Watch the Personalized GIFs - Best Practices Video

Total running time: 7:18

What Is A Personalized GIF?

When sending an email, your message can incorporate a Thumbnail image, one that is used to represent your brand, or your current campaign. When clicked on, this static image can take the user to their personalized video.

This image can be static (non-personalized) or you can personalize the image using Idomoo’s technology.

If you would like to take your personalized image to the next level, Idomoo can supply you with a moving image in the form of a personalized GIF. This can also be clicked on to take the user to their video, but is fundamentally more eye catching and an interesting than a non-moving Thumbnail image.

The more interesting the Thumbnail, the greater the engagement, and this can combine the impact of video with the relevance of personalization to create a new form of digital communication.

Usage for Personalized GIF’s

Although the Personalized GIF can be used in an email as a direct link to a video, it can also be used as a standalone item to support your current campaign. In this case, the GIF does not lead to a video, but has all the relevant, and animated information within the moving image.

A standalone GIF can also include a relevant Call to Action button.

Standalone GIF’s are ideal when you want to convey a short message, such as:

  • Happy Birthday Christopher!
  • Christopher, check out this offer!
  • Christopher, we’ve missed you.
  • Christopher, click now to find out more.

  • …And anything else you want to deliver in under 5 seconds

It is a best practice to reduce the text included to the absolute minimum, employing a strategy of using twelve words or less. This recommended word count should also include your CTA (Call To Action).

Personalized Video Vs Personalized GIF

The nature of your campaign will suggest to you the best tool to use. However, broadly speaking, a Personalized Video will be best deployed when your campaign:

  • Requires a Longer and more personalized message
  • Incorporates more than a few data points

In these cases, a Personalized Video is better suited to the task.

You should consider a Personalized GIF as a viable alternative to Personalized Video if your campaign:

  • Is a Short message (under 5 seconds)
  • The main goals are short and eye catching
  • The project doesn’t require sound (GIF’s cannot contain audio)

If this is the case, then a Personalized GIF would be ideal for the task.

Examples of Personalized GIF’s

All of the data that is leveraged into a Personalized Video, can also be used in a Personalized GIF. Below are a handful of examples of how a Personalized GIF can be deployed and used in your campaigns.

Remember: The name of the client is not the only personalization point that can be included in a Personalized GIF. Their data usage, GEO location and so on can all be used, just so long as the message remains short and to the point.

Complex Topics As Icons

Below is a good example of variations in Personalized GIF’s. The very simple text, that includes their name and their goal, is combined with the easy to understand, and changing icons.

These serve to remind the target user of their investment options such as:

  • Buying a house
  • Saving for a child
  • Building a college fund for their child

These are often complex topics, but here, the message remains brief and they are reminded of their goals, which will help to drive future investments.

In this case, a Personalized Video was not needed; the Personalized GIF got the job done.

What To Remember When Working With GIF’s

When starting to plan a personalized GIF campaign, it is worth remembering the following limitations and best practices for using a GIF.

  • GIF’s are silent - A GIF has no sound so the optics need to work without it
  • GIF’s should be light - Keep the file size under 800 kbas this is critical for fast load times, the perfect target for all non-animated thumbnails. Therefore:
    • A GIF should be short (under 5 sec)
    • Do not use Complex videos - Solid backgrounds are the lightest, and cost ~40KB for every second
      • Gradient background Costs ~350KB for every second, and complex videos over 0.5MB for every second
    • Keep the frame rate low. A lower frame rate makes for a lighter GIF (frame rate can be adjusted on the Idomoo side).
  • Remember it will loop - In most implementations, a GIF will run in a loop. So you want something that looks okay when the end meets the beginning.
  • Confirm your email vendor supports GIFs
  • Keep it Personalized

Best Practices when creating a GIF

When creating a GIF, you should follow the best practices laid out below.

  • Do not have a play button:
    • A video is already playing inside the GIF, adding a play button is likely to create confusion for the user.
  • Do motivate the click
    • You can include “Nudge text” inside the button to explain “Why” they should click
  • Show! Don’t Tell:
    • Keep the message short and the reading to a minimum
    • Make sure your message is eye catching
  • Include a CTA button (Call To Action) in your GIF
    • Position the CTA high enough for the user to see without scrolling
    • Make sure it is easy to click and doesn’t move around or appear for a short amount of time
  • Keep the GIF visually interesting
  • The First Frame is critical as older versions of outlook will not animate a GIF, and only show this opening frame. These version of Outlook are:
    • Outlook 2007-2010 and 2013-2016
  • Remember: The 1st frame does not need to be the beginning of the video. GIFs loop so if your middle frame is best, start the animation there