Animated GIFs email examples

We hate to say it but, if you haven’t tried GIFs yet, you’re a bit behind the curve. Plus, GIFs are fun no matter which way you pronounce 'em!

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We could look at email GIF examples for hours. They’re entertaining, often funny, and there are many creative ways to implement them to add that ‘wow’ factor. In a 2018 survey, Litmus found that over half of marketers use GIFs from time-to-time in their email marketing builds. We’ve got some great tips to get you started!

Animated GIFs strategic recommendations

We hate to say it but, if you haven’t tried GIFs yet, you’re a bit behind the curve. Here are a few examples to inspire the GIF expert in you:

Keep it simple

Even a few frames in a GIF can go a long way. For example, this two-frame GIF from Nike showcasing two back-in-stock styles. Even this subtle movement is more engaging than say, two static images of the shoes instead.

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Tell a story

It’s amazing what a few frames can do. Take a look at razor company, Harry’s, approach to GIFs. They use a GIF to tell the story of a bearded man on a hot summer’s day and the relief a quick shave provides. They even keep an optimal image weight.

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Show the product in action

GIFs have the ability to put a product out in the real world. Brands have an opportunity to use GIFs to explain the functionality of an item or its durability. Shoe brand, Hush Puppies, uses a GIF to show off the waterproof feature of their ‘worry-free suede’.

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Use GIFs to make product education fun

Animated GIFs can make your email more fun and you can also use them to educate customers. Headspace used GIFs in this simple onboarding email to help new customers get started and to explain how their mobile app works.

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Show a variety of products

Jewelry brand Zales avoided sending a very long email by using animated GIFs to show a variety of products. At the bottom, Zales used a GIF again to show a fun checklist that helps customers with holiday shopping planning.

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Have fun

We love how Blume used GIFs in this email to promote products in a fun and entertaining way. The email is creative and does a great job when it comes to product promotion.

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Provide ideas in a creative way

If you offer a variety of products consider using animated GIFs to provide ideas on how to combine and pair products together. Activewear brand Beyond Yoga showed different combinations of their tops and bottoms and added a CTA for each product type.

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Introduce new features or collections

Fun GIFs are a great way to get customers excited when you are introducing a new product or announcing new features. See how Greetabl launched a new feature and used GIFs to share the news with their customers.

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Support sales and discount campaigns with GIFs

Make your promotional messaging entertaining and on-brand by adding GIFs to emails. We love how Food52 presented their 1-day offer in a fun way with this GIFs.

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Use GIFs in your holiday emails

If you are running a holiday campaign consider using animated GIFs to make emails more fun and get customers excited about your service. Delivery service Postmates used this interesting Halloweeny GIF to promote the dark mode in their app and they added a mystery offer too.

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Animated GIFs implementation details

GIF implementation is easy peasy. The hard part actually comes before implementation- building out the GIF in Photoshop or another tool. A few of the tips below will need to be shared with the design department making the GIF:

Optimize GIF size for email

As we mentioned in the strategic section, image weight plays a part in the email experience: it can result in slow-loading emails and impact the time to render for recipients. For tips on GIF optimizations, take a look at this Litmus article from one of our very own from MailCharts. (Pssst … did you know MailCharts scores emails based on GIFs and image weight?)

Make the first frame the most important image

Although GIFs are widely used in the email community, there are still some email clients such as Outlook 2007-2013 who don’t render GIFs. It’s important that even without the GIF, the first, static image of the GIF makes sense.

Email killed the `video` star

Video support is limited to a ridiculously small set of email clients—so animated GIFs really are the de-facto way for email marketers to add motion and a dazzling touch to emails. GIFs can be added to email using an <img> tag, the same as a static image.

Don’t forget to TEST!

Make sure the GIF is working appropriately across devices and email clients by testing in a tool like Litmus or Email on Acid. These tools have the ability to catch things that you may not see in your test emails sent to your Gmail or another company inbox.