10 things you need to know about web fonts in email right now


A number of years ago, our superwoman of email marketing, Ros, wrote a very popular blog post about web fonts in email. To this day, it’s one of our most popular pieces of content, so last fall we updated it with the help of another awesome email geek, Justin Khoo. And because we just can’t seem to get enough of web fonts in email, we’ve partnered with yet another great email marketer, Jaina Mistry, to share the latest and greatest on web fonts in email. So let’s get to the fonts.

With changing market shares increasing in email clients that support web fonts there’s now a great reason to dive into using web fonts in your email campaigns to get your image to text ratio just right. A few of the tips in this post involve code, but most don’t so prepare to learn to use web fonts like a pro in no time.

1. Web font vs. web safe font?

Web safe fonts are what you’re likely to be using in your emails right now. Fonts such as Arial, Verdana, Georgia, Times New Roman, and Courier are considered web safe fonts that can be used for live text in email. They’re the default fonts that are found on different computers, devices, and operating systems. They exist on almost all devices.

Web fonts are typically not found in multiple operating systems and devices. They’re specifically designed and licensed for use on websites. Web fonts allow for more creativity, as you aren’t limited to choosing a font that comes pre-installed on a computer.

2. Where do I get web fonts from?

One of the most popular and easy to use sources of web fonts is Google Fonts. While you won’t find some of the more popular fonts here, you will find great alternatives which are available for free. Yes, you won’t have to pay to use any of the Google web fonts in your emails. You can also download any of the fonts on Google Fonts to your computer so you can use them if you design your email in Adobe Photoshop or Sketch.

To make using web fonts in your email campaigns as easy as can be, Campaign Monitor’s powerful email builder takes all the guesswork out of using web fonts in your emails as they are built right into our system.

Our powerful drag-and-drop email builder has a multitude of fonts that can be used in your email campaigns and are supported by most email clients –and if they’re not, a suitable fallback font will be displayed instead — with zero extra work required on your part!

You can also use other web font services for a fee. Below is a list of web font services which house web fonts licensed for use in your email campaigns. (More on licenses below.)

3. Licensing

A license is required to legally use a web font online. As web fonts have been used on websites for a few years, licensing is already in place that covers use on websites and even mobile apps. However, licensing for use in email isn’t quite as widespread. This is because the use of web fonts in email is often seen as redistributing the font. And for many web font services, this goes against their EULA (End User License Agreement).

Most licenses for use of web fonts in email are based on the number of monthly opens. Something to consider if you’re using a paid for web font in your emails.


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