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For those late night email-checkers and evening-scrollers, emails in Dark Mode can feel easier on the eyes, and easier on the battery life too. But once a user makes the switch to Dark Mode, you don’t want your email to be the one sticking out like a sore thumb.

As multiple operating systems and email providers have jumped on board with the Dark Mode movement, you don’t want to be left behind. Optimizing your emails for Dark Mode has quickly become a must. Android Authority found 81.9% of their readers use Dark Mode wherever it’s available. See the light side of Dark Mode with our helpful hints.

What is Dark Mode for email?

Dark Mode is a selected device or app setting that switches up the norm, using a darker colored background with light colored text. Dark Mode reduces the light emitted from the screen while creating enough contrast for readability. Many people choose Dark Mode as it can feel a little easier on the eyes, save battery, and reduce glare. It’s a version of an inverted color scheme that’s particularly effective in low-light environments… Late-night email-checking anyone? For the large group that spend over two hours a day on their smartphone, it’s no wonder there’s so many of us looking for any kind of eye relief out there.

While many try to find a way to prevent their screen from waking a slumbering partner, it’s key to keep in mind that each email provider will render Dark Mode a little differently. With Apple, Outlook and Gmail announcing the arrival of Dark Mode in 2019, it’s a game-changer to keep a close eye on.

We’ve put together a few pointers and reasons for optimizing your emails for Dark Mode.

It could impact your deliverability

Dark Mode may be the new guy in town, but it sure does have the potential to hold some sway. When your email recipient has configured their inbox to Dark Mode and they receive an email that has not been optimized for it, things could go awry.

Inbox providers take note of how recipients engage with your emails, so flagging and deleting may lead to providers sending you to spam or blocking your messages in the future. On the flip-side, if users respond positively to a Dark-Mode-optimized email, the likelihood of your emails landing in the right folder could improve.

Use transparent images

Many email service providers that allow Dark Mode settings automatically change colors in CSS, but not colors within images. That’s why if you’re choosing to use images in your email, using a transparent background is the way to go. This means your image will change to the background color the settings require, staying consistent with the design.

A transparent background isn’t white, it’s a background that transforms into the default background of the setting selected by the user. Avoid a white box by checking if your image files have the grey and white chequered background – this shows it’s transparent.

Work on how you use text

When it comes to text, there are a few things you can try for looking smooth in Dark Mode. No matter the type of email you’re sending, sometimes a plain-text message fits the bill. If you’re open to going simple, a plain-text email in Dark Mode renders to light text on a dark background – easy, predictable and effective.

Another direction to take is simply adding a white stroke around darker fonts. In regular settings, a white stroke will go almost unseen, but in Dark Mode, it defines text and headings to improve readability. Simple!

Test before you send!

Optimizing your email for Dark Mode can go a few ways, all depending on the email provider. We recommend creating your Dark-Mode-friendly email and sending a test version to see how it looks in Dark Mode for your customers’ most popular providers, devices and browsers.

Inbox providers can render Dark Mode in a few ways:

By seeing your email in both Light and Dark Mode, you’ll be able to figure out the most effective settings and combinations that work the best across providers, platforms and devices.

Make your emails a friendly experience for every user and get prepared for Dark Mode using our helpful hints!

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