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GIFs are great for marketing, as they deliver animated images as part of your content. Using a GIF to draw attention to a certain section or content block or, even better, to frame your new product is an effective strategy.

However, GIFs do require a careful design for email optimization to be the most productive.

What are GIFs?

GIFs are animated images that remain widely supported and, therefore, are a perfect addition for marketing content. The technology is over thirty years old but still delivers entertainment to millions of online fans every day.

For marketing purposes, a GIF can quickly grab a reader’s attention and direct them to a specific portion of a site or email. In emails, GIFs improve click-through and open rates, and the best marketing departments now spend time and effort to create visually pleasing animations of their products or services.

As GIFs work just like any other image, you can include them in backgrounds, image blocks, or logos.

As GIFs work just like any other image, you can include them in backgrounds, image blocks, or logos.

Source: Pinterest

Dell’s open rates increased by 6% and they received 42% more clicks. They had a 103% better conversion rate and a 109% rise in revenue using GIFs in one of their campaigns.

Dell used a 360-degree rotating GIF image of a new product and noticed remarkable returns on both engagement and conversion rates. What this shows is that, if you’re selling a product via an email marketing campaign, framing it correctly can have drastic changes in your results.

How do you optimize and embed a GIF in an email?

While GIFs are pleasing to viewers and a great way to draw attention, you should optimize them to avoid frustrating recipients. Imagine receiving an email with an image block for a product and receiving a time-out error because the file was too large.

Luckily, there are things you can do to ensure your GIFs download or render quickly and still deliver the necessary impact.

Optimizing GIF sizes during the creation process

Remember that GIFs are frame-based, meaning that each frame increases the size of the file downloaded. With each frame being an image, everything that influences an image size multiplies when you convert it into a GIF.

That’s why a GIF’s dimensions, resolution, and colors are regularly of a lower quality than standard images.

For the best results, keep these four rules in mind:

  1. Keep the dimensions as small as possible.
  2. Only animate what’s absolutely required.
  3. Keep the frames to a minimum.
  4. Reduce the number of colors you use.

Remember that the ideal size for a GIF is less than 1MB. Anything above that, and you risk the image not downloading at all.

Embedding GIFs in Campaign Monitor

In Campaign Monitor, you can add a GIF file to an image block. You can also include a GIF as a background for a section. Simply create the block, add the image with a drag-and-drop operation, or select the file from the file picker.

To embed a GIF, simply use the embedded link provided from the GIF provider (such as giphy or gfycat) and paste it directly in the HTML section of your email where it’s appropriate.

Does it really matter?

GIFs provide a great way to draw attention to specific emails or sections of content. With the technology’s popularity resurging since 2017, designing beautiful and engaging marketing campaigns with animations is part of the modern trend.

Although originally created to share short video clips more easily, GIFs also support powerful but simplified graphics, as shown above. If you’re already designing stunning images to improve your campaigns, it’s a short hop to turn them into stunning GIF animations.

What now?

Now that you know how easy it is to add an animation to your next campaign, why not read this blog post on using an old format in a new approach? The ability to improve the visual quality of your campaigns has never been so convenient.

This blog provides general information and discussion about email marketing and related subjects. The content provided in this blog ("Content”), should not be construed as and is not intended to constitute financial, legal or tax advice. You should seek the advice of professionals prior to acting upon any information contained in the Content. All Content is provided strictly “as is” and we make no warranty or representation of any kind regarding the Content.
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