The Value of Animated GIFs in Email Marketing
You know those times when you see something move out of the corner of your eye and you immediately turn to see what it is? Even though it's usually nothing — a bird or a leaf moving in the wind — it still grabs your attention almost immediately. The same can be said for animated GIFs. Animated imagery can add just enough movement to a web page or an email to immediately draw your attention. They're usually short enough to keep your attention for the brief amount of time it takes to get the point across.
Contrary to popular belief, GIFs aren't just animated memes meant for humor. A little animation can be added to almost any image to create a little "pop," even within an email marketing campaign. Emma, provider of simple, stylish and smart email marketing, compiled three customer email GIF examples that each teach an important lesson for using animated GIFs correctly within email.
Tell a story
Storytelling is all over marketing right now, and for good reason: people like stories. GIFs are a great way to get people to watch from point A to point B and really get your point across visually. Just like a silent movie, with only a little bit of text and a lot of creativity, you can tell your subscribers whatever you need to. Take lighting and furniture designer Paul Marra, for example. When Paul moved his showroom, he needed to let his customers know. He used an animated GIF in an email, using a trail from his old location to his new one, and a banner simply stating, "We moved!"
You'll note that the animation is simple. It doesn't take too long to get to the point, and that's important. Keep your GIFs simple. If you can say what you want in half as many frames, choose fewer.
Draw attention to the most important thing
The thing about animation is while it can draw attention to itself, it can also get distracting. If there's too much going on in a GIF, you risk the viewer not getting a good look at what you really want them to see. Pick one thing, the most important thing, to focus on. More often than not, that important thing will be your call to action. A company called method, which makes soaps and other household cleaners, did exactly this in one of its emails. With a small flashing box around a 20 percent off promotion, method stayed perfectly in line with its brand and drew people specifically to its promotion.