Before we start I want to clarify that I know that the right name is Typeface and that Font is used when we give certain Typeface characteristics as size, weight, kerning, and so on.
But this is not a graphic design article, so I will call it as everyone else calls it, a font. And when I am talking about choosing the best font for email marketing, it is the Typeface and not the Font. With that out of the way, let's get this thing going, shall we?
What is the right font for your email marketing campaigns?
I don't have the perfect answer to that question, but I sure as hell can show you some topics that you should have in consideration while choosing your font.
And after that, you can make that decision by yourself.
We will analyze factors like the readability, the objectives of your communication, and how close to your brand these fonts are. After that, you will be able to choose the best font for your emails.
Table of Contents
Choosing the Best Font for Your Email: Readability
There is no way around this -, if you took the time to write an email, it is because you want people to read it - if not to take any action related to your message, at least you want them to be able to understand what you are trying to say. So choose a font with good readability in your emails.
Besides choosing a font with high readability for your emails, the contrast may have an important play in this also.
I am guilty of this, and you may be as well. Chase the new design tendencies - we will talk more about it later - can bring the joy of being someone that is in culture, that knows what is hot or not, but sometimes that can be the wrong call.
As you may be noticed, some great designs on the web have this one flaw that is actually very common. The fonts are grey and sometimes they don't have a distinct contrast with the background, making it more difficult for someone that is actually trying to read the information- not admire the design.
On the other hand, Daniel Kahneman says in the book Thinking, Fast and Slow that if someone has difficulty to read something because of the contrast or because the font is bad, they will tend to recall the message better than the ones that were given all the good conditions, an easy font to read and a better contrast.
Is this worth a shot?
I don't know, the email campaign is yours, you decide if you want to test it.
What Do You Want to Communicate?
This is a fair question since knowing the answer will put you one step closer to know at least what type of fonts to choose for your email marketing campaign.
Are you a classic business, or you want to appear like a traditional family business that has been around for centuries and that people can trust?
If your point is to show that in your business emails, you should choose a serif font for your email campaigns, nothing screams classic like a serif font.
But if your goal is to appear modern and innovative, a sans-serif font would be your best choice. Actually people tend to prefer sans-serif fonts for everything technological: websites, flyers, apps, and so on.
Another aspect that you will have to consider is the length of your emails.
If you are someone that can say what you want to say in a few lines, or if your HTML emails will be organized by small blocks, you may go ahead and choose a sans-serif font.
Now, if your emails look more like a book, or a newspaper than with a birthday card, you may have to choose a serif font for your emails, they will work better for readability in blocks of text.
Where to Find Free Fonts for Your Email Marketing?
Readability; what image you want to show - Classic or Innovation vibe; and what is your style of writing - short paragraphs or blocks of texts. These are some aspects you will have to consider when choosing a font for your HTML email.
Another thing you will have to add to your list is WHERE… where to find all these fonts for your email.
Well, you can go and buy some font that you find super cool, or even a font that you use all the time in your brand designs, and use it in your email. That would be a mistake!
You don't know how your subscribers will access your emails, and their email clients may not be able to show the message because it can't recognize the font, a lot of work for nothing.
There is a safer alternative for that - GOOGLE FONTS -, there you can find a lot of great fonts for free, and it will increase the chance that your message will be shown correctly.
How? Well, you insert the link of the font in your HTML tag, and that font will be available for use in your email, and for someone that will read it later, because it's already linked, and whatever the platform generating the visuals for the reader will understand where the font can be found and use it to create the email as it was created.
Our Top 4 Picks for The Best Font for Emails
All these fonts in email have great readability and are supported by all email clients.
A lot of email marketers and designers rank Helvetica as one of the more beautiful sans-serif fonts. It was created by a Swiss designer and then used by companies like BMW.
You can find it in Macbooks but not in google word doc or Microsoft. You will have to download it separately.
It was designed for Microsoft in the early 90s. It is still one of the most popular fonts in emails. Currently used by Twitter, Amazon and Yahoo.
It might not be the most creative font to use, but it's the safest choice since it is available in documents, email clients and writing tools.
Calibri was designed for Microsoft as a sans-serif to Times New Roman.
It can be easily read on any device, won’t mess up the formatting for any email client. It doesn't distract the readers as it's easily recognisable.
It is a standard choice if you are too confused to pick a font for your emails.
Arial is a font that is the most commonly used as it's the default font for any google doc. It gives the sense of personalisation to your email. Great choice for text-based emails. It gives a sense that some human being wrote this and sent you, personally.
It is straightforward and legible.
Still Not Sure What Would Be the Best Font for Your Email?
To choose the right font for your email and for every other business initiative is not an easy task, I feel you.
If I told you that there is a font scientifically proven to increase reading speeds and comprehension? Would you pick it?
Well, the font's name is Lexend, and it was created by Bonnie Shaver-Troup and Thomas Jockin.
This is the font I usually use to write on Google Docs, and the good news is that you can find it on Google Fonts also, since Google has been a big supporter of this project.
If you don't know yet what font to choose for your emails, start with the one that was created from ground zero to be the most readable font ever created, Lexend, and if you don't like it, go back in the article and choose other font based on the guidelines you read.
The only wrong answer is choosing a font that will make it impossible for people to read and understand your message, everything else, it's fair game - I guess.
1). What are the most suitable fonts for my email?
Although there are no universally suitable fonts for all emails, there are some that are considered web-safe fonts, such as Ariel, Helvetica, Verdana, Comic Sans (especially for animated emails), Times New Roman, Courier/Courier New, Tahoma and Georgia.
2). What do I need to consider before choosing the font for my email?
Even though the best font for your email depends on what your email is supposed to accomplish, here are some basic things to consider when choosing the font for your email:
- It should be good in terms of readability
- It should suit the type of business you have
- It should match the overall tone of the email.
3). What is a good font for a classic business or a traditional family business?
A serif font would be ideal for an email from a classic business or a traditional family business, and you want to emphasize that.
4). What is a good font if we want to appear modern and innovative?
If your goal is to appear modern and innovative, a sans-serif font would be your best choice. Example: websites, flyers, and apps. You might also want to try out some custom fonts in this case.
5). Where can I find free fonts suitable for email marketing?
There are quite a few places online where you can find free fonts for email marketing. But recommended is Google fonts, which will increase the chance that your message will be shown correctly.