Accessibility standards for evaluation
(WCAG) is the go-to set of standards for digital accessibility. They list guidelines, along with actionable success criteria to help people optimize their technology. There are three levels of conformance:
Level A (minimal compliance): This is the bare minimum level of accessibility that your email campaigns should meet. Essentially, without these standards, your email would be impossible or extremely difficult for someone with a disability to consume.
Level AA (acceptable compliance): This is a good starting goal for companies and, when the standards are met, emails are both usable and understandable for most people who have disabilities.
Level AAA (optimal compliance): Of course, this is the ideal benchmark to hit, but it can be more difficult to make all types of content conform. Meeting these standards would make the experience equal for all those with disabilities and those without. If your campaigns are specifically focused on the elderly or people with disabilities – in the case of an eye clinic or rehab facility, for example – you should be more concerned about meeting this level of compliance.
Take the time to consider each level of conformance and choose the one you’ll follow for your campaigns. Note that WCAG is currently on version 2.1, which was established in 2018. Howeveris scheduled for release soon, which will address nine new areas around accessibility.
In addition to these guidelines, review any requirements for ADA accessibility compliance in your emails.
2. Evaluating email elements
Now it’s time to make a list of the elements you’ll include within your audit, using the accessibility guidelines above as a framework. Here are some examples:
- Templates: Which email templates will be included in the audit? Your welcome email? Transactional messages? Monthly newsletters?
- Color choices: Will you consider color contrast and color blindness in your audit? This will involve examining text, backgrounds, images, buttons, and other graphics.
- Fonts: How can the font families, colors, and sizes be improved for those with disabilities?
- Copy: What is the reading level of your email content? Do you use a lot of technical jargon?
- Email code: Is your code optimized for assistive technology like screen readers, Braille displays, and keyboard navigation?
Of course, there are other areas of consideration as well. Be as thorough as you can within any time or budgetary constraints.
3. Evaluating the needs of your audience
The demographics of the specific list you’re evaluating can provide valuable insight into areas of focus. Do the people on the list give any indication of potential disabilities? Here are a few examples:
- If your list is primarily over the age of 65, they may have visual or auditory impairments.
- If your list is primarily male, they’re more likely to have.
- If the brand you’re representing is a medical office – like an eye doctor or physical therapist – there may be an innate implication of certain impairments.
Also consider any feedback, if any, that you’ve received from your audience around the usability of your email campaigns.
4. Accessibility testing tools
Now think about what tools you’ll use to evaluate your emails. There will be some degree of manual review involved, but can increase both the effectiveness and speed of your audit. Here are some options you’ll want to consider:
If you’re an Email on Acid customer, you can take advantage of several built right into the software. Email on Acid will evaluate your emails using some of the most important accessibility guidelines, then enable you to fix accessibility issues in a few clicks. These tools review everything from color contrast and alt text to title attributes and presentation roles.
You can either paste your email code into this tool or link to an online version to get a review of your campaign. Accessible-Email.org will make actionable suggestions as to how you can improve.
There are a variety of options to choose from based on your operating system, but using a screen reader yourself is the best way to understand how those with vision impairments interact with your emails.
Run the online version of your email campaigns Belgium Phone Number List through this tool to identify any problems and areas of improvement.
Add this extension to your browser for automated accessibility testing.
For even more options, check out thisdirectly from the Web Accessibility Initiative (W3C).
5. Creating a spreadsheet
We recommend starting a spreadsheet using a tool like Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets. Use this to compile data from both manual and automated testing processes, list scores you receive from accessibility tools, and make a checklist for improving your email campaigns.
Make a column for each of the email UAE Cell Number elements mentioned in Step 2. Include a Notes section where you can include insights and action items to help execute the findings of your email accessibility audit. Remember to reflect on the goals of your audit as well as the audience’s needs.