Accessibility testing in Litmus

Maximize the impact of every email with content that is accessible to all subscribers. 


Why it crucial for my emails to follow accessibility best practices?

Companies that strive to produce the best brand experience possible and maximize their email marketing ROI know that each email they send needs to make the biggest impact on every subscriber. That’s why it’s crucial to check each email for certain HTML elements that impact the way subscribers with cognitive or visual impairments experience your emails.  

What are each of the accessibility checks and why are they important?

  • Alt-text: Alt-text helps screen readers accurately describe images within your email.
  • Language: Without a language HTML attribute, screen readers will assume the email is in the default language the subscriber chose when setting up their screen reader. If your email is not in that user’s language, the screen reader may not accurately transcribe your message.
  • Content-type: Specifying the content type is important for screen readers as it allows them to accurately identify special characters. The most common content type is UTF. 
  • Heading hierarchy: It’s important to maintain a consistent outline of your email content for assistive technologies by always using heading tags in a logical sequence (e.g. <h1>, <h2>, <h3>). This will enable screen readers efficiently navigate an email and begin reading at whichever point the subscriber desires.
  • Text justification: Many people with cognitive disabilities have a great deal of trouble with blocks of text that are justified (aligned to both the left and the right margins).
  • Table-roles: Specifying the table role is important so screen readers can identify when your table only a serves a design or a layout purpose, and refrain from reading aloud every column and row.
  • Screen reader transcript & audio recording: Once these elements are checked, you can listen to a recording of your email and view a transcript to ensure clients that use screen readers have an optimal experience with your email. This feature is the first of its kind and exclusive to the Litmus platform.

How will I know how to fix issues that impact the accessibility of my emails?

The Accessibility section of Checklist will identify any areas of code that need attention and provide line numbers to help locate Alt-Text, Headings, Text Justification, and your table tags (for the table role check). There will also be guidance included on how to fix your HTML to create emails accessible to all subscribers.

Why should I use Litmus to check the accessibility of my emails?

Litmus brings the ability to test for accessibility best practices right into the Litmus Checklist tool you already know and love. Litmus is also the only platform that allows you to listen to an audio recording of your email and download a transcript to understand how a screen reader would relay it to a subscriber with a visual impairment.

Why do the Line Numbers in the accessibility checks not match the line numbers in my original HTML?

The line numbers referenced as part of the various accessibility check results (alt-text, Headings, Text justification, and table roles) are based on the HTML that Litmus processes in Checklist. Often this HTML is pre-processed by the ESP at send time. When ESPs process the HTML they often add tags or lines of code that adjust the HTML line numbers. Similarly, Builder processes HTML as part of its Partials feature and adds some code that can modify the line numbers in Checklist. Therefore the line numbers in Checklist may be one or two numbers away from the line number in your original, unprocessed HTML. This is also true for HTML that is sent to Checklist from Builder via the "Update Proof & Checklist" (or "Update Checklist" for customers without Proof) action. Builder processes the HTML and sometimes adds code that adjusts the HTML line numbers. To view the HTML that Litmus used in Checklist, click on the “Edit Code” button for any of the email previews.

Does the screen reader work for multiple languages?

Yes! We integrate with NVDA for our screen reader, which supports over 80 languages. Be sure to use the correct language HTML attribute in your code. The [lang] attribute helps screen readers accurately transcribe your message by indicating the language used to draft your email. You can find popular language codes listed here

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