Email is a primary way of connecting with new and existing audiences, so you’ll want to ensure that the messages you send are accessible. Luckily, the process for making emails accessible for people with disabilities is similar to making any other document accessible.
Text-only emails sent from a personal email client are simpler from an accessibility perspective than image-heavy marketing emails. An email incorporating different content sections and multiple images likely requires responsive design and heading elements to create the logical navigation structure that screen readers require.
If you are using a system to send out email blasts, you’ll want to research the accessibility of the platform before using it. It’s also vital to understand that while the default templates may be accessible, elements that ensure accessibility can be easy to break when modifying a template design. If you’ve created a custom template, you’ll need a subject matter expert to test it for accessibility.
Consider the following points before sending your next email:
- Have you checked your email signature for accessibility?
- Are you using fonts that are at least 12 points and easily legible, such as a sans-serif font like Ariel or Verdana?
- Have you added meaningful and concise alt text to images where necessary?
- Is there sufficient color contrast to make everything legible?
- Were lists (either numbered or bulleted) created using the tools provided in your email client?
- Have you written the email and subject line in plain language?
- Are you using unique, descriptive text for links, rather than vague wording such as “click here?”
- Have you used #CamelCase to make social media hashtags accessible?
- Would the email content be overwhelming or difficult to understand for people with sensory or cognitive disabilities?
- If the layout is complex, are you using responsive design and including a text-only option?
How to make your email signature accessible in Outlook | University of Iowa
Accessibility in Email Marketing | MailChimp
Accessibility in Email Campaigns | Campaign Monitor