3 Customers, 3 Animated GIFs, 3 Email Marketing Lessons

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Thoughtful, eye-catching animation in email has the ability to compliment a marketing message rather than distract from it. Emma, maker of simple, stylish and smart email marketing, compiled content on how to effectively use GIFs in email marketing, complete with three customer examples. We recently shared a cool tool, Cinegif, to help you make animated gifs.

Animated GIFs are currently dominating the internet because of their overwhelming ability to draw attention, which is what marketers want for their brands. Using animated GIFs in email marketing can make your content both easy to consume and more compelling than a stagnant image,” said Lee Floyd, Director of Brand. “However, don’t get sucked into the misconception that animated GIFs need to be funny, crude, or over-the-top. Classy, simple, animated images can do wonders to reinforce your brand when placed within the right email. Emma

1. Tell a Story

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When Los Angeles designer Paul Marra moved his showroom to a new location, he used Emma to get the word out to his clients. The animated GIF tells the whole story, from the trail on the map to the “We’ve moved!” banner to the new address listing. It’s lighthearted, stylish and inviting.

2. Draw attention to the most important thing

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Emma customer method is known for its use of coordinating color in product placement and text styles and white space to create an airy feeling in every email. In this email, they’ve used an animated GIF to draw focus on their 20% off promotion. It’s subtle and completely in line with their aesthetic and does the job of drawing attention to their promotion.

3. Show Multiple Products

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If you’re an online retailer, animated gifs can change the way email subscribers engage with your product. Consider this example from Emma customer Birds Barbershop: Isn’t this animated image a million times more compelling than a static grid of hair products?

Emma offer 5 Quick Tips for Using Animated GIFS in Email Campaigns:

  1. Keep your animation simple. If you can say the same thing in 4 frames that you can in 8, opt for the shorter sequence.
  2. Make sure your animation reinforces a major point of your campaign. If it’s just for show, it’s, well, just for show.
  3. Consider combining animated GIFs with Flash. If you’ve got a compelling Flash presentation on your website, put together a simpler version as an animated GIF. Include the GIF in your email, but link it to the fancy Flash page.
  4. Try a simple test. If you’re not sure whether animation will help you make your point, try sending an animated version to half your audience, and send a regular image to the other half.
  5. Watch your file size. We recommend keeping your entire email’s size to under 40K, so it’s easily managed by servers and inboxes. Plan your animated gif accordingly, and opt for simpler colors and graphics in your frames to keep the gif’s file size in check.
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