Here is a little known industry secret – Using GIFs for email marketing is one of the best ways to increase your engagement and conversion rates. 

GIFs reinforce fundamental marketing strategies with an appealing design.

Foexample, many marketers recommend creating a “sense of urgency” for a product. A well designed GIF can do this in several innovative ways, such as with an animated timer.

Read on to find out how top brands like Nike, Lyft, and Amazon connect with their audiences and sell more using strategically placed GIFs. 

 

What are GIFs?

The Graphics Interchange Format or GIF was developed by CompuServe back in 1987. GIF is an image format that quickly displays a sequence of images for producing an illusion of motion.

 

 

Should You Use GIFs in Email Marketing?

Generally speaking, GIFs are excellent for email marketing campaigns for several reasons.

Firstly, GIFs spice up email designs and drive engagement.

Secondly, they can replace embedded videos that do not work in several email clients.

GIFs also help display emotions in a personal way while grabbing your reader’s attention. Finally, they also raise click-through rates and net you more sales.

 

10 Ways Companies Use GIFs In Email Marketing Campaigns:

1)  Increasing Engagement – LOFT

Engagement can be increased using GIFs. For example, LOFT, a women’s clothing shop, uses wiggly animated “presents” in their campaigns. They ask subscribers to click on the GIF to “unwrap” their present. Such interactive campaigns increase engagement and also drive sales.

 

GIFs in email marketing example, gently moving gift box stating "unwrap me".

 

2) Explaining New Features – Mailchimp

A GIF need not only be for show. For instance, email service provider Mailchimp has used GIFs in an email campaign to help users understand its redesigned interface. Such mini explanation videos are always well-received by users.

GIFs in email marketing example, animated GIF describing features of Mailchimp.

 

3) Grabbing Subscriber Attention – Converse

GIFs can grab subscriber attention. For example, converse utilized coloured animated GIFs in its engaging email marketing campaign. The GIFs changed colour and announced its all-new “Blank Canvas Monochromatic Collection.”

GIFs in email marketing example, animated GIF switching between different coloured converse shoes.

 

4) Creating a Sense of Urgency – Harry

GIFs can be used to create a sense of urgency. For example, the brand Harry used simple animated GIFs to evoke fear of missing out (FOMO) and also to convey a sense of urgency. Such tactics are well-recommended and can prompt subscribers to buy a product or service. The brand Kohls has also used this tactic.

GIFs in email marketing example, analogue clock and woman in background with text saying 25% of everything off.

 

 

5) Demonstrating  Product Functionality – Kate Spade

Kate Spade, a women’s clothing and accessories retailer, uses animated GIFs in their marketing campaigns. The company’s GIFs show how their products are multi-functional and also showcase different views of the goods.

GIFs in email marketing example, different products arranged in squares.

 

6) Creating Effective Copy – Boden

Every Email Marketer knows that compelling copy is necessary for making sales. A GIF can help you do just that. For example, the retailer Boden centers its campaign copy on animated GIFs. In their GIF, you can see lemonade disappear, which not only backs up their copy of “squeeze the last few drops” but also creates FOMO and urgency.

GIFs in email marketing example, advertisement saying squeeze the last few drops 25% off.

 

7) As a Creativity Multiplier – Chanel

Chanel uses GIFs to present its Triple Row Watch creatively. For example, in their GIF, the watch chain appears one piece at a time until the entire product can be seen. Such GIFs can serve as a powerful tool for marketing departments. 

Chanel logo, animated watch chain slowly surrounding logo.

 

8) Inserting a Call to Action – Rent the Runway

The company Rent the Runway used a GIF as a friendly greeting in their Valentine’s Day promotion. We can see a few beads arranged to form a golden heart, while a CTA button appears beside the greeting text.

Text saying countdown to valentine's day, animated beads forming a heart around text.

 

9) Showing Product Range – Last Call

Retailer “Last Call” uses GIFs to show models wearing different items in their clothing line. The images change according to the product’s name on the right. Prices are also listed for customer convenience.

Models wearing different dresses shown one after the other, price and name of dress given.

 

10) Special Occasions and Deals –  Amazon

Amazon is a veteran at using GIFs. For instance, It kicked off its Black Friday email campaigns with an effective animated Black Friday GIF, which showed a cozy fireplace burning on different devices’ screens.

Amazon TV, laptop, and tablet with an animated fireplace displayed on each screen, Black Friday deals text beside it

 

 

Tips to Effectively Use GIFs For Email Marketing

Although GIFs can be used successfully in email campaigns, you still need to consider some things.

1) Check Support For GIFs: Almost all email clients support GIFs. However, If your subscribers are B2B organizations that use Outlook 2007, 2010, and 2013, we would not recommend using GIFs in your marketing campaigns as they won’t work.  

2) Optimize Your GIFs: Your GIFs should be properly optimized to reduce loading times. Here are 10 Tips for keeping file sizes small.

3) GIFs Are Not Appropriate For Everyone: GIFs may not be appropriate for organizations like those in medicine.

4) Remember Your Target Audience: Is your target audience in tech, or are they an older generation? Older audiences may not appreciate flashy GIFs.

5) Don’t Overdo It: Too many animations are distracting and can divert attention from the content. 

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Conclusion

GIFs are great for email marketing. They can help reinforce the message you want to get across to your clients. Use your GIFs to highlight important parts of your email. 

You can also take their help to emphasize the benefits and features of what you are selling. By adding excitement to your message, you improve your chances of conversion and making hard sales.