Accessibility testing in Litmus

Maximize the impact of every email with content that is accessible to all subscribers. Litmus accessibility testing audits six important areas so you maximize your email marketing ROI, knowing that each email you send makes the biggest impact on every subscriber. That’s why it’s crucial to check each email for certain HTML elements that affect the way subscribers with cognitive or visual impairments experience your emails.  

Litmus accessibility checks and why they matter

  • 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 subscriber’s selected default screen reader language. If your email is not in that 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 to efficiently navigate an email and begin reading at any point the subscriber chooses.
  • 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 serves a design or a layout purpose and will not read every column and row aloud.
  • 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.

Guidance and best to fix what you find

The Accessibility section of Previews & QA 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.

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.

HTML line numbers in the checker

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 Previews & QA. 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. Therefore the line numbers 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 Previews & QA from Builder via the Update Proof & Checklist or Update Checklist for customers without Proof. Builder processes the HTML and sometimes adds code that adjusts the HTML line numbers. To view the HTML that Litmus used in Previews & QA, select 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. NVDA 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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