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Email is about to get even more relevant with the Apple Watch

Mobile email opens have increased more than 180% in the past 3 years and with more than half of all emails opened on a mobile device, it is clear that email serves as a great communication channel for both brands and consumers. These interactions will become even more personal and relevant as Apple is about to ship the Apple Watch. This will certainly be a catalyst for inspiring brands to adjust their thinking when it comes to delivering digital communications to their customers.

One of the key goals of the Apple Watch is to deliver communication convenience for the consumer. Even though we’ve seen the delivery of innovative touch watches as far back as 2004 with the Microsoft SPOT watch by Tissot, it is near certain that the Apple Watch will reach the wrists of consumers anxious to give any new Apple device a shot as well as those looking to embrace this new communication convenience. The range of initial adoption by consumers is estimated to be between 8 million to 41 million according to market analysts. That is a huge swing but no matter the adoption, early adopters will be expecting their first communications on their wrist once it is activated.

The Apple Watch presents a unique opportunity for brands as consumers anticipate their first interactions with this wearable. This is the time brands need to anticipate that interaction and deliver a terrific experience. The guidance from Apple on the experience of the watch is to not surface lots of textual info but more color, graphics and animation. Depending on the interaction for example an email, a glance or a notification marketers need to think about the experience being delivered:

The glance is intended to quickly provide relevant information and cannot be interacted with. An example might be an app that conveys quick information like flight delay or new sale or shipping update.

When it comes to notifications, one has several options for displaying a richer amount of information for the user including both short-look and long-look interfaces. Key differences between the two include a non-scrolling screen for short-look and a scrolling screen for long-look. This gives brands plenty of options for displaying richer amounts of information to the consumer.

When it comes to reading emails, the emphasis is on reading and not writing. Because users are unable to browse the web on the Apple Watch, marketers will have to devise an email strategy with that in mind. For example, links in emails won’t bring up a browser page for the user. Marketers can provide a relevant experience for the consumer by using a combination of email tuned for the Apple Watch and creative notifications. One will have to get creative to clearly communicate value to the user. For example, a consumer might be able to use Siri to reply to an email or to request information from your Apple Watch apps.

With the coming of the Apple Watch, it is strongly recommended that digital marketers think through their strategies on how to best take advantage of its capabilities. Those that jump ahead and develop a relevant and rewarding solution for their consumers will end up winning. We already see that happening as you read this post. So the time is now.