As of 2019, GIFs have been around for more than 30 years. The GIF, short for “graphics interchange format,” was a social media mainstay for most of its existence.
In 2012 more and more email marketers decided to add GIFs to their emails, and the trend started gathering momentum with brands both big and small across industries.
GIFs just wanna have fun
GIFs add fun, style and display information quickly and effectively.
Simply adding GIFs to your emails can help increase click-through rates by up to 42%.
As good as it sounds, like any email marketing design, you still need to put some thought, strategy, and hint hint…creativity.
So I found the nine best GIF emails and why you’ll love them, and how you can make one of your own, so your customers love it too.
Color in your emails is of primary importance.
People get endless emails, and once they make it past your subject lines, you still have to grab their attention.
Converse did just that, using bright, bold colors to show off their monochrome collection. Instead of your typical black and white, they throw in bold colors like red and yellow, in quick succession to contrast each other.
Main Takeaway: Use Colors
Colors aren’t just decoration. In a survey, 93% of buyers said they focus on visual appearance, and close to 85% claim color is a primary motivator when they make a purchase!
That’s how powerful color can be, affecting your click-through rate and purchases. But you can’t just throw a bunch of colors together and expect to get good results. It includes some basic knowledge of colors’ psychological impact on people’s behavior and decisions.
GIF Pro Tip: Use Your Colors Wisely.
Not sure what colors to use in your GIF email? Your brand colors are always a good starting point. For more, here’s a helpful guide on [using color in your emails]..(https://customer.io/blog/color-email-psychology-advice-design/)
Your GIFs don’t have to step too far outside the box to capture your reader’s imagination. It can be as easy as adding a few apples here and there.
To show off their fall sale, J Crew decided to showcase a simple, quirky and unique GIF with minimal text and maximum apples. They drive home the sale with a direct CTA that says “ship in stores and online.”
Main Takeaway: Think Outside the Box
One mistake brands make is thinking that once their email has a GIF in it, it’ll catch on with their subscribers. 99% of consumers check their email every day. Add that to the fact that GIF emails are nothing new in marketing, and like any email, it has to be creative by differentiating your email content from your competitors.
Think like a content marketer when your creating GIF. Ask yourself:
*How can I say as much as possible with as few words in my GIF?
*What will stand out from the rest of the emails they’ve seen today?
*What kind of cool images, products, and words will drive a click to my website?
Have no idea what type of content you will stand out for your GIF email? Here are 50 of the best email marketing designs we’ve ever seen to inspire you.
Having a great idea for a GIF but not the tools to bring it to life can be a bummer, especially if you don’t have a design team to turn to for help. For those times, I found 77 Tremendous Tools to Make You a Content Marketing Superstar.
GIF Pro Tip: Create Amazing GIF Content
How do you get inspiration for the next GIF you use in your email and know if it’s up to par with what’s trending?
I find that there are two ways to find out if your emails are hitting or missing the mark:
- Subscribe to your competitor and top brand emails to see what’s trending. You can learn a thing or two from taking a peek at what subscribers are getting in their inbox.
- A/B Test the GIFs in your emails. A/B Testing is the holy grail for any email marketing campaign’s success, GIF or no GIF.
When it comes to marketing, it’s not about working hard; it’s about working smart.
3. Kate Spade
Kate Spade is a brand you should subscribe to if you’re looking for modern-day email designs that get the job done.
This GIF email is one of the many examples of how Kate Spade effortlessly promotes their products without using a hard sell. Flaunting its new bag Joanie’s colors while placing a bright pink CTA between the handles, so it’s hard to miss.
Main Takeaway: Creativity Display Your Products
Aside from all the fun your reader will have with your GIF email, you still have products and services to sell.
With GIFs, you can easily show off product features, variations, and accessories. At the same time, remember that when you showcase your products, it’s more about the customer and what the product can do for them that helps to push more sales.
An example of this how Kate Spade defines their product as their “new go-everywhere, hold-everything handbag”.
This instantly speaks to their audience of women who want not only a stylish handbag but a practical one.
GIF Pro Tip: Send More Personalized Product Emails
Personalized emails deliver 6x higher transaction rates.
So not only are product emails with GIFs functional, but their ROI is worth the investment. Which is why 39% of digital retailers distribute personalized product recommendations to their subscribers through email.
American Apparel’s GIF is here to say “Happy Half Birthday,” along with a sweet discount and offer; that you’ll be getting another one on your actual birthday, so you have more to look forward to this month.
A 30% discount straight to your inbox to celebrate your birthday would make anyone feel special.
Main Takeaway: Make Your Email Feel Special
The relationship between brand and buyer can get old fast. So every now and then you need to spice things up and send your subscribers something that warms the heart… and gently nudges them to their shopping carts.
Forbes did a survey and found that 61% of the people surveyed felt they were treated like case numbers rather than people. Customers stated that being treated as an individual was more important than how fast their issue was resolved.
Similarly, they want emails that make them feel like they’re important, not like another name on your email list. This can be as simple as sending a welcome email, promotional email, and personalized emails.
GIF Pro Tip: Segment Your Emails Subscribers
Did you know that segmented and targeted emails generate 58% of all revenue?
Segmentation can be a simple as separating your current and new subscribers, or sending a birthday or shopping cart abandonment email.
It can also be as complex as segmenting customers based on their browsing or purchase history.
Segmentation and personalization also go hand in hand. Marketers who used segmented campaigns noticed as much as a 760% increase in revenue .
To get started, here are Strategies to Optimize Your Email Segmentation Campaigns.
When Sprout Social decided to launch its new mobile app, they sent a nifty email with a GIF. Showing readers how to use its new functions and redesigns made for mobile.
Main Takeaway: Step By Step Tutorial
The example above is a quick and simple step-by-step tutorial. It helped the user to know what the look and feel of the software was before they downloaded it. It’s almost like a preview or sample of what Sprout Social can do for you.
If you have a new app or feature, you might want to update your customers by using a GIF in your email, that they can watch on repeat and try the actions themselves. This educational content is always a plus for any marketing plan.
GIF Pro Tip: Balance your content & GIF
Sometimes it can feel overwhelming trying to cram all your content in one tiny GIF.
You have to treat your GIF content just like video content; the only exception is that you’re dealing with seconds, not minutes. Your GIF has to be concise, no fluff, and drive your point or goal straight home. I find it’s always best to use this: A Marketer’s Recipe for Balancing Content & Video Marketing
6. Blue Apron
Apart from nailing this mouth-watering GIF, Blue Apron is known for its mouthwatering food designed emails. The food grabs you, and then the headline guides you to where you need to be.
The email copy plays on the word leftovers while suggesting that their $50 off offer won’t last long either, using a contrasting color to highlight their CTA for optimum click rates.
Main Takeaway: Play on Your Headlines
Your email headlines and copy are just as important as the GIF you use. You have to be sure to check off the following if you want a well-rounded email:
The headline and copy should match the GIF and theme of the email. Confusion can affect your click-through rates.
It should draw the reader in. It has to keep your reader’s eyes glued to the page.
It should be short and to the point, 5-8 words is optimal.
For more email headline and copywriting tips here are 23 Email Copywriting Tips to Skyrocket Conversions
GIF Pro Tip: Write Emails For Customers, Not You!
Who and how you write your headlines should be centered around your customers; what they want, how you want them to feel, and where you want them to go. The moment you make your headline and copy about you, you come off like a cheap salesperson. Avoid this and other 7 Deadly Sins of Online Copywriting
This Brooklinen Christmas email shows one happy Brooklinen-er enjoying a box of goodies from their fantastic website.
They’ve also been known to have some exciting welcome emails up their sleeves as well as product emails.
Main Takeaway: Use People In Your GIFs
As professional as your product images and GIF maybe, people still want to see other people using or enjoying your products. It also helps potential customers visualize how your product(s) could play a role in their lives.
Showcase your products in the settings where people are most likely to use them. For example, Brooklinen used the bedroom, where their products are most likely to be used.
GIF Pro Tip: Incorporate Lifestyle & Quality Images
Your GIF has to be top notch; quality is always a factor in email designs. Whether your GIF is focused on a product or person, it needs to reflect your brand in a professional light. Make sure your GIF and images keep up with the Ecommerce Product Images Best Practices.
They say that a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, a GIF can have a few words of its own too.
In efforts to go green, Everlance emailed a teaser for their upcoming plans to create reusable water bottle and eco-friendly products.
Main Takeaway: Stick to the Message
This GIF makes a list because of how creatively the words appear, while placing the reader as the focus. Who knew so much could happen once you’ve finished reading an email?
It raised awareness while simultaneously creating a feeling of urgency and mystery as to what the email is all about.
With adding your CTAs, headlines, and products in place, sometimes the overall message and theme of the email get lost. This email reminds designers of how powerful it can be to keep your message front and center.
GIF Pro Tip:Evoke Emotions in Your Emails.
You want readers to feel something when they see your emails: curiosity, excitement, urgency, impulse, and more.
Emotion is one of the marks of a good email. I won’t lie; it can be a challenge. Luckily you can use this Ultimate Guide to Emotional Marketing to point you on the right path.
If you still need a jolt of inspiration for crafting good emails, perhaps consider starting with a cold email template and adding your own personal style.
The Loft has mastered building anticipation and sneak peeks in their emails, pushing the reader to run straight to the CTA that says “Click & See” to see what their mystery discount might be.
It’s the perfect teaser email to inspire any shopaholic.
Main Takeaway: Use GIF for Teaser Emails
Teaser emails help to create interest and awareness for upcoming sales, product launches and changes your brand might be undergoing.
A proper teaser takes skill, time, and — as you would expect– a bit of a tease. So here are 6 brands with the best teaser email campaigns you can learn from today!
There you have it: 9 of the best GIF emails, why you’ll love them and how you can make your own. If you’re ready to create your GIF, here are some tools you can start using today:
Did you see any GIFs you liked? Let me know in the comments below along with your own GIF email tips and tools (no links please). I’d love to know!