There are over a million fonts you can choose from for your email communication. The type of font you use sets the tone for your emails and disseminates brand uniqueness. Fonts are like digital attire — they convey professionalism, personality, and attention to detail.
To create an impact with your subscribers and maximize readability, you have to know the science behind selecting the best font for email communication. Let’s get into the details of web and email-safe fonts, how to choose fonts for emails, which font works for various email clients, and email font trends in 2024.
Table of Contents
- What are Email-safe Fonts?
- How Does Typography Impact Email Marketing?
- Overview of the Top Fonts for Email
- Custom HTML Email Fonts
- What is Font Etiquette and Best Practices For Emails?
- What is the Best Font Size For Email?
- Hottest Email Font Trends to Know in 2024
- What are the Best Fonts For Better Email Response Rate?
- How to Select Fonts for Email Clients
- How to Use Web Fonts in Your Email Campaigns?
- How To Choose The Best Font For Email Elements
- What Else Should You Do To Choose the Best Font for Email?
- Build Elegant Email Marketing Campaigns With Campaign Refinery
What are Email-safe Fonts?
Fonts that are easily available and load quickly across ISPs (Internet Service Providers), such as Gmail and Outlook, are called email-safe fonts.
However, web-safe and email-safe fonts are not the same. Web-safe fonts are pre-installed on operating systems to avoid rendering issues. They are added by snippets and are only available on the web. Many email clients do not support all types of web-safe fonts.
Primary Font Styles
Standard fonts are classified into two types: Sans Serif and Serif. Serif fonts have a stroke at the end of the extension, and sans-serif fonts are plain. While Serif fonts are artistic, Sans serif fonts are easier to read on all devices because of their minimalist and clean look.
Choosing a font type can take a lot of experimentation, and the incorrect usage of fonts can
lead to lower open rates. That’s why it’s critical to know how font choice can influence your email marketing conversions.
How Does Typography Impact Email Marketing?
Typography is the technique of arranging letters and characters (called the type) to form legible and appealing written communication. It controls the way your subscribers feel about your brand and influences their actions.
That’s why selecting a readable and appealing font is equivalent to your email success.
Here are the 4 biggest ways in which fonts impact your email marketing efforts:
- First impression about brand identity: Fonts and design are the first elements people notice, followed by visuals. When your fonts and images are clean and follow current trends, your subscribers will likely interact with your brand.
- User experience: Typography affects your email readability. Choosing a legible font ensures your recipients understand your email content while also enhancing user experience.
- CTA effectiveness: Typography can greatly impact your subscribers’ decision-making regarding your emails. A minimalistic button with a readable font increases the chances of conversions.
- Trust and Professionalism: A well-crafted email conveys the professionalism and credibility of your brand. Maintaining consistency with brand colors, design, and smart typography choices strengthens trust in your brand.
Why Working With a Designer is Crucial
Design and typography shape the look and feel of your email messages, influencing your email marketing success. When you want to evoke a specific reaction from your subscribers, you must know how to pick the right font.
A designer has the experience to perfect visual hierarchy and the overall appeal of your emails.
Here are key reasons why working with a designer can elevate your brand image:
- Increase professionalism,
- Maintain brand consistency,
- Foster creativity and innovation,
- Implement attention to detail,
- Save time and resources,
- Adapt to current trends,
- Enhance brand appeal.
If you are starting and don’t require a designer yet, here’s an overview of the most used type, including HTML fonts.
Overview of the Top Fonts for Email
A study shows that people identified fonts like Times New Roman and Helvetica as being more ”legible and formal”. Let’s go over email-friendly fonts to help you test out variations and styles.
- Arial is the most common sans-serif font style used in websites, email communication, and other marketing materials. It has a modern yet neutral design, making it appropriate for informal communication with your subscribers. Use this typeface in your newsletters and transactional emails to sound friendlier.
- Georgia is a serif typeface widely used in printed materials. With a moderate stroke contrast and defined letterforms, it’s also best-suited for digital communication; websites, digital products, and emails. You may mix Georgia with other fonts to enhance email aesthetics.
- Helvetica is usually used in headlines, taglines, and slogans for its versatile design. It’s a sans-serif font with closely spaced lines. Helvetica is universally popular; and used in movie titles, posters, and visual media.
- Times New Roman is a serif typeface originally used in newspapers. The font’s narrow lines help subscribers read long blocks of text with ease. Similar to Arial, this font is best known for its use in email headings.
- Verdana is a sans-serif font specifically created for low-resolution screens. It’s highly legible even in small text sizes, making it useful for email body copy, websites, and other digital content.
- Courier New is a fixed-width typeface typically used in web design. Each letter takes up the same space creating a relaxed look.
- Palatino is a serif typeface with distinctive strokes, making it elegant for emails. It usually goes well for advertising concepts and long-form email copy.
Here’s a table for easier viewing of font types:
|Sans – serif Fonts
|Times New Roman
If you’re looking for curated and open-source fonts, you can find them on openfoundry.com.
Most email clients support email-safe fonts and not web-safe fonts. In this case, we recommend testing different HTML fonts to build your font sets.
Custom HTML Email Fonts
Custom HTML fonts are non-standard fonts that are not supported by most email clients.
When using HTML, you can create fonts aligning with your brand identity, and here are some options to try:
- Open Sans
You can use Google or Adobe fonts to embed custom fonts in your HTML emails. But remember, choosing or developing a font is characterized by following email rules.
What is Font Etiquette and Best Practices For Emails?
When you adopt fonts for emails, consider responsiveness (the ability for fonts to adjust across device screen sizes). If you use more than one font, use font pairing techniques to enhance readability. Font pairing is a technique of using a maximum of 3 fonts to create contrast in emails.
Follow these guidelines on email etiquette to ensure your messages read well:
- Use readable fonts: Most recipients scan emails for quick information, and using a legible font can increase your email open rate. For example, use clean-looking sans-serif fonts like Arial, Helvetica, or Verdana.
- Consider default font: If you are unsure of choosing the best font for email, stick to your email client’s default font. This maximizes efficiency and compatibility for your emails.
- Maintain consistency: You may use different fonts for subject lines, email body copy, and CTA. But ensure they align with the overall look of your email.
- Limit fonts: A good rule is to use a maximum of 2-3 fonts in your emails. Anything more will clutter your email appearance.
- Use correct font size: Font size differentiates headings and other important information from the email body copy. A font point size of ”12” is typically the best for readability on digital screens.
- Use Bold and Italics: Reserve bold and italics for emphasizing text and headings in emails. Remember, overdoing it can make your text seem jumbled and frustrating to read.
- Watch letter spacing: While certain fonts are spaced out by default, you may want to use custom font spacing in a few cases. This makes longer texts easier to skim.
- Use colors: Colors help highlight critical information, such as CTA links and note sections. But use them sparingly, or else your emails can become overwhelming to look at.
- Consider accessibility: Choose fonts that are accessible to all kinds of people. Select fonts that are clean and easy to read with contrast, if possible.
- Choose simple fonts for your signature: Keep your signature font clean and legible across your emails. It’s important that you also maintain consistency to retain brand identity.
While you select casual and modern-looking fonts, give equal value to font size, alignment, and colors.
What is the Best Font Size For Email?
Font sizes differ for mobiles and desktops; here’s a general guideline:
|20px or 24px
|Highlights and draws attention.
|Body font (Certain types of newsletters)
|Maintains a good balance between readability and the overall look.
|18px – 20px
|Ensures visual hierarchy.
|Easy on the eyes.
|Desktop and mobile
|Improves accessibility and responsiveness.
Note: The above is a consolidated report from varied digital marketing professionals. You can always adapt font sizes based on your email marketing needs.
Now, let’s move into the latest font trends to keep your emails looking elegant.
Hottest Email Font Trends to Know in 2024
While the font trends keep changing, always pick a font that closely mirrors your brand values. If you are a luxury brand, opt for an elegant font like Modern Gothic instead of Papyrus (more of a fun font than luxurious). The trends below apply to the web and emails alike.
Trend 1: Quirky Sans
While you can always play safe with subtle fonts, quirkier fonts such as Vokrad Modern are making their way into the market. As our device screen sizes get smaller, brands are using different font styles to shift subscriber focus to the important areas. You can certainly use quirky sans-serif fonts to mix things up and highlight your emails. However, balance it with relaxed fonts to make emails more appealing.
Trend 2: Fluid Fonts As Part of Graphic Design
The current trend is moving toward funky and fluid fonts with rounded corners. These fonts are a part of the graphic design, instead of typefaces, just like the example below.
Trend 3: Merging Font Styles
As the email landscape gets competitive, businesses leverage combination fonts to stay unique. You can mix and match font styles or create a larger font family of the same type. For example, use Avenir light, medium, and bold to emphasize various parts of your email text.
Trend 4: 3D and Interactive Fonts
2024 is heading into exclusivity with dimensional fonts. With plenty of choices, you can experiment with pop culture, immersive, and interactive fonts. These fonts will come in handy, especially with email headers.
Trend 5: Lowercase Mania
If you are looking to highlight a text, your intuitive thought is to use ALL CAPS. In reality, it sabotages your design and makes it illegible to read. Instead, opt for lowercase letters, capitalizing the first letter.
Trend 6: Rise in Open-Source Fonts
Businesses are creating their typeface kit and modifying it to suit their needs. If you are not on a stringent budget, stay on trend with custom-type kits and foundries.
Trend 7: Generative AI Tools
With an increase in email and web technology, AI fonts are replacing regular fonts. To stand out and create a special effect, use text-to-image tools such as DeepFloyd IF to render unique letterforms.
With these trends, let’s head into the most important aspect: The types of fonts you can use to increase response rates.
What are the Best Fonts For Better Email Response Rate?
There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to choosing fonts, but certain factors influence the way people perceive your emails.
Here are the font types to use:
- Modern fonts: Modern fonts add a style statement to your emails. Use fonts like Century Gothic and Munich to elevate branding.
- Script fonts: While they are not a great choice for body copy, they work well with logos and graphic elements. Consider fonts like Edwardian script or Bickham script.
- Display fonts: These fonts are usually associated with individuality and expressiveness. If you send regular newsletters, don’t shy away from experimenting with this font style for headings or logos, but in moderation.
If you send plain text emails, most often, the emails will default to your recipient email client’s default. Although it brings consistency, it can get monotonous in the long run. You can always use HTML custom fonts or web fonts, but ensure they are compatible with different email clients.
How to Select Fonts for Email Clients
Web fonts open up multiple possibilities for creativity. However, you must ensure your font styles are accepted by common email clients.
Here’s a list of major email clients that support web fonts:
- IOS Mail,
- Android Mail (Not Gmail),
- Samsung Mail,
- Outlook for Mac,
- Outlook App
There are, however, other email clients who support web fonts. But for now, we are only focusing on the commonly used.
What is the Best Font for Gmail?
Gmail currently supports two web fonts: Open Sans and Roboto. But this doesn’t mean you can never use custom fonts in Gmail. You can, with the help of ”fallback fonts”. These fonts replace the original fonts in case of rendering issues.
For example, if you want to use Futura (a web-safe font and not an email-safe font), your recipients’ email client will replace it with a fallback font such as Arial. If you use custom fonts, you have the option to set your fallback fonts.
What is the Best Font For Outlook?
The default font for Outlook is Calibri. Certain versions of Outlook (2007, 2010, and 2013) do not support Google fonts. For these versions, the fonts automatically switch to Times New Roman. Therefore, always check font compatibility and set up font styles accordingly.
Choosing a Font Style for Yahoo
Yahoo Mail offers Helvetica Neue, Arial, Verdana, Times New Roman, and New York. However, for Yahoo Mail Classic, you cannot edit the default font style. The basic HTML version sends all emails using plain text only.
How to Choose a Font For Apple Mail?
Apple Mail’s default font is Helvetica, which also supports other web fonts. You can always change the font style in settings and add custom fonts for emails.
How to Use Web Fonts in Your Email Campaigns?
Campaign Refinery’s powerful and sophisticated email builder supports every font, custom or regular. This is great news for brands looking for an edge over competitors with unique typefaces. We believe a clean and modern interface and tools are what every email marketer needs to make their emails shine.
Our minimalistic editor lets you add any number of fonts to your email campaigns while keeping it clear with a slight pop of color. The fonts are supported by most of the recipient email clients, and if not, a suitable fallback font is used for your emails.
You can also use different font styles for various email elements to make it more engaging. Let us show you the best way to do it.
How To Choose The Best Font For Email Elements
While the subject line is important, your email signature makes the first impression of your brand.
When you choose fonts for your signature, consider the following:
- Signature font size: Think of your email signature as your brand personality. Would you want to be too loud or subtle? You don’t want your signature to draw attention away from your body copy either. Hence, use a font size between 11-13 for better clarity.
- Color: You can use colors to make signatures more appealing. But, use the same color as your body copy for consistency.
- Font: Based on your brand identity, use legible but attractive fonts like Helvetica. Refrain from going overboard with script and display fonts, as they will likely look unprofessional.
15 Best Fonts For Email Signatures
Here are fonts that meet the requirements of legibility and compatibility:
- Courier New,
- Lucida Sans,
- Open Sans,
- Times New Roman,
- Trebuchet MS
Similarly, choose consistent fonts for subject lines and body copy. You can always compare font styles side-to-side to understand what works better for your emails. Additionally, A/B test fonts to determine what resonates with your audience.
What Else Should You Do To Choose the Best Font for Email?
Your font choices come down to your brand values and identity.
Here are 6 ways you can determine a good email font:
- Convey brand message: Choose fonts based on your company values. For instance, if you have a fun tone, use a font like Super Funky by Font Space, or if you are a sleek and modern brand, use Baskerville or Bodoni.
- Choose a font delivery service: If you plan on using fonts consistently across the web and emails, opt for common font delivery services like Typekit, Google Fonts, and fonts.com. Most of these services allow you to compare fonts, shortlist them, and filter by typographic characteristics.
- Know the visual hierarchy: Determine what your emails will look like, how many headings and subheadings you will have, will image fonts be included, and whether you will need a separate font for your email signature. Answering these questions will give you a brief idea of which font to select and how many varieties to use.
- Choose scannable fonts: Certain fonts have heavy line weight, making them difficult to read. Select fonts that are spaced well and have lesser line weight for increased readability. You can use these fonts: Quicksand, Montesserat, and Futura.
- Fine-tune your fonts: Even after you select a font, you can always edit it to make it more user-friendly. For example, adjust your font’s height, line spacing, width, and other visual effects, such as shadows if applicable.
- Use contrast: Use colors for headings and display text only. For body text, you may use contrast based on your email background color.
If your emails are interaction-heavy, then choose font types that are light, clean, and evenly spaced out. Remember, the fewer the distractions, the better your readers will respond to your emails. Now, let’s take these steps and create a stunning email campaign!
Build Elegant Email Marketing Campaigns With Campaign Refinery
Although you may use colorful graphics, your typography sets the tone for your emails. To create good-looking email campaigns, you can use Campaign Refinery’s built-in templates and save your fonts. This way, you don’t have to go in a loop to find your favorite font family for your next campaign.
Use our minimalist editor to experiment with different fonts while tracking your email performance from a smooth dashboard. And while you focus on creating the best emails for your subscribers, we center our attention on your analytics and email deliverability.
You can do more with Campaign Refinery, and we invite you to check out our unique features!