Accessibility Interview with CEO John Thies

A Letter from our CEO: Why I Applaud Litmus for Launching an Email Accessibility Tool

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Email accessibility has always been near and dear to my heart. It’s such an important topic given the positive impact it can make in someone’s life. It’s imperative for every subscriber to have the ability to consume every message received, no matter who it came from. Therefore, organizations need to implement an accessibility standard in their process to effectively communicate with every subscriber across any medium.

Email on Acid launched an Accessibility feature within our pre-deployment campaign workflow, Campaign Precheck, back in November of 2018. At the time, we were the only email platform that offered any accessibility validation. We are still the only platform that automatically adjusts the email HTML to be compliant with ADA standards. There is no need for you to know the details of the standards. The application manages all of them for you.

Set presentation roles for email accessibility

There was immediate adoption in our customers’ campaign preparation workflows. We spent a lot of time raising awareness in the community on the importance of accessibility within email. I’ve been waiting for the industry to embrace the practice and see it become a default standard.

We just got one step closer to that becoming a reality.

Litmus recently announced the release of an accessibility validation tool within their application and I applaud them for doing so. Here’s why:

It’s giving email accessibility more exposure

This creates more exposure for why email accessibility is such an important topic and the need for industry-wide standards. The more applications that provide accessibility validation, the better.

The outcome is that more emails will be created with a focus on being accessible and increase campaign engagement. We certainly noticed an uptick in community conversation around email accessibility, and the industry is paying attention.

It’s great to see and hear that so many email marketers are embracing the practice of creating accessible email. Sure, our tools operate differently, but as long as brands are making emails accessible for their subscribers, that’s all I care about.

It’s good for the community

The more brands and email marketers that connect with their subscribers, the better. One of my favorite things about being in the email marketing community is the amount of knowledge-sharing that takes place. Marketers, developers, and email-centric businesses, such as ourselves, are always open to sharing their findings with others in the industry.

Email marketers and developers know what’s at stake when they send an email. They have colleagues, managers and clients to answer to, so being on the front lines of new industry standards not only makes their emails better, but also has a positive impact on the community.

It’s spreading awareness

Whether you’re a vendor or a brand, everyone’s in this business to continuously improve email. That includes pushing the limits of innovation and creating positive interactions with every subscriber. That’s achieved when industry standards align, information is shared, and tools are provided to improve messaging, content and strategy.

The next step is for all of us to help spread awareness of accessibility. Tell others how minor changes can have such a big impact on someone’s life.

Accessibility and the importance of it still require more attention within the email industry. I would like to see every email marketer and developer create and deploy ADA-compliant emails.

There is more awareness now than there was at this time last year. But we still have a long way to go before this becomes a default practice. In the meantime, we’re not stopping or slowing down in being an advocate for ADA compliance.

I am extremely excited to watch how our industry embraces accessibility, and I encourage other organizations to join us in advocating for more accessibility standards.

Make every email accessible

After reading this article I would like you to join me and my colleagues at Email on Acid in making a commitment to your subscribers and the email community. That commitment is this: you will adjust your campaign preparation process to include accessibility as one of the checklist items and make it a priority in future campaigns.

I highly suggest that you make the appropriate accessibility adjustments to your emails, whether provided by Litmus or our own accessibility process within our Campaign Precheck workflow. As mentioned previously, our application makes it incredibly easy to ensure your emails are ADA-compliant by managing the standards and HTML code changes for you. Give it a try with a 7-day free trial.

Join the movement in creating a more accessible email industry!

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Author: John Thies

John is the man behind the scenes who makes sure everything is running smoothly. He loves all things technology, from programming to tinkering with mobile devices to reading the latest issue of Wired magazine. Follow him on Twitter: @johnethies.

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