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What you need to know about typography in email advertising
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Email designers have learned a lot over the last few years. One of the things they have learned is that having an image-based email is unreliable and may lead to anger, frustration and sometimes might make people unsubscribe.

A recent study found that at least 43% of email subscribers have disabled images. Style ALT text may mitigate several issues, but the only way to get the message to subscribers is by use of real text.

Picking the right font isn’t too hard since there are few web fonts to pick from. However, things started to change. There has been an increasing number of email designers adopting similar development methods that have been used by web designers for many years – implementing web fonts in emails.

How fonts affect email engagement

Emails contain an email copy, header image, and footer. Combination of texts, colors, and images will make an email engaging. Colors depend on your brand personality. Fonts also play a vital role in conveying specific emotions.

Smart Insights

In the logo above, the font styling shows the message that the brand is communicating. Arial is used to highlight “pure” and “clean.”

The fonts that we choose can affect the email performance. People can concentrate for less than eight seconds. This is the time when the internet user can continue reading the email or going to the next email.

A well-designed typography can capture attention, reinforce brand message and instill emotion. Selecting a font for marketing should be taken seriously. Here are some strategic considerations to be aware of when picking your typeface.

Visual hierarchy

Most design scenarios require two fonts – one body font and one headline font. It could be a combination of color variations, font weights or different font families. The reason for doing that is to design a visual hierarchy which allows viewers to scan the marketing material, know the crucial elements and relate every element to different components of the screen or page. Visitors usually scan the headlines and concentrate on the things that interest them.

Select fonts that can be read comfortably

Smart Insights

Several things determine how easy a particular font can be read. These factors can be broken down into two things: legibility and readability. Readability is the way blocks and words are arranged within a page.

Legibility shows the design of a typeface and how one character is different from another. It defines the word shapes.

However, not all simple fonts are equal. Different people have different preferences. Fonts with small embellishments and flourishes in the character as considered as Serif fonts while those without are called Sans-serif.

Concentrate on legibility

Not all fonts that seem great in the headlines will look the same in the body copy. When selecting the fonts to use in the body copy or headlines, you can base your decision on font face type. However, an exception exists to this rule.

Display face – these are designed for use in large formats like headlines

Body or text faces – are designed for use in longer passages of reading and large areas of copy.

Another thing that determines the legibility of the font is the character’s shape. Perhaps you have heard about sans-serif and serif.

Sans-Serif fonts don't have small lines that project from their corners while serif fonts have small serifs that tail from the edges of the symbols and letters. Serif fonts can be easily read when used in body copy and has been used for many years. As a result of screen resolution and screen size that the content is usually viewed from, most web designers prefer sans serif fonts. Sans serif fonts give a modern feel.

Pick fonts for utility


The way some words are arranged and how easy the reader can read it is called readability. The reader will scan these words and interpret the layout and content. The readability of the typeface is determined by letter spacing, font size, and spacing.

Since a reader will scan the words and interpret the layout, check these examples in Incredible Designer Promotional E-mail Newsletters if you want to get more clients from both your website and email advertising

Take advantage of the contrast

It might be obvious, but contrast is crucial when it comes to font’s readability. To achieve the desired contrast, use color and space. Most people prefer a dark text and a pale background when it comes to books and blogs. It offers the best experience when reading long texts. You can use colored type for display text and headlines.

Font size

The size of font depends on the surface and the screen of the message. The size of the body font for multiple-line paragraphs should be between 45-70 characters in each line. If the characters exceed 70 in each line, it might be tiring to scan and losing pace is likely to happen. If the lines are too short, it might lead to awkward hyphenated breaks or whitespace running through paragraphs.

Concentrate on paragraph spacing and line height

Just like font size, the line spacing can have a significant impact on the readability of the content. The line spacing is usually called leading. Most designers prefer the leading size of above 150 % of text size.

A should never notice paragraph spacing or light. A well-designed typography concentrates on function, and that is to communicate the message. However, it doesn’t mean that your text should not have an appeal, it doesn’t have to be the center of attention.

Design for different devices

ClickSend Blog

There should be consistent when it comes to typography across various devices. It can be a smartphone, iPhone, PC, etc.

When you have the right font, your emails will be easy on the eyes and might convey different emotions. Having the correct font is crucial for effective email advertising. Web fonts are usually used when it comes to email marketing. However, you should know that only limited email clients can support web fonts. Typically, the following email clients support web fonts:


Outlook 2000

Android default client

Ios Mail

Apple mail

Outlook.com app

However, the support of web fonts depends on the way web font is embedded or the email client. If these web fonts are not supported, don’t worry since there are fallback fonts which will be seen instead. The fallback fonts can be Arial, Helvetica or sans serif font. These fonts are default fonts for the famous email clients. Email clients have a default or preferred font which viewers see instead of the chosen web font. Here are examples of the famous email clients and their fonts:

Microsoft Outlook – Calibri

Gmail – Arial

Apple Mail – Helvetica

Therefore, instead of seeing your font, those who use Gmail will see Arial.

Brand message

Typography can be compared to furniture or fashion. People prefer to look different and you that’s why there are styles and trends. The final decision usually depends on the taste of the design, and it depends on experience. You can follow simple steps to pick the best typeface for your brand.

Find inspiration by studying the use typography

You can study other designer’s work and pick the elements that can work for you. Most designers go through other designer’s work, and you shouldn’t be ashamed of.

Pick a font delivery service

If you want to use your brand fonts always, you need to pick a font delivery service. Fonts.com, Google Fonts, and Typekit are the most popular. The services allow designers to a collection of fonts and ensure that the fonts work well for every device and web browser.

When you have picked a font delivery service, you can narrow your selection down to the fonts that you want from their collection. Many services will let you filter fonts depending on typography characteristics. You can compare different fonts side by side, and you can also save them for review. When you have placed all your options side by side, comparing will be easy and picking the best fonts will be easy and quick.

The best way to focus on the correct elements of the font, use only white and black. Color can affect how one font may appeal as compared to another. It is a well-known fact that color affects the behavior and psychology of viewers. Therefore, picking colors and fonts are two different steps in coming up with your brand.

Formatting links

The links in the email should stand out from the rest of the text in the email. It should appear in a way that most users will recognize that it is a link. You can a traditional link format. It involves using an underlined blue font. It can also be a great idea if the links are bolded. If for any reason you can’t use a blue font that is underlined, at least ensure that they are underlined.


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