Image Resizing - Don'tFor years, email marketing experts have said to always upload and insert images into emails in their final size, rather than resizing them in the Image modal or by dragging the image by its corners. In the past, the biggest reason for that has been because email clients like Yahoo, AOL and Outlook will ignore those resize “tags” and try to insert your full, HUGE image.

After some new testing & research this week, we’ve found that few and maybe no email clients still “blow up” an email image to its original size – something that must have been updated in the past couple of years. Blogger James White points out after his recent re-testing on various clients/computers, “Outlook does indeed honour width and height attributes on images, but only if you are trying to scale down the image… If you’re trying to upscale, say, a 1×1 spacer GIF (which is an old example), it still [ignores the resize].” (We’d always recommend simply use the right sized spacers if you use this element in your email design.)

An OnlyInfluencers pal, Elliot Ross, confirmed, saying, “It’s not been a major issue for a while, especially if you back up with height=“” and width=“”. However, there are still some edge cases: from memory, Outlook 365 and one of the more obscure webmail clients doesn’t like it.” The emfluence Marketing Platform Editor automatically adds the height and width specifiers to the images in your emails for you (in the HTML):

Height Width specs in emfluence EditorWARNING: When a recipient forwards your email (using the Forward button, rather than Forward to a Friend), all bets are off. Among the many visual elements that can break when forwarded, images are often bumped up to their actual size.

One thing to consider: As high-resolution and retina-displays on phones become more popular, you may want to intentionally make email images twice their actual size, in order to have the sharpest image possible. So, now that the accidental image resizing is less of a concern, doubling the size for the mobile versions/mobile renderings of your email may actually increase quality.


What goes into a great marketing email?

Download the anatomy of a marketing email template


The bottom line: You should probably still use images that are true-to-final-size for two reasons:

  1. Large image file sizes increase the total size of your email and put the image:text balance out of whack, both of which can make your email look spammy and get sent to the Junk folder.
  2. It takes forever to download huge images on a poor internet connection, and especially slow on a mobile device. With about 3 seconds to make your first impression, your email could be deleted by a reader as “blank” before it ever has a chance to load. Just like in website optimization, a long load time means lost eyeballs.

Users of the emfluence Marketing Platform can resize images before you upload (in Photoshop or other photo editing software) or can use the emfluence Platform’s resize function in the image library. Need a little guidance? Check out the video in the Help section on resizing images.


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