How to Embed an Animated GIF

I consider myself to be technologically competent.  I’m no computer programmer or anything, but I can find my way around pretty well.

But I’m also not afraid to use Google to figure out how to do something.  In fact, I probably rely on Google too much because it allows me to forget stuff I should probably remember!

But I have to admit…there was one technology question that was totally stumping me.

It wasn’t complicated…but for the life of me, I couldn’t figure it out!

All I wanted to do was embed an animated gif into an Active Campaign email to my list.

Easy peasy, lemon squeezy, right?

So, I went to giphy.com and found the perfect gif.  I looked at all the options…I could copy the link, the embed code, or the URLs to share it on different social media platforms.  

In short, none of these worked.

I tried the embed code in an HTML field in Active Campaign.  I tried to somehow link to one of the URLs.  I considered trying dubious internet solutions of varying quality – but I decided against them.

Y’all…I’d forgotten one MAJOR key factor in this situation.

An animated gif is just an image file!  

I just needed to download the image file and then upload it like any other image!

Mind. Blown.

So here’s the step-by-step:

Head over to Giphy.com and use the search bar to find the perfect gif. (I’m using Giphy as the example here, but this will probably apply to just about any site that hosts gifs since the functionality is within the browser).


From the search results page, click the gif you want to choose. It should open that gif in a separate page.

You’ll see some Embed options on the side. Those are the ones I mentioned earlier…ignore those for right now.

Using your mouse or touchpad, right-click on the gif and select Save Image As…

Select the filename and location under which you want to save the file (I usually save mine in my Downloads folder) and click Save.

Then go into your email service provider (ESP), Google Doc, new email, or wherever you want to embed this gif.  I’ll use Google Docs as my example here.

Open your Google Doc.

Insert > Image > Upload from Computer

Select your file, then click OK.

Voila!  Your image is now embedded in your Google Doc!  

Now, if you’re sitting there thinking, “Duh, Lynley, everyone knows how to do that,” then congratulations for being smarter than me 😉 

But if you just had a light bulb moment like I did, then I wish you Happy Gif Embedding!

One note about gifs in mailing list emails…

There is definitely a threshold for how many gifs you should send in an email to your list…and the threshold really depends on your audience, your email service provider (ESP), your list hygiene, and your email deliverability score.

(No idea what I’m talking about?  Keep an eye out for blogs on these topics in the next few weeks!)

My recommendation is to use gifs (and images of all kinds) sparingly…they should season your emails, not take them over.  

And, of course, test test test!  Most ESPs will let you do a split-test, where you send one version of the email (say, with the gif) to a random half of your email list and the non-gif version to the rest of your list.

Then they can go head-to-head and you can see which one gets the highest open rates and click-throughs! 

So now I’m curious…how do. you feel about animated gifs in emails? Love ’em? Hate ’em? Have no idea what I’m talking about? (Totally valid response). Let me know!

LynleyH (1) cropped

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