Email Accessibility is a crucial term, and it holds importance in email marketing, especially when it comes to keeping your content simple and removing the barriers for the subscribers that might cause disabilities.
But how can you improve the accessibility in email marketing, and where can you start? Well, for that, here is a quick guide that can help you.
Why Is Accessibility Important In Email Marketing?
Before you jump to know about accessibility, it’s important to understand why it matters in the first place.
Accessibility refers to the basic practice of designing web content so people who have disabilities in access, precedence, and interact with content more easily.
Even though there are several things you are dealing with, it’s important to focus on the accessibility of your email in order to improve the results.
Well, there is around 15% of the world’s population lives with some kind of disability, which makes up one billion people in the whole population.
Of that, 285 million are visually impaired or may need a screen reader for accessing the content on the web.
Such devices are used for reading text aloud on email or navigating the content.
However, accessibility is not just for them; it is crucial for the rest of the population too.
When your content is accessible, it makes it more logical, readable, and usable for everyone.
If it has good accessibility, it means it has good usability, and this is crucial for the business.
What Are The Reasons For Email Accessibility Is Good For Business?
One of the primary goals of the marketing strategy is to turn the perspective of your consumers into paying customers and supporters.
But if your emails don’t have access, then it will affect your marketing strategy.
So if your readers are not consuming well for 10%, it will reduce the result by the same percentage, and it will reduce the subscription and sales too.
Here are some of the best reasons why you need email accessibility and how it will be good for the business.
It Will Improve The Usability
Since human-centered design is the core of accessibility, the changes you can make from color, contrast, or font sizes will benefit every person that is on the list.
They also enjoy the whole experience in full, rich, and ultimately will boost the ROI.
It Boosts The Reach To More
Accessible emails can help in improving the reach of your people.
It also includes all people who might have permanent disabilities or temporary impairments.
If the emails are not accessible, you are automatically excluding the subset of the audience.
It Minimizes The Legal Risk
Well, in 2020, there will be around 11,000 federal lawsuits that were accessibility-related, and it was increased by 23%.
This means that there are thousands of unreported state lawsuits as well as demand letters which is a serious threat for the company that is not meeting the needs of its audience.
It Boosts The Engagement And Retention
If your subscribers are not reading the email content or interacting with CTA, then they are literally not engaging with the emails.
So they also aren’t likely to stick around more in the future.
It Keeps Your Apart From Competitors
If someone is receiving two emails advertising clothing sales, one they are able to read and interact well, but the next one is not accessible.
They will prefer what they can easily understand and access.
So it gives you the upper hand as compared to the competitors.
It Boosts The Brand
Well, making your email accessible makes your brand more enhanced for the customers.
It shows that you care and treat them as people instead of contact in the database.
It Helps In Representing Your Audience Better
Knowing about the audience is at the heart of all successful marketing strategies. And making the email accessible for them so they understand that you are speaking directly about what they need.
Also, show what their pain points are, not just that you can avoid someone’s conscious impressions that your brand is not respecting them.
What Are The Ways Of Boosting Accessibility In Email?
Accessibility serves as the founding pillar when it comes to design and user experience.
As for email, it makes sure that everyone is reading and understanding the message, regardless of whether they have any disabilities or assistive devices.
However, to improve the accessibility of your email design, here are some of the points that can help :
Use The Color Wisely
Subscribers with color blindness might have an issue with the colors in the email, ensuring that color is not only what is informatively conveyed.
Color contrast can be a problem for those who have visual difficulties.
That’s why you should use high color contrast between the elements in the email, especially in the background and copy colors.
Make Sure that you are using the color contrast checker and ratio in your email.
Don’t Add Justified Copy
Justified copy means the letter or word is spaced in order to adjust, and the text falls flush with left as well as right margins.
However, it is common in print, but form email having the word spacing inconsistent can be hard to read.
So to make it easier to read, you need to keep it left-aligned in the email.
Balance Your Images And Text
While the users who have sight visually scan or skip the content which is not related, blind users require to listen to content completely that is in email. And it goes for every email.
So that’s why you need to tailor the written content and make sure to focus on what your main message is.
Also, you need to understand how the design is compatible with screen readers.
Make The Copy Space Breathable
Reading the paragraphs and blocks of text can make it hard to read.
And here, you need to set the appropriate line so the text can be simpler and easier to read.
You need to choose a line that is 4 pixels more than the font size.
Not just that, you need to increase the line height when you are increasing the font size for mobile readers.
Don’t Create The Content Which Is Harmful
Don’t create content that can be harmful, including adding elements to the email.
It can be content that flashes at certain rates or patterns, it can include animated GIFs, and this can be an issue for people who have photosensitive seizures.
And that’s why you should avoid adding flashing content or including links to videos that share similar content.
Write The Copy Which Can Be Readable
To make your email accessible is not just about the coding but also how you are writing the copy of the email.
While you are focusing on increasing accessibility, you need to make the email more human. With this, you can improve the readability and communication between the subscribers and you.
However, it doesn’t mean that you should choose easy topics. Do pick the weighty and tricky topics.
Instead of dumbing down the writing, it refreshes the text ability.
Keep the sweet top between 60 to 70 for the general audience.
Use The Font In Larger Size
If you are keeping the text or anything smaller than 14 pixels for the screen of desktop and laptop will need the effort for reading.
Here the users need to zoom on the screen more in order to read the message.
This also has a negative impact on the email, too, as while they zoom it, this can cut off or appear broken.
However, on mobile devices, the text can appear smaller and force the users to focus hard on what they are reading in email.
So make sure you keep the font size, and it should be 14 to 16 pixels for the smart devices in order to keep the reading easy.
Pick The Ideal Typeface
The web fonts used have increased the possible typeface which is used in emails.
However, before you pick the body font, it’s important that you know about the accessibility of it
So when you are picking the typeface, choose that space evenly but also not condensed too much.
This one is not just for accessibility but improves the user experience for mobile users.
Use The Elements Which Are Semantic
The semantic elements are what subscribers who are using the screen readers for the options to do the scanning through the email with headers.
And here, you can do this by adding the <p> and <h> tags. Such is supported by the clients, so you can use this for making your email accessible.
Make Tappable And Clickable Links
Ensure the size of the buttons is large enough to use the thumbs and fingers on mobile devices.
This will make sure that the email is accessible too.
A bigger button will be helpful for those who are not using the mouse.
Remove The Click Here link Copy
When you are using email, it’s best not to use them. Click here. Also, screen readers users tab a lot on content, skipping through in a scanning email.
So link context will help users to decide whether to click through it or not.
It’s not just for the accessibility, but also removing the links will keep the email content more device-independent.
While the click here is more important for the users who are using the desktop and laptop, it’s not for the mobile device or tablet.
Correctly Use ALT Attribute
The Alt Attribute has been used in email best practices after the dawn of HTML emails. So you can email clients why they block the images by default.
The text is used in the alt attribute, which is attached to the display of images, especially when the images are not loading.
This helps your subscribers to see your emails, even if they are keeping the images off by default in the client and using a screen reader in the email.
What Are The Different Accessibility Standards According To Industries?
There are different industries using emails for reaching out to their audiences, and it’s important to know what their standard accessibility is.
Word Wide Web Consortium or W3C is an international standard organization that created Web content Accessibility Guidelines, also known as WCAG.
This is a go-to document which is for accessibility standards on a global level.
Also, regardless of the product and services you promote, it’s crucial to understand the importance of accessible emails.
But there are some specific laws and regulations which is for different industries, it includes
If you are in healthcare, then you should be aware of ACA or The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
It states that the law prohibits discrimination which is based on age, sex, national origin, color, race, etc. in health activities and programs.
And the Rehabilitation act requires that access to electronic and data comparable should be equal to those who are not having any kind of disabilities.
As for the financial organization, it requires adherence to the guidelines set forth by ADA and WCAG.
You can safely refer to such documents to help you in getting guidance.
For the government entities, the accessibility guides were established under section 504 / 508 of the ADA.
The sections prohibit discrimination which is based on disabilities as well as regulates fair access to information based on electronics.
Well, the government refers to the WCAG 2.0 and for the accessibility policies on internal, in order to keep the safe use for the d guidance.
What Are The Conditions You Should Consider In Email Accessibility?
When you focus on boosting accessibility, this is important to accommodate the vanity of impairment as well as disabilities.
It includes conditions like :
Well, the first condition you should understand is Auditory; they are those who have issues with hearing or deaf.
Someone who has this disability might have problems with the volume of sound, phantom noises, and frequency of sound.
This is a crucial aspect to consider, especially when you are planning to add the podcast and video to your email.
It’s important that you also add the transcripts for your podcast and captions in your videos, so people who have an auditory background can understand.
In this condition, people have limitations in their minds which affects their memory and also affects problem-solving, attention, and comprehension.
So when you are building your email, it’s important that you focus on keeping the presentation simple.
Also, to avoid language which is too technical, include clear instruction if it’s necessary and make sure that you are using the steer clear of animation, which might be distracting.
Those who have some kind of limitation or weakness of motor control.
Well, this includes the issues like tremors, paralysis, lack of coordination, joint disorders like missing limbs, and arthritis.
So it’s important to ensure that the email you are sending can be easily consumed with the help of screen readers and keyboard navigation.
People who are going through a Neurological problem affect their central as well as the peripheral nervous system, which includes the spinal cord, brain, cranial nerves, etc.
This can be dementia, strokes, Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy, and brain tumors.
And that’s why you should keep the email easy to navigate and break up the text into sections in smaller parts. Avoid the actions that might make them difficult for someone with tremors or who is using the mouth stick.
This includes people who have problems with producing speech that is recognized by software and others.
It can be an issue with stuttering and muteness, which are some of examples, So make sure your email has the touch which goes beyond the phone call, such as contact form, email, and live chatbox.
To those people who have visual problems, it can be vision loss or sensitivity to color or brightness.
Provide the color contrast in your email and make sure they are compatible with screen readers.
Also, the font sizes are large enough to keep the reading easy.
What Are The Tips For Improving The Email Accessibility?
Well, the average person spends more than 100 business emails every day, and this will rise, according to Radicati Group.
The inbox turned into the battleground for achieving attention, so it became important to understand how you can improve email accessibility.
Here are some of the tips that you should consider :
Make Sure Your Email Renders Regardless On Platform
According to the return path, 55% of emails last year were opened on mobile devices.
Design the emails which can be optimized to respond to different devices and email clients.
Focus On How Your Words Look
When you are writing the email, keep it in a legible font. It can be fonts like Tahoma, Calibri, Arial, Verdana, etc.
And to make sure that type is readable for the audience, keep the header which should be 22 points, and the body text, which is 14 points/.
Consider Those Who Are Visually Impaired
There are 0.5 % of women and 8 % of men who have red-green colorblindness. And there are high chances that you might lose the leadership if you are not considering those readers by taking the color choices seriously.
Make sure that text over images and keep the background readable. And focus on bringing attention to the buttons and links by using the colors that pop on the screen.
Make Images Speak
Visually impaired people depend on the screen reader, that’s why you should keep the images that are actually engaging with the readers and also write the alt text which describes what the image is about.
Also, Alt Text helps in boosting the SEO and users whose emails are not displaying the images.
Double Check Your Text Only Version
HTML is often associated when it comes to spam and work phones as well as email clients within the industries such as cybersecurity, healthcare, finances, and many more.
So the format is the text-only version which has ample spacing, dashes, or asterisks to ensure the emails to keep it readable.
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I am certified and awarded Email marketing expert. I’ve spent the last decade reading and writing marketing books and blogs as well as my articles helps people to start their Email Campaign from scratch or boost their existing business.