How to Use Animated GIFs in Custom Email Template Design?

December 24, 2019

If you think that custom email templates are the pinnacle of email marketing, then you need to brush up on your knowledge a bit. The trend that is doing the rounds in recent times is the incorporation of the Graphics Interchange Format (GIF) in promotional emails. Being used for various purposes in personal and professional realms for more than 30 years, GIFs have become a favorite element of email marketers in the last few years.

Well, the various advantages of GIFs work in the favor of business enterprises that use email marketing as a tool for online promotion. Animated GIFs are included in different types of emails, viz., welcome email for new subscribers, email for festive offers, personalized email for greetings, email for product launch & events, and many more. Therefore, agencies that create WordPress custom email template or custom email template for Outlook have begun to embed GIFs in many templates.

But is making animated GIFs a part of your email marketing campaign that simple? “Absolutely No!” otherwise we wouldn’t have to write this blog post. Considering the impact GIFs have on the email recipients, it’s easy for any organization to go overboard with them. So, you need to practice caution while using GIFs in the emails you send to your subscribers. But how? Worry not, as we have mentioned some important points that you can keep in mind.

Why GIFs have gained popularity in Email Marketing?

Multimedia content is always preferred over plain text as it captures the attention of the readers and generates their interest in the information provided. You can communicate the desired message to your audience in a quick and effective way by using multiple forms of interactive tools, such as audios, images, and videos. However, most of the email service providers (ESPs) or mail user agents (MUAs) do not support videos and CSS effects. In such a scenario, using GIFs is a safe bet.

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Animated GIFs are supported by a majority of the mail user agents, and so, using them in your emails increases the chances of your subscribers performing a desirable action, for example, clicking on the link of landing page or pressing the button to chat with you. For a long time, GIFs are used to convey thoughts and emotions visually on entertainment portals and similar channels. Therefore, when the readers view GIFs, they start looking at your email from a different perspective. The emails sent by you become more than just a promotional material.

  • As compared to vector images, videos, and other forms of animation, animated GIFs are lightweight, and hence, they load fast.
  • The recipients whose email client does not support GIFs will still be able to see the first frame of GIFs included in your email.
  • GIFs add elements of surprise and fun in the email, thereby compelling your subscribers to go through the entire content.

Whether you are choosing a readymade template embedded with a GIF or getting a custom email template design built, animated GIFs can improve the click-through rate of your emails smoothly. If you have a PSD email template, you must hire experts for converting PSD to HTML mail.

How Custom Email Templates & Animated GIFs rock together?

While custom email templates play a strong role in building your brand image, animated GIFs boost engagement and user experience. When custom email template Outlook or WordPress custom email template is used with the right GIFs, the outcome of an email marketing strategy is just spectacular. Various studies have proved that GIFs yield expected results.

Many times, subscribers open an email just to clear the list of unread emails from their inbox. So, they don’t read the whole email attentively which amounts to loss of a sales opportunity for you. But an email with custom design having the name or purchase history of the recipient along with an eye-catching GIF can work wonders for your email marketing plan.

Personalized emails can make your existing or prospective customers feel special and animated GIFs can uplift their mood. Therefore, you can use GIFs to highlight significant points, like new products, product features, discount deals, exchange offers, and much more. You can either create animated GIFs with the help of dedicated websites and tools or hand over the task of making GIFs to the same company you have selected for your custom email template design.

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Why Animated GIFs should be used judiciously?

Just like every coin has two sides, animated GIFs also have their pros and cons. Though they are lightweight, using more than 2 GIFs in a single email can increase the email load time, and therefore, affect the user experience badly. In today’s time where people are extremely impatient, if your email takes too long to open, the recipients are most likely to hit the backspace key.

Including too many GIFs in an email or including a GIF in every email can annoy your subscribers. Before resorting to GIFs for strengthening your email marketing strategy, study your audience and choose GIFs wisely so that you end up offending any of your existing or prospective customers. Share your business objectives with your email marketing partner to create fantastic HTML email templates that have an option of including GIFs.

  • You must choose the GIFs which can make your emails look professional yet beautiful. Once chosen, place the GIFs properly in your emails to gain maximum advantage.
  • Never include call-to-action in an animated GIF as you will not be benefitted from the emails sent to the subscribers whose email user agents don’t play GIFs.
  • After finalizing email design and content, send the email to your friends who can check GIF load speed across different email clients, browsers, and devices.
  • Once you start using GIFs in your emails, employ the tracking and analytics tool to monitor the performance of your email marketing campaign.


Static emails with regular deals and single font size & color have become a thing of the past. You need to make your emails informative and attractive. Animated GIFs embedded in a custom email template design are hard to get overlooked. By using the high-quality animated GIFs that have precisely chosen colors and transition effects, you can strike the right chord with your audience. Just remember to focus on the first frame of every GIF to address the needs of recipients who can’t see GIFs due to the limitations posed by their email clients.

SparkEmail Design can provide efficient and affordable solutions for custom email template Outlook, WordPress custom email template, PSD to HTML mail, and custom animated GIFs.

About the author:

David Jones

David is the head of digital marketing for SparkEmail design, one of the most enterprising email design and coding companies. With strong marketing hooks and an adept understanding of social media,David chips in out-of-the box inputs for email campaigns. With a passionate flare for writing copies, David is also a rigorous reader. Best know as the flag bearer for all things creative, David’s writing style is contemporary with a touch of old world charm to it.

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