GIFs are now an integral part of our daily communications. GIFs are now available at your fingertips, quite literally, due to the inclusion of GIF sections in your mobile keyboards. Similarly, brands and start-ups use GIFs in their email marketing campaigns to stand out from the rest. In fact, more than 50% of the email marketing experts have admitted to including some kind of GIF animation in their email marketing campaigns.
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What is a GIF?
GIF is the shorthand for Graphical Interchange Format, which is an image file with limited animation. The GIF animation continuously loops and lacks sound. Back in the day, GIFs only consisted of animated pictures, but now you can also clip videos and create them right from your phone. Outlook error [pii_email_07cac007de772af00d51]
How can you integrate GIFs into your email marketing campaigns?
GIFs have taken over the social media marketing place as they are not only fun to look at but also provide the brand an opportunity to showcase the functionalities of their products. Here are five things that make GIFs the hero for your email campaigns.
● A great alternative to videos
GIFs are a great way to replace videos in your email template. Videos often take up a significant time to load because of their large data size. On the other hand, GIFs are quick to load and are quirky. However, there might be some email clients that do not support the format. In such cases, the email client will display the first frame of the GIF as a static image. A simple way to circumvent this problem is to convey your entire message in the first frame itself.
The email template by Austin Eastciders has only animated the leaves surrounding their products. Hence, even if the email client does not support the GIF format, the targeted audience can still clearly see the marketed products.
● The file size is important
Due to its smaller file size, GIFs will often have an advantage over videos in email templates. Therefore, if you are inserting a chunky GIF file, it defeats this purpose. An average email recipient takes 13.4 seconds to read an email; consequently, your customers will immediately delete or ignore your email if it takes longer to load. Thus, the recommended size is within 1 MB.
The most effective way to reduce the size of your GIF is to remove some of the inconsequential frames from the animation. Another method is to animate only the key areas of your email by using the layer tool in Photoshop. It is also possible to reduce the file size by reducing the number of colors in your animation. Furthermore, you can use an online compressor to compress your file.
You can notice that Baggu has animated only a handful of elements while keeping a static background. Additionally, they have removed a few frames from the animation to optimize their emails. Irrespective of these changes, they are clearly able to get their message across to their customers.
● Humour is subjective
The GIF that you are inserting into your email template should do justice to your brand image. With over a million GIFs available online, you might be tempted to use one which you find funny. Beware, humor is subjective and might be perceived differently by different readers. Therefore, it is better to ignore the controversial memes and focus on generic animations.
● Create custom GIFs
As mentioned earlier, if you fail to find a GIF that is suitable for your brand, you can also create your own. Yes, if you want to save a buck or two, you can always google a GIF and embed it into your template. But if you want to give out a lasting impression, then you should create a custom GIF for your brand – something as simple as adding a to and fro motion to your texts will also do.
Venmo has truly mastered the art of creating a GIF. In this email, they are promoting their customizable cards with simple yet very effective color change animation. The email is also optimized as a small part of the template has been animated.
● GIF is the star of your email template
Too many cooks can spoil the broth. If your email contains strong content to back your marketing strategy, then the placement of GIF in it becomes irrelevant. Similarly, when you are using a GIF in your email, ensure that it is unencumbered by other forms of media.
The GIF used by Adobe is more than enough to let the customers know about their products. The GIF acts as the centerpiece, and less attention has been given to their text copy.
GIFs are an essential form of communication today, especially for your younger audience. Email marketing experts that have mastered the art of using this element in their templates have been communicating their intentions more creatively. So, while a picture speaks a thousand words, a series of pictures will speak enough to impress your targeted audience.
Author: Kevin George is the head of marketing at Email Uplers, that specializes in crafting Professional Email Templates, PSD to Email conversion, and Mailchimp Templates. Kevin loves gadgets, bikes & jazz, and he breathes email marketing. He enjoys sharing his insights and thoughts on email marketing best practices on email marketing blog.
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