Animated GIFs are a great way to inject a little interest in your email broadcasts, drip campaigns, or newsletters. Marketers use it to improve the click-thru rate of their emails.

Click-thru rate simply means the amount of people that click on your image or link inside of your emails. If you sent 1000 emails and 100 of the receivers click on your link or image then your click-thru is 10% Obviously the higher this number, the better!

With these animated images, you can give a preview of an interesting part of your video, draw their attention, and entice a click on it.

Email preview images are available only for videos uploaded to Spotlightr and these are automatically created.

In this article we'll review:

1 - Configuration Options - What They Mean

2 - Using with Gmail (skip to this section)

3 - Using with Outlook Live (skip to this section)

4 - Using with Mailchimp (skip to this section)


Configuring the Options - What They Mean

To configure and use this feature, go to your Publish options and then to the Email tab here:

When first loaded, no GIF is generated. You will need to configure the options first.

The first step is to determine how you will be using this...do you wish to send people to your Watch page for this video or another URL of your choice? To configure that, click the dropdown under "Link To":

Your options are "Watch Page" or "Custom Link".

If you choose Watch page, the destination for anyone clicking on the GIF will be the Watch page of this video.

If you use "Custom Link" you can add any URL that you wish, for example a landing page on your own website where you are adding your Spotlightr video (i.e. https://yourdomain.com/video-page)

Next choose your Format. If you are using Gmail, click the dropdown under Format and choose Gmail. Otherwise, you can choose the HTML option for everything else. That option is here:

The next step is to choose the starting time of your video where the animated GIF will start, and then a duration. And then click on Generate Email Preview.

So in this example, we want the GIF to start at the 5 second mark and last for 4 seconds, and then click on Generate GIF:

Now you will notice the GIF has been generated:

Once generated you have 2 ways to use this:

HTML Code - This is the actual HTML code you can use directly in your emails.

If you chose Gmail as the Format, then you can simply copy this and paste it right into your Gmail email and it will render the GIF image.

If you chose HTML as the Format, then the code can be used in any of your Email Service Providers that allow you to edit the HTML of the email.

Direct Image Link - This is a direct link to your GIF image hosted by us.

This would be used when your Email Service Provider allows you to add an image as a link (as opposed to editing the HTML of the email).


Using with Gmail

Configure your options and be sure to use Gmail as your Format. In this example, I am linking to my Watch page and using a 4 second clip of my video starting at the 5 second mark:

Next click on the copy button to copy the HTML code:

And then simply paste it into your Gmail email:

Now once you do that, your GIF image might appear quite large like this:

Just scroll to the bottom of the GIF and click on it once. You will see some options at the bottom:

Click on "Best fit" and it will adjust the size of the image:


Using with Microsoft Outlook Live

With Outlook Live (formerly Hotmail) you will need to download the GIF image and then upload it to your email. They only allow images to be added via upload.

First, copy the Image Link here:

Then paste it to your browser and download the image. In Chrome for example you right-click on the image and choose "Save image as":

Now in your email choose the option to "Insert Picture Inline" here:

Now it will be added to your email:

But you still need to link it to a destination. First click on the image, then click on the button to "Insert link":

And then in the Web address field we'll add our Watch page (or any URL you want):


Using with Mailchimp

To add your GIF using Mailchimp, first we'll need to download the GIF image because Mailchimp only allows you to upload (and not link to) an image.

First, copy the Image Link here:

Then paste it to your browser and download the image. In Chrome for example you right-click on the image and choose "Save image as":

Now we want to upload the image using the Image widget inside of their editor. When you are inside the email editor, choose to add an Image here:

Your configuration options are on the left:

Click on Add, then Upload Image and then choose your GIF image:

Next you'll enter the Link to Web Address. We'll use the Watch page but you can link to any URL you'd like:

That's it. We'll leave the other settings as default.

Here is what this email will look like:

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