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How to Make Your Email Campaigns More Inclusive and Accessible

By 24. July 2018September 9th, 2019

Our world is diverse and your customer base is too. With marketing becoming increasingly globalised, it's important to ensure that your campaigns reflect and support the huge variety of customers your business has. Even small businesses cater to a large range of people differing in age, gender, race, religion, physical ability, etc. These are all qualities which make your customers unique and for this reason, it's great for your business to celebrate and recognise them where you can. Here are some ways you can make your email campaigns more inclusive and accessible to your customers.

Get to know your target audience

The more you know about your customers, the more you can directly target your campaigns. For example, if you know the majority of your customers are from one country, you can make an effort to recognise national holidays which would be important to them and form a closer bond. You can use questionnaires, Twitter polls, and detailed sign up forms to try and find out more about the demographic of your customer base and adapt your marketing strategy accordingly.

This fun email design from Love Culture Clothing gives back to customers of Mexican origin with a 20% discount for their Cinco de Mayo celebrations.

Avoid generalisations or stereotypes

Because our world is so diverse, it is important to recognise that your customers are not a homogenous group - they each have different needs and different interests. In the past, businesses have experienced problems by trying to use stereotypes in their marketing campaigns. These types of generalisations may be funny to some, but will cause offence and upset to others. A prime example of stereotypes gone wrong is this very subjective idea of the "perfect body" from Victoria's Secret. This marketing campaign received a barrage of complaints for featuring just one body type and failing to represent its hugely diverse global customer base.

This shortsighted Victoria's Secret campaign rightfully sparked complaints from customers worldwide.

Think carefully about your images

Continuing from the previous point, it's also important to show diversity in any images you're using in your email designs. A picture is worth a thousand words, so it's important to choose the right image for your campaign. If you can, try to choose a photo where you can see a range of different people doing different things. The more diverse the photos you include in your emails are, the more inclusive they become. Here are four great examples of brands who use diverse imagery to create inclusive marketing campaigns...

Nike's Pro Hijab campaign

Dove's Real Beauty campaign

Lloyd's TSB 2012 Paralympics campaign

Tesco's Food Love Stories campaign

Make your emails accessible

One way you can ensure your email designs are inclusive is by making them accessible to people of varying abilities. Here are three simple steps you can take to make your email design more accessible using Mail Designer 365:

Create a plain text version of your email design. Customers with visual impairments may use a special screen reading device to read your email message. These devices struggle with HTML emails, which is why it is good practice for you to always include a plain text version which summarises the contents of your email. This is easy to do in Mail Designer 365, simply switch to the plain text/Apple Watch view to create the non-HTML version.

Create a plain text version for visually impaired recipients using screen readers

Be careful with your colors  For readers with visual impairments such as color blindness, it can be difficult to decipher a HTML email design. Some popular color combinations which can be particularly confusing for users with color blindness include: green & blue, green & red, blue & grey, and blue & purple. Try and avoid these combinations where possible. Strongly contrasting combinations work well - use a light hue for the background and a darker, bolder hue for your text to make it more prominent.

Use a clear typeface There are also many steps you can take for recipients with reading difficulties such as Dyslexia or Alexia. Try and use a sans serif font where possible, as the individual characters are easy to identify. You should also try to avoid using italics or calligraphy style fonts, as these distort the words even more. Use a fairly large font size and avoid using justified text, as this is very difficult for the majority of dyslexics to read.

Mail Designer 365 has a range of text options to make your email easy to read

Celebrate everyone

We touched upon this earlier on, but it's good to get involved in as many celebrations as you can. Celebrations and holidays such as Pride Month, Black History Month, International Women's Day, etc, are all super positive ways of celebrating our diverse world and will make your email campaigns much more inclusive. This inspiring campaign from Everlane acknowledges Pride Month by celebrating humanity.

This email design from Everlane is super positive and inclusive

We hope we've managed to inspire you with these tips on how to make your marketing campaigns more inclusive and accessible for your diverse email audience. With just a few small changes, you can work wonders with an inclusive email marketing campaign. Try it out in Mail Designer 365!

Until next time!
Your Mail Designer 365 Team

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