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According to detailed research undertaken by Mailchimp, a little under 23 per cent of marketing emails are opened by recipients. But while many folks will have a quick scan of the contents, less than three per cent will actively click any embedded link to access further information.

That means email marketers literally have just seconds to engage the attention of their targeted audience. And in this day and age of information overload, few have time to read the contents of an email. So that means if a picture tells a thousand stories, then a moving image tells a thousand more. Enter: the GIF.

The GIF is nothing new but how you use it must be

The GIF (Graphics Interchange Format) was originally developed in the late 1980s with simple moving images but the animated source of amusement and engagement has only really come of age in recent years.

Human beings are inherently programmed to take notice of movement. Numerous studies have shown moving images attract attention much faster than static ones. Instantly grabbing a potential customer’s interest with a GIF they like increases the likelihood of browsing your email and clicking on any link(s) to find out more.

GIFs are short, which appeals to today’s attention-lacking online audience. Seconds-long content means people are more likely to watch a GIF than a video. A GIF shows and tells a story and viewers are more likely to remember their short punchy messages. A GIF makes a great teaser and is an effective way of creating an engaging Call to Action.

Where do I find some good GIFS?

There are plenty of awesome websites out there housing literally thousands of GIFS, with plenty to suit every message.

Giphy has been around for a few years and has quickly become a go-to resource for marketers seeking great GIFs. Giphy boasts that they have 300 million daily users. And news, website content and discussion forum Reddit is awash with GIFs as is Gifbin which categorises its resources for easy searching.

Create your own GIFs

It’s incredibly easy nowadays to create your own GIFs to help you stand out from the crowd. There are loads of online tools which allow you to do just that from videos, YouTube clips or combining separate image files into frames.

The aforementioned grandaddy of the GIF, Giphy has a simple GIF creator or you can use PhotoShop to make great looping animations as well as mobile apps like GiphyCam.

A GIF can convey a message and a mood in seconds. The most effective are eye-catching, designed to be small and with mobile users in mind. Engaging, fun and clever GIFs can really add an extra dimension to any email marketing campaign. To find out more, get in touch with us at MailNinja today.