How Rich Media Can Help Boost User Engagement for Your Email Campaign

 This is a guest post from our partners at EmailMonks.

Imagine showing an upcoming Offer and reflecting your brand image through a plain text email. It becomes a bit difficult to depict everything using text as it gets long and illegible, doesn’t it? Think of the same email designed with exciting images, videos and animation to highlight the key information of the email. Which one would you prefer to view? The one with rich media, right?

With a huge competition amongst brands to STAND OUT in the subscriber’s inbox, email marketers need to make the emails engaging in order to get them opened and viewed. Email marketers are thus making use of attention-grabbing rich media to throw light on the main parts of the email and keep the users engaged.

The major rich media elements that are used by marketers are Static Images, GIFs, Videos and Cinemagraphs. EmailMonks infographic on Rich Media in Email Marketing speaks in detail about the advantages, limitations and workarounds for using rich media in emails from plain text emails to GIF, Video and Cinemagraphs. (There is a free Ebook as well for email marketers who want to know how to make the Right Choice when to use GIF, Video and Cinemagraph).

Plain Text Email

Plain text emails are purely text and nothing else. These emails are the easiest to create with least coding complications. They do not have rendering and deliverability issues and subscribers view the exact same copy as at the sender’s end.

Take a look at this plain text email from Ugmonk:


Image courtesy: Really Good Emails


On the flip side, this email has long text content without much formatting or fonts and colours. The key elements do not grab the attention of the viewers and they have to read the entire content to get the essence of the email. 

Images in Email

Using relevant static images to illustrate certain content in the email engages the audience far better than just text. Images help in establishing the brand identity and gaining click-through rates. But, be careful while adding images as too many images may make your email spam.

Have a look at this email from David Kind:

David Kind_images 

Image courtesy: Really Good Emails

This email uses a hero image that clearly reflects the brand image and product. The image and headline itself convey the purpose of the email and the user doesn’t have to read the entire email. The CTA is bold and clear, and grabs the user’s attention.


GIF in Email

GIFs add an element of delight to the email which is typically not possible with static images. It lets you display ample content in a limited space and boosts conversion. However, Outlook 2007-2016 do not support GIFs in email and they may take too much time to load if the file size is too big. Make sure you compress the file.

Check out this email from Bonobos:

Bonobos (2) gif


Image courtesy: Really Good Emails


The email consists of a GIF showing the apparel collections of the brand with a tagline which serves the purpose of the email. It shows all the information in limited space with an apparent CTA. 

Videos in Email

Videos can be used to showcase products, offers and the brand personality. Using videos is a great way to grab the viewers’ attention and keeping them engaged in the email. Emails having embedded videos are usually bulky and may not be supported by few email clients; use a fallback.

Readdle uses video in their email. Take a look!


Image courtesy: Really Good Emails

This email introduces Readdle’s product ‘Spark’ with the video, also helping in building the brand. The email takes you through a tour describing the product details and features. 

Cinemagraphs in Email

A cinemagraph makes the email attractive through seamless looping that creates an illusion of a video. These are easier to create as compared to videos and still give the feel of a video. They are supported by all major email clients but the newer versions of Outlook may show just the fallback image.

Check out this email from Francis Lofts and Bunks that uses a cinemagraph!

Francis-Lofts-and-Bunks gif

Image courtesy: Really Good Emails


The key elements of the email, i.e. the offer and the CTA are highlighted by a background cinemagraph. The email is well designed and has minimal content.

Have you been using rich media for your email campaigns? We’d love to know about your experiences, challenges and user engagement.


Author Bio

Kevin, the Head of Marketing at EmailMonks – one of the fastest growing Email design and coding companies, specializes in crafting beautiful email templates, PSD to HTML email conversion and free Master Email Templates. He loves gadgets, bikes, jazz, and breathes ‘email marketing’. He is a brand magician who loves to engage & share insights with fellow marketers. Feel free to connect with him on Twitter & LinkedIn.