Do you love reading boring marketing emails that all look the same?
Yeah, neither does anyone else — especially your email clients.
In a world where online viewers get distracted in 8 seconds or less, you can’t risk sending lackluster emails. One of the trendiest ways to make your email campaign stand out from the crowd is to use GIFs in email. Not only do these clever moving pictures pack a visual punch to grab your readers’ attention, but they can be powerful informational tools as well.
GIFs may sound a little goofy (and the Internet still can’t agree on how to pronounce the word), but don’t be fooled by how cute they are. GIFs (also known as Graphics Interchange Format files) can connect with your readers and get them clicking through your emails. That means they should be part of your serious marketing strategy.
Want to get GIF power in your emails, but not sure how to start? This guide is here to help. Keep reading — we’ll give you 6 ways to use GIFs to get your readers chuckling and clicking, plus teach you how to make your own custom GIFs to match your brand!
- Evoke Emotion
GIFs first gained popularity because they solve a problem that’s as old as the Internet: conveying emotion digitally.
The most popular way to use GIFs is to grab a video moment that conveys the image you want to invoke so that the recipient knows exactly what emotion you’re feeling. There’s an obvious marketing opportunity hidden in this kind of GIF usage: if you can connect with your readers’ emotions, they will be much more likely to stay brand loyal and click through your email.
Are you announcing a sale or new product release? Pick a GIF that conjures up the reaction you want to create, like people jumping up and down with excitement.
- Make a Pop Culture Connection
Looking for an extra emotional impact? Pick a GIF that draws on the library of pop culture references that your target audience will know and love. Showing your appreciation for a cultural landmark like Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Friends is a great way to connect with your audience and let them know that you share their abiding love for these classic shows.
Make sure you tailor your pop culture call-outs to your brand. If you’re classic with a fun side, snag a GIF from a Hepburn movie. If you want to show off how of-the-moment you are, pick one that references the latest popular meme from The Bachelorette.
As long as your brand has room to accommodate a whimsical touch, a pop culture GIF won’t seem immature. Instead, it’ll come across as smart, edgy, and self-aware.
- Show a Process
Thought GIFs were all pizzaz and no practicality? Think again.
Whether it’s an accounting software or a kitchen appliance, every product comes with an instruction manual that no one wants to read. A long email stuffed with boring info about your latest product release will generate yawns, not clicks. Plus, in today’s busy world, readers will even be reluctant to click on a video to watch your tutorial.
A GIF can boil that tutorial down into a few fun-to-watch seconds. Customers will appreciate seeing the process explained as quickly as possible, and since they don’t have to decide to press play, they’ll be finished watching before they know they’ve started. It takes the focus off the information and puts it where it belongs — your awesome product.
- Show Your Brand and Culture
Nothing connects with clients like showing them the people behind the product. GIFs are an opportunity to capture your company culture and share it with readers.
Get inspired by the great workplace culture at your company, and capture some of it on video that you can transform into a GIF.
- Replace an Image or Video
It’s common knowledge that images have a way higher engagement rate than plain text, so unless you’re from the Stone Age, you’re probably already using them in your marketing emails to generate engagement.
You may have even made the jump to including videos as a regular part of your email marketing strategy. But since videos don’t always display properly in emails — and rushed-for-time readers don’t always press play anyway — GIFs are a smart solution. More visually engaging than images but less reader commitment than videos, GIFs can be the star of your email marketing strategy.
- Go Custom
Copyright law around GIFs is murky at best. Some GIFs are made by capturing iconic moments from movies and TV shows, and it is fairly safe in a legal sense to share these. But others are hand-designed by Photoshop artists, and sharing them for marketing purposes can be considered a copyright infringement.
But that doesn’t mean you have to be limited to GIFs already in the public domain. Find a web tutorial like the one at https://setapp.com/how-to/how-to-make-a-gif. It will guide you through the process of creating your very own custom GIF from a Youtube video.
With this tool, the possibilities are endless. Chances are that your company already has video content on Youtube, so you won’t need to reinvent your company’s wheel to make great GIFs for email marketing. Just find the highlights of the video content you already have on hand, transform them into GIFs, and sprinkle them into your emails for better reader engagement.
Should I Really Use GIFs In Email?
Well, that depends. Do you want to show off your company brand, let your clients know you’re a tech media master, and get more reader engagement from your email marketing campaign?
If yes, then you definitely should use GIFs in email. And with this guide, you’ll be creating your own custom GIFs and using them like a pro.
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