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.
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
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.
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