A laptop screen with the outline of a person's head and cogs.
CRM, Email

How to improve cognitive accessibility in your emails

As the world rations physical contact, we’ve all become that little bit more dependent on the internet for communication. But this sprawling world of words is poorly set up for 15% – 20% of the world’s population. Those of which have some kind of language or text comprehension difficulty.

So how can we help everyone navigate the virtual world? And what can we all do to improve cognitive accessibility across comms?

In this blog we’ll focus on how to make your emails work better for those with reading, linguistic and verbal comprehension deficits.

Two words: white space

Think of it as design feng shui. Giving your email design some room to breathe can make text easier to absorb, especially for people with reading disabilities like dyslexia (that’s about 1 in 10 people, by the way), and other cognitive disabilities.

Example of email using white space

Consider your colours

Where possible, use dark grey text on a white background – it’s easier on the eyes. But remember to consider dark mode in your build (dark grey text on a black background isn’t ideal).

Break up the text

Use icons, illustrations and simple images. Consider using bullet points to break up the copy, and a sans serif font so the words look less busy (maybe not Comic Sans, though).

Example of email using icons, images and text

Prioritise your information

Always start with the most important information, use visual hierarchies and use buttons for your CTAs. This will help improve cognitive accessibility.

Use simple language

Write in short sentences and use simple language. It’ll make your email easy for everyone to digest.

Go bold

Lastly, for really important bits of body copy, use bold.


TOP TIP: you can measure your copy’s readability with the Flesch reading score in Microsoft Word. Go to Spell Check and tick the ‘check for readability’ box. You’re looking for anything over 60%. Below that, your copy might be a little difficult to read.


To conclude, do all of the above and your emails won’t just become more accessible for people with reading, linguistic and verbal comprehension deficits; they’ll look cleaner, read better and may even outperform previous campaigns.


If you need help with the accessibility of your emails, we might be able to help. Why not contact our Managing Partner Ian Reeves to get the ball rolling.


Related Posts