We are now in 2022. If accessible email design still hasn’t made it to your top 3 criteria while creating your campaigns, believe us, you are due for a strategy overhaul.
Approximately 15% of the global population live with some form of disability; more than a quarter suffer from visual impairment. Hence, if you’re not focusing on designing accessible emails, you’re losing on two counts:
- Your campaigns will appear non-inclusive to the community at large.
- Your reach and visibility will suffer a massive blow.
Although the primary goal of practicing accessibility is to make your messages comprehensible for people with disabilities (or those using assistive tools like screen readers), it also helps in moving your business forward. How? Because accessible emails are inherently more easy to consume than their non-accessible counterparts. As a result, it makes your communication that much more impactful and effective.
In this article, we will walk you through the importance of email accessibility in absolute detail. That’s not all; we’ll also share a few accessibility design practices that you can implement in your future campaigns! Curious already? Read on to find out.
Why should you prioritize email accessibility?
Of course, email accessibility makes your campaigns inclusive and enhances their reach and impact. But that’s just scratching at the surface. In the following section, we discuss some of the other benefits of email accessibility.
It Lets You Make the Most of Email Marketing
Email is the most preferred channel for both, businesses to communicate with their customers and for customers to stay in touch with their favorite brands. And that’s not a notion made out of thin air; there are some very serious numbers that give it substance. Take a look:
- The number of global email users, as of 2021, is a staggering 4.03 billion.
- The average ROI on email is 3800%.
- $7.5 billion– that was the valuation of the global email marketing in 2020. This figure is supposed to touch 17.9 by 2027.
As you might already have guessed, all the above numbers lay the perfect foundation for a massive volume of emails to be exchanged on a daily basis; the number is 306 billion, to be precise.
Now, it doesn’t matter how you process these stats, there’s only one conclusion to be reached – Email has massive reach and penetration. By designing accessible emails, you can capitalize on this virtue, and truly assert your dominance in the market. Sounds too good to be true? Believe us, it’s not. Or better still, try out for yourself!
It Allows You To Deliver A Superior User Experience
Accessibility doesn’t stop at simply making your email content accessible to all; your messages should also be able to deliver similar experiences to users of all abilities. Only when you design your campaigns by keeping inclusivity in mind, can you meet this objective. Delivering a better user experience paves the path for increased engagement and interactions. Accessibility design practices, in effect, resolve all kinds of barriers that might potentially put off your subscribers. This, in turn, leads to greater conversions, and by extension, revenue. Additionally, dishing out a good user experience goes a long way towards securing customer loyalty and confidence as well.
It Enhances Your Brand Recognition
Besides improving your business, inclusive email campaigns also land you in the good books of your subscribers. Subsequently, it motivates them to spread the word of your business among their near and dear ones, boosting your presence and visibility in the process. Remember, just focus on delivering a consistent experience across all your channels; the rewards will automatically fall into your lap.
It Improves Brand Recall
In the current scheme of things, customers don’t regard brands as mere commercial entities. Brands are seen as sentient pillars of society; their actions are closely monitored and they’re expected, just as the rest of us, to take a stand when it comes to societal issues. As a business, if you’re unable to resonate with the beliefs and values of your customers in your messaging, you risk losing their patronage. This is where email accessibility comes into the picture.
Creating accessible emails tells your audience that you care about them, but more importantly that you care about inclusivity. This can do wonders for your brand recall. At the end of the day, all of us want to be remembered for something good. You could be remembered as THAT brand that didn’t just provide utility, but also value. It doesn’t matter how many discounts you are offering on your packages; if you’re unable to convince your customers that you stand for the same values as them, they will never gravitate towards you.
It Keeps Legal Issues At Bay
Nowadays, there are a number of regulations in place that bid businesses, by law, to make their messages accessible for people suffering from visual, physical, auditory, cognitive, and other disabilities. Should you happen to not take stock of these laws, you will find yourself embroiled in a host of unending disputes and lawsuits. These can deal a severe blow to your brand reputation and credibility. So, make sure you tick off every item given in the following email accessibility checklist and steer clear of legal troubles!
Email accessibility: A few best practices
Below, we list a few techniques that will help you make your emails accessible. Take a look:
- Keep your subject lines and pre-headers to the point. If they’re too long, they’ll get truncated on mobile devices. Given that these two things are your email’s first point of contact with your readers, you need them to be as eye-catching and compelling as possible.
- Optimize your emails for screen readers- avoid using too many emojis, include skip navigation links, employ semantic markup, use ARIA (Accessible Rich Internet Applications) attribute; these are a few things you can do in that direction.
- Avoid using color combinations that color blind or individuals suffering from some form of visual impairment might have trouble processing.
- Avoid including large chunks of content in your copy. Keep your paragraphs short and use subheadings wherever possible.
- Try to work a visual hierarchy into your email design.
- Ensure your alt texts are descriptive.
Want to learn about other email accessibility practices? This infographic compiled by Email Uplers in collaboration with GetResponse paints the entire picture!
Now that you know how vital email accessibility is, we hope you will be practicing it in all of your upcoming campaigns. Wish to outshine your competitors and stamp your authority in the market? Email accessibility is the way forward!
Guest author: Kevin George is Head of Marketing at Email Uplers, one of the fastest growing custom email design and coding companies, and specializes in crafting professional email templates, PSD to HTML email conversion and free responsive 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 practises on his blog.