- Serve tutorials for easy to follow
- Telling the story
Here you can use the GIF for your every email, or you can save it to use when there is a special occasion. Well, the trick you should follow is to make sure that no matter what, you are using the GIF to serve a purpose.
GIF and CTA Should Work Together
Every email you are going to write will need some kind of CTA or call to action.
It makes your email much more effective, and you can drive the action you want.
That’s why you need to focus on ensuring the call to action and gif are working together.
It should be something that helps each other to serve the purpose you want from the email and the recipient.
To incorporate the GIF and CTA together, you can consider all of these examples such as :
- An animated arrow for pointing out the CTA button.
- GIF image that provides the preview of still from the video and play button icon which links it directly to the web page
- A dancing button that takes to a landing page
- GIF countdowns for encouraging readers to act much more quickly
Since GIf has its strong dominance in email, you can use it to draw the attention of your recipient to the CTA you want them to follow.
Consider Creating Custom GIF To Match The Brand
GIFs are highly popular since they’re used everywhere, and it can be tempting to consider using the free options and put them into your email. It can be your preferred route since here you don’t have to pay for anything.
But it’s important that you brand the GIF you are using; the more it relates to your brand, the better it will result in you.
In different cases, you require to custom GIF, and it considers:
- Put down the spin on the time-tested meme, or consider using the different words for the GIF.
- Find a way to incorporate the logo or the watermark of your brand.
- Creating a new custom animation GIf which can help you in creating a new GIF.
- Incorporating animated GIFs into email design is already established.
Keep It Related To Your Brand
GIF can be a tempting thing, you want to keep it fun, and it can be an effective rhetorical tool for helping and improving click-through rates and relating to the brand.
But make sure you are deploying the humor in just the right way, and also put it on the brand.
If you are company has a humorous side, then you can easily incorporate the funny memes into the newsletter, but when you do it, make sure you are using it smartly; here are some of the points such as :
- Avoid using those memes which are controversial in nature or a reference to something sensitive.
- If you are creating a custom GIF, it gives you complete control over how on the brand you want the humor to be.
- Remember to consider the levels; it can be a joke as it might be directed to the image itself, references to culture or society. So make sure your GIF is reflected on all levels of your brand.
Make Sure That You Are Using GIF
GIFs seem to be a novel innovation of technology. However, they were invented in 1987 during the development of the graphics interchange format.
Since the image formats are a dime a dozen, make sure you are using the actual GIF, not saving it as JPEG, PNG, or other formats.
When you are using the GIF, you might work hard on creating one for yourself, so focus on the format and save it.
Consider The Size Of Your File
The next important thing that you should consider is the size of your GIF. The larger the file is, the it takes to load it.
And it causes problems in emails especially when you are looking for immediate gratification.
GIF tends to get very large in size, and it impacts your user experience.
Those subscribers who are reading the email using the movie will skip the emails more often or end up deleting all the emails which take too much time to load.
So make sure your GIF file is under 1 MB, and focus on keeping the GIF size smaller, as it will perform better, especially when you are using multiple ones on one page.
To make sure your GIF file is under control, you can consider using these points :
- Crop the image and keep it as small as you can; here, you don’t have to worry about the gradient or border.
- Remove those frames which are unnecessary; any animation requires the number of images that display in faster succession.
- When you are eliminating the frame number, it will help in cutting down the file size.
- Keep only those frames that are needed to keep it smaller in size.
- Also, reduce the number of colors; when you are adding more color, it’s adding more information, and this leads to a much bigger file.
- If you are using Photoshop, you can use layers to ensure the parts of the image which are required for animation.
Ensuring Your Files Are Embedded Properly
Whether you are creating on your own or using a third-party email program, you are required to spend time ensuring your GIFs are embedded in the email templates.
Even if you are not someone who is smart and code-savvy, there are some easy ways that can help you in doing this. So make sure you need to follow it.
In fact , the best tip you can get is to test the emails.
Keep It Accessible
Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in the moment; here, you need to make sure you are focusing on making it easy to access technology.
That’s why you are embedding the GIF in your email, so focus on keeping the email much more accessible.
Also, focus on ensuring that alt text along with GIF.
Check The Email Client For Support
Nearly all the email client support that you get in the modern-day helps in supporting the GIF display. However, not all of the email providers are helpful.
That means if there is someone who is using the old version of Outlook, they won’t see the GIF but the broken image.
However, if you are not sure if the email clients are using or what email provider, check google analytics, and it can help in educating about what email clients are using.
Be Careful With How You Are Creating GIF
There are different ways that can help you in creating the GIF, but not all are created the same.
Many services which allow you to create the GIF include GIPHY, but they have specific terms of services that make your GIF public.
Sometimes this can be fine, but there will sometimes be when you need to have much more control over how you are distributing the GIF, especially when it’s related to your brand.
In such cases, you need to use the software which helps you in keeping your GIF private for your use.
Stick To Simple And Faster Transition
If you are using an animation that involves transition, then make sure you stick to cuts instead of fades.
Where you are using cuts, jump right from one to the next visual, but when you are using the fades, this will take much time to deliver the same message.
Fades involve much more frames and colors, and this leads to making your size larger.
Avoid Using Photos, Choose Illustrations
Since the GIF takes much more time to process the colors, it increases the size of the file. It goes the same when the images contain complex colors, which most photographs contain.
Using illustration can help you in reducing that as they have a solid color complement as compared to video and photo, this helps in keeping the size of the photo less heavy.
One of the benefits that you can get from using simply colored illustration is it can help in incorporating more movements as well as animation with smaller size footprints.
Also, subtle changes in photographs are cumbersome in order to load the multiple animated frames.
Consider Overlay Colors For Limiting Color Palette
Another way that can help you in bringing down the size of your photo or video is to use a single color.
Overlay it on your GIf, or you can consider monochrome overlay as it gives the on-brand tint as well as helps in limiting the number of different colors.
This helps the GIf to process fewer colors which results in a smaller size.
Import Every Single Frame To Layer In Video To Gif
Photoshop helps you in converting the video frames for layering to select the file, import, and video frames to layers.
This tool comes in handy and helps in leading to runaway GIF file size if you are not being careful.
Also, optimize the size of your field by limiting your layers to every two frames. This helps make every other frame and convert the layers.
Delete The Frames Which Repeats
Remember, the more frames you have in the GIF, the bigger the overall size will increase.
So after you import GIf to photoshop, you can look at your animation and make sure you are checking frame by frame.
If you notice layers that seem exact and have duplicates, make sure you are deleting all those things.
Adjust Delays To Maintain The Pace
When you are removing the frames, you also need to focus on adjusting the delay, and it can help in keeping the pace of the GIF.
You can hold the single frame to see the equivalent of time and see how long it would take in order to run all the duplicate frames that you have deleted. This will help in keeping pace.
Keep in mind that the simple inverse relation can lead to higher frames per second, the less jerkiness you will have in playback.
A delay of .03 will likely default when you are uploading the GIF, which helps in creating the 30 FPS animation, which loads much more smoothly.
So you have more frames, it will need more seconds to load which leads to increasing the size of your file.
Here it’s important that you find the sweet spot that helps in keeping your animation smooth enough but also keeps the size of your file low.
Consider The Adaptive Color Reduction
When you are saving the Gif from the web, here you will get a few options for your color reduction.
Even the best practices suggest considering adaptive color reduction. With this algorithm, sample color will appear on most of the images and provide the balance between the file size as well as the color fidelity.
Keep Your Transparency On
When it comes to transparently handle, GIFs are bad. Use the harsh white edge around elements when you are setting or transparent background.
If you consider using the animation on your transparent background, consider using the animated PNGs.
Well, transparency allows the pixels which didn’t get changed from frame to frame and it stays.
This means those areas on GIF will remain the same even if the frame changes; this helps in not reloading over and over again.
It can also help you in reducing the size of your file.
Balance Your Color Table
When you are exporting, make sure you are using the option for adjusting the color saved to the color table of your image files.
The lower you get, the smaller the overall size will be.
The ideal combination you can choose between :
If its videos, you can consider using 128 – 256 colors
If it’s an animated illustration, you can consider using 64 – 128 colors.
What Are The Downsides Of Using GIFs?
Gif can be a smart idea and trendy for your email marketing; it does help in attracting attention. However, there are some downsides that you should consider too.
Well, it includes :
The Email Client Does Not Allow GIFs
This can be the standard, and one of the expected reasons is there are chances your readers are anti-GIF because of the email client, as he does not allow them to show GIFs in their emails.
Because of this, it leads to creating the classic misunderstanding where your GIF is meant to tell a story that is different from an image that tells a different story.
Some Audience Believes GIF Are Not Professional
Even though people do enjoy gifs in daily communication and social media, putting gifs in emails might not seem so professional to them.
Every email you are writing and designing requires to appeal to the audience.
This leads to believing the content is not up to the content; this can lower the email sender score.
It Might Make File Load Much Slower
This happens when you are using GIF files that are large in size; this also subsequently slows the loading pace, which irks the viewers who wouldn’t have enough time.
Also, you need to focus on improving the speed of loading, but using GIFs that are large in size slows the speed. So ensure GIFs are sized another 0.5 Mb or 1 Mb maximum.
GIF Doesn’t Serve Any Purpose
When you are using the GIF, a lot of time, it can be something that is not serving the purpose.
Using meaningless GIFs in email can end up garnering negative attention.
GIFs are good if they have their purpose and are slathered in different value layers. It can be educational or entertaining.
It Cause a Lack Of Accessibility
Animated GIFs can also lead to problems when it comes to accessibility for different reasons.
There is a content flashing rate between 2 Hz and 55 Hz, and it can harm users who have photosensitive epilepsy.
In addition, those who are visually impaired cause problems reading or reviewing the content before the animation changes in the GIF.
It Contains Poor Transparency In the Background
If you want to bring more colors or background transparency to the animated content, here using GIFs might not be the right choice for you.
GIFs are not as graceful in the transparent background.
Major Do And Don’ts To Remember Using GIFs In Email
GIF does work. However, you require to know how to use it and understand in knowing more about it, so here are some of the do and don’ts that can help:
Do Keep It On Brand
Experimenting is a good thing, but the GIF or animation should be entirely on brand when you are not doing it. This can make your subscribers feel confused and frustrated.
Brands that have emails that include animation which has a consistent tone, personality, and voice.
You can start small and see how your subscribers are going to respond to the different and new styles.
Don’t Create Files Too Largely
The golden rule when you include the image in an email as per Oracle should be less than 800 kb.
Long loading times tend to put off the customers, especially when the customer is more people are using the email on their phones, So keep the GIFs which are functional and small, to do this, here are some of the points to follow :
- Use simple colors, which is basic
- Limit your frames and their number
- Consider the cinemagraphs, images with one element with animation
- Compress your files
Do Place The Graphics First
Movement is visually much more interesting and captures the interest, so maximize the overall impact of GIF by prioritizing the layout.
Ideally, you need to do the first thing that your subscribers might see, that they are hooked and want to scroll down or click to learn more.
Don’t Forget The Audience
Similar to any marketing strategy, you require an understanding of the audience.
What is the thing that your audience might find much more interesting, is it going to be your product, or would you like to see GIF which is showcasing the features?
There are chances that you need to create an aesthetically pleasing, few animated elements that can help you in creating some oomph to the layout.
Just don’t forget the most important rule, which is to know who you are talking to and targeting.
Do Test And Benefit From Insights
In order to make your email marketing much better, is to test and learn.
When you begin with GIF, look at the data and decide which one is working great for you.
Track the email in the campaign and use data to determine how the customers are responding to the style.
Don’t Create GIF For the Sake Of It
You should pay attention to what your gifs are saying, the important event that you need to consider is communication, and so their equality message is related to it.
If you are using the GIF for aesthetic sake, then make sure it is simple and limited to the background as well as design instead of making it primary content for your email.
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I am certified and awarded Email marketing expert. I’ve spent the last decade reading and writing marketing books and blogs as well as my articles helps people to start their Email Campaign from scratch or boost their existing business.