Email Marketing

Gmail clipped my message: Now what?

In the email world, we know that file size limits can be challenging, especially as we all work against inbox fatigue. Unfortunately, if your email message grows too large, email clients can limit what your customers can see. Specifically, Gmail clips any message that exceeds a 102kb limit, shortening the message and prompting a user to click a “view in browser” option to continue reading.

We commonly hear about this issue and know the challenges it imposes on the marketer.

So, what do you do next? In addition to understanding the nuances of clipping and its deliverability implications, we have some suggestions to help you protect your brand from being associated with this poor customer experience.

Talk to your ESP to ensure your engagement pixel is in the right place

When this issue first emerged, marketers found that they were losing tracking results due to clipping. If you’re facing this issue, first and foremost, reach out to your ESP or talk to your internal email team to identify where your tracking pixel lives within the code of your messages. Placing your tracking code towards the top of your email will ensure that, even in the event of message clipping, you don’t lose engagement reporting.

Consider HTML compressing tools

If your content is slightly less than 102kb, then an HTML compression tool might be your best option. If you are considering CSS compression, be aware that testing results we’ve run show that it can result in rendering issues for some email clients. If you do decide to utilize CSS compression, review your rendering results in detail and apply necessary updates.

Review and update your Master Template Code

If you haven’t reviewed your master template code in a while, now is a good time to do so. Make sure any extraneous CSS, modules, or clickable links are removed and cleaned up moving forward. Minimizing image swap classes is another area that can easily trim down overall file size.

Examine your unsubscribe link placement

Depending on where your unsubscribe link lives (header, footer, or elsewhere), it may be clipped. A clipped unsubscribe link can cause poor user experience and CAN-SPAM compliance issues. Given this reality, you may want to move your unsubscribe link to the header of your master template to ensure users are always given an opportunity to opt out. It’s also important to keep in mind that Gmail now recognizes a subscriber who does not interact with a message after 30 days and serves them an unsub link at the top of the message, which means that non-engaged users are pre-emptively offered the opportunity to opt out. If you work closely with a creative team, ask them for their recommendation on the placement of your unsubscribe link in order to keep your template clean and true to original design concepts.

Focus your content

Cutting content may be hard, but limiting and simplifying messaging can help keep you on track and improve communication flow within your emails. Consider the business goal and overall strategic purpose of the message and if any content falls outside of the goal, cut it out. Working towards concise content can both strengthen the impact of the message, as well as provide a focused call to action for your customer.

The example below from Soulcycle showcases how simple, to-the-point messaging can effectively support a cohesive brand voice and a specific business goal.

Overall, keep the above in mind as you work through this issue with your brand, and be sure to spread the word to ensure all teams are on the same page. If you’re able to do so successfully, you’ll vastly minimize the negative effects that Gmail clipping can have on your customers’ experience.

Christine S. Gill
Senior Account Manager

Christine is a Senior Account Manager for Data Axle with over seven years of marketing experience. In her day-to-day, Christine enjoys helping clients cultivate plans for success, enhance their digital marketing strategies, and refine their strategy and creative. In addition to digital marketing, Christine has a strong project management and inbound marketing background. Christine lives in downtown Chicago with her husband.

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