There’s a rumor going around that using the wrong font in your marketing emails could lead to your bounce rate skyrocketing. Well, we’re here to put an end to this once and for all. What is the best font to use for email marketing? We’ll tell you right now. So don’t just stand there scratching your head; get more eyeballs on your emails without losing any of those precious clicks by following our simple and easy tips.
What is the best font to use for email is something that people often ask me. While this may sound like a simple topic, answering it is not as easy as it sounds!If you’re designing an email marketing campaign and want to achieve optimum results, then selecting the right font can be one of the most important parts of your template design.
Why do fonts matter in email marketing?
What is the first thing you notice about a mobile-friendly email? The subject line? Check. Colors and images? Check. But it’s a font style that stands out above all other elements of an email. One of the most striking concerns in an email is using the right font.
As shown in the example above, a wrong font can take ages to figure out the word or the sentence, reducing the chances of conversion. Fonts also matter because of two other reasons:
70% of the readers will delete the email within the first five seconds of opening them if it is not formatted correctly. The topic and the type of font you use must relate to each other. Think about it as good chemistry between the two. For instance, Times New Roman is a standard font used for documents.
Some fonts are unsophisticated and may not convey the seriousness of the subject matter. For instance, a bank sending flyers in Comic Sans font would blow up their campaign.
Email clients display fonts differently. For instance, Outlook, Apple, and Gmail have different sets of default fonts. So if the font of the message is compatible with the email client, it will be displayed. If not, it is displayed in the predefined email client’s typeface. It’s best to stick to Gmail-supported fonts for mobile-friendly emails, as it is the leading email provider.
4 font families you should know about
The first thing you need to learn about fonts is the font families. Consider these families as royalty based on their distinct characteristics and graphical representations. All fonts fall into 4 font families.
Simple enough to identify, a Serif is a stroke used at the end of each letter. These strokes are called Serif typefaces. If you use Serif fonts in your email copy, you have the advantage of an elegant and legible email that catches the reader’s attention immediately. For this very reason, these fonts are popular in demand for large chunks of content.
Popular examples include Times New Roman, Garamond, Georgia, and Palatino.
2. Sans Serif
There’s no way you can confuse Sans Serif with Serif as it is recognizable by the lack of strokes. The most popular Sans Serif typeface includes Arial, Verdana, Geneva, Comic Sans, and Calibri.
If you are interested in using a modern and minimalistic font style, opt for any fonts mentioned above that fall under Sans Serif’s umbrella.
Sometimes marketers want a font that mimics human handwriting but with precision. Script fonts are commonly used for invitations and diplomas for a more natural-looking typeface. The cursive characteristics are the most outstanding quality of Script fonts and have a fancy appeal. So if you wanted to send wedding invitations via email, a Script font would be the best choice.
Popular font examples include Lobster and Pacifico.
Also known as Fantasy fonts, Decorative fonts are best for books, games, presentations, etc. Sometimes brand infuses their brand logo with decorative fonts to give it a fun-looking appeal. If you are feeling thirsty after reading these details, you might as well have a Fanta and… look! The decorative logo is a clear depiction of a decorative font!
Types of email font categories
Now that you know about the font families, let’s move towards font categories.
1. System fonts
Fonts installed in your operating system are the system fonts. These are web-safe fonts because they work the intended way. System fonts are reliable, so they are safe options for an email copy. The email template content appears on the display screen the way it is designed, which works for all email marketing campaigns.
If you want a reliable option for your email copy, default fonts are a good strategy.
2. Web fonts
Marketers want their brands to stand out, drawing the right amount of attention from the business email recipients. By this point, you will need to use web-fonts.
Do not confuse web fonts with web-safe fonts. As the name suggests, web fonts exist on the web. They are not part of the operating system. It is possible to add them via code snippets or plugins. Email clients support web fonts like Android Mail, Apple Mail, iOS Mail, Thunderbird, etc.
Remember that not all email clients support web fonts. Some require a link, while others need a code snippet to import the web font. Hence, email clients include a fallback option if the email fails to load successfully. The fallback font is displayed instead. Your email content may not look that bad in such a case.
Best Fonts for Email
While you should choose the font that most closely matches your branding, some experts agree on fonts purely based on readability.
For headers and short blocks of text, Verdana is a great choice. This is a sans-serif font that’s airier than the more traditional Arial or Helvetica, and displays clearer than those mentioned on most computer and device screens.
For longer blocks of text, Georgia is a good choice. Serif fonts are typically easier to read in longer paragraphs (hence why most newspapers and magazines have serif fonts for their body copy). Georgia is a serif font that both is easy to read and displays well.
Initially designed for IBM laser printers, Arial is now commonly used in print and digital media. It is a popular choice for obvious reasons. Created by Patricia Saunders and Robin Nicholas in 1982, it is a versatile, simple, and modest font type widely used for all intents and purposes, including emails. The content stands out prominently and is also highly readable, becoming a favorite for web content.
A lot of email marketers love using Helvetica for their email templates. It’s bold and modern typography style. Marketers even rank Helvetica as one of the most appealing Sans-Serif fonts of all time. Created by a Swiss designer, it is a popular font in companies like BMW. Unfortunately, you will not find this font style in Google Word or Microsoft. But Facebook users are in luck! They can easily use this font.
Interestingly, most people don’t realize Tahoma was explicitly designed for on-screen use. Surprising, right? Because of its high clarity and legibility soon became a popular font supported by most email clients. Matthew Carter, the designer, is the person you should be thankful to. He created a font type with similar length in its upper and lower case letters.
Times New Roman
As the name suggests, the Times newspaper was behind creating the most popular font to date. Known for its authoritative, classic, and traditional typeface, marketers are keen to use Times New Roman primarily for Headers and official documents. It has a traditional look that is perfect for on-screen and print.
Google commissioned a new font in 2010, keeping the digital content in mind. Now marketers can create new email copy with Open Sans font with a friendly appearance. The font optimized for print, mobile, and web interfaces works perfectly for emails. It quickly became a trending font style used primarily for conversational headings and titles.
The latest font to hit the streets is Roboto, developed in 2020 for screen displays. It’s a Sans Serif font known for its high legibility. The simple curves make Roboto an adequate font for email campaigns, especially the headings and text body. Let’s not forget that it is also a universally accepted font for email. The geometric style resembles a robotic version but with a modern and user-friendly appeal for the audience.
So, what’s the best font to use in your email marketing campaigns? To be honest, I think it really depends on a few different factors.