Did you see our recent article on using video in your emails?

We talked about video and a bit about GIFs in email marketing. Interesting stuff. And man, a bit of animation can work wonders for your emails, and consequently your click-through rates – and one of the best ways to do that is to use a GIF.

Here’s how to make your own!

In this article, we’ll take you, step-by-step, through the process of creating GIFs in email marketing:

  1. How to create images?
  2. Two ways of creating GIFs
  3. Embedding your new GIF into your email

Let’s get to it, shall we?

Step One: Create Your Images

A GIF is made up of a series of images, so you need to start with these. You could design them yourself in a program like Photoshop, capture stills from a video, or use existing pictures. Just make sure they are all the same size before you turn them into a GIF. PNG image files are best.

Step Two: Create Your GIF

There are a couple of ways to approach this. You can do it the simple way, with GIFMaker:

  1. Click here
  2. Upload your images
  3. Use the controls on the right-hand side to change the size, speed and number of repeats
  4. Click “Create GIF Animation” and wait for it to download

If you, specifically, want more control over exactly how your GIF looks and plays, you can use Photoshop:

  1. Put all your images into one folder (Pro Tip: it helps to name them Frame-1, Frame-2, etc).
  2. In Photoshop, Go to File > Scripts > Load Files Into Stack.
  3. Click Browse, then select your image files.
  4. Then, in the top navigation menu click Window > Timeline.
  5. In the Timeline window, click Create Frame Animation.
  6. In the top navigation window, click Select > All Layers.
  7. Click the menu icon to the right of the Timeline window and then, select Create a new layer for each new frame.
  8. Click the menu icon again and select Make Frames From Layers.
  9. Under each frame, you can now specify how long you want that frame to show for before it moves on to the next frame.
  10. Go right to the bottom of the toolbar and select how many times you want your GIF to loop (Once, 3 Times, Forever, or a custom choice).
  11. Press Play to preview your GIF.
  12. Save and Export as a GIF file.

Step Three: Embed Your GIF Into Your Email

GIFs work in the same way as a PNG, except they show lots of pictures in a row instead of one. That means any good email marketing system should let you upload and embed GIFs exactly as you would an image file, and then watch the magic happen! However, beware, not all email clients support GIFs (for example, Outlook).

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