Why is my email font not displaying properly? Why does the text of my email look different on varying devices?
We get asked this question quite often, and unfortunately, it's a more common occurrence than most realize.
So first let's start with the different types of fonts for web, email, etc.
There are two main categories of fonts: web-safe fonts and web fonts, but what’s the difference?
Web-safe fonts are what you’re likely to be using in your emails right now.
This includes fonts such as:
– Times New Roman
The fonts above are all considered web-safe fonts that can be used in email. These are the default fonts that are found on various computers, devices, and operating systems. These fonts exist on almost all devices which is why they are considered ‘safe’.
Now we can get into web fonts that are not typically found on a lot of operating systems/devices. These fonts are specifically created to use on websites. Web fonts are not limited to what comes pre-installed on a computer or device. So although you can use Web Fonts in your emails it doesn’t always mean that they will display as intended.
So why do fonts even matter? Fonts act as an extension of your brand’s voice, web fonts are a perfect way to illustrate your brand’s intent. However, keeping brand consistency within your emails can be challenging if your chosen fonts are not supported by your end users’ email provider or device.
A good font not only can help make your emails readable, but it also can convey a range of emotions. When used correctly fonts are key to an effective email campaign. When it comes to email messaging it’s best practice to use web fonts when possible. With that said it’s crucial to know that not all email clients offer universal support for web fonts.
The following email clients typically have good support for web fonts:
– iOS Mail
– Apple Mail
– Android (default mail client, not Gmail app)
– Outlook 2000
– Outlook.com app
If your chosen or preferred web font is not supported it’s not a total loss as there are fallback options that will be seen instead. Fallback fonts in most cases will be Helvetica, Arial, or a generic sans serif font.
Each individual email provider will also have its own default fonts which your end user will see instead.
The three most popular desktop email clients have the following defaults:
– Apple Mail = Helvetica
– Gmail = Arial
– Microsoft Outlook = Calibri
So instead of seeing your curvy Dancing Script font, Gmail users would see Arial.
So how do you use web fonts in your emails? Well, Patch’s new drag-n-drop Email Builder takes the guesswork out of using web fonts in your emails as they are built right in.
Here is a full list of Patch's preset fallback fonts:
Arial -> Sans-Serif
Bebas Neue -> Sans-Serif
Caveat -> Cursive, Serif
Comic Sans MS -> Comic Sans, Sans-Serif
Courier New -> Monospace, Serif
Dancing Script -> Cursive, Serif
Georgia -> Serif
Helvetica -> Sans-Serif
Lato -> Sans-Serif
Montserrat -> Sans-Serif
Nunito -> Sans-Serif
Open Sans -> Sans-Serif
Poiret One -> Sans-Serif
Raleway -> Sans-Serif
Roboto -> Sans-Serif
Times New Roman -> Serif
Verdana -> Sans-Serif
If you have any additional questions or would like one of our Retention Specialists to review your email campaign feel free to email us at email@example.com
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