July 11, 2023

Using GIFs in Email Marketing: The Hows, the Whys, and the Brands That Nailed ItWhich Email Deliverability Factors Matter?

The “Graphics Interchange Format”, or GIF format of images, used to be something unique that users didn’t exactly see all the time. Now, it’s something that people use on a daily basis.

The GIF format is an image format that is used to describe animated images. Essentially, a GIF is not very different from the flipbooks we loved as children. And, much like a proper flipbook, a GIF doesn’t carry sound — which is its main difference from a video.

GIFs, at some point, were purely a social media phenomenon, dominating DMs and social media posts. However, their popularity led many marketers to use them in their email marketing campaigns as a means to get more engagement out of their emails.

First Things First: Get the Specifics and Platform Right

Sounds scary, doesn’t it? Well, you’re not wrong, but things are not that bad.
The truth is that there are many ways for your GIF-in-email efforts to go wrong. Consider the following scenario
  • The email client does not support GIFs. This is not uncommon, so make sure your first frame communicates all the recipient needs to know.
  • It takes forever to load. Nobody wants to wait for the email’s message to pop up. Just keep the file’s size as small as possible.
  • Your GIF is misplaced. Either it doesn’t serve its purpose, or it’s not something your audience will welcome. Don’t try it without making an educated, analytics-based decision.
The worst-case scenario, though, is you lacking the toolset that will allow you to use GIFs in your email marketing campaigns. So, you’ll need to pick an Email Service Provider (ESP) that will support this feature in some way.

For Moosend’s email marketing tool, for example, adding a GIF is a matter of accessing the Drag-and-Drop email editor and finding the “Image Picker” tab. After that, the Editor’s “Giphy” tab can make your life easier and get you any GIF that you may need.

Alternatively, if you’ve created a GIF and it’s ready and waiting in your computer’s library, you can click on the “Local File” tab and upload your branded content.

You can use GIFs in email marketing for a wide variety of reasons:

  • It’s a fantastic way to “add a video” without adding a video, along with a cinemagraph GIF.
  • An image is worth a thousand words, and your GIF is an animated image that could be more engaging — and, therefore, worth more.

So, are GIFs in email useful? Yes. Are they supposed to be used as visual aids, or can you use them as the “body copy” without the body copy? Well, the answer would be both.

But how?

Not to mention how non-magical the “Daily Prophet” would have been, had the pictures not been animated.
Make Sure Everything Matches

GIFs may be images that showcase something but that doesn’t mean that you can leave your brand’s tone behind.

A simple and spot-on brand tone that is well-adjusted to the circumstances, mediums and occasions will give you authority and help you earn your online customers’ trust. Check this out:

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