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 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 welcomed 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 sending and deliverability 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 platforms refuse to animate the GIF and will only display the first frame of the animation.
If used too frequently, it’s possible that contacts will become desensitized 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.
A Complete Guide to Using GIFs in Emails:
First, add an image block to a section by dragging it from the side bar and dropping it into an available section.
Next, click Choose an Image and a modal box will appear. Upload the GIF from your computer and then click Insert.
Check out Litmus' Guide for more great information on using GIFs and additional information on the email clients that support them.