How to Add Personalized Images and GIFs to Mailchimp Emails

15 November 2022 | 5 min read
Laura van Sinderen

In this tutorial, you will learn how to add dynamic personalized images and GIFs to Mailchimp campaigns in three easy steps. If you're using another ESP, keep reading, the process is virtually the same for HubSpot, SendGrid, Drip, and others.

Adding a personal touch to your email campaigns is one of the most effective ways to engage your audience. Personalization will almost certainly improve the results of any outreach you do via email, be it welcome emails, newsletters, surveys, cold outreach or any other form of email campaign.

To discover why, we can simply look at our own inbox. Dozens of emails bombard our inbox every day. While we are going through them, we make split-second decisions about giving it more of our attention or moving on to the next. The ability to make an impact within the first few seconds of opening an email is what sets us apart.

And that's where email personalization comes in. You might already start your emails with the recipient's name as a form of personalization, e.g., "Hi John,". But this is so common nowadays that it doesn't make much of a difference. Now take a look at this:

You'd probably pause for a moment if you got an email like this. That's the power of email personalization, it makes it stand out. Now that you've been positively surprised, it's much more likely you'll keep reading that email.

Now here's the best part. It takes just a few minutes to generate email banners like this for your entire email campaign, as this can all be done automatically. Let's get started!


For this tutorial, we'll use these tools:

  • Creatomate: to automatically generate personalized email banners.
  • Mailchimp: or any other email marketing platform like HubSpot, SendGrid, or Drip.

How to add personalized images or GIFs to your Mailchimp email campaigns?

Let's start by creating a banner with Creatomate. We can choose from a variety of pre-made templates or we can create our own image from scratch. We then insert the dynamic image into the Mailchimp email composer.

1. Start with a template

Create a free Creatomate account and navigate to the Templates page where we create our banner template. Click + New at the top right of the page. Select a template from the Personalization category, for example the Personal Fireworks Greetings template. Choose the size of your banner, e.g. 16:6 Landscape, and click Create Template.

Here's where we can customize the banner. Let's keep the template as-is. Check out the template by hitting the play button. One thing to note when you're making your own design templates: when previewing the template, we notice the text "Hi, {{name}}". This {{name}} will be replaced with the name of the subscriber from your email list. So in case you are designing your own template, make sure to include that part so Creatomate knows where to insert the name of the recipient.

2. Generate the code

Now that we have our email banner template, we need to generate a snippet of code that we can paste into our email designer. Click Use Template at the top right of the template editor. Click Email Personalization. Next, choose your ESP from the list, e.g. Mailchimp, and copy the provided code.

3. Add the template to your email

Let's finish by adding the code to our email. For this example we're using Mailchimp, but other ESPs work pretty much the same. It's just a matter of pasting the HTML code we copied in the previous step.

Go to your Mailchimp dashboard and create a new campaign or open an existing one. In the email designer, drag the Code Block to where you want the image to go. Simply replace the default code with the code we copied and click Save & Close. You should now be able to see the banner image.

4. Test your email template

Let's preview our email to see if it's working. Go to Preview and click Enter preview mode. Turn on enable live merge tag info. We can now see a couple of previews of what the email banner will look like for our subscribers.

Wrapping up

It is as simple as that. Whenever you send out the email campaign, each subscriber will receive a personalized email banner – completely automated!

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