👋 Hello newsletter enthusiasts,
Have you ever been immersed in a newsletter, only to be interrupted by the "[Message Clipped] View entire message" notice at the bottom?
A little frustrating, isn't it? Especially if you're the one sending the newsletter.
So why does this happen and how can we prevent it? Let's dive in.
🐾 As always, thank you for reading and stay pawsome.
Gmail has a size limit for emails displayed in their entirety.
If your email exceeds ~102KB, Gmail will clip the message, requiring the reader to click a link to view all the content.
Such disruption in the reading experience can be avoided by keeping the email size below this threshold.
Email Service Providers (ESPs) like beehiiv, Substack and possibly others, alert you if your email exceeds the recommended size.
This feature enables you to adjust your content before you hit send.
Additionally, you can estimate your email size by sending a copy to yourself and then downloading it to check the file size.
However, emails with dynamic content (loading profile information, event data, list characteristics, mobile-only, or a desktop-only block, etc.) may still pose challenges.
For example, you might find no clipping in your test emails, only to be informed by a reader or colleague that the “live” email is clipped.
Take comfort in knowing this is a known issue, and there are solutions. Just consider a Stack Exchange post from almost a decade ago addressing the very same issue!
The size of an email isn't just about the text. It's the sum of various components, including:
Clipping doesn’t just disrupt the reader’s experience.
If your unsubscribe link is in the footer and the email gets clipped, Gmail users may not easily find it.
While many can unsubscribe directly through the email client, this isn't always possible.
Consequently, frustrated readers might choose to mark your email as spam, impacting your deliverability.
Moreover, valuable engagement points like calls-to-action or special sections — like those discussed in our previous post on Link Sections — may be obscured if they're located towards the bottom of your email.
If your readers don't even know these exist, it can hamper your newsletter's success.
Consider the issue of rendering as well.
For instance, if your email contains many images, or if a reader has a slow internet connection, it could lead to less engagement due to subpar user experience, which again impacts your deliverability.
According to Litmus, readers spend an average of ~nine seconds in an email — make them count!
Clipped emails can also muddy your understanding of your audience.
If tracking pixels are placed in sections of your email that get clipped, they may not load.
While we always recommend taking Open Rates with a grain of salt, if your tracking pixel is also clipped, it adds another layer of complexity to assessing the success of your email campaign.
Though we've largely discussed Gmail in this article, remember it's just one of many email clients your readers may use.
Each client has a unique approach to handling large emails, highlighting the need to understand these distinct nuances.
Maintaining a consistent, tested newsletter template can improve reader experience and safeguard against Gmail clipping.
However, the wide array of email clients used by your readers means adaptability is equally crucial. Each client processes large emails differently, and seemingly minor details can cause issues.
For example, a simple dash in the preheader text might trigger clipping in Gmail. Replacing it with an "&ndash" could be the solution.
Consistency does more than just foster a predictable reading experience for your audience. It also streamlines your writing process and mitigates issues like Gmail clipping. Yet, adaptability to the quirks of different email clients ensures your content is accessible to all your readers.
While each email is unique, the following practices can help minimize the risk of email clipping:
Importantly, as noted in the first suggestion, you need to conduct tests to pinpoint the email size that won’t get clipped.
For instance, your ESP might indicate that your email, while under 95KB, is still being clipped. In such cases, gradually reduce your size target — 90KB, 85KB and so forth.
You might eventually discern that maintaining emails between 70-75KB, as per your ESP's measure, ensures your messages avoid the clipping zone.
With all this in mind, don't be daunted by the prospect of Gmail clipping your emails. It's a common issue, but with understanding and careful planning, you can make sure your readers see your entire message without interruption.
Let's continue to create amazing, and hopefully unclipped, content that adds value to our readers' lives.
Until next week, happy sending!
💌 Thanks for joining the pack of newsletter enthusiasts! Keep on reading, writing and sharing your newsletters with the world.
Also want to shoutout folks that have been sharing their feedback with us. Thank you!
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