10 creative uses for animated GIFs in email

McKenzie Gregory

Article first published November 2015, updated January 2019.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, a GIF is worth a million. People use them constantly to convey a whole range of reactions and emotions (if your office is anything like ours, they've pretty much replaced the written word). 

And these days, more and more marketers are using GIFs in their emails. They're such a fun way showcase new products, add an element of surprise to your messages, and pique the interest of your subscribers. But like most other fun things, they should only be used responsibly – aka, with purpose and best practices in mind. So if you're looking for a little GIF-spiration, here are some favorites that recently hit our inbox.


1. Artifact Uprising

You already know that people love birthday emails (if you aren't automating one already, you should be!), but a birthday email with a GIF in it? Your subscribers will be absolutely elated. This example from Artifact Uprising is gorgeous, fun, and sure to stand out in a crowded inbox. 



2. Weddington Way

Make your event invitation more effective and engaging by adding a simple GIF, like this one from Weddington Way, to the design. The movement will capture subscribers' eyes – bonus points if you make it point to the CTA... 



3. ModCloth

...like this one from ModCloth! Though simple, this GIF causes the eye to travel straight to the CTA, "Shop 'em now."  



4. Serena & Lily

This email from Serena & Lily tells a story: It showcases several disparate design elements that come together to create one chic, cohesive room. It's a great, creative way for the brand to show subscribers how different types of home decor can help pull together a space. 



5. Frank & Oak

Instead of jam-packing your email with a ton of products, showcase your new collection with a GIF that teases email recipients with a just few different pieces. It just begs you to click and see the rest.



6. Litmus

GIFS aren't just for B2C brands – they're a great way for B2B marketers to make new products, features, and services more digestable. Litmus always crafts top-notch emails, but this one, where they show off their new Litmus Scope feature, is particularly killer. 




Instead of listing off all their different flavors in the copy of this email, CREAM showed them off with this adorable (and mouth-watering) GIF.



8. Trello

Make celebrations even more festive by incorporating an element of excitement in your announcement email. Trello's confetti GIF – plus a special offer for customers – really amps up the energy of this message. 



9. Kate Spade

We absolutely love this email campaign series from Kate Spade. The first message that announced the secret sale featured bright green, falling leaves. But as the end of the sale got closer, the emails featured darker and darker leaves – a creative way to signal increasing urgency to their customers and add an element of seasonality! 








10. ADC Young Guns

Sometimes, all you need is one super compelling image above the fold to capture interest. Here, Young Guns included an awesome GIF at the top of this email to draw subscribers in and get them to read the copy that followed. 



Have you seen any GIFs in recent emails from brands you love? Tell us about them in the comments!


About the Author

McKenzie Gregory

McKenzie Gregory is a senior content manager on Emma’s marketing team. A Nashville native, she can be found covering all things email on the Emma blog, debating hyphenation rules, and watching obscene amounts of Netflix without a trace of shame.

Follow on Twitter Follow on Linkedin
Previous Article
Hey nonprofits, win a free Emma account for life!
Hey nonprofits, win a free Emma account for life!

We've made it November, which means it’s time for one of our favorite annual traditions – Emma 25! Each ye...

Next Article
Emma staffers fright and delight at St. Luke's Haunted House
Emma staffers fright and delight at St. Luke's Haunted House

Halloween is always a festive time of year, but at Emma, it's also a time to give back. For the past seven...

Want to engage your audience and grow your brand? Try Emma’s robust, easy-to-use product today.

Get a Demo