How typography influences email marketing: Best practices for font usage

How typography influences email marketing: Best practices for font usage

When was the last time you thought about the fonts in your emails? Typography might seem like a minor detail, but it is more important than most think.

With fonts you can not only convey an emotion, but also guide your reader’s eye — both of which play a crucial role in how your message is received.

In this article we’ll go through the psychological impact of typography and explore best font usage practices for your next email campaign.

The psychological impact of typography

Typography isn’t just about making text readable. Different fonts evoke different feelings and can influence a recipient’s response to your email. For instance:

  • Serif fonts like Times New Roman and Garamond suggest reliability, and professionalism. Established brands that are looking to convey a sense of trust and authority might pick such fonts.
  • Sans-serif fonts like Arial and Helvetica are seen as modern, clean, and straightforward. Those creating digital content widely use such fonts for their readability and contemporary look.
  • Script fonts can feel elegant and personal but may be harder to read in large blocks of text. These fonts are ideal for accents or headlines that need a touch of personality.

Fonts can create a subconscious association with a brand’s personality and influence perception. For example, a friendly, rounded font like Comic Sans can make your message appear more approachable and less formal, perfect for a casual, community-focused brand but unsuitable for a luxury brand.

Research shows that font choice can impact reading speed and comprehension, ensuring your audience not only reads your email but also understands and retains the information. Additionally, the emotional response elicited by a font can influence decision-making. A bold, assertive font in a call-to-action can create urgency and encourage quick responses, while a softer, more relaxed font is better for messages aimed at building long-term relationships.

Why typography in email marketing matters

When it comes to creating impactful and engaging email campaigns, considering typography is not something you want to skip. Here’s why:

First impressions count: When an email lands in your inbox, what’s the first thing you notice? Probably the header and the very first headline. If these elements don’t stand out, your reader may find it hard to intuitively navigate the email campaign you just sent them and most likely they’d just click away.

Readability and engagement: Once you’ve captured your reader’s attention, keeping it is the next challenge. An easily readable font encourages recipients to read through your email instead of just skimming it. Choosing a clear, legible font ensures that your message gets through without any unnecessary friction.

Brand consistency: Consistency in font usage across all marketing channels is important for brand recognition. Imagine receiving emails from a brand where the font changes every time — it’s jarring and can even erode trust. By using the same fonts in your emails, social media posts, and website, you create a cohesive and familiar experience for your audience.

In essence, typography is not just about making your emails look good. It’s about making sure your messages are read, understood, and remembered.

Best practices for choosing fonts

1. Prioritize readability

Choose fonts that are easy to read — Arial, Verdana, and Georgia are excellent choices for body text. Avoid overly decorative fonts for large blocks of text — these should be reserved for headings or accents.

2. Consider email clients and devices

Not all fonts render the same across different email clients and devices. To ensure your emails look consistent, stick with web-safe fonts. These are safe and accessible choices: Arial (sans serif), Arial Black (sans serif), Tahoma (sans serif), Times New Roman (serif), Verdana (sans serif).

3. Limit your font choices

Using too many fonts can make your email look cluttered and unprofessional. A good rule of thumb is to use no more than two fonts — one for headings and one for body text.

4. Mind your font size and line spacing

For readability, your font size should be at least 14px for body text. Line spacing (leading) should be around 1.5 times the font size. This way your text won’t look too cramped and be easier for readers to follow.

While the text case is more about grammar than typography, it still impacts readability and tone. If you’re wondering are emails case sensitive — they are not. But in the text itself all-caps can feel like shouting and might overwhelm readers, whereas the sentence case feels more natural and inviting.

5. Use hierarchy to guide the reader

Create a visual hierarchy to guide the reader’s eye through the email. Headings should be larger and bolder, while body text should be smaller and more subdued. This way readers will know the most important information when scanning the email.


Typography is a powerful tool in email marketing, influencing how your message is both — received and perceived. Incorporate these best practices into your next email campaign and watch how a simple font change can boost your engagement and conversions. And remember to test and tweak your choices based on performance data to continuously improve your results.

An original article about How typography influences email marketing: Best practices for font usage by Purity Muriuki · Published in

Published on — Last update: