The Pros and Cons of Google Fonts

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Last year, our creative team shared details about email-safe fonts. I understand that it’s hard to stick to basic fonts—especially for marketers who want to stand out in the inbox (read: all email marketers). Fortunately, there are more custom font options out there, like Google Fonts. We’ve been getting tons of requests from clients to use Google Fonts, so today we’ll quickly go over the pros and cons of using them.

Pros: 

  • They’re free
  • Lots of options to choose from—from Open Sans to Ubuntu

Cons:

  • They only work on certain email clients: iOS Mail, Mail.app, Lotus Notes 8, default Mail on Android, Outlook 2000, and Thunderbird

*Keep in mind that you should always have a fallback basic font that looks similar to the Google font you used in order to provide a good experience for all readers.  Also, for better results, use @import CSS with Google Fonts URLs when you’re coding since it tends to perform better than @font-face. Just remember this will only display in few email clients.

Are Google Fonts for you?

To see if it’s worth using Google fonts, I recommend using data and tools provided by your ESP to segment your list based on which email clients your readers use. Send custom font versions to subscribers whose email clients can support them and send email-safe fonts to those that can’t.

This can result in more subscriber engagement due to a better customer experience: seeing email content in HTML text format, whether it’s a Google font or not, loads relatively quickly and subscribers are still able to preview the important content if images aren’t loading.

Have you used Google Fonts? If so, what performance results have you seen? Let us know in the comments below.

 

Author Bio

Kathy Jankovic

With more than 4 years of experience in the email marketing industry, Kathy is an Art Director on the Creative Services team in Yesmail’s NYC office. She has worked with many Fortune 500 companies and has a strong background in online marketing. Kathy has a passion for digital design and photography. In short, creativity is in her DNA.