Just when you thought you had a handle on mobile email marketing, the Apple Watch shows up and changes everything. We know what you’re thinking: How the heck do I make my emails stand out on a screen the size of a small potato chip? Don’t panic. Follow these tips to optimize your emails for the Apple Watch.

Embrace Plain Text

Since Apple Watch will only display plain text, pay extra attention to the plain text versions of your emails. That means that images won’t appear and because there is no browser, your links won’t work either. The big exceptions are addresses and phone numbers. Addresses will open in the Maps app, and tapping a phone number will let you call that number on your iPhone.

Optimize These 3 Parts of Your Emails

When it comes to the Apple Watch, less is more and brevity is your BFF. The following parts of your email are the most visible on the Apple Watch, so you’ll want to pay extra attention to them.

Subject Line

Your subject line holds more weight than ever on the Apple Watch. Keep it short (about 12-20 characters) and to the point. Make it relevant to your email and convey any time-sensitive information. For example, “Today Only: 50% Off” will likely get more opens than “Limited-Time Sale on Our Entire Stock” because it’s shorter and more specific.

Preview Space

The preview space is the very first line or two of text in your email that your subscribers can see right after your subject line. You have about 25-35 characters to work with, so you’ll want to get straight to the point in the body of your email, too. Use this space to elaborate on your subject line. If your subject is “Today Only: 50% Off,” the first line of text in your line could read “All shoes 50% off until midnight!”

The First Few Lines of Your Email

Remember, your subscribers using Apple Watch see less of your message at once than other mobile users. Keep your most important points at the very beginning of your email. Your readers can’t reply or use links, but they can archive your message and open it later on with their iPhone. Think of emails received on the Apple Watch as notifications: they should clearly deliver only the most necessary information.

Try These Email Ideas for the Apple Watch

Some emails work better than others on the Apple Watch – it’s all about making the most of limited space. Remember to include your contact information so people can quickly find your address or give you a phone call if they need to get in touch.

  • Event updates and notifications: If you have subscribers that sign up for events, send them quick updates.
  • Flash sales: Create a sense of urgency in your emails for limited-time sales.
  • Appointment reminders: Send your customers a friendly reminder the day before their consultation, webinar or any other appointment.
  • Updated stock: Did you just receive a new shipment of products? Let your readers know!
  • New product or service announcements: Keep it short and exciting!
  • Daily tip, quote or lesson: Share tidbits of your expertise to keep your readers engaged.

What’s Next?

Use Google Analytics or survey your subscribers to find out which mobile devices they use to open your emails. If you have a significant amount of Apple Watch users, you may want to create a segment just for them. Chances are, you won’t have that many – yet. But as the number of people opening email on mobile devices continues to grow, it’s never a bad idea to be prepared.

Are you using the Apple Watch? How about your customers? Let us know in the comments!