Should you use web fonts or web-safe fonts in your emails?

Since the deployment of the first email in the year 1971, things have changed quite a lot. With the attention span of the readers diminishing with every passing day, visual elements like design and fonts have become much more crucial to get your emails noticed and get the desired outcome out of them.

Talking about fonts, in particular, they are much more than just styles to display your text. In today’s scenario, a font is a brand’s identity, it’s the appeal and the key to getting your message delivered to the target audience. Most importantly, they reflect your brand persona in the strongest sense possible. However, in the digital age, reports suggest that as many as 47% of the recipients use a mobile application to check their emails. And this calls for something interesting.

See, no matter how swanky the font in your email is, if the recipients do not have it in their devices, all the effort is going in vain. Say hello to ‘web fonts’ and ‘web-safe’ fonts, saving the day for email marketers and every designer, for that matter. Today, we will see what these special fonts are and whether they should be included when creating your next email marketing campaign? Let’s get started.

The difference between Web Fonts & Web-Safe Fonts

You can find web-safe fonts in your emails (especially in your personal emails). Font styles such as Arial, Verdana, Georgia, Times New Roman, and Courier are considered ‘web-safe’ or ‘email-safe’ to be precise, as they are installed by default on almost every device and operating system.

However, do not confuse web-safe fonts with Web fonts. You won’t find the latter on every operating system and device. That being said, you can often find web fonts embedded into Internet browsers and further downloaded into a user’s browser via rendering and eventually applied to the text.

Web fonts have the upper hand as they offer increased flexibility and versatility for making your email text more visually appealing and customized as per your branding.

Here is a good example of Fortnum & Mason. The brand intricately uses at least one web font in their email text. Notice how seamlessly the font goes with the overall design of the email, oozing the visual appeal.

Source: Really Good Emails

How to get Web Fonts?

Google Fonts is one simple solution to find web fonts. You can download the fonts for free and integrate them to use in software such as Adobe Photoshop, Sketch, etc.

You can also purchase web fonts from paid services such as MyFonts, Commercial, FontSpring, Typotheque, Process Type Foundry, and many more.

If you have a hard time figuring out how to implement web fonts in your emails, then Mailchimp email experts or Marketo certified associates would be of a great help to you. From sorting out fonts for your campaign to ensuring higher click-through rates, they do it all.

Should you use a web font in your email?

Well, absolutely yes! It might seem that the number of email clients and inbox providers extending support to web font is small, but a recent market share survey from Litmus suggests that That web-safe fonts are supported by three amongst the five most popular email clients

However, before jumping on the web font bandwagon, it is crucial to know your subscribers. You need to have an insight on which email clients and inbox providers your subscribers are using before zeroing down on a web font. Keeping this in check would eliminate any unnecessary back and forth hassle.

Can’t decide on the web font templates for your email marketing campaign? Well, you can always opt for Salesforce email templates or Pardot email templates to get your font game on point. Not just fonts, you can use these templates for other design aspects as well.

Now, if you are going for web fonts, then make sure you choose the right fallback font as well. As the name suggests, the fallback font is the backup in case your subscribers are using such email clients that do not support web fonts. Here’s all you need to know about them.

Choosing the fallback font

A fallback font is visible to your subscribers if your web font isn’t supported by their email client. Hence, choosing the compatible fallback font is necessary. The fallback font must be a web-safe font, so you’ll have a limited choice.

The vertical design of the email is essential. So, it’s imperative to pick a web-safe font that has the same x-height to the web font you had chosen in the first place. Another thing to make sure is that the fallback font must be in line with the main web font. For instance, if your web font is from the Serif family, say, Times New Roman, then make sure to choose an appropriate Serif font as a fallback. Ideally, the fallback font should belong to the same family.

Wrapping Up

This was all about web fonts and web-safe fonts, and the impact they create on your email marketing campaign. Use them wisely and take your emails’ appeal to the next level.

Author Bio

Kevin George is the Head of Marketing at Email Uplers, one of the largest Email Templates production company which specializes in converting PSD to email templates. He loves gadgets, bikes, jazz, and breathes ‘email marketing’. He is a brand magician who loves to engage and share insights with fellow marketers.

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