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Guide to Using GIFs in Email Marketing Campaigns

Originally published: March 14, 2024 09:24:19 AM, updated: March 14, 2024 09:26:09 AM

Animated GIF

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Over the past couple of decades, people's attention spans have shrunk considerably. Honestly, the fast-paced digital world has simply made matters worse. It is extremely difficult to capture people's attention because there are simply too many things going on around them. Previously, sending an email was enough to capture the recipients' attention. But today, you have to go the extra mile.

It is safe to say that the time of static images and text is slowly fading, and it has paved the way for animated GIFs. GIFs are powerful tools that email marketers must not overlook. Since they are animated, they can grab attention and boost engagement instantly. Recipients of your email might only click and open the email to check out the GIF.

Incorporating GIFs into your email marketing strategy requires careful planning and consideration. Poorly, it can annoy subscribers.

Are you considering incorporating GIFs into your email marketing strategy? Here is a guide to help you. Let's go.

How to Find and Create GIFs?


  • Stock GIF websites - Imgur, Tenor, and GIPHY are some websites offering royalty-free GIF libraries where you can search by category or keyword.
  • Subscription services - You will find various premium GIF libraries offering comprehensive options with a wide selection of options. This is a good option for brands that need to maintain a consistent visual style.
  • Create your own GIF - If you are unsatisfied with GIFs, you can create your own. Creating custom GIFs is not that difficult because various software programs and online tools are at your disposal. It is possible to use these tools to create simple animations from video clips or static images.

How to Add GIFs to an Email?

You probably already know how to send or attach GIFs to your social media posts via text messages. But how can you add a GIF to an email? Don't worry; it is not rocket science. You can add a GIF to an email in two ways: as an uploaded file or a link.

Whether you use Gmail, Yahoo, or Apple Mail, you can click the Compose button. You can drag and drop the GIF link in the compose new message box or click the photo icon and add it. The steps will differ depending on your email service.

What Are the Best Practices for Using GIFs in Email Marketing?

  • Don't compromise on quality - You must never compromise on quality when it comes to adding GIFs to your email marketing campaigns. The GIFs must be relevant to your message and visually appealing. If it is blurry or pixelated, it will have a negative impact and may drive away your subscribers.
  • Ensure it is short and sweet - You must understand that people are busy. So, you mustn't bore them with long GIFs. It must only last a few seconds.
  • Optimize the file size - The GIFs must be compressed without sacrificing their quality to ensure optimal deliverability. File sizes under 1MB are ideal.
  • Test across devices - You must test your email across various email clients and devices to ensure the GIFs display correctly.
  • Track the results - Monitor the performance of your email campaigns. Find out the click-through rates, open rates, and unsubscribe rates. According to the results, you can fine-tune the campaigns.

Why Use GIFs in Email Marketing?

Using GIFs in your email marketing campaigns will benefit you in the following ways:

  • Help instantly grab the recipients' attention while they scroll through their inboxes.
  • Engagement is boosted by adding a touch of humor and fun and emotional connection to the message.
  • Easily convey complicated ideas and demonstrate product features.
  • Enhance brand personality and make it much more memorable and relatable.

What Are the Concerns About Using GIFs in Email Marketing?


  • File size - If your GIFs are extremely large in size, it will significantly impact the email load times. This may result in frustration for your recipients. Also, the deliverability rate will be impacted.
  • Accessibility concerns - There are some email services that might not display GIFs and may leave recipients with a blank space or broken image.
  • Overuse - When GIFs are improperly used or overused, they constantly cause annoyance and fatigue. Hence, they must be used sparingly and strategically.

The Bottom Line

GIFs are powerful tools that can be added to your email marketing arsenal. However, you must use it strategically to achieve the best results. You can follow the best practices outlined above and leverage the power of animation to capture attention and achieve your marketing goals.

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