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4 Strategies for Creating Accessible Content

Managing the accessibility of emails in Marketing Cloud can at first seem daunting. Yet by following just four simple guidelines below, you can ensure that your communications meet accessibility standards so that everyone is included.

Accessible Content Pillars: Copy, Layout, Links, Images

Strategize About Your Copy

Your copy is a key component of your content: it's the important message you want to deliver. When it comes to accessibility, less is truly more. Follow the guidelines below to ensure that your copy is readable, engaging, and easy to read and understand.

  • Keep your copy short and concise (50 words or less per content block)
  • Split longer sentences into two sentences
  • Use a minimum font size of 14px
  • Set line spacing at 1.5 to 2
  • Ensure that text color is in high-contrast to any background colors in your email
  • Avoid placing text over certain images that might decrease readability
  • Avoid sending emails that are image-based

Build a Mindful Layout

Once you've nailed down your copy, make sure you maximize its effectiveness in an accessible layout.

  • Allow for white space between sections of text
  • Pay attention to contrast to increase readability
  • Left-justify text in copy longer than two lines
  • Use heading styles (H1, H2, H3, etc.) for headlines
  • Use bold, high-contrast headings above smaller portions of copy
  • Use single-column layouts when possible

Focus on Links

Creating accessible links can truly make or break your communication. The last thing you want is a screen reader dictating every letter and number of a multi-line URL. Set the stage for success with the guidelines below.

  • Underline all links in the copy
  • Ensure that the link color has high contrast compared to the background color
  • Ensure that you include a title and tracking alias for each link
  • Keep buttons surrounded by adequate white space so they are easily tappable in mobile
  • Ensure that button backgrounds and button text colors have high contrast so they are easy to read.

Prioritize Your Images

Images are a key component of how we communicate, so make sure your intentions are obvious for those who can't see them (or choose not to).

  • Use alt text to describe information in the image and repeat text in the image (if applicable).
  • Avoid repeating text in alt tags if the surrounding copy contains the same information.
  • Alt text for linked images should describe the result of the intended action. Think of them like buttons or text links. For example: alt="Register Now."
  • Use an empty alt tag (alt=””) for decorative images.
  • Avoid alt language such as: alt=”This is a picture of…”

The average person spends less than 15 seconds reading an email, so it's important to make every second as meaningful as possible for every reader. The accessible guidelines above can help you get there. For more resources, including information on contrast and additional materials, visit the eComm wiki.

4 Strategies for Creating Accessible Content