Don’t leave users in the dark; Dark Mode illuminated.

Why you need to start optimising your emails for dark mode

Dark mode. What is it, who uses it, and what does it have to do with CRM? If you’re a marketer sending emails, you should know the answer to these questions – or be working with someone who does. Litmus’ Trends in Email Engagement report indicates that of opens tracked, 34% were in dark mode. If your emails are not displaying correctly for over a third of users, there are implications for your brand perception, and they’re not positive.

What is dark mode?

Now a well-established feature, dark mode is a display setting for interfaces that allows users to choose a darker colour palette. It reverses the default typography, UI elements and icons from dark-on-light to light-on-dark.

There are many reasons people prefer dark mode, ranging from its battery-saving perks to minimizing eye strain. It can make content more legible and make it easier for some users to consume content. Sometimes, it’s a simple matter of personal preference.

Dark mode, not dark art

Making sure emails still stand out in dark mode can be a challenge for email marketers. But Flourish are up to it. Building HTML emails that are accessible to as many people as possible, whether they’re using dark mode or not, is a major goal for all emails we build at Flourish. With this mindset we collaboratively work with our designers to ensure a high level of readability, sufficient colour contrast and sensible dark mode choices.

Here are our top tips for optimising emails for dark mode:

  • Consider colour. When colours are inverted for dark mode, make sure they still reflect your brand identity.
  • Text should be readable. Remember that any text will be inverted too, so make sure your copy is readable over the top of the colours used in dark mode.
  • Accessibility is everything. When thinking about colour, consider accessibility. We’ve written a whole blog about it.
  • Remove image backgrounds. Make sure all images included in your email are saved as PNGs with transparent backgrounds. This detail adds an extra layer of professionalism compared with luminous white backgrounds.
  • Optimise your logo. Make sure your logo stands out against a dark mode background by adding elements like a translucent drop shadow. This will be invisible in light mode and is a special touch that can only be seen in dark mode.

Test twice, send once

In 2022, Email Markup Consortium tested 35,604 HTML emails. 99.9% contained accessibility issues categorised as ‘Serious’ or ‘Critical’.

Making sure the recipient can access and interact with your emails – whilst ensuring the email remains presentable across all relevant email clients – is a big technical challenge. We test every email on behalf of our clients before they’re sent. There are a range of tools available to do this and make it easier for you to check your email sends across multiple email clients and devices without issue.

Come out of the dark

Dark mode is increasingly being used as a default setting, especially on mobile, making it more important than ever to ensure that all your comms follow best practice. Not only is this vital for accessibility, it’s also a crucial way to uphold your brand reputation.

If you’re ready to embrace dark mode, get in touch with our team; We’re offering an opportunity to review and test an email for free, so there’s nothing to lose by coming out of the dark.


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