Animated GIFs have been the darling of the internet community for as long as one can remember. Email marketers, too, are no strangers to their many gifts. From elevating the visual appeal of emails to making the content easier to consume, animated GIFs empower brands to unleash their creative expression to the fullest. Today, we are going to discuss a host of ways that highlight how they can be used to enhance that one element in your email template which seals your credibility (among other things)- the email signature. But, before we do that, let’s address a few fundamental topics first.
Why Do Email Signatures Matter?
- They lend your communications an unmistakable air of professionalism. Say you receive two emails- both are identical, except one ends with an exquisitely designed email signature, replete with the company logo, contact information, and possibly a picture of a C-level executive, while the other just has a plain-text signoff. Which among the two is more likely to win your trust? A professional email signature, thus, goes a long way toward convincing your contacts of your brand reputation.
- Email signatures help you gain visibility. Among the hundreds and thousands of emails that hit your target audience’s inboxes daily, only those that are branded with an email signature are likely to secure their attention. In the process, your brand becomes more recognizable to them too. Incorporating a signature, hence, is a surefire way of gaining an edge over your competitors.
- Come to think of it, your email signature is essentially your business card (well, an e-business card, technically speaking). So, don’t just add one to your template for the sake of it. It must cast a formidable impression on your readers. And for that to happen, you need to pay ample attention to the font, colors, images, and other elements that comprise it. In many ways, your email signature symbolizes your brand’s personality. Therefore, the last thing you’d want for it is to be shabby.
- Your company’s official address and contact information aren’t the only bits of critical information that your email signature holds. It also serves as a repository of other vital links, including website, social media handles, referrals, application download links, and the like. Placing all these links in a single place makes it extremely convenient for your subscribers to access them.
- Looking for a suitable spot in your email template to add your brand vision and mission statement? Why, it is your email signature, of course! This is why email signatures are indispensable when promoting brand awareness is concerned.
Let’s analyze Kevin’s email signature, for instance.
The company logo, Kevin’s designation and email address, links to the company’s website and social media handles, and a mission statement- ticks all the right boxes, doesn’t it?
How Can You Create An Animated GIF?
Before we dive into the various ways in which animated GIFs can be used in email signatures, let us first understand how you can make one.
Using Adobe Animate
Crafting animated GIFs using Adobe Animate is a pretty straightforward process. In the steps below, we illustrate how you can go about it.
1. To begin, create a new file and specify the dimensions you want your GIF to be. To make sure that the visual clarity of your GIF remains uncompromised across all kinds of devices and platforms, it’s best to make the animation at twice the size for retina display.
2. Now, you have two paths. Either you can create the graphics that are going to constitute your animation on Animate itself, or you can design the frames elsewhere (say, Photoshop or Illustrator) and then import them over here.
3. To do the latter:
- Go to File.
- Click on Import
- Select Import To Stage.
- If you feel that the graphic you are importing is going to be reused several times in the future, select “import to library.”
4. Next, let’s take a look at some of the resources available to you on Animate using which you can make your GIF.
- Symbol: A symbol is a button, graphic, or movie clip that is created once in the Animate authoring environment or with the help of the SimpleButton (AS 3.0) and MovieClip classes. It can be reused both in your existing document as well as in new ones. Every individual realization of it is referred to as an “instance”. Keep in mind that any change made to a symbol reflects across all its instances. If you want to avoid this, make edits to the specific instance only. While creating animated GIFs in Animate, the ideal course of action is to convert design elements to graphic symbols.
- Tweening: The process of animating from one state to another is called tweening. There are three kinds of tweens- shape, motion, and classic. Using shape tween, you can modify the shape of an object. Need to animate a square into a circle? Go for shape tweening. Motion tween lets you change different properties of an object like size, effects, position, color, rotation, and filters. In this case, the animation movements are made by defining varying values between the first and last frames. Lastly, what is classic tween? Well, it is pretty much similar to motion tween, except that it uses property frames rather than keyframes and offers user-specific capabilities.
- Ease: Easing, really, is what adds life to your animation. Using ease, you can accelerate or decelerate a tween. As a result, this makes it look more realistic.
5. Once everything is wrapped up, the last step involves exporting the GIF. For this, you have to:
- Go to File.
- Click on Export.
- Select Export Animated GIF.
Invideo allows you to convert video files to animated GIFs. Read the following steps to find out how.
1. Upload your video file.
2. Select the portion of the file you want to convert by specifying the start and end markers.
3. Once the markers are defined, the conversion process begins. Download the GIF once done.
1. Upload the graphics you want to stitch together into an animation.
2. Specify the duration for each individual frame.
3. Your animated GIF will be ready.
Though Giphy is free and quite handy, it is not used quite as widely on account of its poor file compression.
5 Smart Ways To Add Animated GIFs To Email Signatures
Here are a few creative ways to electrify your email signatures using animated GIFs.
- Animate Your Logo
What’s a better way of calling attention to your brand than by having your very logo itself in the form of an animated GIF? A very common maneuver used by many brands, animating your logo helps you draw eyeballs to your email signature, thereby effectively building brand familiarity.
Take a look.
- Combine It With The Typography
This can be executed in two ways- either by animating the name of the sender or their designation. Whatever it might be, this helps readers understand who they have received the email from sans any ambiguity. This practice is best put into action when you are sending emails from different departments to your subscribers. That way, they can easily maintain a separate mental tab for each. So, for instance, every time they see the letters of “Kevin George” dancing to the tune of a marquee animation in their email signatures, they’ll instantly understand that the said email has been delivered by Email Uplers’ marketing department.
Here’s how it will appear.
- Breathe Life Into The Sender
Putting a face to the name of the sender in the email signature is a great way of establishing a personal connect, isn’t it? You know what’s better? Adding a small GIF of the same sender, waving their hand, bowing down cutely in gratitude, or extending a high five or a fist bump- you get the drift, don’t you? Do this once, and we are sure you’ll have subscribers looking forward to all your emails.
- Go The Extra Mile During The Holiday Season
While you step up your email content and design game to win over your subscribers during the holiday season, why should your signatures be left wanting? Jazz them up using animated GIFs. Maybe add an animated Christmas hat to your logo, flash the sender’s name in shades of Halloween or have an Easter bunny hop across its length- sky’s the limit, really.
- Include A Promotional Offer Banner
Including an animated promotional banner of your latest offers in your email signature is an excellent way of inviting audience’s attention to it. And it doesn’t necessarily have to be elaborate also. A simple two-frame animation in which one slide announces the offer and the other, a few complementary details such as the dates, category of products, and so on, will do the job. You can very well include a static banner as well, but you and I can both agree that an animated one is, any day, much more effective.
Wrapping It Up
An email signature that hits all the right notes plays a crucial role in creating brand recognition. By using animated GIFs, you can give a leg up to your signatures, fostering a memorable brand identity in the process.