The GIF, or Graphics Interchange Format, is an image format that is supported by most browsers and email clients. Since it’s a file format, it can be included in emails just as any other image would. The advantage to GIFs is that they can be animated, and animation is a quick way to people’s hearts. Plus, it’s a lot cheaper and easier than deploying a video. So, when you want to add some oomph to a standard email, a GIF is the perfect way to do this.

A lot of testing has been done on the efficiency of GIFs already, and everything has been positive. Let’s take a look!

  • Email Institute found that animated GIF emails see an increase in clickthrough rates of up to 26%. Animation is like video in that it draws attention to the eye and acts as a visual cue. And, they are simple to implement and have decent performance.

  • According to an A/B test done by BlueFly in an attempt to find the best email marketing tactics, emails with GIFs pulled in 12% more revenue than their non-animated counterparts.

  • Marketing Sherpa agrees that GIFs have revamped the online experience and can help increase conversion rates via email by 103%, at least in the case of Dell. The study also showed a 6% increase in open rate, 42% increase in click rate and 109% increase in revenue.

Many marketers are using GIFs to increase engagement with their emails, and you should be, too. Again, GIFs are much easier to implement and can be uploaded in the same way as an image. Since they are compatible with most browsers, nearly all users will be able to see a GIF email whether they are on their smartphone, tablet or computer.

Here are a few tips when adding GIFs to your emails.

  • Draw attention to the most important thing: Don’t just add in a random GIF. Use it to direct attention toward the purpose of the email, whether it’s a promotion or contest.

  • Show multiple products: With animation, you can easily show multiple products without being obtrusive. It’s far more compelling this way, and far less boring.

  • Keep it simple: It can be fun to play around with GIFs, but still keep it simple. You don’t want to lose your audience, and you want to stay true to your brand.

  • Test your efforts: If you’re not sure how the GIF emails are working, do A/B testing by sending GIF emails to half your customers, and non-GIF emails to the other half. Measure to see which was more effective.

  • Manage file size: It’s recommended that you keep your entire email under 40K so that it can be easily managed by servers and inboxes. Simpler colors and graphics will help keep the file size down.