Using animated images in emails can help your communications stand out among the crowd in recipients’ inboxes. However, there are a few important things to keep in mind if this is a path you’re looking to explore. Avoid Flash files, as they will not render properly in most email clients. Use animated .GIF files instead (see the example on the left). Animated GIF files can easily be created through programs such as PhotoShop, and can be a very effective addition to an email campaign. Whether showing a new product in action or giving the impression of a video in progress, animation not only catches the eye, but can help illustrate important points where words sometimes fail.
Optimize for Outlook users. Though animated GIF files are widely accepted by email clients, some versions of Outlook will only display the first frame of animation. The example to the left was purposefully not optimized for Outlook users to show this in action.
If you can see the animation, here is an example of what you would see if only the first frame displayed: Single frame sample
If you cannot see the animation on the left, here is what you would see if your email client rendered animated GIF files: