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Inclusivity in Every Inbox: Email 101 Accessibility Guide

Founder of Orchid Agency
Carla Sinfon
February 27, 2024
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Ensuring your marketing emails are accessible is not just the right thing to do, but it means reaching a wider audience and leaving a positive impression on your brand. Email accessibility is a key strategy for B2B marketing success.

This how-to guide will provide insights into the importance of email accessibility, key points to check, tips to enhance accessibility, and a practical checklist.

What is email accessibility?

Email accessibility ensures that emails are easy for everyone to read and use, especially for people with disabilities. This includes individuals with vision, hearing, movement, or thinking challenges. The aim is to make email something everyone can use easily, creating a more inclusive and friendly user experience.

Why does email accessibility matter?

62% of adults with disabilities own a laptop or desktop computer and 72% own a smartphone. With that said, creating campaigns that cater to a diverse audience is an absolute must, plus because you will reach a wider audience it’s a win-win for both parties. Let’s explain.


Accessibility ensures that everyone, including individuals with disabilities, can access and understand your email content. It promotes inclusivity by removing barriers to information and communication.

Wider Reach

When emails are accessible, they can reach a broader audience. This inclusivity can lead to increased engagement, as more people can interact with your content, potentially translating into better business outcomes.

Brand Image

Accessibility reflects positively on your brand, showcasing a commitment to inclusivity. So what's the impact? You will build trust and loyalty among diverse customers.

Legal Compliance

Ensure your business complies with legal regulations such as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to avoid potential legal challenges. Following these rules shows you're committed to doing business correctly and following the rules.

How do I check my emails for accessibility?

Checking your emails for accessibility involves a combination of manual checks and testing across different devices.

  1. Alt Text for Images: Make sure All of your images have descriptive alt text for screen reader users. For example, instead of alt=”image1”, try  alt=”colorful bouquet of roses in a vase”.
  2. Readable Fonts and Colors: Verify that your fonts are legible, and there is sufficient contrast between text and background colors. Aim for a contrast ratio of at least 4.5:1 for regular text and 3:1 for large text. This helps users with visual impairments, to easily distinguish the text from its background.
  3. Descriptive Hyperlinks: Confirm that your hyperlinks use clear and descriptive text rather than generic terms. For example, instead of “click here”, try “read the latest marketing trends”.
  4. Structured Content: Organize your content with headers, subheaders, and bullet points for easy navigation. This makes it easier for readers to navigate through different sections quickly.
  5. Mobile Responsiveness: Test your emails on different devices, like desktop and mobile, to ensure that your content is optimized for all screen sizes.

Any tips for starting with email accessibility?

Getting started with email accessibility doesn't have to be challenging. While it may require some adjustment, the benefits far outweigh the effort.

  • Educate Your Team: Hold training sessions so your marketing team understands the importance of email accessibility. This fosters a culture of awareness and responsibility within your organization.
  • Accessible Email Templates: Select or create email templates with proper HTML structure and formatting to ensure a solid foundation for accessible email design.
  • Alt Text is Key: Train your team to always add descriptive alt text to all images in your emails to improve the experience for visually impaired recipients.
  • Use Accessibility Tools: Use online accessibility testing tools, like Email on Acid, to check your email's HTML code for common issues. Tools like this help identify potential problems related to alt text, color contrast, and other accessibility features.
  • Ongoing Enhancement: Stay in the loop on the latest updates and best practices in email accessibility. This way, you can adjust your strategies to continually improve and maintain accessibility over time.
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Implementing these steps will not only enhance the accessibility of your email campaigns but also contribute to the overall success of your B2B marketing efforts. Make accessibility a priority, and watch your reach and impact grow. Continue the conversation here.