How to Use Animation in Email Marketing to Increase Engagement

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How to use animation in email marketing to increase engagement

Did you ever think that a piece of static text in your inbox could actually be a living, breathing, and moving work of art? It’s not only possible, but we’ll tell you how to rock it. From attention-grabbing CTAs to showcasing multiple products in a single image, incorporating animation in your email marketing strategy can be a game-changer. Not only does it grab attention, but it also adds an element of interactivity and entertainment that captivates your subscribers. In fact, according to Litmus’ 2020 State of Email, 51.28% of marketers are already leveraging animated GIFs in their marketing emails, recognizing their effectiveness in providing visual interest. Discover how animated delights can captivate your audience, boost engagement, and unlock new opportunities for your brand.

1. How to use animation in email marketing

Using animation in email requires a good synergy between the text and visual elements. Most animated emails leverage using GIFs – either as a single image or as a combination of several moving elements. You can also use a combination of still images, text, and a few animated elements to give the illusion of an animated email. Refer to our detailed post on embedding video in email to use parts of videos as the animated portion.

2. Examples of animation in email marketing 

2.a. Highlight your product’s features upfront using GIFs

While adding animation can enhance the visual appeal of certain products, there are cases where animation is essential to highlight the product’s unique features. BlendJet serves as a prime example, as it revolves around the smooth movement of its blend cycle. By incorporating animated elements in email campaigns, we not only allow for the product’s “movement” to be emphasized but also provide an opportunity for the brand to showcase the product in action. It’s no wonder that a significant portion of our BlendJet emails heavily relies on animation, featuring enticing snippets of recipes that showcase the device’s spinning motion. (It’s no coincidence that BlendJet generates 30% of its revenue from email alone!)

blendjet email marketing example  email marketing Highlight your product's features upfront using GIFs

2.b. Add a touch of gamification to your emails with animated elements

Take inspiration from this apparel brand that combines humor in email marketing with animated GIFs to, add gamification to its email marketing, engage customers, and encourage interaction. In one of their email campaigns, they cleverly employ an animated game that requires readers to put in a little effort to discover the message: their tees are priced at just 10 euros. This approach effectively grabs the reader’s attention, keeping it easy enough to avoid frustration and ensure they continue reading.

animation in email marketing gamification apparel brand

On the other hand, there’s another apparel brand that draws inspiration from gaming ads to create an engaging experience. They showcase their clothing pieces on a model, allowing viewers to explore the various options and go into “take your pick” mode. It creates a sense of involvement and personalization.

email marketing animated gif

By incorporating animation into your emails, you can infuse a sense of interactivity, making the experience more memorable and captivating for your subscribers. 

2.c. Highlight your product’s ingredients or materials at a glance with animation

Take a look at this example from a supplements brand marketing strategy.  It effectively promotes a collagen supplement by showcasing its ingredients in a visually appealing animation. This approach grabs the viewers’ attention and gets people thinking about natural goodness and well-being, creating a positive association with the brand. Any brand that prides itself on quality materials or ingredients can adopt a similar strategy to captivate its audience.

animation in email marketing show your ingredients at a glance

Similarly, a jerky eCommerce brand promotes its coffee and brown sugar flavor by incorporating an animated image of a steaming hot cup of coffee into its main banner. This addition further highlights the flavor profile and entices potential customers.  These are just a few examples of different use cases, but the underlying concept remains the same.

email marketing gif example food brand

2.d. Convey your unique selling points swiftly with animation in email marketing

Research shows that 41.1% of subscribers ‘skim’emails, which means they spend between two and eight seconds on your message. Therefore, the faster you can convey your main message in your emails, the more effective they will be. Take inspiration from an eCommerce store that offers portable ice baths, which cleverly presents their subscribers with a solution to their pain point using engaging videos in their main banner.

animation in email marketing leveraging video and visual on email campaigns

By incorporating attractive animated videos, this store effectively captures the attention of its audience and provides a quick and easy way to increase dopamine levels. The use of visuals and motion in the form of animated GIFs allows for instant comprehension and leaves a lasting impact on the viewer. It’s a highly effective strategy that ensures your message is understood quickly and efficiently.

2.e. Showcase your offer with engaging animations

When it comes to email marketing, highlighting your offers using animation is a proven and popular strategy—and for good reason. Incorporating animations into your emails can significantly increase the probability of conversion. There are countless ways to effectively draw attention to your offers using animation, and here are a few inspiring examples for you!

email marketing last chance email campaign gif example. animation in email marketing highlight your offer email marketing campaign highlight your offer gif example

2.f. Generate excitement with animated teasers for upcoming releases

Animations serve as an excellent tool to generate curiosity and interest in what’s on the horizon. Consider this example from a children’s apparel store, where they employ an animated teaser to introduce their latest release. By animating elements found in their fabric prints, they offer a sneak peek to their subscribers and entice them to join their VIP group for the full reveal.

This approach not only captures attention but also builds anticipation and a sense of exclusivity. Take inspiration from this strategy and adapt it to your own brand. Whether it’s a new product, a special event, or an upcoming launch, create enticing teasers that showcase glimpses of what’s to come.

animation in email marketing tease about whats new or coming soon

2.g. Make your call-to-action (CTA) stand out with animation in email marketing

Direct your subscribers’ attention to one of the most critical components of your emails: your call-to-action. Consider adding an eye-catching animation, such as a blinking button or a dynamic mouse pointer, to your CTA. This addition has the potential to significantly boost your click-through rate. Experiment with A/B testing to observe how your audience responds to the animated CTA and optimize accordingly.

animated cta for email campaigns animation in email marketing cta example animated button

2.h. Showcase multiple products in one image using GIFs

Effortlessly showcase multiple products in a single image using GIFs! This versatile idea works across all industries, email styles, and branding guidelines.

email marketing rotating products animation

3. Best practices for using animation in email marketing

3.a. Optimize GIF Size

Ensure your GIF is high-quality but also lightweight. Large file sizes can lead to longer loading times, causing recipients to lose interest. Minimize the use of complex elements like photography or gradients, as they increase file size. Remember, simplicity is key.

3.b. Use Compression Tools

After creating your animation, utilize platforms like EZGif to reduce the file size further. These tools offer options such as color reduction, frame reduction, and transparency optimization, among others to help you optimize your GIF.

3.c. Keep Animations Concise

Remember, you’re using animation to enhance your email, not create a full-blown movie. Keep animations short and focused on the intended message. 

3.d. Ensure Relevance

Make sure your animations align with your email content. Don’t include animations just for the sake of it. Consider the purpose of the animation—is it to emphasize specific copy, draw attention to your call-to-action (CTA), showcase products, or gamify the experience? Your GIF should have a clear purpose.

3.e. Don’t go overboard

Use animations strategically and sparingly in your emails. Overwhelming your subscribers with excessive movement can confuse them. Choose relevant areas to animate and consider the frequency of GIF usage. Finding the right balance ensures animations remain effective and enhance your message without overwhelming your audience.

3.f. Test and Adapt

Not all audiences respond the same way to animations. Conduct A/B tests to determine what works best for your specific audience. Tailor your approach based on their preferences and avoid following trends blindly. Focus on what resonates with your audience.

3.g. Consider Accessibility

Keep in mind that some animations, particularly those that are fast-paced and flashy, may pose a risk to individuals with conditions such as epilepsy. Prioritize email accessibility by using animations that are safe and won’t cause harm.

4. Benefits of using animation in email marketing

Here are the key benefits of using animation in email marketing:

Attention-Grabbing: Animated elements are highly effective at capturing attention. Take a look at the example below. Were your eyes immediately drawn to the blinking CTA instead of the static one? That’s the power of animation! It effortlessly grabs attention and makes your email stand out from the crowd.


Entertainment Value: In today’s marketing landscape, entertainment plays a significant role. Animations provide a fresh and enjoyable experience, cutting through the monotony of everyday emails and leaving a lasting impression on recipients.

Message Emphasis: Animation directs your audience’s focus, making sure they get the point loud and clear.

Increased Conversions: Animation’s ability to grab attention and guide your audiences’ focus on promotions or campaigns can ultimately drive conversions. By capturing the viewer’s interest and guiding them toward a compelling call-to-action, you increase the likelihood of them taking the desired action, such as making a purchase.


As you can see, incorporating animation in email marketing can be a game-changer. It captures attention, increases engagement, and leaves a lasting impact on your audience.

Liked what you saw? Our talented designers created all these examples. Book a free call with our Hustler Marketing experts and revolutionize your campaigns with the magic of animation.

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