Fonts are many: from classic to modern, from straightforward to playful. What counts is: The best email fonts and newsletter fonts should not only fit the company and the target audience but should also be chosen in a way that mail clients can display them.
To ensure one hundred percent that the desired email font and newsletter font will actually be displayed in mailings, there is only one option: use fonts that are available on virtually all common systems. In the beginning, we’ll go over fonts in classic emails, and in the second part of the article, you’ll learn all the additional important aspects for the perfect font in newsletters.
The Best Fonts for Email Marketing and Newsletters
Cross-platform fonts with serifs
- Times New Roman
- MS Serif
- New York
- Palatino Linotype
Cross-platform fixed-width fonts
- Courier New
- Lucida Console
Cross-platform fonts without serifs
- Arial Black
- Trebuchet MS
- Century Gothic
- Lucida Sans
- Lucida Grande
Webfonts as email fonts
Some mail clients can handle web fonts. The term “Webfont” is composed of “web” (Internet) and “font” (typeface). So web fonts are fonts that are primarily intended for (X)HTML websites and browser-based digital texts. Mail clients that can render web fonts display email fonts just as modern browsers do.
CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) can be used to integrate fonts that are not installed on the user’s system. These are then loaded from the server and used to display the mail.
Which clients support web fonts?
Apple’s mail clients (iOS Mail and Apple Mail), the native Android email app (but not Gmail), and Thunderbird can handle web fonts. The historic Outlook 2000 version can, too, but the newer versions of Outlook cannot – with the exception of the Outlook.com app.
This means that unless you’re writing a newsletter about Apple topics, most of your recipients won’t see the emails with web fonts.
So you have to make sure that the mails are displayed properly for non-Apple users (or the users of the other applications mentioned), ideally reasonably similar. To do this, you define so-called fallback fonts. That is, you define which fonts the mail client should use if it can’t handle web fonts.
If it is enough for you that this fallback solution looks neat and is well readable, then this is done quickly. But if you have the requirement that the mail should be as similar as possible, then some work is waiting for you.
The main reason for this is that the size of the characters is very different: The height of an A in 14 point, for example, can differ from font to font by up to ten percent – and the width sometimes even more.
Best Email fonts: What to consider?
If you’re going to embark on the adventure of optimizing your email fonts, here are some recommendations to keep in mind:
Keep the preferences of your target audience in mind: While some women prefer email fonts that resemble handwriting, straightforward email fonts go over better with men.
Take a cue from your house font: Choose an email font that fits your business. Ideally, your house font is supported by mail clients.
Choose a common email font: Since mail clients do not support all email fonts, you should choose a widely used email font (see list above).
Watch your reputation: to avoid damaging your image, don’t use a highly playful and ornate email font. Also, refrain from using fonts with included motifs and email fonts that reference movies, series, or popular culture – legal problems and a bad reputation could be the unpleasant consequences.
Best Newsletter Fonts: What’s different here?
The principles for choosing email fonts also apply to newsletters, of course. In addition, there are other things to consider when optimizing newsletter fonts:
Keep the newsletter font for body text sober.
Body text should always be set in a very legible font. This is the only way it has a chance of being read. The worse the legibility of the font, the sooner readers will stop reading.
For legibility reasons, Fraktur and Schreib fonts are out of the question. Newsletter fonts with excessive ornamentation or extremely bold or extremely narrow type styles are also not suitable. When choosing a newsletter font, you can also consider what users are used to in other applications:
For example, use Georgia or Times New Roman if you want to appear serious.
Or use Helvetica or Verdana if you want to appear modern.
Or just choose a different newsletter font than usual to stand out.
Pay attention to the font size.
Usability experts agree: For websites and emails, 16 pixels is a good size for body text. Smaller than 14 pixels is out of date for newsletter fonts.
Modern browsers have 16 pixels as default and also Google Developers recommends 16 pixels as the default setting.
However, choosing a larger newsletter font does no harm. Especially a reader who reads on mobile is less concentrated or has difficult lighting conditions and is therefore happy about larger texts.
Highlight important passages.
Some text passages you want to highlight. Here, the more you highlight, the less important each mark becomes.
No user will be able to find his way around a text in which every second word is in bold. Boldface is the easiest and best way to highlight a newsletter font.
Italics are possible, but on the one hand, they are less noticeable and on the other hand, they are not so readable in some newsletter fonts. Underlining, on the other hand, is taboo – it is reserved for links.
Color highlighting is possible. However, you have to be careful if you don’t underline links but only color them differently from the body text.
Users cannot “remember” two different colors when they read your texts. CAPITALS are not suitable for body text at all.
Many users find capitals to be a scream. You can set headings in capitals, although the readability is then somewhat worse. However, this does not apply to short texts – for example, button labels.
Align texts correctly.
Justification still causes problems on websites and especially in emails. This is because the program must increase the spacing between letters and words so that the width of each line is exactly the same – no matter how many letters it contains. You should also use centered text with caution.
This is because, with centered text, the eye has to search again for the correct horizontal position where the next line begins after each line change when reading. This sounds like a trivial matter – but subconsciously it stresses us out and we, therefore, stop reading such texts more quickly than with left-justified text.
Choose the correct line width.
As a rule of thumb, 45 to 85 characters (including spaces) is a good value for the line width on the screen. If the lines are even shorter, reading becomes tedious because you have to constantly jump to the next line, making the individual paragraphs quite long.
Lines that are too long, on the other hand, are also not recommended because the eye needs longer to find the beginning of the next line when jumping between lines.
Decide on the appropriate line spacing.
Line spacing is just as important for readability. If it is too small, the lines will be too close together and the reading speed will decrease.
In most programs, the line spacing is set to 1.2 em (1 em corresponds approximately to the width of the capital letter M). This is too little for almost all fonts. Typographers recommend 1.3 to 2.0 em. The smaller your newsletter font size, the larger the relative line spacing should be.
Now you know the best fonts for email marketing to make your newsletter look clean and awesome. Using good fonts and advertisements inside email not only makes it beautiful at the same time it increases open rates and click-through rates.