By Koi Hernandez, Design Fellow at GovDelivery
With Google now automatically showing images in emails, email marketing has taken a turn for a more visual and captivating approach. In a previous GovDelivery post on various image file types, we learned about the “faster loading cousin” of the .PNG, the .GIF.
GIFs can and have always had the ability to display animation. Paul Boag, co-founder of Headscape, a web-design agency states in a post, “Animated gifs can breathe some much-needed life into the imagery on your website. They grab the users attention and act as design delighters, making your site stand out from that of the competition.”
GIFs are a way for you to further brand your email, engage your audience and call attention to your message. Here are a few tips to use GIFs effectively and wisely in your emails:
Keep in mind the email client’s support:
GIFS don’t work everywhere (Microsoft Outlook 2007, 2010, 2013 and Windows Phone 7). So it’s important to design your GIFs with the call to action in the first frame. That way if there are any issues, your animation can at least be a still image with the information you need to display.
Be aware of your audience’s eyes:
GIFs are a great way to bring attention to promotions, events and other information that you may want to bring attention to. Keep things simple such as the amount of colors you use (remember that GIFS can use 2-256 colors) and the amount of images per frame you’re displaying. You want to bring attention, not induce a headache.
Be aware that GIFs can become a large file size. With many users now opening their emails on their mobile devices, GIFs with a large file size can make an impact on the user’s subscription data and overall experience (such as slower load times).
Use it only when you need it:
Sure GIFs can make your emails more exciting, bringing awareness to a message that you’re trying to communicate; but ask yourself if you really need it. GIFs are meant to complement the message not interfere with it. Use it where it’s appropriate and with purpose!
GIFs are a useful tool to bring a bit of kick and further the impact of your email designs and complement the message that you need to promote.
Do you use GIFs in your email campaigns? Let us know your GIF tips in the comments below!