Doing GIFs with Style

Every social media maven has seen the rise of GIFs in the social space, but what are the rules for using them in email? And especially in the B2B market space. Similar to emojis, GIFs let you swap out text for an image, adding a little something extra to your email in a visual and relatable format. Despite, their entertainment potential, GIFs should be used with care in email marketing to get the impact right. If you’re going to add GIFs to your email, make sure you do it in style.

The Cover Image

Not every email provider will display your GIF in the way it’s meant to be shown. By that I mean the fun moving image you’ve so carefully selected will instead display as the first frame only. Our workaround involves making the first frame one which you would be happy to be used as a still image too. Perhaps you can make the first frame show only for a few milliseconds, too short a time for the naked eye to pick up on. This will mean that all inboxes will render your GIF appropriately, whether that be the entire moving frame, or simply the first frame.

Keep it minimal

It’s great being able to add a splash of creativity and fun to your email, but overloading it with multiple, unnecessary GIFs will only distract from your email’s focus. You want an emails primary message to be immediately obvious, if GIFs are convoluting that message, consider what value they’re adding.

Make it relevant

Every aspect of an email should add something to the message, and GIFs are no different. Whether you’re using an image, a GIF, a button or text, it should all convey your message and tone. Make them relevant to your email, and use it to add something noteworthy, otherwise, question why you’re adding one in the first place? Is it simply for the sake of ticking a box?

Have a purpose

Your email should have a purpose. It may be that you’re trying to promote, advise or inform your clients. A GIF should support that message. Their characteristics will allow you to animate your design. Play around to find a method that works for you. Perhaps you’re showing people how to complete a task, or showing off a new product, or maybe you’re using a GIF to animate some data to give it visual impact.

GIFs have the ability to bring your email to life. Use them wisely to enhance your campaign, without seeming tacky. Alternatively, personalise your email in different ways with our Nifty Images plug-in to GatorCreator. Add custom text to an image, overlaid with merge fields to bring lead data into your images. Alternatively, create a countdown to a big event or moment with our Countdown creator, a type of GIF in the form of a timer.


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