Your Field Guide to Animated GIFs in Email

GIFs are fun, catchy and eye-catching. But when is the right time to add one to your marketing email?

We are huge fans of using interactive content in email. Whether you’re trying to improve your campaign, tell a story, or add a little flair to your inbox, interactive content is the way to go.

And one of the easiest ways to do this is to add an animated GIF to your email.

Let’s see why GIFs are so effective and how you can use them for your own promotion

What is a GIF?

GIF short for graphics interchange format. This is a popular image format that has been around since the 80’s. A GIF uses a series of images (like a flipbook) to create the illusion of motion.

An example of a GIF in an email

An email matter adds a GIF

The click-through rate has increased by 42% and the conversion rate has increased by 103% in testing to show eye-catching visuals like GIFs in emails.

How to create a GIF for an email

Creating a GIF is easier than making a video, especially if you try to capture something short and to the point. The bar of skill level with a GIF is much smaller.

You can create GIFs in Photoshop, or you can already create them from video footage using a tool like GIF Brewery,, or Instagiffer.

Such tools make it easy to create GIFs, even with very little technical knowledge.

And don’t think that you have to be a designer or code to use GIF in your email. We like sites like Giphy or r / gif for their huge selection of ready-to-use GIFs.

How to use GIF in an email

GIF adds personality to your email. You can dynamically highlight a product, show a demo, or even add a related response. There are many compelling and practical purposes for a GIF.

Let’s take a look at some of the ways brands use GIFs in their marketing emails (and how you can steal those ideas for your next promotion):

Illustrate a product

It doesn’t have to be everything to show GIFs. These are actually a great way to tell a story in a simple, effective way.

These canvas emails show how easy it is to create a design using their platform.

GIFs on canvas marketing emails show how to portray a product

Pro Tip: GIFs are great for capturing complex ideas in a simple way Give customers a glimpse of your latest product launch or a unique use


Here’s how we used a GIF to highlight how easy it is to add a video to your landing page:

GIF in a newsletter shows a product tutorial

Instead of relying on heavy copying, this animated GIF shows the process in just a few seconds.

Create a plot

Want a great way to entice your readers? Take a hint from this Kate Spade campaign:

GIFs in emails are used to create conspiracies

The animation adds another level of intrigue to the email, prompting customers to click to see what’s inside.

Pro Tip: Sometimes the simplest bit of animation can have a big impact. Next time you want to add some oomph to your emails, try adding a GIF to the mix.

Add an idea of ​​urgency

GIFs can be a great alternative to traditional countdown clocks for emphasizing urgency in your messaging:

GIF adds urgency to an email

This example from LOFT shows how a little animation can make a bold statement.

Pro Tip: Your email doesn’t have to mimic the Vegas strip at 2am. Sometimes you need to add some movement.

Just joy

GIFs can be added to your emails to add fun and excitement, such as charity: water:

An example of a GIF in an email that simply gives pleasure

The smart use of one of their GIFs displays the personalities and the people behind the brand.

But be careful about the context when using GIF in your email. Does the message you are trying to send sound appropriate and powerful? Or take it away? Good question to ask yourself before you hit ‘send’.

Pro Tip: Use GIFs little by little. The only reason you can use them is because they are out of date.

Highlight a call to action

Learn how we use a GIF to highlight a call to action.

The key to using GIF for CTA is not to go too far. If the GIF is removed from the original message, no matter how much you pay attention to the CTA, your customers will not read it.

The AWeber newsletter shows how a GIF can highlight a CTA

Tell a story

Peacock used a GIF to tell its customers a story of all the new shows their streaming service offered in October.

GIF in an email shows a creative way to tell a story

Best practice for using GIFs in emails

While GIF is great for getting your audience’s attention you don’t want to overdo it. To help, we’ve put together a list of best practices you should follow when placing GIFs in emails.

1 – One GIF per email

A GIF is perfect for adding an exciting, eye-catching element to your email. Multiple and your email is being very confusing.

2 – Improve key message

Your GIF should serve a purpose. Don’t include one that doesn’t relate to your content and the action that you want your audience to take.

3 – Add a link to your GIF

People can try clicking on GIFs themselves, so take advantage of this and point them to a relevant landing page.

4 – Keep GIF file size small

Aim to keep your GIF file size below 40KB. You do not want your email to be so large that your audience will not accept it.

5 – Check your email

Always check your email. Most email clients will display GIFs, but there are some exceptions. In this case, the GIFs will be displayed as static images.

6 – Add alt image text

In situations where a GIF may not be rendered, make sure you add Alt image text so people understand what the GIF was. Be as descriptive as possible.

How to add a GIF to an email At AWeber

Step 1: Download your GIF and save it to your computer. If you find a GIF online, you can simply right-click on the image and select “Save Image”.

Step 2: In your AWeber account, drag the image block into your email creator.

Drag images to AWeber's platform

Step 3: Select the Upload Image button to add your GIF to your email. That’s it!

Upload the image button to AWeber's platform

Let’s get started.

Now that you know how to use them effectively, GIFs can be a great way to enhance your email content. If you promote a product or service, they can really emphasize a use and serve as an educational tool. (Or just delight your customers.)

You need some amazing GIFs to include in your emails Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered:

Valentine’s Day GIF

Holiday GIF

Fall GIF

Summer GIF

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