What is clipping?
If you've used Gmail, chances are, you've seen something like this image appear when going through your email:
This is an example of Gmail clipping an email.
"Clipping" is when an email client (like Gmail) cuts off your email message at a given point and hides the rest of the content behind a link. In the image example above, clicking that "View entire message" text would take you to a new page where you can view the email in its entirety.
Having to click on an extra link to view the remainder of the email may not seem like an issue, however, it can break your contacts' engagement with your email or remove vital content from easy visual access to your contacts.
This isn't a new feature. In fact, Gmail has been clipping emails for years at this point.
Why is it happening?
Some time ago, Gmail set an HTML file size limit for displaying emails. Emails that have an HTML file size larger than 102KB abruptly end and viewing more of the email requires an extra click. The clipping itself doesn't delete the rest of the email message, it just hides it from view.
This limitation is in place across the board. No matter what you send from, no matter what actions your contacts take, there is not a way to get around this 102KB restriction.
You may ask, "Why 102KB?" That is a question many email marketing platforms have been asking for some time without much information gained. It must be one of those mysterious Google secrets.
Regardless of why emails are being clipped, one thing is simple. You should probably be considering what you should be doing about it.
Why work to avoid clipping? (aka, "Why bend to the will of the almighty Google?")
Plainly put, Google is just too darn widely used to ignore. Gmail is one of the most prevalent email clients out there.
Of all active contacts in rezora's entire system, at least 30% of contacts are Gmail.com addresses. That percentage doesn't count custom domains that still use the Gmail client, which easily pushes that number even higher!
Even if you don't like bending to the will of Google, there are some very practical reasons to shorten your emails. Shorter emails are more digestible. Your contacts are more likely to completely read through a shorter email than a longer one. Even those not seeing any clipping.
Perhaps your newsletter would build more engagement if you trimmed it up a bit? After all, some folks are more interested in Community Events notifications while others just want to get straight to Market Reports. Here at the rezora blog, we're always telling you that list and content segmentation is the way to go, and this is a great way to get more content!
Ok, so how do I actually avoid clipping?
Every bit of content in your email adds to the size of the overall HTML file for your email. If your emails are getting clipped, you should look to Simplify Your Design and Reduce the Content.
Simplify Your Design:
- Try to organize your piece to have a mobile-friendly design from the outset. While you have the tools to make completely separate mobile and desktop areas, is it really helping you? Consider dropping those complex designs in favor of a universal design.
- Avoid new columns and rows when possible. Remember everything in your email is adding to the size of the HTML file, including having additional rows and columns. If the piece you are putting together is a simple design, all in one column, why not explore reducing the number of rows. Similarly, do you need all those extra columns? Remember, most mobile friendly designs are single-column anyway.
- Simplify your design. Ok, so I said it twice, but consider keeping an even, consistent design through the whole piece and avoiding alternating background colors of fonts. Every font change and color change adds to that HTML code.
Reduce the Content:
- Don't include full paragraphs where an article description and link would do.
- Removing redundancy can also be largely beneficial. Why include the same bit of both the top and bottom of your email if it is going to lead to a greater likelihood of clipping?
- Declutter your header to remove unnecessary links and texts. Some emails end up looking more like a web page than an email.
A Note on Copying and Pasting
Copying and Pasting content is just so darn easy, but it could be bloating your piece. You write up some text in Word or Google Docs then paste it into your email. When you copy from an alternate source, your computer will also try to paste extra code from the original application.
Instead, use your computer's "Paste as Plain Text" feature to strip out everything else. On PC, it is as simple as using the keyboard shortcut "Ctrl+Shift+V". On Mac, press "Option+Shift+Command+V" when inserting to ditch the extra formatting.
WHATEVER YOU DO, DON'T...[Message Clipped]
It is pretty unsatisfying, isn't it?
Putting in the work to avoid Gmail clipping can take extra effort, however, consider that doing nothing could be locking out a full third of your contacts from seeing your emails in their entirety.
Take some extra steps, do some testing (Gmail accounts are free), and make sure that your contacts don't miss the important stuff. It will only benefit you in the end.