Inspirational Animated GIF examples for branded HTML emails


If you’re building an HTML email for a client and looking for inspiration, you’ve come to the right place. Explore this round-up of my favorite email gifs.

You may also enjoy this post highlighting my favorite online advertising examples. Many of them use animations presented in video and javascript/html.

New York Times – Animated Email Gif

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Newspaper collage illustration animated gif included in a marketing email from the New York Times (received 1/22/2022) ©2022 The New York Times Company.
New York Times offers animated gifs. ©2021 The New York Times Company.
Beautiful animated graphic (.gif) by James Kerr / Scorpion Dagger shared via a July 6, 2022 NYTimes email.

Hello Fresh – Animated flying box for an email

HelloFresh, a meal kit company, uses a playful hand-drawn animation to tell you that your box is on its way. I love the simplicity and whimsicalness of this animation.

Hello Fresh animated flying Hello Fresh box, with clouds and flapping wings

WVU Alumni – Animated Masthead

The West Virginia University Alumni Newsletter’s January 2022 email masthead utilizes a simple but effective vector animation to portray fireworks and confetti.

©2022 WVU. Sent in an HTML email received January 2022.

Ulta Beauty – Animated Gif in Email

This email’s looping gif cycles through Ulta Beauty’s styling service categories for facials, makeup application, haircuts, highlights, color, blowouts, formal styling, and brow waxing. The animated gif includes a clear call to action, Book Now.

Example of an animated gif image used in Ulta Beauty’s marketing emails. Sign-up for Ulta Beauty’s texts and emails here.

More Branded GIF Examples

I enjoy the animated friendly, and powerful hand-drawn accent lines added to this image.

I’m unsure what brand sent me this animated gif, but I did find that the image is a small business flower shop owner licensed from Getty Images.

Allbirds – From sketch to photograph

Allbirds is a design-centric wool shoe company. On the company’s Our Story page, there’s a beautiful use of an animated gif. The gif first shows the sketch of the shoe and slowly fills with an artistically painted photographic depiction of the finished product.

Allbirds, a design-centric wool shoe company, uses the animated gif format to depict the idea concept to product beautifully!

Animated gifs of people, used for websites, emails, and headshots

I love the result that stringing together several images into an animated gif creates. Playfulness. Joy. Activity. The stop-action effect is an unexpected way to spruce up a bio page, headshot, or add a fun factor to an email blast.

Birthday celebration gif sent in a marketing/offers email by marketing and publicity strategist Selena Soo (email received July 2021).
This animated gif is a looping headshot for the fitness instructor and owner of CycleFusion. Designed by Kelly Barkhurst Design. Photography by Kelley Bedoloto. (2019)

Are you wondering how I made these animated gifs display animated on this WordPress page?

It’s easy to embed animated gif images to WordPress, but you must select the correct image settings. Learn how to add an animated gif image to your WordPress site in our how-to post about animated gifs.

Happy Designing!

About the author

Kelly Barkhurst

Designer to Fullstack is my place to geek out and share tech solutions from my day-to-day as a graphic designer, programmer, and business owner (portfolio). I also write on Arts and Bricks, a parenting blog and decal shop that embraces my family’s love of Art and LEGO bricks!

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By Kelly Barkhurst

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