Article updated on 27/06/2022
At least 2.2 billion people around the world live with some form of visual impairment. Accessibility in email has therefore logically become an important technical criterion over the past few years: It is necessary to be able to offer visually impaired recipients of an email campaign the best possible experience through screen readers. This is not just a trend, but a must!
But then, what changes does this require on our development techniques? What are the best practices to adopt in terms of code to ensure optimal reading of content by screen readers? Will it also involve changes to the design? Because the task of improving the experience of reading email by screen readers falls to designers and email developers...
They are numerous, and are not limited to visual deficiencies: dyslexia, epilepsy, visually impaired, hearing impaired, color blind... We can distinguish disabilities according to whether they are permanent (blind)temporary (broken arm: how to zoom a text or scroll so easily on mobile)or contextual (in the car, missing glasses, slow internet speed, using a phone in the sun). Disabilities These include auditory, cognitive, neurological, physical, speech, and visual. People with disabilities rely on accessible content to read their email, make purchases, interact with the web. Some use screen readers or other assistive devices.
Screen readers: read step by step, which is different from our consultation habits. It's not a quick view, but one after the other that will be analyzed. Many campaign managers spend a lot of time worrying about email clients with 1% usage (of market share). Or to want to have an identical rendering to the pixel on all the opening environments. Accessibility is a more important issue.
Why should we care?
- Because it probably represents a good number of your recipients when you know the number of people with any kind of disability around the world. If 10% of your mailing list can't "consume" your emails, you lose that many potential customers; 10% fewer subscribers. 10% fewer leads. 10% less sales.
- Because if you don't care, you're providing a bad experience and creating frustration. And if there's frustration, you lose potential customers.
- To deliver the best possible relevant experience.
- Because a few years ago, the Internet was not accessible to people with certain disabilities. Some platforms are becoming more inclusive. We have to know how to move in that direction.
- Because in an age where almost everything is done online (from banking, to article ordering, communication, learning) it is essential.
- To minimize legal risks.
- To differentiate yourself from your competitors.
- To improve your brand image.
- Because some industries have to comply with the law even more: health care, hospitality industry, government organizations, finance...
What to do?
Contrast, text size, call to action, alternative texts,
<table> and the HTML attribute
roleuse of semantic tags... All these subjects and technical topics have already been detailed in an article on accessibility and emailing and that we have discussed in this video dedicated to the topic of accessible email design and development!
Thomas Defossez : Thomas joined the Badsender team in 2017 as a Lead Email Designer and Email Developer. Since then, he logically divides his time between email template design and HTML integrations. He is passionate about HTML code for email and innovations. Accessibility in email, he's been talking about it since 2018, and he's constantly looking to refine his coding methods.
Jonathan Loriaux : Active for more than ten years in emailing, he started on the technical side (integration of emailing campaigns) before turning to sales (as an eCRM expert) and finally marketing consulting. For 9 years he has been the author of the blog Badsender.com. Emailing is not only an expertise, it has really become his passion, that's why Badsender is now his main activity with the creation of an emailing consultant activity linked to the website.