Let’s Make Emails Accessible

This infographic has been designed to help you create, design and develop email campaigns that are accessible to all. We’ve provided you with a key to indicate which techniques help you to address the different needs people have.

  • Eye

    Eye

  • Ear

    Ear

  • Cognitive

    Cognitive

  • Neurological

    Neurological

Content Creation

Copy

Break down your copy into sections, and give each of your sections a heading, so, at a glance, or by listening to a screen reader, your subscribers can quickly understand the message, or messages, you’re conveying through your email. Then, break down your sections further into small, digestible paragraphs.

For People With Visual Impairment
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Copy

Imagery

Imagery should be just that – imagery. If your email does feature images that contain text, the text should be illustrative, and not key to the message of the email.

Avoid creating animated GIFs that flash repeatedly, as they may trigger photo-sensitive seizures in some people.

Add an alt attribute inside each <img> tag, and carefully consider the alternative text you insert into it.

  • If your image is a logo, insert the name of the organisation.
  • If your image is a photograph, and that photograph is key to understanding the message of your email, insert text that clearly describes it.
  • If your image is a graphic, and that graphic is purely functional, such as a button arrow, insert an alt attribute, but leave it empty.
For People With Hearing Impairment
Neurological
Imagery

Pro-Tip

Add a full stop after the alternative text within each alt attribute, as it will cause some screen readers to helpfully pause before proceeding on through the email.

For a detailed checklist to assist you in the creation of accessible emails, DOWNLOAD THE EBOOK.

Buttons

Buttons should be bullet-proof, and selectable across their entire area using a finger or thumb. If your email features more than one button, consider writing a different call to action for each one.

For People With Visual Impairment
For People With Hearing Impairment
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Pro-Tip

Build your buttons to a minimum height of 44px.

For more tips on using design elements to create accessible emails, DOWNLOAD THE EBOOK.

Buttons_img

Link your calls to action, rather than text that instructs subscribers how to respond to your calls to action (e.g. update your preferences rather than click here to update your preferences). Build links so their underline doesn’t interfere with the link text.

For People With Visual Impairment
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Links
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Content Styling

White space

Let your email content breathe, increasing its readability by using white space. Surround your email with typographic margins and group related content together, separating each group with white space. Insert paragraph spacing to help distinguish one paragraph from another.

For People With Hearing Impairment
For People with Cognitive Impairment
White space

Fonts

Headline

For your headline, choose from decorative, serif or sans-serif typefaces. Be mindful that it needs to remain easy to read.

Heading

For headings, choose from serif or sans-serif typefaces. Serif typefaces, such as Georgia and Droid Serif may help to distinguish your headings from your body copy.

Body copy

For body copy, choose a sans-serif typeface, such as Arial or Roboto, but avoid using thin or light weights, such as Roboto Thin or Roboto Light.

Font-size

Define a minimum, readable size for your body copy. If your body copy’s font-family has a large x-height, apply a minimum font-size of 14px. If your body copy’s font-family has a standard x-height, such as Arial, apply a minimum font-size of 16px.

Line-height

As a guide, style your line-height at 1.5x the font-size – font-size:16px; line-height:24px; or font-size:16px; line-height:150%; for example.

For People With Visual Impairment
Fonts

Color

Check the color contrast between the color of your text and the color of the background it sits upon, using the WebAim Color Contrast Checker:

For People With Visual Impairment
color_img

Alignment

Retain the default (left) alignment of your body copy, avoiding centered or justified text.

Alignment
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Content Structure

Flow

Build your email so it makes sense when read from top to bottom, without repositioning its content with CSS.

For People With Hearing Impairment
Flow

Line length

Manage your columns, so each line of text is no longer than 60-70 characters.

Line length

Hierarchy

Use semantic tags to markup each piece of content. Headlines should be wrapped within pairs of <h1> tags, headings within pairs of <h2> to <h6> tags, and paragraphs within pairs of <p> tags.

For People With Visual Impairment
For People With Hearing Impairment

Pro-Tip

Add style="margin:0;" inside your opening tags, to prevent email and webmail clients adding excessive line space.

For more design and development tips, and best practices for creating accessible emails, DOWNLOAD THE EBOOK.

hierarchy_img

Tables

On your structural tables, add role="presentation" inside each opening <table> tag, to prevent screen readers ‘reading’ each cell within your email.

For People With Hearing Impairment
Tables
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Tools for Testing an Accessible Email

Before hitting the send button, test your emails for accessibility using the tools below

Wave Tool:
This Chrome and Firefox extension enables you to evaluate your emails, and highlights anything that prevents them from being 100% accessible.

A Checker:
This tool checks your emails HTML for accessibility. You can either paste in the URL of your email, upload your HTML file or copy and paste it.

Experience your email using the accessibility features built into these popular operating systems
Speaker Image
  • VoiceOver on macOS
  • VoiceOver on iOS
  • Narrator on Windows
  • TalkBack on Android
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Download The Ebook
Download the Ebook for a detailed guide on Accessibility in Emails, expert tips & practical advice.
  • Why Accessibility Matters in Email Marketing?
  • How to Design & Code Accessible Emails?
  • Checklist to Create a Perfect Accessible Email
  • Step-by-step Tutorial to Test an Accessible Email
  • Emailmonks
  • End-to-end Email Campaign Management, Landing Pages & Email Template Production Company.

www.emailmonks.com
  • Beyond the EnvelopeTM

  • An email designer and developer with a passion for accessibility, and a fondness for HTML typography in email.

www.beyondtheenvelope.co.uk