Video and GIFs in emails

Video is very useful in marketing: It's fun, it's engaging and can be used to convey powerful messages. Unfortunately many email clients do not support video in an email, but there are ways to get around that. In this article we will discuss some methods to use GIFs and videos to make your email more interesting.

If you have a video on youtube, your website or hosted elsewhere you can simply link to it from your email. We suggest using a nice image from the video with a play icon on it to invite your users to click the link to your video. Be sure to add ?play to the end of your video link to start playing the video immediately when the user clicks the link.


GIFs can be used to add a short animation, scene cut from a video or slideshow to your email without worrying about external hosting. You can use to display different colors or styles of your product, for example. GIFs are an older format, so it is generally well-supported. They are supported in every client except Outlook and Windows Phone 7, which only show the first frame.

Tips for using GIFs:

  • Use them sparingly! You want to surprise your user, not annoy them with too much happening before their eyes.
  • Make sure the first frame is interesting and informative. Outlook and Windows Phone 7 users will only see this frame, so use it wisely.
  • Don't make your GIFs too large; This might make them slow and eat up a lot of your users data.
  • Cropping as much as possible and removing unnecessary frames will make your GIF smaller. If you are experienced in Photoshop you can reduce file size further by using layers for the animated parts of the GIF, preventing the image from redrawing for each frame.

It is also very interesting to combine the GIF and the image with the play button. GIFs may also contain a link and can be used to give a preview for the video you are linking to. The GIF engages the user and the link allows the user to explore your company further.