Accessibility Features Make Mailchimp Work for Everyone

Published July 18, 2023

In the ever-evolving email marketing landscape, ensuring your messages reach and engage a wide range of audiences is crucial. A vital yet often underappreciated component of this process is accessibility, which guarantees that individuals of all abilities can seamlessly interact with your content. In this article, we'll focus on Mailchimp, a leading email marketing service, and discuss its various accessibility features that can help you create campaigns that truly resonate with everyone. 

Mailchimp’s commitment to accessibility

Intuit, a company highly committed to accessibility, acquired Mailchimp in 2021, consequently leading to a heightened focus on accessibility within Mailchimp's offerings. This strategic alliance ensures that the powerful email marketing platform is now more dedicated than ever to providing accessible solutions for users of all abilities. 

“Intuit strives for the best in website accessibility to ensure our products and experiences are open to everyone – regardless of education level, physical, sensory, or cognitive ability, gender, or other attributes. When we create accessible products, we make things better for everyone–with increased access, reduced friction, and smoother experiences for the greatest number of people,” the company states on its website

If you’re experiencing any problems or would like to share feedback regarding the accessibility of Mailchimp, you can email

A closer look at Mailchimp feature accessibility

Mailchimp has significantly improved its accessibility features to cater to users with diverse abilities.

Accessible email templates

Mailchimp ensures that many email templates adhere to accessibility best practices, making it simpler for users to create and send email campaigns that individuals with diverse abilities can access. These templates are designed to work seamlessly with screen readers and other assistive technologies.

Keyboard navigation support

Mailchimp's interface is built to allow users to navigate efficiently using only their keyboard. This feature is essential for individuals with difficulty using a mouse or other pointing devices and allows for a more inclusive experience.

Alt text for images

Recognizing the importance of making visual content accessible to screen reader users, Mailchimp can add alternative text to images within email campaigns. This aspect allows users to provide descriptive text that conveys the meaning and purpose of the visual elements in their emails. In turn, screen reader users can better understand the content and context of the images, ensuring that the message is effectively communicated to all recipients, regardless of their visual abilities.

ARIA attributes

Mailchimp allows users to code emails using ARIA (Accessible Rich Internet Applications) attributes in its platform to improve the overall compatibility with assistive technologies. ARIA attributes provide additional information about the interface elements and their purpose, making it easier for screen readers to interpret and convey that information to users.

Accessibility guides

To support users in creating accessible content, Mailchimp offers comprehensive guides and documentation that explain accessibility best practices, techniques, and recommendations. These resources help users understand the importance of accessibility and how to implement it within their email campaigns.

Tips for making your Mailchimp email campaigns more accessible

Making your Mailchimp email campaigns more accessible ensures a broader audience can engage with your content. By following these tips, you can create more inclusive email campaigns that cater to people with various disabilities:

Use descriptive subject lines

Write clear and concise subject lines that give readers an accurate idea of what to expect in the email. This helps screen reader users decide whether to open their email and engage with its content.

Add alt text to images

Always add alternative descriptive text to your images, as this allows screen reader users to understand the purpose and context of the visuals in your email campaign. In Mailchimp, you can add alt text to images when inserting them into your email template.

Use accessible fonts and text sizes

Choose readable fonts and use an appropriate text size to ensure that your content is easy to read for people with visual impairments. Avoid using overly stylized fonts, and aim for a minimum font size of 14-16 pixels for the main body text.

Ensure sufficient color contrast

Use colors with good contrast between the text and background to make your content more legible. This is particularly important for people with low vision or color blindness. You can use online tools like WebAIM's Color Contrast Checker to test your color combinations.

Organize content with headings

Use headings and subheadings to structure your email content, making it easier for screen reader users to navigate and understand the information. Use proper hierarchy, with H1 for main headings, H2 for subheadings, etc.

Use simple and clear language

Avoid jargon and complex terms when writing your content. This makes your email campaigns more understandable for people with cognitive disabilities and those who may not be fluent in the language you're using.

Test your emails with screen readers

Before sending your email campaign, test it with popular screen readers such as JAWS, NVDA, or VoiceOver to ensure it is accessible to users who rely on this assistive technology.

Provide a plain text version

Offer a plain text version of your email alongside the HTML version to accommodate subscribers who prefer or require a simpler format. Mailchimp allows you to create a plain text version of your email within the campaign editor.

Use descriptive link text

When including links in your email, use meaningful and descriptive link text that explains the destination or purpose of the link. Avoid using generic phrases like "click here" or "read more."

Avoid relying solely on visuals

Ensure your email's message is understandable even if the images don't load or a user cannot perceive them. Convey important information through text and avoid using images with embedded text since these can be difficult for screen readers to interpret.

Mailchimp and the path to accessible emails

Mailchimp offers a range of accessibility features that empower users to create inclusive and engaging email campaigns. Based on this, it's crucial to remember that the responsibility of crafting accessible content ultimately lies with the users themselves. For an email marketing tool, Mailchimp provides the framework, but it’s up to us to embrace the best practices and guidelines for accessibility.

As content creators, we have the power to ensure that our messages reach and resonate with everyone. Let's harness the potential of Mailchimp and commit to making the digital world a more accessible place for all, one email campaign at a time.


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