Your Holiday GIF Guide: Festive GIFs for Your Last-Minute Holiday Emails

Check out our updated holiday GIF guide here.

GIFs are more than wiggly cats and sassy pugs. They give us an easy way to communicate ideas, make emotional connections, and delight customers. Maybe that’s why 23 million GIFs are posted to Tumblr daily.

With more and more marketers embracing GIFs, we thought we’d give you a little something to wow your subscribers this holiday season.

As AWeber’s gift to you, we’ve created more than a dozen GIFs you can use in your holiday emails.

You can use these GIFs to promote a holiday sale, seasonal newsletter or simply wish your subscribers a happy holiday. Keep scrolling to find 12 essential tips for using GIFs in your emails, plus your GIFs!

12 Tips for Using GIFS in Your Emails

1. Always test your GIF-tastic emails before sending. Most email clients will display GIFs, but there are a some exceptions – Outlook 2007-2013 and Windows Phone 7 are two of them. Litmus can tell you exactly which email clients will work with your email.

2. Want to create your own GIF? Try one of these tools:

3. Keep your GIF’s file size as small as possible when you’re using it in an email – less than 40KB is a good size to aim for. You can use Photoshop to decrease the file size if need be.

4. If you’re creating your own GIF, include your call to action in the first frame. That way, your subscribers can click through even if the animation doesn’t work.

5. Your GIF should be relevant to the rest of the content in your email. Make sure it fits in with your subject line, call to action and other text in your message.

6. Not every single email you send needs a GIF. In the words of Lydia Leavitt from NextWeb: “Think of GIFs as the Sriacha sauce of email marketing: use sparingly and it will add incredible flavor and spice to any email. Use too liberally and you’ll basically go blind.”

7. No matter what GIF you use, make your call to action loud and clear.

8. GIFs can help you explain complex ideas with simple animation. If you’re a technology company, you can use a GIF to show your latest app in action. If you’re a crafter, you can show a step-by-step tutorial of your latest project. Or if you sell physical products, a single GIF can show a wide range of offerings.

9. GIFs give you a great excuse to show some personality in your emails. You can create a GIF of yourself welcoming people to your list or thanking them for signing up.

10. Check out these awesome examples of companies using GIFs in their emails.

11. Subtle animation is key in any good GIF. If you’re creating your own GIF, you only need to animate part of the picture. Use only as many frames as you need to.

12. Don’t be afraid to experiment with GIFs! Try one of our GIFs and run a split test to see if it resonates with your subscribers.

Our Gift to You

Holiday Sale

Christmas Train

Merry Christmas

Happy Holidays

Happy New Year

Fireplace

Gift Dog

Fire

Snow

Shaking Present

Christmas Tree

Snowman

We hope you have as much fun using these GIFs as we did creating them. Happy holidays from the AWeber team!

26 Comments

  1. Dave

    12/17/2015 10:50 am

    Thanks! Nice job. These will come in handy.

  2. Kristen Dunleavy

    12/17/2015 12:00 pm

    Thanks Dave! If you end up using any in your emails, we’d love to see them! You can forward them to help@aweber.com 🙂

  3. Leonard Sappleton

    12/17/2015 11:00 am

    Awesome! Thanks!

  4. Adrienne "GiryaGirl" Harvey

    12/17/2015 11:00 am

    Really like the advice here, I hadn’t thought of using a gif to express a call to action. Thanks for the ideas! 🙂

  5. Kristen Dunleavy

    12/17/2015 12:01 pm

    Thanks for the comment, Adrienne! If you use any of our GIFs, feel free to forward them to us – we’d love to see your holiday email!

  6. Phil

    12/17/2015 11:09 am

    You encourage us to split test, but Aweber removed the Split Test function in the new UI. Bring it back!

  7. Kristen Dunleavy

    12/17/2015 11:55 am

    Hi Phil,

    You bring up a good point. While split testing is not in the UI right now, the tool is still available. We’re working on a better experience of split testing to complement the current feature set, so stay tuned! In the meantime, I’m sending you an email with directions on how to split test. If you have any questions, our customer solutions team can walk you through it as well. Thanks for commenting.

  8. Michael Burrows

    12/17/2015 11:26 am

    Nice reminder and great GIFs too. Thank you so much for these.

    Mikey

  9. Kristen Dunleavy

    12/17/2015 12:03 pm

    You’re welcome, Michael!

  10. Elijah

    12/17/2015 11:35 am

    I’ve always wondered about using animated gifs with email broadcasts – it makes sense, especially if it’s done right and only when it will increase CTR etc. Thanks for the freebies!

  11. Kristen Dunleavy

    12/17/2015 12:04 pm

    I’m glad you found this useful, Elijah! If you use any of our GIFs, feel free to forward them to us: help@aweber.com

  12. MaryAnn

    12/17/2015 11:46 am

    Have you forgotten that “holiday” means a whole lot more than Christmas? Shame on you. It also means Hannukah (Jewish), Winter Solstice (Wiccan and earth based religions) and bunches of other “holidays” that I’m not familiar with. Please try to be more inclusive with your gifs.

  13. Kristen Dunleavy

    12/17/2015 11:58 am

    Hi MaryAnn, thank you for your feedback. We tried to include a variety of winter-themed GIFs and we will certainly try to include more options in the future.

  14. Mike C Smith

    12/17/2015 12:48 pm

    Never really bothered to understand Gif’s before thank you for the enlightenment, I’ll certainly start making use of them.

  15. Carolyn Bond

    12/17/2015 2:01 pm

    What fun! My first attempt at using more than just words. Thank you so much!

  16. Bill Wynne

    12/17/2015 2:40 pm

    Perfect timing Kristen! Woo-hoo!
    Just putting together our corporate holiday email for our subscribers and now I have some fun, action figures to add to the email.

    Your Tumblr recommendation will be a life saver.

  17. Jimmy

    12/17/2015 5:00 pm

    Thanks I love the idea o GIFs and to the best of my knowlge none of the other winter Holiday come close to what people spend on Christmas so Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to the rest

  18. Renee

    12/17/2015 5:57 pm

    Thanks for the great information and the free GIFs. As a new business, I love learning about new things.
    I would like to ask that you include other holidays next year (besides Christmas and the one New Years GIF). There are many folks who celebrate the major “other” holidays: Chanukah and Kwanza or Winter Solistice.
    The snowman and snow falling will work well all winter!

  19. Louisa

    12/17/2015 6:12 pm

    The examples are very helpful and thanks for the GIFS 🙂 These will come in handy.

  20. Amy

    12/17/2015 11:36 pm

    How do I insert these into my emails? Thanks!

  21. Amy

    12/17/2015 11:36 pm

    Thanks for the GIFs! How do I include them in my emails? Amy

  22. Kristen Dunleavy

    12/18/2015 8:39 am

    Hi Amy,

    To use a GIF in your email, just save it to your computer like you would save an image. From there you can upload the GIF directly into your email using the drag and drop editor. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact our customer solutions team: https://www.aweber.com/contact-us.htm

  23. David Martin Willumstad

    12/18/2015 2:06 am

    BRILLIANT.

    GIFs are always handy to use.

    Tumlbr is a good place to look for GIF’s.
    Even if you don’t find what you need , it is a good place get ideas for GIFs

    Great post!
    Merry Christmas to you all
    David

  24. Ngan Son

    12/18/2015 6:49 am

    All gifts so great. I love it. Thanks.

  25. Busy

    12/18/2015 4:23 pm

    Why are you wasting my time?

  26. Jenni

    12/19/2015 5:25 am

    Thank you so much! These are gorgeous and such a variety! This will be my first time using images in my emails…yay for firsts! 🙂 Merry Christmas!