October 1, 2023

So, all people will get it is essential to make emails accessible to everybody. Nevertheless, reaching such accessibility can typically be a posh activity on account of a myriad of things to contemplate, together with the presence of conflicting info present in numerous assets.

After totally reviewing and analyzing an intensive array of assets, ranging in dozens if not tons of, we have put collectively suggestions for e mail accessibility. These pointers intention to fulfill the various necessities of each reader.

Why accessibility in emails is a should 

  • for social causes — to make emails simple for everybody to learn;
  • authorized causes — to fulfill laws necessities;
  • enterprise causes — it is going to deliver you extra clicks, and extra conversions, which can end in a greater revenue;
  • humane causes — we’re extraordinarily fortunate to have the ability to learn, see, and inform colours. Let’s make emails just a little bit higher for these not this fortunate.  Let’s not be heartless.

Reasons to maintain email accessibility _ Insightful stats

Simply think about that:

  • 2.2 billion individuals worldwide have bother seeing even with glasses;
  • 9-12% of the world’s inhabitants have dyslexia (each tenth particular person);
  • 300 mln persons are colour blind (1 in 12 males and 1 in 200 ladies).

What’s e mail accessibility?

E mail accessibility ensures that everybody with any impairment can “learn” your message.

Varieties of impairments that make studying difficult and even unimaginable


Blind individuals use display readers akin to VoiceOver for Mac and Microsoft Narrator for Home windows, and so on., when opening emails. This assistive expertise helps narrate the display’s content material with an artificial voice.

Visible impairment

Individuals with visible impairments could learn emails or surf the online on their very own, with out assistive expertise, however nonetheless may expertise bother studying even with glasses on. 

Colour blindness

Color blindness is also referred to as colour imaginative and prescient deficiency (DVC). These individuals don’t inform colours. Some don’t see crimson, some don’t see blue, and a few don’t see inexperienced. Some don’t see colours in any respect; they simply see shades of grey.

Those that don’t see crimson or inexperienced are inclined to confuse inexperienced and crimson, blue and purple, even darkish crimson with black, and plenty of different colours.


Dyslexia is a dysfunction primarily characterised by extreme difficulties in buying studying, spelling, and writing expertise. There is no such thing as a relationship between an individual’s degree of intelligence, particular person effort of socioeconomic place, and dyslexia. They simply have bother studying and writing except the textual content is optimized.

Actress Jennifer Aniston, film director Steven Spielberg, billionaire Richard Branson, and plenty of other famous people have dyslexia.

Photosensitive epilepsy

Photosensitive epilepsy is when seizures are triggered by flashing lights or contrasting lights. One in 100 individuals on Earth have epilepsy, and 5 of them have photosensitive epilepsy.

When creating an e mail, you might want to take into account all these impairments, as they’ve completely different necessities for e mail accessibility. Some are even controversial. So, we needed to totally examine suggestions for every kind of impairment to discover a resolution that will meet the wants of all kinds of impairments.

What can I say? I believe we managed to do it. And later on this publish, we’ll share these e mail accessibility pointers. However earlier than we do, allow us to share the suggestions for every impairment kind so you know the way precisely we’ve developed our common e mail accessibility pointers.

E mail accessibility requirements for every kind of impairment

E mail accessibility requirements are a algorithm and proposals that permit us design emails which can be simple to learn for these with visible impairments.

1. E mail accessibility necessities, particularly for blindness

These individuals use display readers on their desktops and cellular gadgets.

Do you know that 7.7% of those that use screenreaders would not have any visible impairment, they simply do it for his or her comfort.

Consequently, our obligation is to make our e mail campaigns legible for display readers.

When writing on this part of the rules, we consulted:

  1. W3 Schools.
  2. Accessibility.com.
  3. Microsoft.
  4. Email markup consortium.
  5. Email on Acid.
  6. Princeton University.
  7. Harvard University.

What can we do to make emails “readable” for display readers?

  • set the language in your e mail code so the display reader is aware of what language to learn your e mail in. Use just one language per e mail. Right here’s a list of language codes you possibly can add to your e mail HTML code;

Stripo _ Email Accessibility _ Setting Languages for Screen Readers

  • set presentation roles to your e mail code position=”presentation”. Most HTML e mail templates include tables. If you happen to do not add this code factor, recipients will hear these assistive gadgets learn the whole HTML code as an alternative of logical and comprehensible textual content. You add them to every desk of your emails. Please be suggested that Stripo mechanically provides this attribute the second you export your e mail to the ESP or e mail shopper of yours;

Setting Role Presentation _ Email Accessibility Best Practices

  • encode characters. The best way the e-mail content material shall be displayed is dependent upon the Content material-Sort. You must add <charset=”UTF-8″> in your e mail HTML code proper after “<head>” as a result of that is the preferred charset internet and helps the overwhelming majority of characters. Fortunately, all emails constructed with Stripo have already got this set laid out in emails;

Stripo _ Email Accessibility _ Adding CharSet in Your Code

  • use heading and subheadings — <h1>, <h2>, and so on. Arrange your content material in a significant means that’s simple to learn for each individuals and display readers; 
  • add alt textual content to all photos or GIFs. Display readers can not “learn” the pictures you employ in emails, however they will learn “various textual content,” aka alt textual content. AI is barely learning to  “recognize” images. Make sure that your alt textual content is obvious and informative;
  • all the time duplicate vital info from the graphics and GIFs below the pictures;
  • keep away from emoticons, as they’re made up of punctuation characters. They lose their that means when learn with assistive expertise;
  • use solely programmatically formatted bulleted and numbered lists;
  •  make the hyperlinks’ textual content significant at any time when it’s attainable to let individuals know what they’re about to click on on and the place they’ll get it. Simply evaluate these two hyperlinks:

Example of a generic and meaningful link texts

2. E mail accessibility necessities, particularly for visible impairment 

As talked about above, in line with the World Well being Group (WHO), 2.2. billion individuals right now endure from a imaginative and prescient dysfunction. 

Types of visible impairment:

  1. Central imaginative and prescient loss.
  2. Peripheral imaginative and prescient loss.
  3. Blurry imaginative and prescient.
  4. Visible problems following mind accidents.

When writing on this part of the rules, we consulted:

  1. Inclusive city maker.
  2. WHO.
  3. Supplemental Guidance to WCAG 2 by W3 Colleges.

What can we do to make emails legible for individuals with visible impairment?

  • keep away from the usage of Roman numerals;
  • select legible fonts. Sans serif fonts work simply high-quality;
  • use line spacing between phrases, sentences, traces, paragraphs, and blocks of copy. It reduces litter. Please be suggested that “white house” means the background colour and that it doesn’t must be actually white.

3. E mail accessibility necessities, particularly for colour blindness

Colour blindness has the following types:

Protanopia is characterised by diminished sensitivity to the crimson colour. These individuals, additionally named red-blind, confuse black with many shades of crimson, darkish brown with darkish inexperienced, and a few shades of blue with mid-some shades of crimson.

Email accessibility _ Example of an email with green and red colors

(Supply: Authentic e mail by Uber)

Accessibility in emails _ Example of an email that is not optimized for color-blind people

That is how red-blind individuals see it. Pink tomatoes, crimson meat, and bacon look all inexperienced, identical to lettuce subsequent to them, which makes it onerous to inform what meals is within the burger

Deuteranopia is characterised by diminished sensitivity to inexperienced colour. Inexperienced-weak and gree- blind individuals additionally confuse mid-reds with greens, brilliant greens with yellows, and light-weight blues with lilac.

Tritanopia makes individuals blind to blue and its shades. Because of this individuals who endure from tritanopia confuse gentle blue with grey and darkish purple with black.

Monochromacy makes individuals completely colour blind. They solely see shades of grey, various from black to white.

This image reveals how color-blind individuals normally “see” colours:

Palette with colors _ The way color blind people see different colors _ Email accessibility

When writing on this part of the rules, we consulted:

  1. Colour blind awareness.
  2. Accessible colors.
  3. Colbldindor — colour blindness simulator.
  4. Yale University
  5. The University of Pittsburgh.

What can we do to make emails accessible to color-blind individuals?

Please, be suggested that these suggestions solely make emails accessible to color-blind individuals. Some suggestions harm dyslectic individuals. Later, we’ll exclude them.

  • make the hyperlink textual content daring or underlined. Colorblind individuals or those that, whereas studying emails on a cellular machine, have the solar shining proper onto the display won’t see the colour distinction; 
  • all the time specify the identify of things’ colour in brackets — individuals won’t see colours pretty much as good however could be conscious that crimson flatters them;
  • check the colour distinction in your e mail. This may assist e mail recipients inform what’s written anyplace in your e mail;
  • check if the pictures are easy-to-perceive and comprehensible for all color-blind individuals;  
  • in the event you use interactive components for working exams in emails and spotlight the right solutions with, say, inexperienced and incorrect ones with crimson, point out whether or not the reply is correct or incorrect with phrases.

Accessibility in interactive emails

(Supply: E mail from HubSpot. Good instance)

4. E mail accessibility requirements, particularly for dyslexia

On condition that there are a number of kinds of dyslexia, each dyslexic particular person is completely different, and what they see is dependent upon each the kind of dyslexia they endure from and the severity of their dyslexia. 

What do dyslexic individuals see?

In line with NeuroHealth, they:

  • see letters and numbers backward;
  • see letters and numbers the other way up;
  • could not be capable to distinguish between similar-looking letters akin to e, c, and o;

Email accessibility _ Example of how some dyslexic readers see the letters

(Picture supply: Daniel Britton)

  • see letters all bunched collectively;
  • see letters jumbled;
  • see letters out of order.

Example of how letters mix up for dyslexic readers _ Best practices to maintain for email accessibility

When writing on this part of the rules, we consulted:

  1. European dyslexia association.
  2. British dyslexia association.
  3. Dyslexia Style information by the British dyslexia affiliation.
  4. E-learning heroes.
  5. Daniel Britton.

What can we do to make emails legible for dyslexics?

  • keep away from underlining or italics — use daring for emphasis;
  • the identical applies to hyperlinks — by no means underline them. Use daring as an alternative; 
  • line spacing ought to be 150%;
  • keep away from utilizing all capital letters for steady textual content. Decrease-case letters are simpler to learn;
  • use Sans Serif fonts, akin to Arial, Comedian Sans, Verdana, Tahoma, Century Gothic, Trebuchet, Calibri, and Open Sans;
  • add additional house round headings and between paragraphs;
  • use single-color backgrounds. Keep away from background patterns or footage;
  • the background shouldn’t be white; make it cream for dyslexic readers, as copy written on the cream background appears softer;
  • use enough distinction between backgrounds and textual content;
  • use headings;
  • write brief sentences. The optimum size is 60-70 characters;
  • left align your copy, no justification.

5. E mail accessibility necessities, particularly for photosensitive epilepsy

Do you know we are able to set off epileptic seizures in emails by merely utilizing GIFs incorrectly? 

What causes photosensitive seizures:

  • three or extra flashes per second;
  • colour flashes;
  • daylight, particularly when shimmering off water and flickering by way of timber;
  • stripes of contrasting colours;
  • lighting results at stay concert events or occasions.

When writing on this part of the rules, we consulted:

  1. Epilepsy Society, UK.
  2. Epilepsy Foundation, US.
  3. Visually sensitive seizures: An up to date assessment by the Epilepsy Basis.
  4. Accessible web.

What can we do to make emails legible for individuals with photosensitive epilepsy?

  • place only one animated GIF picture on a display;
  • use GIFs with 2 flashes per second.

Common e mail accessibility pointers 

Lastly, we are able to sum all of it up and provide you with e mail accessibility pointers that will meet the wants of all individuals with any visible incapacity or impairment.

A few of the above suggestions have been contradictory, so we needed to discover a compromise. For instance, for color-blind individuals, we must always both underline hyperlinks or make them daring, whereas for dyslectics, we are able to solely make them daring. The compromise right here is utilizing daring for hyperlinks.

So, listed here are our common e mail accessibility pointers:

  1. Set the e-mail language, presentation roles, and content material kind for display readers.
  2. At all times! At all times add alt textual content to all the pictures and GIFs.
  3. If a GIF or a picture fulfills an educative mission, be sure you add a written, detailed description to it.
  4. Use heading and subheadings — <h1>, <h2>, and so on. — to prepare your content material meaningfully and make it legible for display readers.
  5. Keep away from emoticons.
  6. Use solely programmatically formatted bulleted and numbered lists.
  7. Make the hyperlink textual content significant.
  8. Select Sans serif fonts.
  9. Set the road spacing to about 150%.
  10. Specify the names of the gadgets colours’ in brackets.
  11. Verify the colour distinction of your copy and imagery.
  12. Keep away from utilizing all capital letters for steady textual content; use extra large lower-case letters as an alternative.
  13. Add punctuation on the finish of bullet factors and each sentence, together with headings.
  14. Use single-color, off-white backgrounds.
  15. Write brief sentences.
  16. Left align your copy, with no justification.
  17. Place only one animated GIF picture on a display.
  18. Use GIFs with wo flashes per second.

Accessibility testing instruments

Once you end your e mail campaigns, test them with accessibility testing instruments and/or attempt them with display readers.

Listed below are the instruments that may provide help to test your emails:

  • accessible-email.org by Jordie van Rijn and Maarten Lierop — this instrument checks whether or not your e mail code is appropriate with any display reader. They’ll even  provide help to optimize it;
  • Campaign precheck accessibility check by Email on Acid — it checks in case your e mail is optimized for assistive gadgets;
  • accessible colors to test the colour distinction of the e-mail physique (copy and different components, excluding imagery);
  • Coblis, colour blindness simulator — it checks whether or not your photos are accessible for color-blind individuals;
  • Trace RERC to test your GIFs for flashing;
  • Stripo (coming quickly) — within the close to future, we’ll test the accessibility of your code, colour distinction, presence of alt textual content for imagery, and so on.

Wrapping up

With e mail, companies attain giant audiences. And it’s our obligation to make sure that clients with a visible deficiency don’t really feel deprived.

On this article, we’ve surveyed the 5 kinds of impairments that make studying difficult, typically even unimaginable. Following the rules above, you’ll keep away from accessibility points and construct totally accessible emails so that each subscriber of yours can simply learn your message. 

Create accessible emails with Stripo