How to Insert a GIF into Emails

How to Insert a GIF into Emails - 1
How to Insert a GIF into Emails - 1
March 16, 2024
Written by
Jesse Sumrak
Opinions expressed by Twilio contributors are their own

How to Insert a GIF Into Email

GIFs exist in every corner of the internet, both for lighthearted entertainment and communication—but who knew these would become so popular among marketers today? Capturing a user’s attention can be difficult, especially when you have to do it in a short span of time. However, these wonderful animated files make the task possible.

Effective email marketing gets the message across in a concise yet memorable way. So whether you sell services or provide an important product update, you’ll want to include visuals that encourage your audience to stop, read, and act. That’s why GIFs—with personality, color, and flair—can be a powerful customer engagement tool. 

Below, we offer a quick, easy tutorial on how to insert a GIF into email. We also provide deeper insight into why GIFs are important for your marketing campaigns.  

Let’s dig in. 

How to send a GIF in an email

Using GIFs for social media is relatively easy, but sending GIFs by email is another process entirely. Whether you use a public database like Giphy or your GIF creation, there are steps you must take to successfully format them. 

How to insert a GIF in an email

Since a GIF is essentially a compilation of multiple image frames, you must transfer it into an email correctly for all the images to show—not just one. Still, there are multiple ways to insert a GIF: 

How to copy and paste a GIF link

  1. Copy the GIF link or right-click the image and copy the image address, whichever is convenient and available.
  2. Choose the Insert photo option for your email. 
  3. Paste the link in the image URL space.

How to insert a GIF from your computer 

  1. Save your GIF as a .gif file on your computer. 
  2. Draft your email, then click Insert photo
  3. Select the .gif file that you want to include with your email. 

How to put a GIF in a Gmail

If you’re wondering how to send a GIF in an email via your Gmail account, use the following, though the steps may vary slightly:

  1. Compose a new email.
  2. Be sure to save your image file in the correct format before you insert a GIF.
  3. Drag and drop your GIF from your desktop files to the Compose tab. 
  4. Resize the GIF to your liking. 

Inserting a GIF into an Outlook email

When you insert a GIF into Outlook email, you can safely assume that the steps will be similar to how you add GIFs via Gmail.

Step 1: Compose a new email

  • Open Outlook and start by creating a new email. You can do this by clicking on the "New Email" button, usually found in the upper left corner of the Outlook interface.

Step 2: Access the insert option

  • Once your new email window is open, you'll find a toolbar at the top of the window. Look for the "Insert" tab, which gives you various options for enhancing your email.

Step 3: Insert the GIF into Outlook email

  • Within the "Insert" tab, you have a few options to add images or graphics to your email. To insert a GIF, specifically:
    • Click on "Pictures" if you're using a desktop version of Outlook. This may appear as "Pictures Inline" in some versions.
    • If prompted, navigate to the location on your computer where the GIF is saved. This could be in your "Downloads" folder, "Desktop," or a specific folder where you save images.
    • Select the GIF file you wish to insert into your email. Click "Insert" to add it to your email content.

Step 4: Resize and adjust the GIF

  • After inserting the GIF into your email, you might notice that it's too large or small for your liking. To resize the GIF:
    • Click on the GIF to select it. You'll see sizing handles appear around the image.
    • Click and drag any of the corner handles to resize the GIF proportionally. Avoid using the side handles if you want to maintain the aspect ratio of the GIF.

Inserting GIFs with Twilio SendGrid

Twilio SendGrid has a slightly different interface than other traditional email providers—and that’s a good thing, as it offers additional features that meet every unique email need. However, inserting GIFs is still a fairly simple process, much like Gmail and Outlook email. Here’s how:

  1. Click the design library and choose Create email design if you’re making an email template from scratch.
  2. Select Build, then Image
  3. Use the drag-and-drop feature or upload a GIF directly from your desktop files. 
  4. Insert the image. 
  5. Resize the GIF to fit within your email template dimensions. 
  6. Click Preview to see the final look and ensure the layout appears as intended.

Best practices for inserting GIFs into your emails

GIFs can boost the experience of your emails, but you'll want to follow a few best practices to ensure you get it just right:

  • Email client compatibility: Not all email clients support GIF animation. Some might display only the first frame of the GIF as a static image. Consider your audience and the email clients they are likely to use.
  • Size and load time: Large GIFs can significantly increase email load time, potentially impacting recipient engagement. Optimize your GIFs for web use, aiming for smaller file sizes without compromising quality.
  • Relevance and appropriateness: GIFs should enhance your message, not distract from it. Ensure the GIFs you choose are relevant to your email’s content and appropriate for your audience.
  • Testing: Before sending your email to a broad audience, test it by sending it to various email clients, including mobile devices.
  • Troubleshooting: If your GIF doesn’t animate, check that you’ve inserted it as an image file and not as a link to a webpage. Also, verify that the .gif file is not corrupted and displays animations when viewed outside the email.

Why use GIFs in your email campaign?

GIFs can be excellent tools for customer engagement, as email campaigns with attached images have a 42% higher click-through rate than those that don’t have images. Dell’s first GIF-centered email marketing campaign saw a 6% increased open rate, 42% increased click rate, and 103% increased conversion rate. In short, if your goal is to expand your reach and increase a certain number of clicks to a site, GIFs will help you get started—as long as the GIFs are fun, memorable, and purposeful. 

Plus, GIFs can also add to your visual identity, allowing users to get a glimpse of your brand and personality. These engaging animations speak the language of the internet, providing a quick, digestible way to gather important information, so use them to your advantage. When used as a call to action, GIFs attract attention and allow fast access to your desired landing page. 

Add GIFs to your email marketing campaigns today with Twilio SendGrid

With a cohesive marketing strategy and a consistent theme, GIFs are a useful way to garner more attention and set your company apart. Twilio SendGrid’s rich variety of email templates and user-friendly design tools allow you to painlessly and efficiently insert a GIF into email. Our services provide you with a solution to meet all your email marketing needs, so you can focus on building seamless email experiences that foster long-lasting customer loyalty. 

Ready to get started incorporating GIFs into your email marketing campaigns to increase customer engagement? Contact us today to learn how.

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