GIF animations in emails

GIF images can instantly uplift your email and are a fun way to grab people's attention. The Engage email editor lets you add these to your communication but there are a few things to think of before you get started.


Unlike when you upload an image to your email, the width of a GIF must be the same width or smaller than the image placeholder you have in your template. Otherwise, Engage will try to compress, optimize or crop the GIF, resulting in it failing to work.


The width of the image placeholder below is 592px, so the GIF needs to be 592px wide or less.


Keep your file sizes small

The larger the file size of your GIF, the longer your email will take to load as well as eating up the mobile data of your customers. It's also more likely to get marked as spam if it is a very big file. Therefore, we recommend using file sizes smaller than 1MB, ideally under 500kb. So how do you create GIFs with smaller file sizes? A few examples to try:

  • Only use a few colors.
  • Illustrations are better than images (images in GIFs can increase the file size dramatically, even with just the smallest movement).
  • Delete duplicate frame.
  • Save with the minimum quality when exporting your file from Photoshop.

When to use them

Don't overuse your GIFs—instead, use them as a surprising added element to your emails every now and then for optimal effect. If you use several in one email, it might look like spam, both to the reader and to the mail client. Also remember to keep the movement smooth and pleasant for the viewer. Avoid excessive flashing as it can harm those with epilepsy.

Will it work?

GIFs currently work with most mail clients. The clients that do not handle GIFs are certain versions of Outlook, especially Outlook for PC. If the GIF doesn't work, the first frame (image) will instead appear as a fixed image. This means that the person who creates the GIF needs to make sure that the first frame/image is good and that it is displayed for at least 0.1 second for it to look good in the mail clients that cannot handle GIFs. We recommend only using jpg, png and gif—CSS animations are not supported by several mail clients including Gmail, Outlook, and Office 365.

Time to try it for yourself! 


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