Did you know that there are more than 20,000 fonts available for use? We all should be thankful to Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and other computing world leaders for it. Without them, we wouldn’t be able to move forward in communications and business, right? But there’s one reason that email marketers may just resent them all - for their font choice!
Tech-leading applications like Microsoft Word shocked the marketers with the best and worst font styles ever seen. It's a great deal about how the letters look in an email. A font can evoke emotion and action in the audience instantly. So what is the right for your email marketing campaigns? Before answering this question, let’s analyze benefits, types, and factors to consider when choosing the best font.
Here we go!
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.
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.
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!
Now that you know about the font families, let’s move towards font categories.
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.
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.
The right font family means your email copy is a success and oozes satisfaction not only for readers but for email marketers as well. A few typeface fonts are proven to be the best choice for emails. Take a look at these best fonts below.
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.
Little do people know that Verdana font is named after the designer’s daughter. It’s a combination of “verdant” and “Ana.” It is considered one of the best email fonts for its simplicity and high readability. Marketers adore using this font because each letter easily distinguishes and increases the overall font legibility. For instance, the lower case letters are taller in Verdana font type. People of all age groups can read the email copy easily.
Georgia belongs to the Serif font family, which has little curls on the edges. Microsoft designed it in 1993, inspired by Scotch-Roman typefaces. You might be familiar with Georgia font in novels and newspapers way before it found its way into email design templates. The wide-spaced letters make it an ideal option for email marketing campaigns.
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.
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.
Raleway is an elegant Sans-Serif typeface designed by Matt McAnarney. The font-weight is single/thin, making it easy to read like Arial and Verdana. However, it has a bit more personality than the classic fonts. Mainly it is used for display, and it is easy to pair with Roboto or Open Sans in an email text body.
Derived from Polish, Lato means “summer” and is one of the best email fonts for display copies that includes offers and descriptions. Lato font in email copies is easy to understand because of its simple design and rounded letterforms. One can use Lato for CTAs and colloquial headings to get your message across to the readers more clearly.
Oswald is a Sans-Serif typeface designed by Vernon Adams. The font type takes its roots from classic gothic and grotesque styles (from the late 19th century). Oswald has a clean font type and is slightly elongated, making it an appealing typography combination for websites and logs.
Lucida has a widely clear style with distinct letterforms belonging to the sans font family. The letters are widely spaced, making them easy to read and understand compared to other font styles. Each character is taller, which adds to the legibility charm of this font. It works best for print and on-screen documents and websites too.
Font sizes are measured in points (abbreviated pt), hence the font’s name. As you can already guess, PT Serif is a Serif font paired with Roboto, Poppins, Eina, etc. it is most commonly used for agency, design, magazine, quote, food, and decorative blog. PT Serif is new to the font game, and so far, it has done quite well in marketing campaigns.
If you thought there’s no such thing as the worst font, then think again. When learning to type, as kids, we all must have used a variety of fonts just for fun. You must avoid using font styles that can cost you conversions and potential buyers in an email marketing campaign. Find out the bad boys that shouldn’t appear in an email.
Unless it’s a birthday invitation to your kid’s party, you should avoid using Comic Sans MS font at all times. No reader wants to see a font that negates the brand image altogether. The font is similar to an immature handwriting style which doesn’t reflect the brand voice or seriousness about the message.
We are all in for creativity, but we strongly suggest leaving Curlz out of an email design for obvious reasons. The added “curls” at the end of every letter are non-ideal. Plus, it is very distracting for the reader.
Let’s just say even Google agrees with us at this point that Trajan is highly unlikable for business communications. What seems to be an overdramatic font style is “okay-ish” to use Trajan on limited occasions in the entertainment industry. It looks suitable for a fantasy to indie film poster better than email marketing campaigns.
When was the last time you saw Papyrus font? Maybe in a middle school project? Papyrus is the “king of bad fonts” for its childish, irritating, and kitschy characteristics. Avoid this typeface at all costs if you want readers to take your email campaigns seriously.
Why do email marketers put so much emphasis on email composition? It just so happens that emails are a significant channel of communication and conversion.
People spend 11 minutes on an email - tops. So whatever font you choose must have readability and be scannable. The font that offers an “at-a-glance” convenience is the best. Sometimes relying on the standard font can be tedious. But if you try to switch from the usual practice, the options are not that enticing.
For instance, using a fancy font can take twice as long to understand the paragraph.
Of course, the font style affects the conversions, but the size also affects the conversion rate. According to Click Laboratory, font size (if increased slightly) can have a dominant impact on the email conversion rate.
Let’s say you increase the Arial font from 10pt to 12pt. The most prominent differences will be font size and the spacing between the lines. If the text increases to 14pt, the size and spacing will be more pronounced, and so on.
The increased font size can reduce the bounce rate by 10%. The average bounce rate reduced will vary with the font type used in the email design.
There's a psychology behind your font choices as well. It often applies to logos, but it is also important to keep in mind when selecting email font. Therefore the brand font also reflects the email templates. 100,000
Serif font reflects respectability, reliability, and a common tradition. The older the brand is, the chances are you will see a serif font used for the logo. Other examples include Times New Roman, Baskerville, and Georgia too.
Take a look at the Tiffany & Co logo - a solid example of Serif font.
Sans Serif is the modern font type that gives a clean, simple, and pretty straightforward vibe. Reliability and stability are the two prominent impressions giving a logo a corporate look. Some of the examples include Helvetica, Calibri, and Franklin Gothic. Take Netflix, for example, featuring a Sans Serif font style.
Think of a modern font like Futura and Century Gothic when you think of stylish. Hulu’s logo is a prime example of a Modern font.
Coca-Cola is a famous FMCG brand with festive slogans to entertain its audience. It turns out it is also a timeless example of Script font. Edwardian Script and Bickham Script are the two most prominent types of Script fonts. Although you are not likely to use a Script font within an email from a graphical element’s point of view, it sure will impact the images and the said logo.
Cooper and Valencia are the two most common examples of a display font. This font style is expressive and audience-friendly too. A display font is influential and stands out from the crowd. Take a look at Disney font for once. It is a famous logo using a Display font.
By now, you are familiar with the famous and notorious fonts you can use and need to avoid at all costs. But how does one know the type of font you use for brands is not suitable for your email copy?
Your company’s font for an email campaign must include the following characteristics.
It’s worth repeating that readability affects the email conversion rate. An ineligible font makes the email hard to read, and therefore it lands the delete folder rather quickly. Choose a font style that helps subscribers skim the email to expect a higher conversion rate.
Nothing feels better than reading an email with a clean and crisp font with the correct spacing. Marketing emails do a lot better when written in larger font sizes. For instance, for more clarity, use a font a pt or two (at most) larger than the usual practice. Also, use an average font weight (not bold) with a 1.15 line spacing.
Did you take a good look at the logo font examples discussed earlier? The type of font used in emails (including the logo) depicts the mood or expression you want to convey to your target audience. It also fulfills the purpose of your content in the email template. For example, a clothing brand can use fonts like Sans Serif for selling purposes.
Can you possibly imagine the word “Instagram” in Brush Script M7 font?
Nah! It just doesn’t go with the brand image, right? The second font style is too hard to read.
The font chosen to represent the brand must have a logical explanation. It should be the best fit for the industry or niche your brand belongs to. Similarly, whenever a user receives an email by Instagram, they will observe a different font style for the email copy that doesn’t affect the readability.
Font style should draw the desired attention from the audience when they open an email. Using too many fonts can complicate the email. It’s best to choose one or two fonts for a single email. For instance, you can use two different fonts for the heading and the body text.
Avoid mixing regular, bold, or italic font styles within the same email, and else it will make the content messy. For instance, to highlight a term, use bold font style only.
Ever wonder why your email open rate is high but low conversion rate? Even if you worked hard to select the font, you probably used too small or too large font size. Remember that HTML email text size is different from desktop to mobile devices.
To ensure the email is readable cross-platform keep the header 22-28 pixels, body text from 14-18 pixels with a line height of 1.4-1.5. So play with the font ranges to see which works best for the chosen font style.
Most languages have left-to-right alignment like English, French, Roman, etc., while over 550 million people speak a language with right-to-left alignments like Arabic and Urdu.
It’s best to keep the alignment justified as an effective email marketing technique to avoid any confusion.
Are you thinking of using three colors in your email copy? Our suggestion - just don’t!
To make the text eligible and avoid any clutter, use brand-oriented font color when necessary. For instance, to highlight a specific phrase, use a bold font. However, you can use contrasting colors for festivities (holidays, Christmas, Thanksgiving, etc.) on multiple occasions so that emails give the festive appeal to the audience.
Keep the font size in mind before setting the desired line spacing for your email. Some suggest using 150% line spacing. But according to some, it can vary from 150% - 200%. So experiment with the font type, size, and suitable line spacing to determine an appropriate distance between the lines.
Personalized emails convey the message most effectively. Therefore you can use two different font styles in a customized email. Designing custom font for CTAs with typefaces that relate to your brand style is an email design trend you must try.
A custom CTA must be clear and should improve the click-through rate. So you can make it as attractive as you want with a unique font style to improve email revenue.
Make two different versions of your email campaign to compete against one another and determine the most effective. This is known as A/B testing or split testing.
If you are skeptical about the font, this process works in your favor. Monitor the metrics to determine the best email template.
Considering all the information, by now, you know that not just “any” font will do justice to your email campaign. Failing to choose the best font(s) can hurt your conversion rate and lower your revenues.
Typography is the secret ingredient of a well-written email to convert potential customers into buyers. With the list of best fonts, and characteristics you have a winning chance to boost conversion rate. Besides, Mailmunch covers the best fonts you will need to create personalized emails whenever you want.
A bookworm and a pet nerd at heart, Summra works as Content Writer at Mailmunch. She loves to play with keywords, titles, and multiple niches for B2B and B2C markets. With her 3 years of experience in creative writing and content strategy, she fancies creating compelling stories that your customers will love, igniting results for your business.