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Modern marketers know the importance of optimizing emails for mobile devices, and the results that come with that. Dobbies tried it, for example, and they had an increase of 400% in their click-through rates.

With the Apple Watch having started to ship on the 24th of April, we thought we’d follow an email customer journey starting on the watch, and ending on a desktop. Read on to find out how to optimize for each step of that journey.

Adestra-Email-on-Apple-WatcHow emails look like on the Apple Watch

As you can see, Apple Watch only supports the text version of your emails. This is very important because if you don’t create one, the Watch will display this message: ‘The full version of this message isn’t available on Apple Watch. But you can read it on your iPhone’. This might make your subscribers delete it there and then! Text versions are also recommended in order to avoid being a victim of spam filters, and now they’ll become even more important.

If your emails have a text version, but they also have images, the Watch will display ‘This message contains elements Apple Watch can’t display. You can read a text version below’, before showing the rest of your email.

How to attract the attention of your subscribers

Make the subject line and pre-header text attractive so that the user will reach for their phone to read the email, or at least keep it for later.

Adestra-Email-on-iPhoneOpening emails on the iPhone’s native app

Optimizing for mobile is not a new topic. In fact, the past 2 years have seen an increase of 144% in the number of companies doing that, according to the 2015 Email Census. Even though not all of them have made the jump to responsive design, emails that are easily actionable on mobile are important to convert the modern consumer. We’ve talked extensively about the different options in email design, and you might want to take inspiration from what your peers are using.

The good news is that iPhone’s native app is friendly to responsive design, it plays animations and downloads images by default. With a well-coded email template, there’s little you need to worry about in terms of the rendering.

How to attract the attention of your subscribers

You’ve convinced them from the Apple Watch preview that it’s worth taking out their phones. Once they open your email, make sure they find:

Take a step further by using responsive design. This will help your email to render in an optimum way, with no need to pinch and zoom or scroll horizontally.

Acting on your email from Apple Mail

You must have done a great job at convincing subscribers of the value of your email as they’ve decided to keep it for later and open it on their desktop in the evening. This might be because they wanted to give more attention to your content, or act on your CTAs and make the next step to purchase. As it turns out, 23% of people would happily open emails, browse offers and look around ecommerce sites on their mobile devices, but would rather revert to their desktop computer to fill in their payment details.


Similar to the iPhone’s native mail app, Apple Mail will recognize responsive design, play animations and download images by default. In addition, it will also play embedded video, giving you an extra chance for engagement.

How to attract the attention of your subscribers

Make sure your call-to-action is clear and it stands out. As you can use conditional content to hide parts of your email on mobile, you might want to consider including more detail in the desktop version. Remember, this is your chance to persuade the audience to convert.

For more tips on how to make your emails look fabulous AND deliver results, download a free copy of our guide ‘When Email Marketing Meets Design Theory’.