A Step-By-Step Information for Including Gifs in Your Emails


Do you say G-IF or J-IF?

We haven’t made up our minds yet either – but what we know for sure about GIFs is that they are a fun, interesting, and effective tool to use Make your emails engaging.

If you weren’t interested in including GIFs in your branded emails, here are some numbers that could influence your decision:

GIFs began to approach the spotlight after a hugely successful Dell email campaign back in 2012. They decided to break the mold and take a chance, which paid off. The response was better than expected – a 103% increase in conversion and a 109% increase in sales.

Are you convinced? If you’re looking to use GIFs in your campaigns, read on to learn how this simple animated format can make a lasting impression and get your customers to take action.

The dos and don’ts of using GIFs in your emails (with examples!)

Yes, GIFs work – if you use them correctly. Here are some dos and don’ts to get you started:

1. Keep them on the mark

Experimentation is great, but a GIF or animation that is completely off-brand could confuse your subscribers. Brands that do email well include simple animations that suit their tone of voice, voice, and personality. Start small to see how subscribers react to your new style.

This email from Dell that we talked about earlier is the perfect example. The GIF presents the product and its USP.

2. DO NOT create large files

The golden rule for including images in your email, according to Oracle, is that they should be less than 800KB in total. Long loading times put off customers, especially Most people use email on their cell phones, so keep your GIFs small and functional.

To keep the size of your GIF file small, do the following:

  • Use simple and basic colors
  • Limit the number of pictures
  • Consider using cinemagraphs – images with only one animated element
  • Compress files

Ann Taylor’s intriguing yet minimalist email entices subscribers to click through. It shows that big doesn’t mean better – you just have to get creative!

3. Place your graphic first

Movement is visually interesting and creates interest. So maximize the impact of a GIF by giving it priority in the layout. Ideally, it should be the first thing an email subscriber sees that they’re addicted to it and want to scroll down or click through to find out more.

4. Don’t forget your Audi audience

As with any marketing strategy understand your audience is the key. What will your audience find interesting? If you have a product to sell, would you like a GIF that shows its features? Maybe you just want to create an aesthetically pleasing email, and a few animated elements will add some pizzazz to your layout. Don’t forget about the top rule of marketing – remember who you are talking to.

Take the example of this jewelry brand. They take their product and show what it looks like when it is worn, which immediately puts the customer in the position of the wearer. Now the person receiving the email can imagine themselves or their significant other wearing the jewelry, which is an incredibly effective approach.

5. Test and use your findings

There is only one way to get better Email Marketing – testing and learning. When you start using GIFs, look at your data and decide how best to move forward. Track every email in your campaign and use the data to determine how your customers are reacting to your new approach.

6. DO NOT create GIFs for the sake of it

What does your GIF say It is an important element of communication and therefore needs to be linked to a quality message. If it’s just for aesthetic reasons, keep it simple and limit yourself to the background or design rather than making it part of your main content.

Everlane cleverly used this gif to give meaning and impact to their message:

Email clients that support GIFs

Almost all email clients support GIFs, but take a look at the data to understand how your customers read your email.

How to Add a GIF to an Email – A Step-by-Step Guide for Outlook and Gmail


  1. Place your text cursor where you want to paste your GIF.
  2. Choose Insert Photo and choose Upload.
  3. Make sure you select “Inline” rather than “As Attachment”.
  4. Click “Upload” and you’re done!

Outlook for Windows

  1. Select “Insert” in the menu bar of your draft e-mail.
  2. Click Online Images if you want to choose from the available GIFs. Select “Image” if you want to upload a GIF saved on your PC.
  3. Select the picture and you’re done!

Outlook for Mac

  1. On the “Message” menu of your draft email, click “Pictures”.
  2. Select “Image from file” and choose your GIF. You are done!

Benchmarks Drag-and-drop email builder also makes it incredibly easy to add GIFs to your branded campaigns. We have a Step-by-step guide on how to add gifs to any email you send using Benchmark Email.

If you follow these basic rules for creating and using GIFs, you can get the most out of them in your email campaigns. Visual interest and appeal are key elements of a successful email campaign, and GIFs are a great way to achieve that. Have fun experimenting and getting creative with your emails!

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