Improve Your Email Design

Get email accessibility right

Accessibility remains a rather new concept for marketers in both web and email. Email accessibility is about making sure that everyone can receive and understand your message, regardless of any disabilities (color blindness, dyslexia…) or assistive technologies they may be using (like screen readers).

Designing accessible emails is important from an ethical point of view, but also from a business perspective. Today, 1.3 billion people live with some degree of visual impairment. By creating emails that are accessible to those persons, you’ll be able to reach an important part of the population.

How to design accessible emails

Accessibility is mostly about three things: the email content, the design, and the code. Here are some best practices to create accessible emails:

  • Structure email marketing with hierarchical content and write short paragraphs talking about a specific topic. Do not include important information in images, and add an alternative text (alt-text) in case they don’t display properly. Also avoid having too many GIFs.

  • Make sure to have a color contrast facilitating the readability of the email for subscribers, and to use a dark mode (which is supported by more and more email clients and browsers). Use fonts that are thick enough and in a sufficiently large size (more than 14 pixels). 

  • Respect HTML semantics. Paragraphs should come in organized strips and are preceded by descriptive titles. Define the language of your email with the lang attribute. Include the role=presentation attribute on the HTML table tag to allow readers to understand that it is a presentation element and not a data table. Also propose a text version.

Spaceship

Result

Designing accessible emails will help you reach the 1.3 billion people who live with some degree of visual impairment.

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“Creating accessible emails can seem complicated. But, by following best practices in terms of content, design and code, you can easily design emails that will reach everyone in your audience and provide them with a great user experience.”

Nicolas Garnier

Senior Product Manager

Final-Score

Difficulty

Advanced

Pro tip

You can use https://www.accessible-email.org/ to get started. This tool analyzes an HTML file and returns errors and things to improve to make the email accessible. It's easy to integrate into a workflow, both to check your email before sending and to implement best practices.

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