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Animated GIFs in Outlook: How to Use This Effective Marketing Tool

Animated GIFs in Outlook: How to Use This Effective Marketing Tool
IncrediMail puppy GIF

Animated puppy by IncrediMail (C)

GIF standing for Graphic Interchange Format is a popular format among Internet users. It can be compared to a slide show. A series of images is rapidly displayed to create the impression of motion in the picture. GIFs are widely used not only for fun, and marketers often add GIFs in Outlook emails.

During their marketing campaigns, Outlook animated GIFs make it possible for companies to explain better how their product works or the peculiarities of the services they provide. As visual information and infographics are drawing more users’ attention, the same can be said about an Outlook email GIF that catches readers’ eyes.

If you are still thinking if you should embed a GIF in Outlook emailing campaign, consider the advantages of this visual format:

  • Animations in this format load faster; of course, this is applicable if an email is not overloaded with Outlook GIF files.
  • The engagement of recipients leads to an increase in click-through rates.
  • Marketing campaigns with a GIF in Outlook emails are more effective as they explain the concept better than JPG or PNG files.

How to Add GIFs to Emails in Outlook

Regardless of the purposes for which you want to insert a GIF into Outlook email, the first thing is to choose the file itself. It can be either created utilizing special editors/builders, downloaded from free stocks, or acquired. So, save a necessary animation to your hard drive before you add a GIF to Outlook emails. For this, take the following steps:

  • Open your email client and, in the Mail view, create a new email by clicking on Home > New E-mail.
  • In the new window, find the place where you want to insert a GIF into Outlook email, place the cursor there, and click Insert > Pictures.
  • In a new Insert Picture dialog box, browse for the location of an Outlook GIF you have previously saved to the hard drive, select it, and click the Insert button. In the process of composing an email, the animated GIF in Outlook will be static. That’s why proceed to the next steps.
  • Finish composing an email and send it to yourself as a test to make sure that animated GIFs in Outlook are displayed correctly.

Animated GIF inserted into Outlook message

Before proceeding to the above steps on how to send a GIF in an email, consider the following tips for using files of this format:

  1. Use only files that are adaptive to mobile devices as more and more users are checking their emails on smartphones;
  2. The size of a GIF should not exceed 40 kb;
  3. The length of a GIF should be within 15 – 20 seconds;
  4. Do not overuse GIFs in one email as they can overload it, as well as they won’t create the necessary effect;
  5. Make sure that the first frame of an email is the most engaging if recipients cannot view the animated files in their version of Outlook.

Ways of Viewing GIFs That Are Received

MS Outlook 2007 played animated GIFs automatically. In the next versions, the email client began using Microsoft Word that cannot read the elements of HTML. That is why when you are considering how to insert a GIF into an email, make sure that you also add the line that the attached pictures are gifs, and they can be viewed in the following way:

  • Double-click and open an email with a GIF in a new window;
  • In the Message ribbon tab, find Actions and click it.
  • Select View in Browser.

When your email opens in the browser window, you will be able to see the animation. Logically if you are using the web version of Microsoft Outlook, you will be able to view animated GIFs.

As an alternative, however, this is the choice of a recipient, of course, is installing third-party software that can help to play animated images in emails.

To Conclude on the Use of GIFs in Emails

Aside from thinking about how to email a GIF in Outlook, senders should also make sure that recipients will be interested in taking additional steps to view the animation if they are using recent versions of Outlook. That is why do not rely on GIFs entirely and make sure that the first frame is informative and attractive enough to fulfill the purpose of an image. It is also crucial to remember about their optimization for mobile devices; otherwise, all the efforts will be wasted. Use GIFs smartly for your effective email marketing campaigns!

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Animated GIFs in Outlook: How to Use This Effective Marketing Tool

time to read: 3 min