How to Insert a GIF Animation Into an Email

By Lynn Mathews

Inserting a GIF (graphics interchange format) animation into an email requires a very similar process to inserting a static image into an email. Just like with a static image, the type of email you plan to send should dictate how you insert the animated image into your email. The appropriate steps to take depend upon whether you want to send a personal email to a friend or a mass marketing email to a list of email subscribers.

How to Insert a GIF Animation into a Personal Email

Step 1

Locate or create the animated GIF you wish to use in your email. Make sure that you have permission to download and use any animated GIF that you locate online. Create your own animated GIF using photo editing software like Photoshop if you do not have permission to use an existing animated GIF.

Step 2

Save the animated GIF to your hard drive or local network. Give the file a name you will easily recognize, since you will have to navigate to it again.

Step 3

Click where you want the image to appear in your email message and using the "Insert" or equivalent command in your email client. Look for an "Insert Image" icon or "Insert" link in your email menu.

Step 4

Navigate to and select the animated GIF file on your hard drive or local network. Click "OK" or the equivalent button, once you have selected your file. Verify that the animated GIF now appears in your message.

Step 5

Send a test message to yourself to verify that the animated GIF appears in the email you receive before you send it to the intended recipient. Take note that Outlook 2007 does not support animated GIF files.

How to Insert a GIF Animation into a Mass Marketing Email

Step 1

Purchase or create the animated GIF you wish to use in your email marketing campaign. Make sure that you have the right to distribute the image in marketing materials, if you purchased the image online.

Step 2

Upload the animated GIF to your server. Save the GIF in the same location that you typically use to store images for your email marketing campaigns. Take note of the full URL for the image that you have now hosted on your web server.

Step 3

Insert the source code for the animated GIF into the HTML version of your email marketing message just like you would for a static image. Use the "img src" HTML code to reference the full URL for the hosted image.

Step 4

Test your full HTML and text versions of your email marketing campaign. Verify that the animated GIF appears and functions correctly in your test HTML message before you send the campaign to your subscribers. Take note that Outlook 2007 does not support animated GIFs.