How Font Size Affects An Audience

Results from my font size experiment

Results from Changing the Font in My Email Last Week

Last week a segment of my email list received their newsletter email with an increased font size. The idea came about because I was catching up on some email newsletters that I subscribe to and one of the things that I noticed was that the ones with a bigger font were easier to read. This made me want to read their whole newsletter because it was easy.

With that observation we ran a test and increased the font from 18pt to 24pt.

To get feedback I asked that people reply to the email to let me know if they loved it or hated it.

The results…

About a 50/50 split.

The feedback for loving it was simple, it was easier to read.

On the other side of the coin, some people said it was actually hard to read because they couldn’t tell the difference between the sections.

People who were on smaller phone screens said that they were seeing only two or three words per line which made it incredibly hard to read. The exact opposite effect we hoped for.

When we followed up with readers who like the larger font, it turns out they were on iPads or computers. These larger devices allowed the the bigger font to still work as it relates to being able to tell the different sections and sentences had enough words per line that reading wasn’t a problem.

What we’re thinking of doing

We may allow people to set a preference of smaller or larger font. It would add about twenty minutes more on to creating these emails, but it would be worth it if we can make it easier to read for some people.

We’re also looking into a compromise. Our options building these emails is size 18pt font or size 24pt font. There is no 20pt option. I did a little digging and its the same with online blog editors. We’re going to dig in a little deeper and see why 20pt is not available. Maybe there is a technical reason it’s not possible.

If 20pt font is not possible, we’ll give people the option to receive a version in the font of their prefernce. How’s that for customer service 🙂

Take away from this experiment:
It’s really hard to do a one size fits all solution when people use so many different devices to read emails.

Experimenting like this helps get feedback so you can improve your customer’s experience. Test and experiment often.

If you send an email newsletter and have thoughts about this experiment, let me know in the comments. I’d be grateful to hear about other people’s experiences