Adding animation, or a GIF, to your email template can be a great way to differentiate yourself from the competitors and possibly increase engagement with your contacts. GIFs are really just another image file format, so you can quickly and easily include an animated GIF the same way you would insert a regular image!
Best Practices when using GIFs:
- Ensure that vital information (a call-to-action, offer, or headline) is included in the first frame of the GIF. This way even if your contacts are using Outlook, they will still see the most important information.
- Use GIFs sparingly. While GIFs can be a welcome surprise and possibly increase your engagement, overuse can lead to desensitization and Contacts may be less likely to engage over time
- Ensure your animated GIFs either have smooth transitions or don’t animate from one frame to the next at a high rate. This will allow contacts who may have a visual impairment read them a bit clearer
- If possible, keep the file size to a minimum. Large GIFs can cause issues.
Some possible drawbacks:
- Animated GIFs work in all web-mail clients and most desktop and mobile clients. The main exceptions are: Microsoft Outlook 2007, 2010, and 2013 (these all refuse to animate the GIF and instead will only display the first frame of the animation.
- If used too frequently, it’s possible that contacts will become complacent with your GIFs and stop paying attention to them.
- It is possible for animated GIFs to pose a problem in terms of accessibility. Content flashing rates between 2 Hz and 55 Hz can harm users with photosensitive epilepsy. Contacts who are visually impaired may also have difficulty reading or reviewing content within a GIF before the animation changes.
- Extremely large GIFs can cut into contacts’ data plans and can be slow to load and play.
Here's a complete guide to using GIFs in Hatchbuck emails:
- First, add an Image block to a section. Simply drag it over from the side bar and drop it into an available section.
- Then click to "Choose an Image." You can upload this from your computer or include the GIF URL here:
Next, head to the Image Properties Tab in the left-hand column of the builder. Here you will be able to:
- Zoom in and out on your GIF and choose the alignment within the box itself;
- Keep your GIF within a specified space in your layout by adjusting the Container height;
- Add a Border and adjust the Padding of the GIF within the box itself; and
- Link the GIF to a Website, Email Address, or File
Check out Litmus' Guide for more great information on using GIFs and additional information on the email clients that support them.