Long the privilege of social networks and personal blogs, the GIF trend is now dominating professional mail. Email marketing campaigns without GIFs are becoming rare. Companies are increasingly using this animated image format to promote their communications by email. But is it really a good idea?
Zoom in on what a GIF is
GIF, short for Graphic Interchange Format, refers to this small moving image that animates our daily messages. The format is composed of a soundless video sequence (such as a film micro-scene) running in a loop, or a succession of images compressed into a file.
Invented in 1987 by Steve Wilhite, an employee of the American company CompuService, this image format has had its ups and downs. First a veritable revolution of its time, then a symbol of Internet kitsch in the ’90s, the GIF is today a formidable marketing tool even in emailing.
GIFs to Modernize Email Marketing Campaigns
Social networks like Snapchat and Instagram have already seized on this by including GIFs in their range of features. And what could be better than a GIF used wisely to modernize email marketing campaigns!
Illustrate products and services
GIF format has the advantage of providing more product information. For example, the image may show an article in action or present it under different angles or models. The same is true for instructions, whose steps can be shown on a GIF.
attract users attention
The GIF format allows you to highlight the important content of the message. A moving image easily focuses the eye and digital interfaces are no exception to this rule. For example, it is possible to encourage prospects to click on a call-to-action promotion placed near a GIF.
Optimize your audience rate
Unlike static images, animated formats make digital communication more dynamic and interactive. In emailing, this can foster an emotional connection to readers. Additionally, GIFs are hugely popular among young people, helping to broaden and rejuvenate the company’s audience.
stand out from the competition
Recipients receive dozens, even hundreds, of emails a day. That’s why putting GIFs in newsletters is a great strategy to surprise and engage them, because despite the success of this format, many companies don’t yet use it in their emailing strategy.
Best practices for embedding GIFs in email
You don’t have to be an experienced graphic designer to make GIFs! A few clicks are enough on visual creation websites. But to bring added value to your emailing, you need to manage their usage well.
in a simple e-mail
GIFs are images too, you have to integrate them into the email. For example on Gmail, click on the “Insert a photo” tab and import the file from its location. Then, from the Parameters tab, you can include a GIF in an email signature.
in a promotional email
If it is a newsletter dedicated to customers and prospects, then using emailing services is the ideal solution. In fact, they can easily manage email campaigns from designing GIFs to sending them as emails. This way the mail is more likely to end up in the inbox and not the junk or spam box.
Solutions for boosting the effectiveness of GIFs in emailing
In emailing, GIFs stimulate the user experience by adding a touch of originality to text. But in order to achieve this result, some basic things have to be followed.
Customize the size of animated images in Mail
The size of a GIF can often reach several megabytes, so it may overwhelm the email template or take time to load. But a sloppy message can be misunderstood and very quickly end up in the spam box. At the very least, it would be a waste of time and resources for the company.
To ensure the viewability of the email, it is necessary to reduce the number of images included in the GIF, then reduce the final size of the file. Of course, the compression has to be fine-tuned so as not to degrade visual quality and risk being seen as lacking in the company’s reach. So, do a test by sending yourself an email to fully appreciate the end result.
Treat yourself to the first visual of this animated GIF
Some messaging systems, such as Outlook 2003 to 2013 versions, do not support the GIF format. The mail volume will be delivered, but some readers will only see the first visual of the GIF. Thus, this first image should be sufficient in itself to capture the essence of the message and be well understood.
Use GIFs sparingly in email
Excessive use of GIF can cancel out the surprising effect expected in the mail. Repeated use of this format can also lead to boredom, devaluing the message, and reduced CTAs. So change your strategies regularly and Take more time to choose the content of GIF. The idea is to create a format with an original design for each letter to share.