Email marketers put in a lot of effort right from personalization and segmentation to build professional HTML templates. However, if the email is not accessible to all of your readers, it holds little relevance. In this article, we will have a look at the email accessibility best practices:
Put Up Alternative Text For Images
It would help if you made it a point to include alternative text for images. You can do it by simply putting up empty/null and attribute (alt=””) to send out a message that the image is ignorable.
Use Color Palettes Aptly
Just like SEO, you should optimize your messages for people with disabilities. Your email should use color contrast to aid identification for visually impaired readers.
Stick To An Ideal Text To Image Ratio
Distribute the textual and visual portions of your email copy in such a way that the readers don’t find your message boring or vague. Ideally, the text to image ratio should be kept at around 60:40. Your message should also be readable for screen readers.
Don’t Over Rely On Colors.
People with visual impairment find it difficult to identify and analyze color-only elements. You should include boundaries and hatching patterns to make your content more accessible for all readers.
Stay Away From Packing Content Inside Visuals
Using infographics and videos is very tempting, but screen readers don’t entertain them. You should include a transcript for your videos and useful alt-text in case of infographics. This allows the recipients to access your message in a way that suits their convenience.
Use Plain-Text Version
Owing to limited bandwidth, latency issues, and other device-related shortcomings, people choose reading text-only versions of emails. Plain text versions allow you to reach out to a broader user base.
Use Proper Font Sizes
Font size is an essential part of optimizing your emails for all devices. Make it a point to use at least 13-14 pt font size to ensure that your message renders correctly on smaller screens. Also, we recommend using standard text fonts like Helvetica, Georgia, and Arial. This is because most email clients and devices use them as standard. Under any conditions, you should avoid using custom fonts because they hamper the visibility of your message. Even if you are using a custom font for your brand name, you can use an image to display your logo and provide alt text. This strategy makes your messages highly accessible as compared to going with customized fonts.
Don’t Overload Emails With Too Much Content.
Overwhelming your readers with long text isn’t a good idea. Break down your message into small blocks and try to keep both your sentence length and word length low.
Don’t Use Justified Font Styling In Your Office.
Owing to the print media, many newbie marketers use center justified texts. On a virtual screen search, abrupt spacing can make it difficult for readers to follow your message.
Make CTA Buttons Tappable
All your email communications are directed towards providing a CTA button to motivate action. Keep the button size twice the usual size when optimizing your email for mobiles.
Move On From The Click Here Buttons
Avoid using the “Click Here” as your standard hyperlinking elements. Also, it is difficult for people to decide whether they want to learn more about the subject from the CTA. If you’re going to tell your readers about a coffee shop, instead of writing “click here” to know more about coffee shops, try using the “best coffee shop.”
Use Headers To Define Hierarchy
Similar to blog writing, you should use headers to notify the hierarchy of your message visually. The headers make it easy to find out which portions to read.
Use Semantic Markup Elements
You should use semantic markup elements like <p>, <o>, <u> and <h> tags in your HTML email templates. They will make it easy for your readers to understand the difference between the important portions and other email elements. Using the table-based coding style makes it difficult for the readers to follow your message. Though semantic mark elements seem old school, they are very effective for navigation. They allow you to make your message more accessible through CSS styling without wasting much time in coding, using an appropriate size of buttons. You can also use Accessible Rich Internet Applications (ARIA) to separate presentation tables from the rest.
Marketing emails influence decision making of 50.7% of people.
Encode Your Characters
Encoding your characters in the HTML allows the email service providers (ESPs) to predict the contents of your message. It improves the navigation of your message. Here’s an example of encoding characters:
<meta http-equiv=”Content-Type” content=”text/html; charset=utf-8″>
Use Lang Attribute
The Lang attribute defines the language used in your message. It is instrumental when you are sending out messages to various regions and want to keep up with personalization and segmentation best practices. As a result, your recipients can accept emails in their preferred language whenever an option is provided.
To improve the accessibility of your emails, they should follow web accessibility rules, i.e., perceivable, operable, understandable, and robust. All of the above tips are correlated to these four fundamental aspects. We hope that you find this guide useful for designing accessible emails at your firm.
Kevin George is Head of Marketing at Email Uplers, one of the fastest-growing full-service email marketing agency that specializes in crafting professional email templates, PSD to HTML email conversion and free HTML email templates in addition to providing email automation, campaign management, and data integration & migration services. He loves gadgets, bikes, jazz, and eats and breathes email marketing. He enjoys sharing his insights and thoughts on email marketing best practices on his blog.