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Dark Mode Vs Light Mode : How it Will Effect Your Email Marketing

Dark mode might be one of the biggest trends to hit email marketing in the past 5 years. 

Introduced by Apple in 2018, other email providers such as Gmail and Hotmail have started to introduce their own versions of the technology onto their platforms.

This alternative user interface has seen an increase in its adoption year on year since its inception and has solidified itself as one of the biggest trends in email marketing within recent years.

Put simply, dark mode is a reversed colour scheme where the usual black font and white background are swapped for a black background with white font.


In this blog we will explore the facts and figures surrounding this new email marketing trend and figure out if it’s really worth the hype:


What Is Dark Mode?

Dark mode is a darker colour palette designed for use in low light environments and night time usage. The inverse colour scheme uses a dark background with bright text and buttons. 

Many people prefer dark mode because:

  • Easier on People’s Eyes – A dark background drastically reduces the strain on people’s eyes especially in darker environments.
  • Reduces Battery Usage – Dark backgrounds reduce the brightness of your device screen which will therefore use less battery.
  • Accessibility – Dark mode can make content more accessible for people, making your content easier to consume for people with dyslexia and astigmatism.
  • Blue Light Exposure – Research shows that dark mode reduces exposure to blue light and can therefore reduce headaches and help improve sleep quality.


Which Email Clients Provide Dark Mode

Nearly all mainstream email clients provide a dark mode option,  these include:

  • Gmail – (Via web browser, android mobile app and IOS mobile app)
  • Outlook – (via web browser, Mac desktop app, Windows desktop app, android app and IOS app)
  • Apple Mail – (via Apple Mail desktop app, iPhone Mail app, and iPad Mail app)
  • Yahoo – (via web browser, Android mobile app, and iOS mobile app)

What’s important to remember is that dark mode preferences are primarily a user controlled setting and each device will have its own set of design processes. Click here to read our guide on The Psychology Behind Personalised Marketing.

The majority of the coding still has to be done on the email development side so be sure to constantly test your emails. 


The Drawbacks of Dark Mode

Implementing dark mode isn’t always as easy as it may first seem. Email users read 100s of emails a day so dark mode users aren’t going to spend the time deciphering your emails if they aren’t perfectly optimised and coloured correctly, they will simply close the email and delete quicker than you can say “Email Optimisation”. 

The challenge arises as there is no consistency between all the different platforms and how they use dark mode, each email client uses dark mode a little differently. For example some clients will automatically invert all the colours on your emails, some clients will invert only parts of your emails, and some clients you will have to set it all up manually. 


Best Practices For Dark Mode

We put together a list of best practices with dark mode in mind. 

Use responsive design: Ensure your email templates are responsive and adapt seamlessly to different viewing environments, including Dark Mode and Light Mode.

Test Thoroughly: Before sending out campaigns, conduct extensive testing across various email clients, both in Dark Mode and Light Mode, to identify and address any rendering issues.

Select Appropriate Colours: Avoid using pure black text on dark backgrounds, as it can appear too harsh. Opt for dark greys or other readable colours for the best legibility.

Optimise Images: Optimise images for both Dark Mode and Light Mode to maintain visual appeal and avoid any distortions or colour imbalances.

Emphasise Contrast: Create clear contrast between text and background colours to ensure readability remains uncompromised, regardless of the user’s mode preference.


Wrap Up

Dark Mode has undeniably become a huge trend in email marketing. Embracing Dark Mode and optimising your email campaigns to accommodate this preference can lead to improved user engagement, increased accessibility, and a consistent brand image.

By implementing the best practices and staying attuned to evolving trends, email marketers can leverage Dark Mode to their advantage and create more impactful and visually appealing campaigns for their subscribers.