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Email Marketing Safe Fonts and Custom Fonts: How to use them perfectly

Written and researched by experts at AvadaLearn more about our methodology

By Sam Nguyen

CEO Avada Commerce

Drive 20-40% of your revenue with Avada
avada email marketing

When it comes to email marketing, font selection can be simple or very complex.

In most email apps, you can select from a choice of basic typefaces such as Times New Roman, Century Gothic, Arial, and so on. So, if you want to use one of these basic fonts in your email design, the decision is rather simple.

Finding a suitable typeface for individuals who want more design flexibility can be much more difficult.

You’ll start seeing terms like email safe font, fallback fonts, web fonts, and web-safe fonts. Unfortunately, all of these distinct sorts of fonts, as well as the varying degrees of support they receive from email clients, may rapidly cause a headache.

This article aims to explain the term email marketing safe fonts and custom fonts to you, including all the major considerations you should consider and the tool to simplify the process. Let’s get started.

Why should you care about email marketing fonts

There are two main reasons why you should be careful when picking fonts for your email marketing campaigns.

First, choosing the right font is a good starting point to elevate the topic you are writing about in your emails.

The Times New Roman typeface, for example, is well-known for its use in papers. My Master’s final theses contain hundreds of pages written in Times New Roman. As a result, it’s probably not the greatest typeface to use in your email if you’re attempting to establish a cordial relationship with your subscribers.

Secondly, you have the technical reason.

Fonts are not displayed in the same way in all email clients. Outlook, Apple Mail, and Gmail all have their own set of default typefaces that differ from one another. Only if the intended font style is compatible with your subscriber’s email client will your message be displayed in that font style.

Your message will be displayed in the preset email client’s fallback typeface in other instances. Which could be a long way from the original plan. You don’t want your email messages to be twisted and lose subscribers, do you?

What are email marketing safe fonts

What are email marketing safe fonts
What are email marketing safe fonts

Let’s start with the basic question: what is an email safe font, exactly?

An email safe font is just a typeface that is supported (in other words, that can be displayed) across all modern email inboxes.

You can be guaranteed that the typeface in your email will be presented consistently for all of your subscribers if you use these fonts. These typefaces are also quite legible, so your subscribers should have no trouble reading your emails unless the font size is too small.

Email safe fonts include:

  • Arial

  • Courier New

  • Times New Roman

  • Tahoma

  • Verdana

  • Helvetica

  • Century Gothic

  • Lucida

  • Trebuchet

  • Impact

  • Garamond

  • Georgia

All the fonts mentioned above have fantastic readability. Georgia, Trebuchet, and Verdana are among the most neutral and easy to read fonts for websites and emails.

How to use email marketing safe fonts

How to use email marketing safe fonts
How to use email marketing safe fonts

So, how can you make sure that your emails have all the safe fonts you need to display your messages correctly for all subscribers? Most email marketing software have their own sets of font families for users to use. When you design an email, you will be able to select the typeface for each section of your message.

Developers at AVADA also took this into consideration when creating AVADA Marketing Automation. We wanted to make sure that all email campaigns sent by users will have good-looking fonts on all recipients’ devices, whether they are smartphones or desktops.

Here is the list of safe fonts available in AVADA Marketing Automation:

  • Global font

  • Roboto

  • Arial

  • Courier

  • Georgia

  • Helvetica

  • Lucida Sans

  • Tahoma

  • Times New Roman

  • Trebuchet MS

  • Verdana

  • Bitter

  • Droid Serif

As you can see in the image above, you can select the font family for your email in the Style tab when clicking on any element when designing a campaign. Beside all the safe fonts mentioned in the previous section, AVADA Marketing Automation has some more safe fonts for more approaches in designing.

How to use email marketing safe fonts

For example, when you want to design a template for a sales email that needs a bit of excitement, you can select a thicker typeface to make your messages stronger. In the email template above that we created for Independence Day, white Roboto typeface on black background was selected for the product’s information to pop out more.

In conclusion, to use email marketing safe fonts, you should choose an email marketing software that has all the fonts you need and a reliable editor to insert the fonts into your email designs. Such an app is already available as AVADA Marketing Automation.

What are email marketing custom fonts

What are email marketing custom fonts
What are email marketing custom fonts

Using email marketing safe fonts isn’t always enough. One of the reasons for this could be a necessity to adhere to brand identity. In this instance, email service providers will allow you to manually import the font you want into the custom email HTML and give a fallback if necessary (in 50% of cases).

Custom fonts are not the same as email marketing safe fonts since they generally have been designed specifically for use of a brand or other purposes.

This means they can come not included in operating systems or devices. When a user comes across a website or an email utilizing a custom font, that font will be loaded from a server directly into the browser and displayed. However, if the user’s device doesn’t have the suitable font or fall back font, the content can not be loaded.

(Fallback fonts: typefaces that have been nominated to take the place of a preferred font if it cannot be rendered on a specific device.)

Unfortunately, custom fonts aren’t supported by all email clients. Custom fonts are currently supported by the following email clients:

  • iOS Mail (Apple Mail) (default mail app on iPhones and iPads)

  • Android Mail as an email client for Android devices (default mail app; not Gmail)

  • Outlook App for Mac

  • Samsung Mail

  • Outlook App (but not the web version)

Although there are lesser email programs (such as Thunderbird) that support web fonts, the list above includes the big players.

The good news is that these clients together account for around half of the total market for email openings. The bad news is that Gmail, the world’s most popular email service, isn’t included.

Only two web fonts are officially supported by Gmail: Open Sans and Roboto. Any other custom font will not render correctly in Gmail. Luckily, there are fallback fonts that will make your emails still readable even if they have custom fonts.

Let’s imagine you wanted to utilize Montserrat in your email campaigns (a web font, not an email safe font). If a recipient views your email in a client that doesn’t support web fonts, an alternative font, such as Arial, will be used instead of Montserrat.

You won’t have to worry about fallbacks if you use one of the custom web fonts. For each of the typefaces available to you, these have already been set up for you inside AVADA Marketing Automation.

How to use email marketing custom fonts

How to use email marketing custom fonts
How to use email marketing custom fonts

Having email designing as a core part, AVADA Marketing Automation understands that each business should be able to use their custom fonts inside their emails to represent their brand identity. Therefore, we have added extra custom fonts so you don’t need to code or manually insert any typeface on your one.

If a device can’t show a specific web font, it will be replaced with a similar fallback font. It is taken care of by us. It means you may choose any of the typefaces and be confident that your mails will look good in any case.

You can always verify how many of your subscribers will be able to access the web fonts in your Google Analytics account (Audience -> Behavior -> Operating System).

How to use email marketing custom fonts

To use custom fonts in AVADA Marketing Automation, you just need to click the small plus button next to the Font family field. This will open a box like in the image above. There are several options for you with custom fonts, including:

  • Google Fonts: Select web safe fonts provided by Google. These usually display correctly on all browsers, especially when users decide to view your emails in a web page.

  • Create Custom Fonts: Insert your font name, font value (font styling), and font url to load the typeface into AVADA Marketing Automation.

  • Custom Fonts: Select fonts from your font library

So when you use AVADA Marketing Automation, you can be confident that if your preferred font isn’t available, we’ll utilize the next best option that looks as close to the original as possible. Nice typeface selections will make your emails unexpectedly way more beautiful.

Frequently asked questions about email marketing fonts

What is the greatest email typeface to use?

The greatest font for your emails is one that is both legible and consistent with your brand. You can still use a different font if your email client only renders email safe fonts.

What is the ideal font size?

The optimal headline size is 18-22 pt, and the best content size is 14-16 pt.

What about font sizes for mobile devices?

For mobile screens, you might want to choose a high font size. Media queries can be used to accomplish this. A comfortable size for text in email is 14px as a best practice, although you may want to increase this to 16px for mobile.

Should I mix different email marketing fonts?

Don’t use a lot of distinct typefaces, sizes, or colors. To begin with, it never looks nice. Second, the most vital information in the email is difficult to read and comprehend.

Is Montserrat a web safe font?

No, Montserrat is not one of the web safe fonts, despite the fact that it is supported by many browsers.

Is Open Sans a web safe font?

Open Sans is not a web-friendly font. It’s a Google Font that Google has made publicly available and that Chrome supports, but it’s not supported by all browsers.

Final words

Of course, designing is a crucial part of making emails that represent your brand and resonate with customers. Using the right email marketing font is even more critical since it directly affects the reading experience of recipients. I advise you to stick to the safe fonts in email campaigns as much as possible if you haven’t had much experience with email marketing.

But, after a while, when you are comfortable with email marketing fonts and know the fallback fonts, you can experiment and make your email campaigns fresh with whole new fonts.

Do you want to try using safe fonts and custom fonts for your email marketing campaigns? Try AVADA Marketing Automation today, it is free to start using!

Sam Nguyen is the CEO and founder of Avada Commerce, an e-commerce solution provider headquartered in Singapore. He is an expert on the Shopify e-commerce platform for online stores and retail point-of-sale systems. Sam loves talking about e-commerce and he aims to help over a million online businesses grow and thrive.