Accessibility Q&A with Magan Le

Accessibility Q&A with Magan Le

Accessibility Q&A with Magan Le

Bex Osborn

Marketing Strategist

12 Apr 2021

As Marketers, we strive to create a better experience for our audiences every day. So designing and sending emails which can be understood by each subscriber seems extremely logical. In this blog post we talk to Magan Le, Content Marketing Manager at Litmus. To understand a little more about her take on accessibility, why it’s important for email Marketers, and how tools within Litmus can help.

"Ultimately, it affects your overall brand reputation - and the bottom line."

Hey Magan, we’re so pleased to be speaking with you about such an important topic. Tell us, what does email accessibility mean to you?

Thanks for having me for this interview. To me, email accessibility is a part of creating an inclusive experience for your subscribers. Meaning all abilities are considered as much as possible, in this case. 

Many people use screen readers or voice assistance to read their emails. So if your email isn’t optimized for that? It’s going to sound like a garbled mess, like a bunch of code. People won’t understand that. And that means they can’t engage with your email like you want them to.

Visually, I look for emails with big fonts and high color contrast. I’m that person in meetings who asks the screen sharer to zoom in (haha). But there’s a reason Dark Mode settings have become so popular! There are still many emails with tiny font and/or light text on a light background. That’s extremely hard to read, so I’m more likely to just delete or even unsubscribe.

Why do you think Marketers should be adopting accessibility features within their emails?

Making your emails accessible ensures every subscriber can understand your message. If they can’t, that means lower engagement and conversions. Ultimately, it affects your overall brand reputation—and the bottom line. At least 2.2 billion people around the world have a vision impairment. And nearly 2.5 billion people are projected to have some hearing loss by 2050. Those are huge numbers you can’t ignore.

Accessibility is incredibly important, but I know it’s not as easy as snapping your fingers. Unfortunately, most WYSIWYG editors—like what you might get in your ESP—don’t account for accessibility. And even if you know your way around code, you might not know how to start. I get it. I’ve been there. So I understand how hard it can be. Low-lift things you can do right now are to left-align your email copy, use a font size that’s at least 14px (I personally prefer 16px), and use high color contrast in your designs. And please don’t use all-image emails.

So, how can accessibility checks within Litmus help Marketers when they are creating their emails?

Ooh, my favorite thing about accessibility testing in Litmus is that you can actually hear how your email would sound to a screen reader. There’s a transcript, too, if you just want to skim through. And I like that there are simulated email previews for color blindness.

The best thing, though, is that Litmus automatically tests your email for accessibility best practices and will tell you how to fix potential issues. Things like making sure your images have alt text, copy is left-aligned, content type is set, language type is tagged correctly, table roles are defined, and email headings have the right hierarchy. All to help your subscribers and screen readers easily navigate your email content.

After a user has completed the Litmus Test, how can they then fix issues that have been highlighted?

A Litmus Test runs accessibility audits on your email. So it shows you if you’ve passed or if there’s anything you need to review. And it shows you what exactly you need to do.

For example, your accessibility test result might say, “You have images in your email without an alt attribute.” Alt text helps screen readers read images back to your subscribers so it’s not just the URL string. So then quickly scroll to the image blocking section of Litmus Test to see at a glance which image paths are missing alt text. Then you can head to Litmus Builder, find the image paths you need to fix, add in their alt text, and re-run the accessibility test to make sure you’ve addressed everything.

What simple things do you think Marketers can adopt quickly to ensure their emails are more accessible?

There are several quick wins you can do today to make your emails more accessible to people of any visual or hearing ability:

  • Add a language code to your HTML tag.

  • Use role=“presentation” on every table tag.

  • Design with high color contrast and a strong content hierarchy.

  • Use a minimum font size of 14-16px.

  • Left-align your copy and use a line height of 1.5-2.

  • Use live text in place of images wherever possible.

  • If you do use images, always include alt text.

Finally, what tools would you recommend to help Marketers ensure their emails are more accessible?

The tips I shared above are a great start, but there’s still more you can do to ensure email accessibility. We have extra tips & tricks over on the Litmus blog that cover how to code for accessibility, accessible design best practices, and even writing email copy that’s accessible. We also talk about the accessibility of Dark Mode vs. light mode (hint: we need to optimize for both!). I know that can be a lot to digest, so we do also have these helpful resources that every marketer should keep handy:

And of course, I can’t go without mentioning Litmus Test, which anyone can try for free. It automatically tests your emails for accessibility along with other critical elements that affect email performance. However you decide to get your learning on, just learn. Even baby steps toward email accessibility can make a huge difference to your subscribers!

At ActionRocket we can help you to understand more about accessibility and how it affects your email audience. Our aim is to get every brand to be creating emails with accessibility in mind. If you think your emails could be more accessible we’d love to help, get in touch with us at




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