In this article, we'll tell you which type of text alignment makes emails reader-friendly: justified, centered, left or right-aligned.
We tried to explain the issue in layman's terms deliberately to make the article helpful for non-designers. If you have anything to add, please share it on our Twitter!
What Should Be Justified: Nothing
Seriously, never justify your email copy. People may prefer such text over other types – this has even been proven by research. However, the same research shows that justified text is harder to read than left-aligned.
- text justification decreases reading speed by 11 %;
- justified texts are not dyslexia-friendly.
The only place where text can be justified is in printed media. This presupposes adjusting spaces between letters and words in every line. If we did the same for emails, it would take too much time and effort.
Email content is not only about text. Images also play a major role in the email design and influence the rates of your campaign. We've also told how to embed images in HTML emails.
What Should Be Right-Aligned: Almost Nothing (Except for Languages That Use Right to Left Script)
You can use flush right alignment in rare cases: for instance, a phone number and a link to an online version in the header can be right-aligned.
I failed to find the studies on flush right alignment. But I have an idea why it's not used for long texts: the readers have to look for the beginning of every new line because of the ragged left margin. It's not that bad if you're dealing with short texts, but if the text is long, flush right alignment may cause reading difficulties.
What Should Be Centered: Points You Need To Emphasize
Center the parts of the texts you need to emphasize (usually not more than 3 lines).
This type of alignment shouldn't be used for long texts for the same reason as "flush right" – the ragged left margin makes the text difficult to read.
What Should Be Aligned Left: Almost Everything
The body of your email should be aligned "flush left". The research shows that left-aligned texts stick to one's memory better than justified texts and increase reading speed. Flush left alignment looks familiar to most of us: lots of information we see every day is left-aligned.
This type of text alignment is used by major news websites – probably, to make the text more reader-friendly.
If you want your readers to get information easily and quickly, we recommend using flush left alignment. You can use other types of alignment for short texts, to emphasize important points, or for other purposes.