Levitate + GIPHY: Powering Personal Email For Business, One GIF at a Time

Rachel Walter
October 6, 2020

At Levitate, we’re big fans of personal email.  It’s the engine behind our approach to keep-in-touch marketing for small businesses because we know it works: Our clients average 99% inbox placement, 55% open rates, and 9% reply rates just by scaling their use of Outlook and Gmail for their marketing.

We know, it’s hard to believe--especially following a year in which businesses ramped up the number of mass-blast emails they sent to an average 8 per month, but global open rates dropped to just 15%.  What our clients’ data shows is that mass-blast weary consumers aren’t giving up on email as their most preferred form of communication--they’re giving up on the way it’s being served (blasted).  When presented with a real, personal email from a small business they know and trust, they’re ready to engage.

What that means for much of what we send through Levitate is that plain-text often rules.  We’ve helped countless clients transition from labor-intensive, graphics-heavy, HTML-based newsletters to simpler, segmented strategies leveraging plain text.  But ditching mass blast doesn’t mean ditching visual components in all of your emails--and plenty of our clients see success using them.  When they do, however, they do it by keeping their visuals feeling personal and authentic.

Enter: GIPHY for Levitate!  We could not be more excited to welcome GIPHY to our partner family.  Used strategically, there may be nothing that feels more personal than a well-timed, well-thought-through GIF.  Levitate users can now add your favorite GIF animations directly in your Levitate email campaigns from the editing toolbar (!).

Not sure what GIFs and GIPHY are? Even if you don’t know them by name, we’re sure you’ve seen GIFs, or “graphics interchange formats”--they’re the short, fun videos you see all over the Internet, like this one: 

And GIPHY, our new partner, is the world’s largest online database and search engine for GIFs and Animated Stickers.

Why put a GIF in your email?

A GIF can be a great way to keep an email real and feeling like a one-to-one conversation. Think about it:  A single, funny GIF from someone you know feels a lot more personal than an HTML email with ten stock images in it. 

The key word here, of course, is moderation.  Go overboard, and you risk your email looking like a Buzzfeed article – overloaded and crammed with too many moving images.  If you’re going to use a GIF powered by GIPHY in your emails, we recommend keeping it to just one per message that best represents the main point you want to get across. 

How do I know what’s appropriate? 

You know your clients and business better than anyone. If they come to you with a problem, then a funny GIF is not the best response. If your clients have come to know you for your sense of humor--and you’ve established that kind of relationship with them--then a GIF could be a perfect email tool to keep in your arsenal. 

I’m a Levitate client.  How does it work?

The next time you log into your Levitate account and create an email message, you’ll see a GIPHY icon in the toolbar:

When you click the icon, a search bar will pop up.  Then, you can search for just about anything--truly, anything.  Search by mood, feeling, idea, or character, and see a list of thousands of different GIFs you can embed directly in your email. You can even record your own custom GIF and upload it to GIPHY to use if you like. When you’re done, it will look like this:

Need some inspiration?  Just give a shout to your Marketing Coach and we’ll show you the ropes.

We can’t wait to see what messages you create--and welcome to the Keep-in-Touch Marketing revolution, GIPHY!

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