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Importance of Using GIFs in Sales & Marketing Emails 

Emails are one of the best forms of content for sales conversion. Emails can be sent to your customers/prospects from a marketing or sales automation platform, which essentially is email marketing software or sales automation software. In recent times, many marketing gurus recommend the usage of GIFs, they are lightweight, with images and animations, and can play a significant role in increasing your click-through rates (CTR) which then increases the conversion rate.

Traditional marketing campaigns are based on the fact that you have to learn to sell before you can actually sell. Knowing the pain point of the prospect is quite important.  Then the next step would be to know if they are looking for a solution and are capable & willing to spend a particular amount for the solution.   The last step would be to propose an offer that will nudge them to buy your product without sounding too pushy. The problem with this method, however, is that it places emphasis on the product itself rather than the brand. Instead of focusing on branding your products or services, you’re focusing on selling them. This makes it difficult for companies to compete and often results in a significant amount of churn and lost revenue.

While sharing videos has become quite monotonous and boring, GIFs have become a more popular and exciting way to communicate with prospects 

GIFs can be used in different ways. This article will explore the potential of using GIFs in sales and marketing emails and offer some tips on how to make sure they are used effectively.

Let’s first discuss the pros and cons of using GIFs in email content

Positives of using GIFs:

  • Showcase “How it Works” without long & boring blocks of text 
  • Instill an emotional response that a normal image cannot
  • Create email content that’s personalised, trending and engaging
  • Potential to increase CTR, Open, and Sales
  • Superb alternative to embedded video (as many email service providers do not support embedded video)

Stuff that could backfire:

  • Very few email service providers do not support GIFs 
  • Increase download time if not optimized in a proper manner
  • Distract prospects away from the core message
  • Too much movement on the screen could irritate a few
  • Use sparingly, too many GIFs could be overwhelming
  • Use high-quality GIFs, low quality could look unprofessional

Here are some tips on how to use GIFs for email marketing:

1. Use GIFs to show off your products or services in action. This is a great way to give potential customers a taste of what you have to offer.

2. Use GIFs to highlight key features or benefits of your products or services. Its a better way to get your message across quickly and effectively.

3. Use GIFs to add a touch of personality to your emails. This is a great way to make your brand stand out from the competition.

Now that we understand the “why” of using GIFs, let’s not jump the gun and start using GIFs in all email communication. We will first need to evaluate if it’s going to be useful, and hence we need to ask and answer a few questions yourselves.

Does the recipient’s email service provider support GIFs?

Most email service providers like Google, Microsoft Office 365, etc support GIFs but you might have a few older ones that still don’t. Review your email list and segregate the emails whose service providers do not support GIFs, create a separate campaign for them without GIFs. 

Are you targeting a younger audience? Is the majority of your audience Gen Z or Millennials?

If yes, it’s time to start using GIFs in your sales and marketing emails! GIFs are fun, engaging and trending. Younger audiences love content that’s trending. So if your target audience is young then it’s a great strategy to use it. 

Do you have a member of your staff who is proficient in creating unique GIFs?

If so, consider using customized GIFs in your sales and marketing emails to add a touch of personality and fun. Just make sure that the GIFs you use are relevant to your message and help to enhance the email and represent the brand, rather than distract from it. When used effectively, GIFs can be a great way to engage your recipients and make your emails more memorable and result in getting more responses. Try not to use a previously created GIF that’s already done rounds on the internet, remember that millennials engage and share a lot of content, you dont want to known as a brand that reuses content Techboomers have a great video on How to Create GIFs in 3 Easy Ways.

Does the GIF offer anything worthwhile?

 A GIF that does not represent the appropriate message  will look very unprofessional or even tacky. But when used correctly can be a great way to add  personality and visual interest to your messages.

So how can you make sure your GIF usage is on point? 

Consider whether the GIF actually adds something worthwhile to your message. A funny cat GIF might be entertaining, but it’s not going to help you sell your product. A GIF that demonstrates how your product works can be a valuable asset.

Once you’ve created  a GIF that’s relevant to your message, make sure it’s high quality and properly sized. You don’t want your email to look amateurish because of a low-resolution GIF. , avoid using too many GIFs in a single email. A little goes a long way when it comes to email GIFs.

Does the GIF draw attention to the main point?

GIFs can be a great way to grab attention and add some entertainment  to your sales and marketing emails. But, you want to make sure that the GIFs you use are relevant to the main point of your email and does not get distracted from your message. If the GIF is only adding the fun element in the message and not supporting the main purpose of email communication, you better not use it.

Last but not the least let’s discuss the best practices for using GIFs

GIFs can be a great way to add some personality and visual interest to your sales and marketing emails. Before you start sending out GIF-filled emails, there are a few best practices to keep in mind.

First, make sure the GIF is relevant to the email content and simple for  prospects to connect with the message. A funny or relevant GIF can help add context or levity to your message, but an irrelevant one will just be a distraction and may harm the reputation of your company.

Second, keep the GIFs small in file size. Large GIFs can slow down email loading times, so it’s best to keep them under 1 MB. You can also use a service like Giphy to host your GIFs and then embed them in your emails.

Third, the GIF needs to be mobile optimized as a large group of prospects check their mails on the mobile device. It needs to play seamlessly in a continuous loop.

Finally, remember that not everyone will be able to see your GIFs. Many email clients might not support them, so always include a fallback image or text-based alternative for those who can’t view them. Alternatively, two different type of email templates can be created for two separate lists.

The only way to get the best from GIFs in your emails is to be as clear and direct with them as possible. This will ensure that they do not detract from your email, or worse, confuse your audience.  A GIF can be used to draw the prospects attention towards the message which is being sent and the message kind of becomes memorable.   You should also be aware of how your GIF will work with the rest of your content to ensure there is no conflict or distraction. Ultimately, using one is worth the risk if done right, but if you choose incorrectly, it could end up costing you a customer.
While these guidelines will certainly not be able to cover every situation that you encounter when incorporating GIFs into your cold email outreach, they will provide you with a framework to approach the conundrum. Armed with these guidelines, you can use GIFs to add fun and emotion to your emails while staying true to those all-important business principles.

Upasana Sahu

SmartReach.io: An outreach platform for growth teams. Book 3X more sales meetings.

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