According to Litmus, more than 50% of email marketers have used GIFs in their emails. It is because GIFs make your emails more interactive and increase the engagement metrics of your campaigns. You can use GIFs in emails for decorative purposes, to give a preview of your upcoming videos, or to help your readers understand your vision. But, using GIFs in your emails is not as easy as you think. Here is everything you need to know about using GIFs in your HTML email templates.
Why should you start incorporating GIFs in your emails?
GIFs make your template stand out
There are a lot of brands that prefer doing things the old way using static images. But, these images are not enough to draw the attention of the customer. By adding a single GIF to your email, you can drastically increase your engagement and click-through rates. You can even start using GIFs in your newsletters. However, before you start using GIFs, make sure they fit your brand aesthetics.
Niice uses an animated GIF in their monthly review articles. They have used an animation of a pink blob monster playing the drums. The animation is quirky and vibrant, almost like an art project. Niice’s GIF is intriguing and makes the reader curious enough to continue interacting with the email. The GIF fits perfectly with the artsy brand image that they are portraying to their readers.
GIFs can help with tutorials
Full tutorial videos are often too big to include in your emails. And, attaching a link to those videos adds an extra step of friction which might prevent the customer from interacting with it. However, by using GIFs, you can include tutorials in the email without worrying about the size. GIFs are also much more interactive than a simple wall of text.
Truebill makes their tutorial emails engaging by including a short video GIF of the process. Offering visual cues to the subscribers makes it easier for them to understand the new features and increases the feature adoption rate. The GIF guides the customer on ways to manage all their subscriptions using a single mobile interface. Truebill has also included a CTA button that takes the subscribers directly to their app.
Animation attracts attention
Animation attracts the attention of the readers much faster than static images. Incorporating a GIF on the first page of your email can instantly hook the readers and make them go through the entire email expecting more surprises.
Most companies include a single GIF to draw the subscribers’ attention to the other content of the email. However, Canva chose to mix things up by including multiple GIFs in their promotional email. First, they have used the GIFs in the background of their static hero image to make it look like a slideshow. Next, they have included another small GIF while explaining the features of their backgrounds. Finally, they have included multiple GIFs to showcase their animated backgrounds.
How to take your email template to the next level using GIFs?
Add more theatrics to your emails
GIFs are very versatile. The usage of GIFs in your emails is only limited by the imagination of the email marketers. These visually interactive animations let you tell a story while grabbing the subscriber’s attention.
Sea of Thieves has brilliantly used a GIF in their background to make their email look more dramatic. Moreover, they have used a 3D animated GIF that pans out to show a small island in the dark. The background manages to replicate the atmosphere of their games. By going through this email, the user can expect what they will be experiencing in the game. Apart from that, Sea of Thieves also uses custom fonts to display its logo. As you can see, they have spared no expense while developing this email template.
Don’t be intimidated by this impressive email template. With the right approach, you, too, can achieve the same effect with limited resources.
Enhance the brand aesthetics
You can use GIFs to enhance the personality of your brand. A few well-placed GIFs are more than enough to express your brand’s voice and tone. Similarly, you can use GIFs in your email to celebrate seasonal holidays and set the mood for your subscribers.
Austin Eastciders has used a GIF background to make their email look more appealing. They have placed their products in the middle and have animated the leaves around them to add more character to their email template. Since they are promoting it during the fall season, the template is filled with colors of autumn like brown, yellow, and orange.
What is the optimum file size for GIF?
Ideally, the size of your GIF should be within 500 KB. But, the file size can vary according to the number of frames, the quality of your GIF, and the purpose of your GIF. You can reduce the size of your email template by removing a few unimportant frames. The size of the GIF can also be reduced by compressing it before adding it to the template. You can increase and decrease the size of the GIF in your template depending on how the load time of your emails is affecting engagement rates.
Always run multiple A/B test campaigns before using GIFs in your emails. While some customers might find it quirky and intriguing, others will find it unprofessional. Therefore, before you use GIFs in your emails, make sure that they will be well-received by your subscribers.