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Guidelines to ensure email accessibility

Published on 10 Mar 2020

To provide a great user experience (UX) it goes without saying that every email an organization sends to customers must be easy to read and understand. Providing a great UX to all recipients requires emails to also be accessible to people with disabilities who are using assistive technologies.

Email accessibility is gaining attention globally – for both ethical and legal reasons.

In this week’s Reading Room, we bring you three articles that provide some great email accessibility guidelines.

To conclude, our digital marketing expert, gives further insight into why email accessibility should be a key consideration for email marketers.

Need help incorporating email accessibility into your email marketing strategy?

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9 Steps You Must Take to Create an Accessible Email

A very informative article by Email On Acid, that gives email marketers a kick start on how to make their emails accessible to all.  

The author references an email accessibility poll that Email On Acid conducted on its website – the results showed that more than 70% of respondents are considering including accessibility in their email strategy. 

Are your emails accessible to all? Can people with visual impairment and other disabilities access and understand your email content? This article provides great email accessibility guidelines from a design and coding perspective. Read further to learn about the crucial pieces of code needed to help make your emails more accessible.


Accessibility and Inclusion with the World’s Most Popular Communication Tool: Email

We are once again reminded of the value and popularity of email as a communication tool. However, being one of the ‘older’ channels, it is often neglected, especially in terms of accessibility and inclusion. 

This article does not only address the importance of email accessibility, it also discusses inclusion and why you need to consider it in your email strategy. While more organizations have begun implementing the technical aspects of email accessibility, they are yet to make their emails fully inclusive. This requires more focus on the design, content and strategy of email marketing campaigns.

The author gives great advice and technical tips on how to create more accessible and inclusive email campaigns. However, he stresses that a focus on the design, content and strategy will help forge deeper relationships with an increasingly diverse consumer base. A podcast is available, which aligns with the accessibility theme.


Email marketing for everyone: Designing an accessible user experience

A really great quote by Thomas Armstrong, is cited in this article. It pretty much sums up why considering accessibility is key: 

“Instead of pretending that hidden away in a vault somewhere is a perfectly “normal” brain, to which all other brains must be compared … we need to admit that there is no standard brain, just as there is no standard flower, or standard cultural or racial group, and that, in fact, diversity among brains is just as wonderfully enriching as biodiversity and the diversity among cultures and races.” – The New Field of Neurodiversity

Read further for ten quick tips on how to design and code accessible emails. Also included is a great infographic by Email Monks on ‘How to craft the perfect accessible email’ – it includes tips on content, creation, styling and structure, as well as tools you can use to test your emails for accessibility.


A comment from our digital marketing expert:

Providing a good email experience isn’t just about spending time designing, developing and testing emails to ensure they render correctly on different screen sizes and in the most commonly used email clients. Email marketers must ensure that people with disabilities are also able to consume emails. This is vital to providing a great user experience for ALL.

Ensuring that your emails are fully accessible does mean a little more effort, but it’s definitely worth the investment.

And consider that most of the work required to ensure that ALL people can access your emails is in line with email best practice. This means that the overall email experience won’t just be improved for subscribers with disabilities, but for everyone.

Dori-Jo Bonner

Account Strategist