When it comes to email marketing, it is easy to assume that everyone will see your email the same way you do. When choosing color contrast and font and writing the copy, you judge its quality with your own eyes.
However, not everyone on the receiving end experiences emails in the same way.
This is especially true for people with disabilities, ranging from blindness to dyslexia.
It is important to receive disabled people in all areas of life. Email marketing is no exception. Not only is this the right thing to do, but it also allows your email marketing strategy to reach its full potential.
Below, we examine why email availability is so important. We also review a few tactics you can use to make your emails more accessible content.
What is email availability?
In short, accessibility via e-mail is when an e-mail is accessible, readable and usable by all people, including those with disabilities or visual impairments.
Even if you make the most eye-catching email with the perfect copy, it will not resonate with all readers if it is not available. Some subscribers may interact with your email differently due to the following types of disabilities:
Vision – Visual impairment, blindness or color blindness Audible – Deafness – Paralysis, cerebral palsy or damage to limbs Learning – Dyslexia
For example, visually impaired people can listen to your email with an aid rather than read it. Color-blind people may read your email, but have difficulty distinguishing between certain colors in it.
If you do not have a disability yourself, the design of available emails requires a change of perspective.
Fortunately, it is an easy process once you understand the basics of accessibility via email.
Why does email availability matter?
In 2021, accessibility via e-mail can no longer be treated as an afterthought. It needs to be built into the foundation of your campaigns.
Here are a few reasons why:
# 1 A significant subset of your customers may have a disability
Disability is more common than you might think. Just take a look at these statistics:
One in four Americans has some form of physical or mental disability2 One million Americans are blind3 Color blindness affects 8% of the male population and 4.5% of the total population4 Every tenth has dyslexia5 Globally, people with disabilities have an estimated consumption of $ 8 billion6
Such a significant subset of consumers has a lot of influence. Neglecting their needs only hurts your business opportunities.
It is also important to keep in mind that people develop new disabilities every day. If your customers do, they should interact with your emails differently. You certainly will not lose their protection to a more inclusive competitor by ignoring availability via email.
# 2 Unavailable emails are hurting your conversion rate
After pouring your time, energy and creativity into an email campaign, you want it to convert. Ignoring accessibility standards and the needs of people with disabilities is in direct opposition to this goal.
Unavailable emails do not work well for your disabled subscribers. If you are not implementing email availability yet, you are essentially pulling down your conversion rate before you even hit send.
By ensuring that your emails are available, you enable your campaign to reach its greatest potential – meaning more clicks, more conversions, and a better bottom line for your business.
# 3 Ignoring email availability leaves you open to lawsuits
If it was not motivation enough to be inclusive and make more money, the desire to avoid lawsuits should be. E-mail accessibility has become an increasingly common problem in Disability Law (ADA) lawsuits.7
The ADA was implemented back in 1990. It was introduced to guarantee disabled people access to the same opportunities as everyone else. For example, it requires employers to provide employees with disabilities with reasonable accommodation. It also imposes that public places offer certain accommodation options, e.g. Wheelchair ramps.
As the Internet has become a cornerstone of our daily lives, recent court rulings have also applied ADA requirements for online access. Many businesses have found themselves in legal hot water for not making their websites and online services accessible.
To avoid this kind of legal problem yourself, it is crucial to implement accessibility via email. It is also proposed to utilize email segmentation and email A / B testing for any email campaign regardless.
Guidelines for accessibility via e-mail
Now that you know why email availability is important, let’s look at a few basic guidelines to help you improve the availability of your next email campaign.
# 1 Increase your contrast ratio
Your contrast ratio is the degree of difference between the background color of your email and foreground colors.
To improve the availability of emails, be sure to use a contrast ratio large enough to make your email easy to read for visually impaired people. If your contrast ratio is too low, text and images may be difficult to distinguish from the background.
Many email accessibility experts recommend using a contrast ratio of at least 4.5 to 1. You can test the contrast ratio of your email using online contrast checking tools.
# 2 Makes text easier to read
After perfecting your email copy, you want it to be easy to read.
Here are some tips to make your email text more accessible:
Align Text to Left-Left-aligned text is easier to read than center-aligned text, especially for people with dyslexia. Use large, legible fonts – Your font size should always be at least 14 pixels. This will help visually impaired readers to find out the text of your email on smaller screens. Use Live Text – Live text is simply text that does not appear inside an image. Unlike text in images, live text can be read aloud using aids.
# 3 Underline all links
Another simple accessibility tip is to emphasize your links. While it is a common practice to make them a different color, not everyone sees colors the same way. Even if a link stands out to you, it can blend in for someone with color blindness.
Underlining your links will ensure that they are easy to find and more likely to be clicked.
# 4 Include HTML language attributes
On the more technical side of things, you should always include an HTML language attribute at the top of your email.
Language attributes tell aids and search engines what language the email should be read in. In return, text readers can pronounce the words properly and give listeners a more hassle-free experience.
A text attribute for English looks like this: lang = “da”
# 5 Use descriptive alt text
Alt text appears when images and videos are not loaded. All SEO savvy marketers understand the importance of all text. Alt text, however, becomes even more important when it comes to accessibility via email. This is because it is the text that is read aloud when subscribers read your email with an aid.
Here are a few tips for total text availability:
Make sure your alt text gives people all the details they need to understand your email correctly if they listen to it with an aid.
Leave alt text blank for images that are adequately described with their caption to avoid duplication. Leave all text blank for images found exclusively in the email for decorative purposes.
Note: If you leave all text blank for an image, do not delete the alt attribute (alt- “”). Otherwise, screen readers will instead read the picture name, which may confuse your listeners.
# 6 Use a logical reading structure
People who listen to e-mails with aids cannot visually jump around in your e-mail as someone who reads it themselves. For this reason, you should organize your content in a logical order and use descriptive headings where appropriate.
# 7 Use large CTA buttons
The goal of most email campaigns is to get readers to click on your CTA button. To increase the chances of this happening, it is in your best interest to make your CTA button large and easy to click.
Small CTA buttons can be frustrating for people with motor control issues. They are also harder to click for people who use eye trackers to move their markers.
# 8 Availability test before sending
After making these adjustments, do not forget to test your email before sending it.
You can send your email to yourself and try to interact with it in a few ways:
Listen to it with a screen reader Run it through a color blind test Read it from a smartphone to ensure it is optimized for mobile
By experiencing your email from multiple perspectives, you can ensure that it reproduces well for a number of subscribers with different disabilities.
The best email marketing campaigns are inclusive
Ultimately, accessibility via email is about having empathy for others who experience life differently. Many of these people are your email subscribers and customers.
By taking the time to understand how they interact with your emails, you can create campaigns that engage and convert as many people as possible.
Need help creating inclusive campaigns? What about SMS marketing or SMS compliance? We can help.
Our digital marketing agency offers our marketing expertise along with a complete package of marketing services to ensure that your business grows in a healthy, organic way – accessibility via email is just one of our many strengths.
Csun.edu. Email availability. https://www.csun.edu/sites/default/files/email_accessibility.pdf CDC. Disability affects us all. https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/disabilityandhealth/infographic-disability-impacts-all.html CDC. Quick facts about common eye diseases. https://www.cdc.gov/visionhealth/basics/ced/fastfacts.htm Color Blind Awareness. Color blindness. https://www.colourblindawareness.org/colour-blindness/ Austin Learning Solutions. Dyslexia Facts and Statistics. https://austinlearningsolutions.com/blog/38-dyslexia-facts-and-statistics CPACC. People with disabilities control $ 8 trillion in spending. https://sheribyrnehaber.medium.com/people-with-disabilities-control-8-trillion-in-spending-dabd43a87d81 Seyfarth. ADA Title III Litigation: A 2019 Review and Hot Trends for 2020. https://www.adatitleiii.com/2020/01/ada-title-iii-litigation-a-2019-review-and-hot-trends-for- 2020 /