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The Power of GIFs in Email Marketing Campaigns

Not using GIFs in your emails yet? Today's article might have you changing your mind.

Person filming elephants on their iPhone

Animated GIFs often get a bad rap

Well, we would too if we were misunderstood (and often, misused).

In email marketing, this is no exception. Many marketers often negatively perceive GIFs:

We've heard these before:

• They're often not accessibility friendly

• They often load more slowly in the inbox

• They're distracting readers from clicking buttons

and the list goes on.

We, on the other hand, think the pros often outweigh the cons, when it comes to GIFs.

A great case for the power of GIFs in email marketing campaigns

Using GIFs in email is a great way to catch and keep attention, and drive home a longer message concisely and effectively.

Consider this statistic:

"According to a study by MarketingSherpa, using animated GIFs can increase click-through rates by 42%, conversion rates by 103%, and revenue by 109%."

These are great numbers! Even if you had to look at those more conservatively, they're still awesome motivators for the power of GIFs in emails.

As a practical example, take this campaign from The North Face that we discovered via Andrew King's brilliant newsletter and website, Email Love.

We think this campaign is brilliant!

GIF email example by The North Face


First, it's an insanely smart GIF to use for email.

Instead of simply clipping a video and turning that into a GIF, the team at The North Face created a stop-motion animation of the product.

This captures immediate attention and shows the advantage of using the product, in this case (no pun intended - that comes next), the versatile use it has.

Next, it ties in super well with the copy.

Think of the clever use of the words "roll call" and what the items in the GIF are doing.

With the product being a roller bag, it's contextual, punny, and creatively shows the bag's functionality.

Campaigns like these show the ingenuity and result of turning a simple concept into something that works. That's the power of GIFs in email marketing campaigns

What to remember when using GIFs in email

Here are four quick things you'll need to remember when using GIFs in your email designs and strategy:

  1. Short is sweet: Aim for GIFs under 5 seconds. This avoids slowing down load times and frustrating readers.

  2. Prioritise mobile: Most emails are opened on mobile devices. Ensure your GIFs are optimised for smaller screens.

  3. Be relevant: Don't just use any random GIF. Choose something that directly relates to your message or may resonate with your audience.

  4. Add alt text: This text will be displayed if the GIF fails to load. Ensure everyone receives your message, even those with accessibility limitations.

These aren't too difficult to achieve, so give GIFs a try in your emails and watch your engagement flourish.

Before you go! You'll need an audience to entertain before you begin. Learn the fastest ways to grow your email list today by using the tried and tested Email Database Growth Playbook. Click here or on the image below to get your FREE copy👇

 Preview of The Ultimate Database Growth Guide for Email Marketing by Email Expert Africa

Want to become an email expert? Get our expert email guide today! Click here to find out more

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