Are you wondering what inclusive design in email marketing is? If yes, you are among almost every marketer who hears this term. The industry has been using accessibility and inclusivity as interchangeable terms. They are very similar in nature in terms of promoting better usability, but they serve vastly different purposes in email marketing strategies.
In this article, I will share the background and applications of inclusive design in email marketing as described by top email developers. Read this article to see how it fits in your email marketing strategy as well as brand identity.
The Difference Between Inclusivity And Accessibility
Accessibility in email marketing refers to the use of technical aspects of an email that make messages functionally available for a wide variety of individuals. This includes your copy’s readability, availability of your message for voice assistants and screen readers, usability across various screen sizes and device types. Thus, accessibility refers to the ability of your email to be operated regardless of users’ abilities.
Inclusivity is identical to accessibility, with a broader sense of understanding. It embraces human diversities in terms of physical and mental abilities, gender, cultural values, age, and various types of human experiences. It has more to do with the human experience of consuming content without any emotional or psychological backlash to the user.
Keep The Reader’s Journey At The Center
Making it easy for the reader to consume your emails and uphold their rights like privacy is the first step to inclusivity. Keep the reader’s journey at the center of your copy and email templates. Do not ask any unnecessary questions or try to collect data from your readers in any unethical way. Your messages’ length should not exceed a certain limit as people usually receive numerous emails and skim through them.
The language used should be simple, and it should not offend anyone based on their ethnicity, physical disabilities, or any other personal notes.
When unsubscription is concerned, make your reader feel in complete control of the process. Keeping the reader aware of any consent related issue and striving to include a diverse reader experience on both technical and artistic aspects is the first step to inclusive email marketing.
Below is a good example of using an inclusive tone for unsubscription:
Uphold Diversity In Email Copy
This is especially a major setback for businesses with access to a limited talent pool. The large MNC corporations and email marketing agencies have offices across many countries, which gives them exposure to diverse copywriters and email developers that allow localizing the messages. For relatively smaller businesses, it becomes tough to understand the intricacies of various cultures. Still, you can apply a few time-tested tactics.
Use diverse images in your emails. Even most of the stock photography is limited to Caucasians. You can start by including images of other ethnicities and races in your messages.
Also, try to include diverse cultural references and make your emails translation friendly. Another aspect is the use of slangs. Remember that idioms and phrases aren’t translated properly, so giving a proper backdrop is a must in such cases. This can only be achieved by having a diverse team and taking reviews from people with different backgrounds. You can also conduct A/B Split Tests for targeted insights from various regions in your subscriber list.
Here’s an example of using images of people from diverse races in an email:
Share Empathy Towards Subscribers
Sharing empathy towards subscribers means being respectful and welcoming towards diversity. In many cases, discussing social topics and issues of national importance can backfire. Thus, you need to thoroughly understand sensitive issues from your individual subscribers’ viewpoint to share empathy without offending them. Another aspect is allowing your readers to take control of how they want interactions to be.
Like anti-spamming laws, the legalities fall into this consideration as sending unsolicited messages can cause mental harassment and violate their privacy.
Allowing your subscribers to set the mailing frequency and other preferences is a form of being empathetic to your subscribers. Being proactive with inclusivity also includes allowing your readers to choose what type of messages they receive, including festivities and other messages meant for bulk emailing.
Personalization With Cultural Differences
Personalization is one of the top strategies used by email marketers. However, it would help if you kept your personalization efforts in line with the cultural diversities. For instance, Father’s day is celebrated in September by four countries, including Australia, while it is celebrated in June in the rest of the world.
If your subscribers hail from different regions, it is a must to check that your message is compliant with the cultural differences among your readers. Automation tools can help you out in personalizing and segmenting your messages for such cases.
Throughout the article, I have stressed out on one point: Don’t offend your subscribers in any way. While building email marketing campaigns and developing email copies, it is very natural to make such mistakes as we might be unaware of what offends a certain group of people or individuals as we are accustomed to using a lot of phrases and elements like images without knowing their impact on diverse groups. Have a second opinion and ensure that your creatives consume content from vivid sources for designing your emails with inclusivity at the center.