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How Prioritizing Accessibility in Email Marketing Can Strengthen Your Campaign

Posted on 10.12.2022

Image Conveying ADA Principles of Digital Design

Marketing strategies are incomplete without email marketing. Email marketing offers one of the best returns on investment out there. It also provides a unique opportunity to deepen connections with current and potential customers. 

The secret to successful email marketing campaigns is accessibility. Focusing on accessibility in an email marketing campaign can strengthen it significantly. Here’s how. 

Improve Conversion Rates 

First and foremost, keeping accessibility at the forefront of email marketing can improve conversion rates in a campaign. An inaccessible email campaign isn’t likely to inspire action from a subscriber, especially if the content isn’t digestible and the call-to-action isn’t visible and clear. 

Accessibility ultimately improves conversion rates because everything in the email is laid out in a logical way that guides readers to the desired action. An accessible email also supports individuals with varying abilities and disabilities, making it easy to perform any functions they  may need to move forward with the interaction. 

Increase Customer Satisfaction 

Accessibility doesn’t just improve the experience for individuals with disabilities. Instead, accessibility makes the experience better for everyone. Customer satisfaction increases when an email campaign is easy to navigate, visually appealing, and can support various disabilities. 

Inspire Long-Term Customer Relationships 

It’s hard to find brands that take accessibility seriously in their email marketing campaigns. 

So, when subscribers living with a disability, or those that just want ease of use and simplicity, find a brand that offers an email marketing experience they can fully engage with, they’re likely to stick with that brand long-term. 

When a marketer prioritizes accessibility in their email campaigns, they’re simultaneously fueling their customer retention strategies. 

Better Brand Reputation 

Accessible email marketing campaigns are excellent for building brand awareness and recognition. A unique layout, strong, identifiable logo, subtle color scheme, detailed meta descriptions, and readable fonts, among other digitally accessible branding elements, will help subscribers associate your brand with accessibility. 

In addition, marketers who communicate their brand’s commitment to accessibility help subscribers form a positive image and opinion about their brand that they’re likely to share with others, furthering the brand’s reputation.  

Beat Out the Competition 

Savvy marketers take into consideration the number of emails their subscribers receive daily. They know their subscribers get hundreds of emails a day, some from their competitors. 

Accessibility is one of the best ways to beat the competition in email marketing. Many marketers don’t think about accessibility in their emails, let alone prioritize it. So, subscribers will notice when an email is accessible and especially enjoyable. 

Marketers that make accessibility a priority in their campaigns can differentiate their emails from the competition and provide a seamless experience for their subscribers. 

More People Can Enjoy the Email Marketing Experience 

When an email marketing campaign is accessible, more people can enjoy the experience. The whole point of accessibility is to make it so anyone can understand, interact with, and navigate whatever they’re trying to use. 

Marketers help ensure no one is excluded from their email marketing experience when accessibility is at the forefront. 

Tips for Prioritizing Accessibility in Email Marketing

It’s challenging to generate significant results with email marketing if accessibility isn’t a priority. On the other hand, using the following tips to prioritize accessibility in email marketing will help garner the engagement you’re hoping for. 

Understand your unique audience 

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), “61 million adults in the United States live with a disability.” Be mindful that many of your subscribers are a part of this group and their experiences with their disabilities are all different. 

Marketers must understand their unique audience to ensure campaigns are accessible to them. Use data analytics tools to collect data on subscribers that gives insight into how they live, what they need, how they behave, their interests, and their habits. 

Also, marketers should reach out to other departments in the company to form a complete picture of who their subscribers are and how they experience the brand. Nobody benefits from organizational silos. By seeking input from every department, marketers can create a detailed list of accessibility needs. 

With this information, marketers can optimize their email campaigns to address the needs and wants of their subscribers. They’ll be able to navigate and engage with the emails. In addition, marketers can tailor their email messaging, tone, topics, and visuals to what would resonate most with their subscribers. 

Marketers will be much better equipped to meet the needs of their subscriber base when they continually learn about the individuals in it. 

Put everything under an accessibility microscope 

Everything a marketing team does in their email campaigns must be put under an accessibility microscope. Equal access to their email content requires marketers to go through an accessibility checklist before finalizing each detail in their emails.

An accessibility checklist can include questions like: 

  • Does all audio work?

  • Is the call-to-action visible? 

  • Are meta descriptions filled in?

  • Is written content easy to read?

  • Are colors easy on the eyes?

  • Is whitespace used effectively?

  • Are font size and style accessible?

  • Are captions enabled for videos?

  • Is keyboard navigation enabled?

  • Does content read from left to right? 

  • Is there alt text for images and videos?

  • Are visual elements formatted correctly?

  • Are the email design and layout simple?

  • Are headlines and subject lines descriptive?

  • Are the emails compatible with assistive devices?

  • Are there subtle branding elements in each email?

Go over as many accessibility details as possible before each campaign goes live.  

Form a diverse marketing team 

One of the best ways to ensure accessibility is at the forefront of email marketing is to grow a diverse and inclusive marketing team.

When a marketing team is full of people with varying backgrounds, experiences, cultures, abilities, and skill sets, each person can bring their unique perspective to the email campaign creation process. Each person will be able to add to the accessibility conversation, ensuring people with a wide variety of needs can experience your campaigns. 

Recruit and hire a diverse marketing team by seeking candidates that are nothing like each other. Look for individuals living with disabilities. Bring people of different cultures and racial backgrounds on board. They should also be of different ages with various skill sets and experiences. 

A diverse team is critical in creating an authentic and accessible email marketing campaign. 

Ask your subscribers and coworkers for feedback 

Marketers can ensure their email campaigns are accessible to their subscribers by asking them directly. They can also lean on their coworkers for feedback and suggestions on making accessibility more of a priority in email marketing. 

Create surveys and polls that ask questions related to accessibility, user experience, and the overall email list experience and distribute them to subscribers. Spark one-on-one conversations with them via email and social media as well to determine their perspective on the accessibility of your emails. 

Marketers can also ask a small group of their subscribers and coworkers living with a disability to test their emails for accessibility issues before they go live.

Be sure not to only collect feedback but actually implement it to design the most accessible email campaign possible. 

Conclusion 

Email marketing campaigns are an essential piece of the marketing puzzle. However, getting favorable results from them highly depends on how accessible they are. When the entire subscriber base can enjoy and engage with every email, it allows more people to convert. 

Customer satisfaction, brand reputation, and the chances of beating out the competition are also improved. Marketing teams can use the tips above to make their next campaign more accessible.

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