What are GIF’s and why do we use them?
GIF is basically just a fancy word for animated images that have been compressed down into one file. We use them because they look a bit like a video, but take much less file space than a video file would (also known as an MP4 file). The reason this is important is because file space is so limited when it comes to emails that it is currently impossible to add MP4’s in your emails, that aren’t just attachments or links. If you are unsure of what an email attachment is it is a file you attach to an email to be downloaded separately after opening the email opposed to being embedded. However, some GIF’s are so well produced they look so similar to videos it makes it hard to tell!
So I know what you’re thinking. I want to be able to create GIF’s too! I want them to look super awesome and professional so I can get higher open rates in my email sends! Well here at Adams we did too and we are here to guide you step by step:
Guide to GIF’s:
- STEP 1). Take the video file (recommended) or separate photos and place it them into a GIF engine. If you don’t know any off the top of your head we have put together a list for you to search into google: Giphy, GifBin, GifMaker, EzGif, makeagif. Although something to note, when using separate images, choose images with as little difference between them as possible because it will look smoother. That’s why we recommend using a video file (MP4).
- Step 2). When sending GIF’s in an email, a large number of people won’t be able to open them. This is because mobile users (when using roaming data) won’t have the capacity for the size of the file (as they can be capped) if it’s too large, and because of this, the GIF is shown as an image instead of an animation. Which is really annoying if let’s say you have a section of the GIF that shows information or text (as shown above). There is however a way around this. You can control what frame shows when your GIF has been capped by putting it at the start of the animation. As the GIF when shown as an image, renders only the first frame. So make sure your most important information is your first frame. Or when editing the slides of the animation, put said frame at the start.
- Step 3). To save more file space, you can open the GIF “with photoshop” and “export it for web”. This resizes and re-saves the file separately. The new file will have reduced file size and make the email more responsive (take less time to open/load). It’s always good to get into a habit of doing this anyway out of respect for those that are on your database (send list). As for some of them may be opening emails from mobile as mentioned earlier, and it can use up a lot of data if not made properly.
– Once you have prepared your GIF it is ready to be embedded into an email and sent.
What should I use Gif’s for?
- GIF’s are a great way to inject personality into your brand, especially using humour. Being bland doesn’t make you more professional, it makes you’re boring. Fun is definitely the way to go.
- They can also be used to show multiple images in an email. As an example, we sent out an email regarding Kings ferry’s virtual tour. We used a GIF to take you on a tour as GIF’s are a great way to showcase or highlight more than one thing in an email. You can show a lot of information whilst saving the client having to scroll through the entire email.
- In general, they just look nicer than plain text or a picture, because they animate and look more interesting than a stale picture. It’s aesthetically pleasing.
If your heads a little frazzled, not to worry. We at Adams are more than happy to help, contact us today for more information.