Video has become popular among marketers, particularly via social media channels and websites. Unfortunately, it is yet to be widely supported in email clients, making its use in email marketing risky.

The good news is, you can include animated GIF files which allow you to bring motion to your emails and go beyond static images and text. However, use with caution.

High-quality animated GIFs may have much larger file sizes. If your GIF is large it may take too long to download and your recipient may simply move on before seeing it.

Some email clients still don’t support animated GIFs, even though they have been around for more than 30 years. Outlook 2007, 2010, 2013 and Windows Phone 7 will only show the first frame of your GIF. Make sure that first frame conveys your important information just in case your recipient is using one of the above email clients.

Also, use sparingly, like a seasoning. Remember websites of the ’90s when there were little animated GIFs all over the place, flashing, spinning, bouncing and otherwise distracting users? Let’s not go back to that.

Learn more about using animated GIFs in email from Campaign Monitor.

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