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How to avoid Gmail clipping your emails

Size matters for Gmail, and it might prevent you from engaging your subscribers.

What if ticking all the email design best practice boxes will make Gmail hide part of your email? This doesn’t just lose some of your carefully-created content, but could also skew your open-rates and hide your unsubscribe link. Learn what you need to do to prevent this.

How does Gmail clipping work?

Gmail considers any emails with an HTML file size over 102 Kb to be too long. So it clips it and displays the message below at the cut-off point.

Gmail clipping webmail

 

This is turned on for everyone by default and cannot be turned off by users. And it’s not only worrying for email marketers, but it’s also frustrating for the users. Brad Nickel explains that clicking the link will open the message in a new tab/window but also strip the reply, forward and delete actions.

Why should you care?

Apart from clipping content from your email, Gmail also cuts the tracking code which determines whether an email has been opened or not. And it hides the unsubscribe link that you need to have to be compliant with the law.

What’s more, some mobile email clients might have trouble showing the link to the whole message. This is important for you to consider particularly if a lot of your subscribers open your emails on mobile.

  • Gmail for Android displays a message and a link
  • Gmail for iPhone displays a message and link but may still prevent the whole email from loading
  • Gmail for iPad doesn’t display a link or message, it just cuts off the email
  • iOS native apps will render the whole message
  • The Windows Phone 8 native app will display a ‘Downloading’ message
Gmail Clipping On Android

Gmail Clipping On Android

Gmail Clipping On iPhone

Gmail Clipping On iPhone

Gmail Clipping On Windows Phone 8

Gmail Clipping On Windows Phone 8

How can you prevent Gmail clipping?

You need to limit your emails to 102kbs or below – cut them down if necessary.  It’s important to note that Gmail only looks at the HTML file size and since your images are not technically part of the code, they don’t count towards that.

If you can’t cut down the email’s content, the next best step is to improve the efficiency of your code writing. Get rid of unnecessary carriage returns, attributes and styles. Alternatively, you can run a minifying script that can remove unnecessary characters for you. If you search on the internet for ‘minify HTML’, you’ll find a lot of great websites that will optimise your code for you. However,  this blog post reveals the potential pitfalls of using an HTML minifier.

When the minifying is completed, your HTML code sits in one giant block. It will still be easily read by a computer, but is less legible for coders. So make sure you’ve completed your email design before attempting to shrink your code.

Want to get more tips for great email design?

Get your free copy of our eGuide ‘When Email Marketing Meets Design Theory‘ to learn how design can help you achieve more with email marketing.

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  • Will Essex

    I don’t agree that we are stuck with email clipping. Simply change your email account to Yahoo. Problem solved.

    • adestramarketing

      Good point Will! Although it’s each to their own in the end.

  • So many people use Gmail these days that this is a very helpful article for email marketers. http://kellymottl.com/email-marketing/

    • adestramarketing

      Thank you Kelly!

  • kleinhev

    Don’t complain. Google knows what’s best for you and everyone. “Conversation mode” on Android is also best for everyone and that’s why you can’t turn it off. Don’t complain but comply.

  • Joshua La

    It doesn’t clip if you connect over imap for example using Thunderbird

    • Paul Dyke

      I think you’re right Joshua, readers can avoid this issue by using a
      different email client.

  • root

    Sometimes our emails are so long, i was wondering what tools do you use that automates the extraction of comments, space, etc. to keep the file size minimal?

    • adestramarketing

      When we’re building emails we try to follow good practice in the code rather than using a tool to minimize sizes (and we advise keeping emails short). There are some tools available for optimizing images which can help keep sizes down – just google “optimize image size”.

      • root

        But there are really circumstances that emails are longer based on the marketing department’s products to promote. Can you point out which good practices? Btw, I’m referring the the HTML code and CSS

        • adestramarketing

          Absolutely, our in-house design team build emails from scratch and are experienced at keeping code as lean as possible. It would be good to look at the heatmaps of your email campaigns and see how many clicks the you get at the bottom of your long emails.

          • root

            cool!

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  • Jon

    I´m late to this discussion, but for some reason I got it in my “email deliverability” RSS feed today. Sooo..

    What tool do you use to “weigh” how many kb a message is? I have been using mail-tester.com, but I was hoping to find some alternatives in order to check if mail-tester.com gives me the accurate size of a message.

    Thank you!

    • ancanicolaescu

      Hi Jon,

      I’m not aware of any tools that can measure the size of an email. There are several factors to take in on top of how much body content there is, which I guess can only be determined by a mailserver. But you can use the tried and tested technique of sending it to your inbox.

    • Yarlg

      Save the HTML as a .htm file, right-click it in Windows, select Properties, and it will tell you how many KB it is.

  • Diwakar Kankipati

    The email size is 2 KB, but even though the messages are clipped in Gmail

  • Andy Bailey

    thanks, this helped me track down the fact that grammarly was adding loads of html to a wysiwyg editor after I switched to ‘view html’ on it so it was too big for gmail. turned it off and redid the email without it active and the full email came through. nice one!

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  • Corby

    So as an end user, is there no way for me to disable this for my incoming emails?

    • adestramarketing

      Hi Corby! Not to our knowledge, no. But it might be worth checking out any Gmail forums to see what users suggest.