Why Should You Care About Inbox Clipping?

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Background

Inbox clipping occurs when an email sent to a Gmail domain is larger than 102KBGmail will “clip” or truncate the message. The recipient must click on a “View entire message” link to see the full message. 

This size restriction includes everything within the email itself, including text, images, links, tracking codes, and responsive elements. This can happen with other domains , but we’ll focus on Gmail because it’s so popular with consumers. 

Main Issues with Inbox Clipping:

 

Recipients will see only part of your message. Your email team spends time crafting the perfect email message, so it can be frustrating when recipients don’t see your important content. Clipping can cost sales and revenue. 

Clipping can increase your spam complaint rate.  Most commercial emails put the opt-out in the footer. Clipping the footer removes this opt-out link. 

Recipients who want to unsubscribe might click the “Report Spam” link instead because they won’t see the unsub link unless they click to view the rest of the email. If this happens often enough, it will lower your sender reputation and make it harder to hit the inbox and achieve your email goals. 

Inbox clipping can affect your basic email metrics. Most senders put  open tracking pixels at the message bottom to avoid spacing issues at the top or middle of their messages. When a message gets clipped, the code won’t load fully, and the open won’t get reported.  If  you use opens or clicks to measure engagement, you could end up unsubscribing them automatically or putting them into a reactivation sequence unnecessarily. 

Strategies to Avoid Inbox Clipping:

  • Shrink your emails so they measure less than 102KB. Focus attention on one call to action only instead of two, three or more. 
  • Link to the full version of a content block on your website instead of including the entire block in your email. 
  • Remove redundant code such as editor comments, white space, double spaces, unnecessary tabs, and any other code that doesn’t affect your creative content or CTA. 
  • Move the unsubscribe link from the footer to your message header. 
  • Check for  clipping in pre-launch testing. 
  •  Remove extra formatting and code from your content. (You should do this even if inbox clipping isn’t a problem for your messages.)

Conclusion

Many email clients use Inbox clipping to speed up message loading. It also saves bandwidth and storage cost per inbox. Use these tactics to be sure your tracking is effective, your sender reputation stays high, and your recipients see your message in all its email glory.

This article was originally authored by Scott Burdsall.

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Why Should You Care About Inbox Clipping?

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