Illuminate Their Inbox with Emails for Dark Mode

Email marketing remains one of the most lucrative channels for digital marketing in 2020, returning over $40 for each dollar spent. (Click here to read more about our approach to email marketing.) Still, the success of your email campaign depends on its user-friendliness. Like websites or social media ads, marketing emails must take viewer’s experience into account. One way to prime emails for users’ inboxes is to design for dark mode.

Dark mode has become wildly popular – especially among young professionals – since Apple and Android launched it for their Operating Systems last year. According to one survey, approximately 80% of individuals switched to dark mode once available. This preference has massive consequences for email marketers because nearly half of all emails are opened from mobile apps. Accordingly, designers should experiment with darker background colors and unusual color contrasts to boost viewer experience. Here are some simple tips to optimize your email design for dark mode.

Keep Color Contrasts Accessible

When people consider designing for dark mode, they often imagine using black. In fact, emails optimized for dark mode will display against dark gray. Using shades of grey introduces several opportunities that aren’t possible against a completely black background. For example, gray tones create the perception of space and depth. Additionally, they accommodate a variety of light pop colors while maintaining accessible color contrast.

Given that dark mode is above all an accessibility mode, color contrasts should remain within the recommended WCAG 4.5:1 for body text against dark backgrounds. A high color contrast between text and background color can create eye strain and prevent viewers from engaging with your email. Using less saturated colors is a great way to avoid high color contrast. And, you can verify that a selected color contrast is web accessible by using a tool like the Colour Contrast Analayser. (Click here to read more about Colour Contrast Analyser.)

Small Tweaks with a Big Impact on Email Marketing

If you’re not ready to go all-in on dark mode, there are a few small changes you can make to optimize your emails for viewers. These are basic tweaks you can make to standard email designs to enhance their display on dark screens. First, be sure to place text on a transparent background, rather than a white background. This will ensure your message displays properly in every mode. Images or text displayed on a white background will appear jarring in dark mode, with chunky white boxes appearing on an otherwise dark screen.

Along these lines, don’t forget to put a white stroke or a translucent outline on your images, icons, and logos in black or dark colors. This prevents the text or image from fading into the background. Above all, your marketing emails are meant to affirm and promote your brand! This won’t be possible if email recipients can’t see your logo.

If you’re wondering how email marketing fits into your marketing strategy, give us a call today at 845-856-1266. Niki and Ethan are happy to answer any questions you may have about integrated marketing, including email campaigns.

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