Are you using animated images in your emails?

An email that moves? You can accomplish that by implementing a good old-fashioned animated gif in your email messages.

Animated gifs are often used on websites and in banner advertising. It brings a website to life. But it also attracts the attention of the reader that is in a hurry. And the attention of the reader is our ultimate goal, right?


So when can you use animated images? A first application is the animation of the call to action. People often experiment with big letters, flashy colors, so why not with a moving image? You still have to pay attention that the animation supports the call to action, and isn’t distracting the reader in a way that it harms your conversion.

Laughing muscles

Because that’s the biggest reason to not implement them. Imaging that you’ve included a funny element in your animation, everyone loves it and sends it to their friends. You will get one hell of a guerilla campaign, but if it stays with laughter and no one takes action, you maybe need to be more subte the next time.

Moving ocean

You’re selling cruises and you want to seduce your contact with a graphic animation. You could make the ship the center piece of your image, let a bird fly by, but please don’t distract the attention of your reader. He still needs to click through to the landing page, not staring at your boat. If he’s looking for a screensaver, he should go somewhere else.

A retailer can enrich his messages by displaying a wardrobe with different pieces of clothing. By showing different items in one image, you don’t have to move your message to the button to make room for the different images you want to show.

Shine, sparkle, glitter

The examples on the internet are plenty. A new product that literally shines. Sale from a fashion brand where the model is showing off the product by turning around. Snow flakes that fall down and an interior design shop where the curtains slightly move through an open window. The more subtle your approach, the more powerful the message. Your contacts see movement, feel an extra dimension with your message, and will click through to your offer. It also works well with a count down clocks. You give them a feeling of urgency.


Another concern is of course if your animated gif will be visible for the reader of your message. The table below will make you feel at ease. Only the newest versions of Microsoft Outlook (with the exception of Office 365) and Windows Mobile 7 will only show the first frame. It’s basically just an image in that case. So make sure that one is meaningful and that the reader knows what you want to say with that image. Especially when you’ve included text!

Desktop email clients  
Apple Mail Plays GIF
Lotus Notes 6, 7, 8 en 8.5 Plays GIF
Outlook 2003 Plays GIF
Outlook 2007 - 2019 Displays first frame
Outlook Office 365 Plays GIF
Outlook for Mac  Plays GIF
Windows 10 Mail  Plays GIF
Webmail email clients    
AOL Mail Plays GIF   
Gmail Plays GIF Plays GIF  
Yahoo! Plays GIF  
Mobile email clients     
Android (Native app)    Plays GIF
Android (Gmail app)    Plays GIF
Blackberry   Plays GIF
iOS Mail   Plays GIF
Windows Mobile 7   Displays first frame
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