by Jess Nelson, September 8, 2016
Tim Cook premiered the second iteration of the Apple Watch on Wednesday at Apple’s annual iPhone event, with the Apple Watch Series 2 expected to begin shipping on September 16.
Apple did not disclose exact sales numbers, but The Wall Street Journal reports that analysts estimate that 12 million to 13 million Apple Watches were sold in their first year on the market. That’s nearly twice as many units sold compared to when the iPhone first premiered in 2007.
With Apple Watches slowly penetrating mobile technology, more and more consumers will first view their emails on their wrists. So how can email marketers ensure their messages are readable on a small screen that ranges from 38 to 42 millimeters?
Scott Heimes, CMO at SendGrid, shared seven tips for how marketers can optimize their email campaigns for the Apple Watch. SendGrid is a cloud-based communications platform and email solutions provider.
Short Subject Lines
It’s no surprise that given the smaller interface of the Apple Watch, email marketers should prioritize content that is easy to digest.
Seven-word subject lines are the most common, but a study of 5 million unique subject lines by SendGrid highlighted that three-word subject lines have the highest engagement rates. Subject lines referring to “(September 21, 2016)” and “tomorrow” resulted in higher engagement rates than “today,” according to the report.
Eliminate Links and Hashtags
SendGrid’s study discovered that subject lines containing URLs or hashtags have poor engagement rates, averaging less than 10.5% in engagement. If the best performing subject lines are three words, adding a long URL or hashtag wastes valuable space. Instead, marketers should consider incorporating that content in calls-to-action within the email body.
Design Slim Email Templates
Heimes says that most email templates are designed for a desktop computer, with a set HTML width of about 600 pixels. This is too wide for most smartphones, let alone the even-smaller Apple Watch, and could prevent horizontal scrolling.
Easy to Read
Reading is limited in scope on the Apple Watch due to its confined space, so Heimes recommends that marketers stick to an email template with an easy-to-read single column format. Calls to action should also be clearly defined and easily found.
Make it Shareable
“A simple call-to-action with a relevant offer combined with easy sharing features are important,” says Heimes, recommending that email marketers design action buttons that are large enough to be easily tapped on a screen.
Recognizable ‘From’ Address
“Make sure your “from” line is instantly recognizable with your brand name and not some generic email address or department name,” says Heimes.
Unlike many mobile clients, Apple Watch email readers do not automatically download images when an email is opened, so marketers should be prepared to revert to alternative tactics of engaging with consumers.
Heimes recommends that email marketers ditch CSS in favor of HTML to take advantage of the ALT tag for email images.