How to Make Your Web Fonts Work Perfectly in Emails


The average click-through rate for emails ranges from 2.6% to 3.43%. Given that users typically spend only 11 seconds on an email, you’ve got a short amount of time to capture their attention.


But how can you do so? 

 

Besides creating an attractive design and writing a solid copy, there’s one more thing you’ll need to pay attention to—the fonts you use. 

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These can either make or break your emails. After all, if your fonts are hard to read, users will not bother trying to understand the message you’re trying to convey, thus rendering your email ineffective. 

 

That’s only one part of the issue, though. There are still plenty of things you’ll have to consider when choosing a font. 

 

That’s why today, we’ll talk about what you need to look out for when choosing the perfect font. 

Choosing The Right Fonts 

 

Let’s start with the basics. 

 

Firstly, you’ll need to choose a font that’s easy to read. As we’ve said, if your font isn’t legible, no one will bother trying to decipher what you’re trying to say. 

 

Secondly, you’ll have to look for something simple. In terms of emails, picking something clean with clearly defined lines will work the best for you. 

 

Also, be sure to make your fonts a bit larger than usual. Experts at Digital Silk, a web design Miami company, say that increasing the font size will not only improve readability but may also lead to a significant increase in conversions.

 

Furthermore, your fonts need to be psychologically appropriate. Different fonts evoke different emotions. So make sure to pick something that complements the mood your content conveys. 

 

And finally, the font you choose needs to fit with your niche, as that will allow you to ensure brand consistency. Using an old-fashioned, classy font won’t work for you if you’re running an IT Start-Up, for example. 

 

That’s not all, though. When choosing the fonts, you’ve got two options available: email-safe fonts and web fonts. 

 

Let’s discuss this in further detail.

Email-Safe Fonts 

 

These are default fonts that are pre-installed in just about any device or operating system. 

 

Consequently, if you were to use email-safe fonts, your emails will remain readable regardless of the type of device your readers may use. This is not always the case with web fonts.

 

Let’s quickly go over the types of email-safe fonts you could use. 

1. Serif 

 

Serif fonts like Georgia, Times New Roman, and Baskerville convey a sense of reliability, tradition, confidence, and respectability. 

 

In other words, if you’re an older brand, or you want to appear as you’ve been around for a while, these fonts might suit you.

2. Sans Serif Fonts

 

Franklin Gothic, Helvetica, and Calibri are all part of the Sans Serif family. Like the previous ones, these fonts give the impression of stability and respectability as they are clean and straightforward. 

 

The difference is that Sans Serif is a bit more modern-looking. 

3. Modern Fonts

 

Modern fonts like Futura and Century Gothic are stylish and give the feeling of strength. This type of font can work great with companies that operate in the tech industry. 

4. Script Fonts

 

Script fonts like Edwardian Script and Bickham Script are great for logos. But with emails? Not so much. 

 

They’re too stylized, making them hard to read when used in entire texts. But, in terms of logos, they can make a lasting impression. The best example of script font that comes to mind is Coca-Cola. 

5. Display Fonts

 

Just like with the previous one, displayed fonts wouldn’t work that well in blocks of text. However, they’re good at grabbing attention when used in logos and headers. 

Web Fonts

 

If you think that email-safe fonts won’t do the job for you, then you may want to consider web fonts. 

 

But, this doesn’t mean you should drop email-safe fonts altogether. As we’ve mentioned, web fonts don’t always work. That’s because not all devices or operating systems support web fonts. That said, email-safe fonts can be a handy backup. 

 

So, what are web fonts? 

 

As the name suggests, these fonts are designed and licensed for website use. As opposed to email-safe fonts, web fonts allow for more creativity for design companies, as their options are not limited to pre-installed fonts. 

 

There are plenty of platforms where you can get web fonts, like Village or MyFonts, for example. However, one of the most popular options is Google Fonts, as it’s versatile and, most importantly, entirely free. 

 

You can integrate web fonts into your emails in two ways: 

 

First off, you could work with email marketing services that include web font support, like Campaign Monitor, as these web fonts will be integrated automatically. 

 

The alternative is to do it yourself or work with. This requires a bit of HTML coding knowledge. You could embed fonts within your emails in three ways. 

 

We’ll only go over them quickly. So, if you’d like to see proper examples, check out this article

1. <link> 

 

This is the more popular choice, as most email clients support it and can be done rather quickly. 

 

With this method, you’ll first start by going in the <head> section of your email’s code. 

 

Then, you’ll have to insert the URL that hosts the font. So, if the font is hosted on the seller, you need to use the URL they provide. Otherwise, you can use the font URL that’s on your website. 

2. @import 

 

Just like the previous method, this one is also easy to implement and is supported by most email clients. The only problem you may have is with older versions of Android. 

 

Again, you’ll insert the code snippet in the <head> section of your email’s HTML. In terms of the URL, it’s the same story. 

3. @font-face

 

This method is similar to the other two we’ve talked about. However, @font-face can be more reliable. That’s because if the font you chose isn’t supported, you could specify exactly what other font it should fall back to. 

Choosing The Right Fallback Font 

 

You shouldn’t choose a fallback font just for the sake of it. Even though an email subscriber might be able to load your primary font, you’ve still got a chance at getting the email right. 

 

But, keep in mind that you’ll need to pick between the email-safe fonts we discussed earlier, making your choices limited. 

 

For starters, you’ll have to choose something that has the same feel as your primary font. Otherwise, your email won’t convey the right brand image. 

 

So, if you first chose something classy and more vintage-looking, you should pick a fallback font from the Serif family, like Times New Roman, for example. 

 

The next thing you have to keep in mind is the fonts’ x-height. If one foot is higher than the other, the vertical spacing of your email will be affected, potentially making it look a bit off as a result. 

Final Words 

 

All in all, the fonts you use in your emails are just as important as the design of your templates and your copy. Getting all three of these elements right will ensure a more consistent and powerful message. 

 

 

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