Adventures in Mobile Marketing

Avoid Spacer GIFs in HTML Emails

Lately I’ve been noticing how quickly HTML newsletters are moving from using spacer GIFs to avoiding them completely. In my last post, I noted what HTML/CSS works best for the most popular webmails, considering image suppression. Spacer GIFs don’t work well with image suppression. As readers are quickly glancing through your email, random small broken images with no ALT text clutters up the overall messaging. You want the reader to focus on a key message, and if it’s in an image, provide the ALT text (for those that interpret it). Also, you want to give readers a reason to turn on images for your sender. Cluttering up the email with images that give no “payback” once they load them may deter them from turning on images in the future.

These examples aren’t very dramatic, but they show how when it is done well, looks effortless. Yet, when spacer GIFs are used, it looks cluttered and amateurish.

Ticketmaster is not using spacer gifs.

Friendster Newsletter is using spacer GIFs, as well as bullet images. These don’t significantly contribute to design, and with image suppression, clutters up the overall message.
Friendster Newsletter

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Written on Sunday, 22. July 2007 at 19:49 In the category design, images off, mechanics. Follow the comments via RSS here: RSS-Feed. Share on FriendFeed

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1 Comment

  1. [...] gifs.Various articles talk about this question as well (search for ‘spacer images’ on the pages) : Link , Question Author : Dan [...]

    Pingback: Do I need to use spacer images when coding HTML emails? - MicroEducate – 13. March 2022 @ 2:02 am

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