Using animated GIF to boost sales is deceptively easier than you think


Shake up your next email campaign with an animated GIF.

What’s an animated GIF?

An animated GIF is embedded in your email and looks like a video, but it’s really just an animated image, and…

… a fun visual treat for consumers, and…

… is like a rocket-booster for your click-throughs and sales.

Animation is like video in that it draws attention to the eye and acts as a visual cue.

An animated GIF gives YOU a chance to send a message that a static email just can’t: multiple products that fit together for a solution.

Or maybe to make your point more engaging like this…

Blog GIF 2
Email Institute found that animated GIF emails see an increase in clickthrough rates of up to 26%.

And, they are deceptively easy to create.

Here’s a step-by-step

  • The GIF must be relevant to your topic… no random Ron Burgundy GIFs or kitten GIFs, although both are wildly popular
  • Don’t over-use. Save animated GIFs for your important emails. If every email has an animated GIF it loses it’s punch.
  • Make sure your first frame of animation works as a stand alone image because newer versions of Outlook (2007, 2010, 2013) won’t show the animation. They just show the first frame as a static image. Same for Windows Phone 7. However, animated GIFs work great on the rest of the following:

Desktop Clients
Lotus Notes (6, 7, 8.5)
Outlook 2000-2003
Outlook for Mac
Apple Mail

Webmail Clients
Gmail Yahoo!

Mobile Clients
Mail Android (Default)
Android (Gmail)

  • Also, make sure the “alt-text” for your image says something valuable in case your user has disabled all images. Even if you just say “enable images to see this killer content”
  • Use the animated GIF you’ve created on social media for twice the mileage. Animation on social media gets more reach than links or static images.
  • Use for or for free pre-made GIFS that you can download and insert EXACTLY as you would insert an image.
  • Keep your email GIF under 40K so that it can be easily managed by servers and inboxes. Simpler colors and graphics will help keep the file size down. The size is important to check when you convert a piece of video into a GIF.

Let’s get fancy schmancy now…

  • You can use Snagit to capture a live screen shot or tutorial that can be saved as a GIF. How cool is that?
  • I use Camtasia for taping my course videos and it offers an option to produce your video as a GIF instead of an mp4. Here’s a 3-minute tutorial on how to do it. If you’re a MAC user, Screenflow does the same thing (and it’s FREE).
  • You can use Photoshop to create your animated GIF, here’s a 3-minute tutorial on how to do that.
  • You can make GIFs easily out of snippets of your existing video using free online services or apps such as:, Instagiffer or, GIF Brewery.
  • TEST the h*ll out of your emails before hitting send. Especially until you get proficient with them.

Now go be brave and do one THIS NEXT WEEK!


If I can create GIFs, you can.