Can I change the font of my email text?
This is a frequent question we get asked, and the answer is yes, but with restrictions.
These restrictions are not ones we set arbitrarily. Rather, they are based on how email itself works.
In a nutshell, we don't support loading of custom fonts in emails because most email providers will not support them.
This doesn't mean you don't have any customization options, but more on that below — first, it's important to understand how the loading of custom fonts works in the first place, and how that relates to email.
Computers are able to reference and load fonts in one of two ways:
1. From your own computer
NOTE: For the purposes of this article, 'computer' encompasses anything on which online content is displayed, including smartphones, tablets, etc.
If the font of the content you're viewing is already installed on your own computer, it makes things easy. Your computer will detect that you have it available locally, and call directly upon that installed font to display it.
The big caveat here is that you don't have any control over the custom fonts that your site visitors and/or email subscribers will have installed on their computers.
As a result, you always want to ensure that any custom font you're using on the web is also able to be referenced externally, so that you aren't dependent on the custom fonts that others happen to have installed.
2. From a web server
This is the case on most websites. When you visit a web page with a custom font imported, your computer is able to display that font by referencing it from the web server on which the font itself is hosted, whether or not you also have that font installed on your own device.
This allows for a consistent experience for your site visitors, and works great for websites!
This also works for our own form and landing page templates, since their content is ultimately displayed on web pages too. That is why you'll see more font options available for your forms and landing pages than you will for your emails.
The issue with email
Unfortunately, there isn't a way to import custom fonts into emails the same way that you can do so elsewhere on the web. As a result, most email providers don't support custom fonts — and, of course, the email provider your recipients use is another factor out of your control as sender.
As a result of this widely-known lack of support, and high level of unpredictability, we do not recommend (and unfortunately can't support) attempting to load custom fonts within emails.
So, what are my font options?
We've established why loading custom fonts isn't supported, but the good news is that there is a still selection of fonts that are safe to use for your emails!
The reason these fonts are 'safe' choices for email is because every computer, Mac or Windows, will have them installed by default.
Here's the list of web-safe font families:
Times New Roman
System font option
The first option in the dropdown of available fonts is 'system font'. When selected, the font that appears for the viewer of the email will depend on which device they open it on.
Every device has a system font to display messages and text, and with this option selected, your email will appear within your subscribers' system font.
☝️ For example, if a user opens the email on an iPhone it will appear differently than if they open it on a PC because both devices use different system fonts.
Essentially this is the safest option when selecting a font as it will be recognizable for the reader.
How to change the font in your emails
You can also set your emails' default font(s) at the email template level.
Visual email templates
You can select these fonts from the dropdown menus on the sidebar of our visual template editor, under the Text and Heading tabs of the right sidebar.
HTML email templates
You can set your email template's font family to one of the above web-safe font options via CSS code.
NOTE: Feel free to reference the source code of our default Modern and Classic templates for an example of how to set your HTML email template's font family via CSS.