5 Dynamic Email GIFs and One Sleepy Duck

Email Marketing Strategy & Tactics

Believe it or not the GIF/JIF, and accompanying debate, is approaching its 30th birthday.*  This animated file format has been around longer than most of the millennials who use (and abuse) it. However, in recent years the GIF has become more than a means to emphasize your emotions via instant messenger; GIFs also serve as an engaging email marketing tool, supporting animation and adding life to imagery. Here are our five favorite uses of email GIFs!

But first, a more traditional use — this duck and I both have a serious case of the Mondays. Now:

1.) Litmus

This GIF from the Litmus Newsletter is clean and direct. The message is conveyed without any unnecessary text, with a background that enhances rather than distracts. Using GIFs in email does not need to be grand in any sense. Adding them in a slight, intentional way is more effective than using them aggressively. Emails may appear chaotic and overwhelming if there is too much going on. GIFs can also lose their pizzazz when used too often. GIFs will work better to surprise recipients when used in moderation.

2.) InVision

When introducing their Product Design Report in a June Weekly Digest, InVision employed a GIF to scroll through key statistics. Not only can GIFs be pleasant and engaging, they may also serve pragmatic functions. Providing detailed information in the limited space of an email via GIF allows your audience to gain additional insight before clicking. Other practical GIF ideas include “before and after” promotions, product demonstrations and showcasing specific services.

3.) Code School

Code School promotes their new Google Drive API course in a February newsletter with this GIF. The familiar Google icons appear with a whimsical effect, grabbing the reader’s attention and creating a sense of familiarity all at once. However, as powerful as GIFs can be, it is important to keep in mind one drawback: Not every email client has the technology to support GIFs. This includes newer 2007, 2010, and 2013 versions of Outlook. But have no fear! The technology will default to the first, static frame of the animation, so it’s crucial to make that first one your best!

4.) Julep

This tour GIF from Julep is the perfect way to engage your audience! To promote Jane Park’s August Meetups, Julep sent a full-page email with her tour dates and locations. Though GIFS can be informative and entertaining, it is necessary to consider the size of the email when including a GIF. These animated graphics are likely to come in exorbitant file sizes, which can be problematic as media goes mobile. So, before getting all gung-ho about GIFs, be sure to take the proper precautions when it comes to file sizes!

5.) Clover Letter

This eye-catching GIF from Clover Letter’s August email is the ultimate way to ensure that no one ever misses connecting with you on social media. The brand uses this GIF towards the bottom of every email, to call attention to their ongoing Instagram Shoutouts. It is clear that there are many different ways in which you can use GIFs to attract, excite and engage customers. Half the fun of using GIFs is using your imagination to dream up endless, creative possibilities!

Now that you’ve seen a few examples of effective email GIFs, you are free to go out and create your own! Keep in mind certain drawbacks when creating your GIFs, but don’t forget all of the success they could bring your email program!

*It’s pronounced GIF, like gift but without the T at the end. Long may the internet remember this as the day the debate was finally settled! You’re welcome.


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