The process of creating a newsletter consists of several steps. Designing the right template, arranging and planning content, placing graphics, links and CTA buttons... these are just a few examples of the tasks that need to be done before sending a test e-mail and matching the audience group. One of them, although seemingly quite banal, is also the choice of font.

The role of the font in e-mailing

Fonts are an integral part of your email message and play 3 main roles:

  • help build brand integrity

  • determine the readability of the text

  • affect the reception of the message you convey

Proper selection of fonts is a way to increase the open rate and click rate. However, when choosing fonts, you need to take into account not only their compatibility with your own brand and the theme of the campaign, but also with e-mail clients, devices and systems on which your message will be displayed by subscribers. How to find a happy medium for all these issues and avoid a situation in which the fonts you choose do not load at all, display poorly or are replaced by other fonts? Use the so-called web-safe fonts.

Web-safe fonts, which mean...?

In the simplest terms, web-safe fonts are those that display correctly regardless of the device and program in which the e-mail message is read. They are therefore compatible with the fonts used in Gmail, Outlook, and other popular email clients. If the given e-mail client does not support the specified font, it will replace it with the default one. For example, the default font for Gmail is Arial, for Outlook – Times New Roman, for iCloud Mail – Helvetica.

Thanks to the use of web-safe fonts, you can be sure that your e-mails will be displayed everywhere as they were originally designed.

Web-safe fonts include:

  • from the serif group (with small features on the ends of strokes)

Courier

Georgia

Times New Roman

  • from the sans serif group (simple and clean)

Arial

Helvetica

Lucida Sans

Tahoma

Trebuchet

Verdana

You can check the supported fonts for a specific e-mail client directly in the message creator. For example, in Gmail it looks like this:

All the above-mentioned fonts are considered web-safe. However, this does not mean that they all influence e-mail efficiency equally.

A handful of good practices

  1. Do not use too many fonts in the e-mail creation – choose a maximum of 2 or 3. Think about how and where to use them, so as not to disturb the readability of the text. Avoid using multiple fonts in the same text section.

  2. Serif fonts are better for printing, and sans serif ones in the digital world. The latter are considered more pleasing to the reader's eye and easier to read, especially on low resolution screens. Therefore, serif fonts are not recommended for long blocks of text, but are suitable for headings.

  3. The most effective fonts for the body of an email are Georgia or Verdana. They are also perfect for CTA buttons.

  4. The optimal font size is 14px for desktop users and 16px for mobile users.

  5. The header should be clearly distinguishable from the rest of the message, so its size should be twice the size of the body text.

  6. The header gives you more freedom – on the one hand, using the same font for both the header and body text gives your readers a sense of clarity. On the other hand, using two different ones creates a nice visual contrast. However, do not overdo the originality of both fonts – if you choose a more "fancy" font for the header, choose the simple one for the rest of the content. A collision of two strong fonts can create a sense of chaos.

  7. If you still want to use your own font, where possible (e.g. in the header), replace the text with an image.

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