How to Compress Images for Email: Easy Tricks for Tiny File Sizes

Faster emails and better bandwidth await as we learn how to compress images for email in just a few clicks. Images often hog up to 70% of your website’s weight.

Larger images lead to slower loading times. As a result, your images bounce back or get marked as spam.

Most email providers have an image attachment limit of 10-25 MB. Some tweaking hacks may result in pixelated images.

But with smart compression techniques, you won’t struggle with image quality. Stay tuned as we illustrate how to compress images for email and compress email attachments.

Why Compress Images for Email?

If you often send high-resolution attachments, mastering how to compress images for email is a must-have skill. And here are the compelling reasons:

  • Email file size limitations: Since email service providers impose image attachment restrictions, avoiding size-related issues is crucial. Compressing high-resolution images ensures they’re easily shareable. While high-resolution images offer superior quality, they may lead to bounced emails and frustrated recipients.
  • Faster email sending and downloading: Optimizing images before sending them saves the sender and recipient time. Uncompressed image attachments will have you grapple with strained serves and bandwidth demands. 
  • Bandwidth considerations for both sender and receiver: For the sender, sharing compressed images reduces the strain on the email server and the network infrastructure. If the receiver experiences a poor internet connection, this would reduce the bandwidth constraints.

How to Compress Images for Email

We’ve tested a few handy ways site owners could compress images for email without compromising quality.

For the most part, you need an image optimization tool with all the bells and whistles to make your image attachments easily shareable. 

Step 1: Use the Right Image File Format

How to compress images for email while retaining quality comes down to choosing the right file format.

JPEG vs. PNG vs. GIF–which perfectly matches my email photos? I get asked this question a lot.

Each image format has its perks and downsides.

JPEG: Consider using JPEG file format for images that dance in a vibrant sea of colors.

With ShortPixel, you can automatically convert PNG images to JPEG.

JPEGs excel in handling photographs, showcasing a remarkable ability to balance file size and image quality.

PNG: PNG is your go-to format for maintaining the crisp details of your graphics and logos. 

compress images for email with ShortPixel's SmartCompress

Use the PNG format to compress images for email if clarity and transparency are your key priorities.

GIF: GIF is the animated showstopper format for simpler graphics with a limited color palette. Use our tool to keep the visuals under 256 colors for optimal compression.

Step 2: Resize Images for Email

Optimized sites can serve images at a mere 12% of their original size, according to Google’s PageSpeed Insights.

This translates to a 50-85% data reduction, thanks to image optimization techniques like compression and resizing. That’s not just kinder to your server. It’s kinder to your recipient’s internet bill!

Smaller images load faster. A 100 KB image zips across the web four times quicker than its 1MB counterpart. Every millisecond counts, and resized images give your emails a crucial head start.

Resizing using ShortPixel lets you cater to high-resolution screens without blowing up file sizes. It creates thumbnail previews at just 5-10% of full size, enabling smooth navigation and engagement.

How to compress images for email with ShortPixel's Resizing options

For emailing, the magic number is 5MB. Most providers cap attachments around 25MB, so resizing keeps you under the limit and avoids frustrating bounce-backs. 

Campaign Monitor found that optimizing images for email boosted open rates by 13% and click-through rates by a whopping 65%!

Smaller images aren’t just lighter on your inbox and gentler on your recipient’s device. Reports from Cloudinary show that resizing images can reduce CPU usage by up to 72% compared to originals. That’s less processing power drained, better battery life, and happier recipients.

How to Resize Images Using ShortPixel

Follow these steps to resize images using ShortPixel:

  1. Go to Settings > ShortPixel > General.
  2. Under “Resize large images,” check the box to enable image resizing.
  3. Choose either the “Cover” or “Contain” resize option.
  1. Cover reduces the short side to your set value while retaining the aspect ratio. This avoids smaller-than-set dimensions.

Contain reduces the long side to your set value while retaining the aspect ratio. This avoids larger-than-set dimensions. Set your maximum width and height in pixels for the resized images.

Make sure your resize dimensions are larger than your biggest thumbnail size needs. You can use Bulk ShortPixel to resize based on your settings automatically.

If you need help deciding which resize option to use, test on sample images and keep backups enabled. Check that resized versions look good. Regenerate any thumbnails if needed – resizing affects only originals, not existing thumbs.

Also, consider your server’s maximum upload size when enabling image resizing. 

Step 3: Adjust Compression Settings

How to compress images for email without compromising visual quality also boils down to adjusting compression settings. ShortPixel has three compression options–lossy, glossy, and lossless.

How to compress images for email with ShortPixel's lossy, lossless, and glossy settings

Lossy compression (JPEG) tosses out visual data, which means it loses some finer details. However, it compresses a 50MB image 10x down to 5MB.

ShortPixel's Lossy compression

Glossy compression focuses on optimizing silky and shining areas. These glossy areas look stunning after compression, but flatter matte regions suffer more artifacts. Glossy compression can compress the image 5x down to 10MB.

ShortPixel's Glossy Compression

Lossless compression (PNG) shrinks files through optimization without losing a single pixel. It means all the intricate details remain pristine, but lossless may only compress the image 2x down to 25MB.

ShortPIxel's Lossless Compression

Here are a few helpful tips worth considering when compressing email visuals with ShortPixel: 

  1. Lossy vs. lossless compression: ShortPixel offers both lossy and lossless image compression. Lossy compression provides the highest reduction in file size but loses some image quality. Lossless has no quality loss but less file size reduction. To compress images for email, set lossy to around 80% quality.
  2. Image types: Use stronger compression for JPEGs to handle lossy compression. Use lighter compression for PNGs and GIFs, which need more lossless treatment.
  3. Resize images: Check the option to resize large images down before compression. A maximum width of 2560 or 1920 pixels is good. This significantly reduces file size.
  4. Backup originals: Keep the full original images by checking the option to back them up. The compressed versions will be served to visitors.
  5. Compress PDFs: ShortPixel can compress PDF documents; around 50% provides a good balance.
  6. Retina support: Generate 2x size images for retina displays by checking this option.
  7. Experiment with settings: Try different compression levels and preview the changes to find the best visual quality vs. file size trade-off.
  8. Check stats: Monitor the space and bandwidth savings ShortPixel provides in your account.
  9. Find the smallest acceptable size: The goal is the smallest image file size without excessive quality loss for each image.

Step 4: Batch Compression

Bulk image compression streamlines your workflow while reducing storage needs and bandwidth for sharing optimized images.


Rather than manually processing each attachment, ShortPixel will automatically optimize them in bulk. You can tune the optimization settings for different file types to find the ideal size reduction and quality preservation balance for your needs.

ShortPixel can also back up the original uncompressed images for redundancy while delivering the optimized smaller versions.

Step 5: Remove Image Metadata 

Metadata may sound boring, but it can seriously bog down your site’s performance and cost you extra money if you’re not careful.

What kinds of hidden data are we talking about? Geolocation coordinates, device details, timestamps – all extraneous information encoded in image files. yxsMPdcV3nlOvAhiLBkw gzxekO8PQ OPdpVKBj44DUbj50kCt6vbr0hhWUO3Dc3h6BRWTPK9FeRUk9lkhv rpWik0RC 3MxWmSv2yvXoiX5yTFa1xkh0Vv 5nhsi0Dp1YhijBOyl eoiLLX8KOTBpc

Now, metadata can be useful in some cases. But most of the time, it’s just wasting space and resources. Those extra kilobytes accumulate, slowing down page loads. You end up paying for all that unused data every time an image downloads. Not ideal.

Stripping out metadata gives you control to add back what you need selectively.

You can remove unnecessary metadata automatically using batch optimization tools like ShortPixel. Failing to eliminate inconsistent metadata can mess with image rendering across browsers.

Final Thoughts on How to Compress Images for Email

Start with your JPEGs. Don’t be afraid to dial up the compression – you can usually get away with 85% quality or more without noticeable pixelation. Just be sure to eyeball the results to ensure things still look sharp.

For other formats like PNG, you’ll need to tread more gently on compression. Every image type has its limits. Get to know them.

Dialing in custom settings for each file sounds like a drag. So, take advantage of batch processing right from your email. It takes the hassle out of optimization.

Remember to keep the originals – you’ll miss all those lovely uncompressed pixels when they’re gone!

With the right balance, you’ll be firing off amazing images that fly through the interweb. Your recipients will thank you for being gentle in their inboxes. That’s the art of email image compression – stunning visuals sent quickly and lightly. It just takes a little know-how!

Karol Carter
Karol Carter

Karol Carter is an experienced author and expert in various aspects of web development, online business, and digital marketing. Having worked with notable companies such as Automattic, Adobe, Ahrefs, Ecommerce Platforms,,, CodeinWP, WinningWP, and Smashing Magazine, Karol has honed a wide range of skills and knowledge in the industry. From monetizing a blog to understanding the basics of SEO, designing websites, creating engaging content, and optimizing online visibility, Karol has covered it all.

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