Creating accessible emails

Email is now a part of our everyday lives.  We can't really escape them. Either it's an email from a business trying to encourage you to buy their product or an email from a charity telling you their latest news.  People read these emails in different ways and also on different devices.

You might find that people read these emails using screen readers or text to speech software.  Now here's the point - you spend lots of time looking at web accessibility so you can serve a wide range of customers.  Wouldn't it be a good idea to remember to make your emails to clients and customers as accessible as possible?

Here are some top tips to make emails accessible to all:

Macbook on table

  1. Subject lines matter.  If you are using a screen reader you want to make sure the email is worth reading. Otherwise it will get deleted!
  2. Use Headers. If you use headers screen reader users are able to work out the hierarchy of the page.
  3. Use Tables to present content. This helps people who are using keyboard only access to make better sense of content
  4. Use contrasting colours for backgrounds and text.  Some colours might look nice but don't work in terms of readability for visually impaired users.
  5. Use meaningful link text. If you label a hyperlink with "click here" it doesn't really help anyone let along people with cognitive or visual impairments.
  6. Use helpful description in ALT Tags within your images.

It is sometimes difficult to know where to start so here are some of our favourite email accessibility sites.

So as you can see, you don't have to go out of your way to make emails accessible. Just take some time to work on good design!