Understanding Gmail's email clipping feature

Email clipping is a feature of Gmail that automatically hides the content of emails that exceed a certain length. The content of an email is made up of underlying code that includes text, URLs, tracking codes, and HTML styling, among other elements. Each character in the code is typically 1 to 2 bytes in size, and the total size of all the characters in the email determines its overall byte size.

When Gmail clips an email, it hides the full email content and instead displays a link that says "[Message clipped] View entire message". At the same time, Gmail also clips any tracking codes included in your email. This can be a problem for email marketers as it can reduce the effectiveness of their campaigns and decrease engagement rates. 

To prevent Gmail from clipping your email campaigns and to ensure that all opens are properly tracked, you can do the following:  

  • Keep the email size below 102 kilobytes - it is recommended to keep the email size below 102 kilobytes. By optimizing your email content and keeping it within this size limit, you can ensure that your full email campaign gets seen by your subscribers. 
  • Change your subject line when sending a test campaign - because Gmail groups emails with the same subject line into one email thread, sending a test campaign with the same subject line can result to a very long email. You can change the subject line for test campaigns or delete previous test campaigns in your inbox, so that Gmail doesn't clip your email.
  • Remove any formatting code when you paste campaign content - when adding content to your campaign from an external source or application, you might paste content that contains formatting codes. To exclude any extra codes that can make your email size big, you must always copy and paste content as plain text.
  • Minimize unnecessary content - if you have a long campaign, make sure to reduce any unnecessary content, for example, by deleting unnecessary images. After you cut your content, you can send a test email to check if Gmail still clips your email. You can also save the source code of the test email to check the actual file size.
  • Add links to your email - if it is not possible to reduce the email content, you can just add a View in browser link to redirect recipients to the full campaign. This is also an effective way to ensure that opens can be tracked.