Four Best Practices for Accessibility in Email

When you open an email, do you ever have trouble reading the content because of the lack of contrast between the colors used? Or maybe it wasn’t apparent what was going on, even with the alternative text. Tell me, what did you do with the email? No doubt you ignored it and continued on to the next email.

Ignoring your email might be a problem if your subscribers are unable to open it. When applied to practical issues, this problem becomes much more severe. Many users, for instance, may have sensory impairments such as hearing loss or color blindness.

In what way do you plan to fix them? Accessible email layouts and designs are the answer to these problems. But how can you determine who may access your email?

As such, this manual will teach you all there is to know about making email accessible and how to put those practices into practice. In addition, we will go deeply into the many situations to address when discussing the best practices for email accessibility.

What is Email Accessibility?

Making sure your emails can be read and understood by all subscribers, including those with visual, hearing, or motor impairments, is known as email accessibility. When just a section of an email can be read because of software incompatibility, the topic of email accessibility becomes important.

Email links, for instance, are typically presented in blue, but readers who cannot see that hue may not know where to go. In that situation, the link has to be highlighted or set in a different typeface to stand out.

Technically speaking, although the Gmail Android app supports AMP for emails, Outlook (web) does not. That being said, users of Outlook will be unable to see your AMP emails unless you also provide a fallback version.

Why does Email Accessibility Matter?

The fact that many email users have physical or mental impairments makes disability access an important consideration. It’s possible that some of your users have impairments that you’re not aware of. The prevalence of such impairments is illustrated by the following data:

  • The World Health Organization estimates that over one billion individuals worldwide have a disability.
  • Near or farsightedness affects at least 2.2 billion individuals worldwide.
  • About one in twelve males (8%) and one in two hundred women (0.5%) are colorblind.
  • Dyslexia, which causes difficulty reading, affects around 15% of the population.
  • It is estimated that over 2.5 billion individuals would suffer hearing loss by 2050, with at least 700 of them requiring rehabilitation services.

The data clearly demonstrate that a sizable population is impaired in some way. If your emails are inaccessible, you risk losing users and giving them a negative impression of your service.

For email accessibility, follow these best practices

Capterra found that 83% of marketers believe their organization is improving accessibility in digital marketing compared to previous years. It’s possible for you to join their ranks.

Many aspects of the emails your small business sends out, including the subject line, the body content, the font size, and the color scheme, need to be thought out to ensure that the messages reach the widest possible audience.

1. The subject line should be descriptive

The subject line of an email is, without a doubt, the most crucial section of the message. The quality of your email’s content has nothing to do with whether or not its recipients even bother to click on the email’s subject line. In order to make your emails more accessible (and interesting to your audience in general), you should summarize what they may anticipate finding within the body of the email in roughly 41 characters.

If you don’t want your subscribers to be disappointed when they open your emails, make sure the subject lines accurately reflect the content. Nothing is more disappointing than working up anticipation for something, only to discover it was nothing more than clickbait.

2. Focus on focal points without relying on color

Customers with colorblindness are an important consideration for any service that offers a visual experience.

Examine whether the contrast is correct.

There’s a direct correlation between the level of contrast in your email and the amount of interest it generates. Do not forget about the possibility of encountering someone who is colorblind. If you’ve designed your email to draw attention to certain sections by utilizing color, keep in mind that recipients who are colorblind won’t get your message.

3. Design responsively

Make sure that the content of your email campaigns renders appropriately on all devices when you code it (smartphone, tablet, laptop, for example). Devices like screen readers might confuse users if the material is presented in the wrong sequence, therefore it’s important to use a flexible design strategy to provide a smooth user experience for all subscribers.

Check how your emails look on desktop, mobile, and even for different email clients before scheduling them to go out, even if you are using a responsive solution.

4. Make sure your code is correct

In order to make your emails more accessible, you may follow a few simple pieces of advice linked to the use of code.

Sort your email’s content using HTML tags.

Basic HTML code like <h1> and <h2> for anything you feel is vital for the recipient to understand your message should be used to ensure that subscribers using screen readers get your message clearly.

You can also use CanIUse to find out whether browsers and applications support a given markup format.

5. Add alt text to your images

Many email recipients rely on screen readers or disable picture delivery altogether. This is because your screen readers can’t see the image, and flashy information or animations might be a distraction.

The question remains, though: Can they?

Actually, by using an alt tag, you make your photos “readable” by screen readers, search engines, and more. An image’s alt text, or text alternative, should provide a succinct explanation of what the image depicts.

6. You should check the size and spacing of your text

If there isn’t enough white space in your writing, no amount of useful information will be able to save you from losing readers. Set your line height to 4 pixels to increase readability, or use design elements to divide the page into parts.

Make sure there is enough white space between paragraphs to let the scanners focus on the text.

7. Use emojis wisely

Yes, it’s entertaining to experiment with different typefaces and emojis, but are you really improving your writing by doing so? A greater number of people really open emails with emojis in the subject line. It’s fine to use an emoji as a topic starter or closer, but you should never substitute it for a real word.

Email emojis are welcome if you feel they would enhance the message, but keep in mind that not all recipients may be able to view them. That’s understandable because it also occurs occasionally with recorded media. It’s OK to attempt to cater to every possible user scenario, but eventually, you’ll have to be flexible.

8.Make sure your font and size are correct

It’s important to keep readability and font size in mind when crafting email marketing. Always aim for at least 14 pixels, and ideally 16 for mobile. This is the most often used size, and it assures that your email recipients won’t have to strain their eyes to see them, nor will any of the parts get distorted if they need to zoom in.

With regards to email click-through rates, text size (and maybe whitespace) is also important. Because of the small size of the screens on mobile devices, it might be difficult to tap the correct area while trying to access a link.

9. Make quality content a priority

The primary purpose of every email should be to provide information that is useful to your readers and prompts them to take some sort of action. So, you should make your material as simple to read as possible, but you also need to make sure it’s actually helpful to your readers.

A subscriber is more likely to unsubscribe or, even worse, report your messages as spam if they believe you are wasting their time with irrelevant content. However, if your material is high quality, you’ll be able to earn your readers’ confidence and deepen your connection with them.

Email accessibility, in the end, isn’t only about growing your email list and audience. You should aim to provide a welcoming environment for all of your subscribers. Consider your subscribers when designing and writing email campaigns.

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