8 min read

Animated Email: A Brief Guide For Marketers With Examples

Written by Natalia Guivan
8 min read
Table of Contents

    Experienced marketers know that, depending on the visuals, it takes literally a second for people to decide if your email is interesting to read. You can have the best offerings but they’ll be lost to subscribers if all they see is bland long text. To get the most out of email marketing, marketers must figure out how to differentiate themselves from the competition in a crowded inbox and write interesting, eye-catching letters that draw readers in. Adding animated GIF in email to an email marketing campaign may be quite beneficial. This topic naturally raises too many “How?”, and Flowium is willing to answer them. In this article, you’ll find the most popular use cases with examples, best practices, and tips on how to embed GIF in email design.

    What are Animated Emails?

    The more readers immerse into various web resources and social media, the more complicated it becomes to grab their attention through emails. However, email marketing is an adaptable strategy that quickly picks up on trends and interests of the audience. Using animated GIF for email is one of the effective ways to keep up. 

    Animated emails are newsletters designed with the use of GIF for email quality enhancement. The main purpose of adding a GIF to an email is to catch clients’ attention and direct it to the most important parts of the text. Animated emails also help form the desired image and impression about your brand providing more engaging and memorable visuals compared to ordinary images.

    Benefits of GIFs In Email

    Embed GIF in email to receive the competitive advantages of this strategy for your business. There are a few major aspects that you can enrich by using GIFs in your strategy for email marketing. 

    Click-through and engagement rates.

    Using GIFs in emails is a terrific approach to get readers interested and involved. They can grab your subscriber’s attention and compel them to continue interacting because they’re visually appealing and entertaining to watch. Because they are more inclined to interact with your call-to-action or click on a link to learn more, subscribers may click through at a higher rate as a result of this improved engagement. 

    Brand representation and recognition.

    Your subscribers are more likely to remember your brand and have a deeper connection with it if your emails are unique and engaging. For any company hoping to have a solid online presence and enhance brand awareness, recognition is essential. Email animations offer a distinctive and unforgettable visual experience that makes your brand memorable in the eyes of your audience. 

    Product showcase.

    Using GIFs in email to demonstrate your goods or services in motion might help your subscribers better grasp what you have to offer and how it operates. Compared to text-only emails, putting animations in email allows you to have a more thorough and engaging depiction of your products. You can utilize this practice just as a funny way of showcasing but it’s also useful when your products have complicated technical characteristics therefore challenging to describe. 

    Impression of your email design.

    Your email aesthetics significantly influence readers’ impressions of the information you’re trying to bring to them and your brand in general. Your emails can be made more visually appealing and engaging by using GIF animations to provide movement and dynamic imagery. 

    Affordable and simple to make.

    Marketers know how expensive quality video production can be and that it’s not that simple to include its results in an email. Opting for GIF in emails is an easier and affordable substitute which is no less effective to convey a message. Basically, anyone can make GIFs for email campaigns with the correct tools and some basic design knowledge. This solution is perfect for small and mid-sized businesses that don’t have extensive in-house teams of designers but still strive to make their emails more appealing to look at.

    Compatibility.

    One of the prominent benefits that email GIFs bring is compatibility. Specialists know how important it is to ensure all your email elements work on a variety of email clients and devices. Otherwise, email campaigns may suffer from formatting errors, broken links, and other issues. Thankfully, animated GIFs work on a wide range of email clients and devices without any issues due to their extreme compatibility.

    Stand out in an overflowing inbox.

    Your subscribers might have tons of other messages and advertising emails in their inboxes. In order to reach the objectives of your campaigns, your emails have to outshine them all by providing your readers with a more distinctive experience. GIF in emails may help them stand out from the competition and attract subscribers.

    Pros

    • Enhanced click-through and engagement rates.
    • Better product representation.
    • Increased brand awareness and recognition.
    • Compatibility with various platforms and devices.
    • Improved visual appearance of email designs.
    • Distinctive experience among competitors.
    • Affordable and simple technology.

    Cons

    • Time-consuming compared to designing static images.
    • The use of several GIFs in one email increases its file size.

    How to Use GIFs in Email Marketing

    GIFs for email marketing can work wonders if you know how to incorporate them into your strategy and use them correctly within your email body. Specialists in email marketing can include GIF elements in newsletters, promotional and discount emails, service announcement emails, purchase or subscription reminder emails, etc. You can get a general idea of how marketers use them and draw inspiration from these email marketing GIF examples that I gathered from Flowium’s email design portfolio to illustrate the most popular use cases.

    Hero layout animation in email

    The subject line of your email is conveyed to your readers by the hero image, which is the first thing they see. It facilitates drawing in subscribers and pointing them in the direction of the intended call to action. Here you can see how our designers implemented animated GIFs in the hero image for JORD.

    Headlines and CTA with email animation

    When subscribers open your email they might not go past the first headline if it’s not calling upon their attention. You can convince them to read through by using not only intriguing context headlines but also engaging animations to add more flow and movement to the text. Dynamic GIF email elements on CTA buttons can also prompt subscribers to take action. Flowium understood the assignment and added animations to UKMEDI’s email headline to convey the main message.

    Animated GIF in email for product showcase

    Email marketing GIFs can help you showcase your goods more effectively as they can deliver more realistic imagery and details that can be lost in static photos. Clients are used to traditional catalogs, so you have a perfect opportunity to surprise them with a more unusual presentation. Moreover, some products can be properly represented only if they are in motion. For instance, Flowium was tasked by Cheese & Wine Traders to emphasize the texture and delicious looks of their products in emails which our marketers perfectly solved by using animation. Undoubtedly, this effect couldn’t be reached fully if we chose a static image.

    Frame and loop animations in email design

    Not all GIFs in email marketing should be added with a complex strategy in mind. You can use animations to diversify your campaign emails or just for the fun of it. The simplest animations to choose for your email designs are frame and looping animations. In the example by Flowium, you can see how more interesting simple emails can be when they have some motion going on.

    Sale promotion with email marketing GIFs

    Opting for simple animated GIFs is an excellent method to put emphasis on your sales and special offers. Dynamic motion provided by email animations can stress the limitation of your sale and urge them to decision making. We used this strategy for Balfour in the email example below to remind subscribers about the sale by saying that time is ticking (literally in this email design).

    Personalized GIFs for email campaigns

    Make every subscriber feel cared about, evoke emotions, and establish a more reliable connection with your clients by using personalized animations for email campaigns. Accompany addressing readers with interesting animated GIFs to add more feelings and personality to your email. One of the great animated GIF email examples from Email Love that speaks of a personalized approach is this welcome email by Crown Affair aimed at expressing the company’s appreciation to their customers with diverse hair types.

    Best Practices for Animated GIFs in Email

    We recommend looking through the best practices for email GIF implementation to make sure it goes as planned, and your animations serve their intended purpose in your email marketing strategy.

    • Ensure correct file size. If you include animated GIFs files in your email, Flowium’s specialists advise keeping them to no bigger than 2.5 MB. The perfect size is 1MB. This is essential to guarantee a fast load time for optimal user experience and deliverability. 
    • Put important details in the first frame. Make sure all the critical information is in the first frame of the animation because not all inbox providers allow GIFs. This way if animated GIFs in your email fail to load, readers will still be able to see the main message.
    • Check proper looping. To ensure that the animation repeats continually without freezing after exporting, make sure it is looped.
    • Use simple colors. Because gradients and photos contain so many hues and tones, they lend weight to your animation. The best solution is to simplify the design of your animated email GIF.
    • Fewer frames. It’s preferable if the animation is shorter. Your animation also gains weight with each frame it includes in the GIF. Limit the length of your animation to urge readers to scroll down the email.

    How to Add a GIF to an Email

    Figuring out how to put GIF in email is not rocket science. Basically, all email clients and email marketing service providers made sure to facilitate this process to the maximum. This way all users can improve their email designs with engaging visuals.  It doesn’t have to be hard to include a GIF in an email. The steps involved in adding them to your emails are actually quite similar to those you need to take to insert photographs into your emails. 

    Here is a standard guide on how to add GIFs to emails that can work regardless of whether you insert animated GIFs in Outlook, Gmail, or many other email clients.

    1. Copy a link to your GIF or download it.
    1. In your email client, create a new email.
    1. Use the insert images function to add the GIF, or just drag and drop it into the email design template. You can also just paste the GIF if you copied it.
    1. Your GIF’s proportions should be adjusted to look more natural.
    1. Save your email template.

    That’s all, your email enriched with interesting animations is ready to be sent to readers and bring you conversions.

    Conclusion

    I hope this brief guide helps you understand how crucial it is to add high-quality visual elements to boost the success of your email campaign. Animated emails are aimed to draw attention to important goods or services, advertise temporary sales, or just liven up your correspondence. You can make your emails more visually appealing and engaging by including GIFs for emails in your campaigns. This will enhance the likelihood that your subscribers will open, read, and interact with your material. If you’re still unsure about your email marketing strategy, let Flowium email marketing company assist you in finding a perfect solution.

    Talk email strategy with an expert
    Request free email marketing audit from our experts!