Zeta Blog

Apple Watch and Email Marketing - Game Changer?

Posted by Viney Qazi on September 22

When the iPhone was introduced in 2008, the goal was to revolutionize cellphones. 

Needless to say, after 700 million iPhone sales, Apple has succeeded. As a side effect of this huge success, Apple has also changed the world of email marketing.  More consumers are checking their emails using the iPhone’smail application than any other platform, with 28% of people viewing their emails from their iPhone.


Seven years later, Apple has introduced the Apple Watch in hopes of yet again revolutionizing the technology world. Given Apple’s recent track record for releasing products that reinvent consumer communication, businesses are anticipating the impact this new device might have on their marketing strategies.

Some in the ESP industry are predicting a dramatic shift in email marketing mentality; similar to what occurred after the iPhone’s release, and expecting a decline in open rates and engagement to increased relevancy for plain text email. The Apple Watch can open only plain text emails, as it is incompatible with HTML content.  Others, conversely, are arguing that the Apple Watch will not have as significant of an impact on email as past the iPhone had.   

Will the ESP world be flipped upside down as consumers buy Apple watches? We don’t think so.

Here’s why email is safe from surprises: 

1)  Plain text emails are very relevant in email marketing, and email marketers already take into account the inability to track their open and abuse data. As a result, marketers are accustomed to making adjustments in their numbers to consider plain text emails.

2)  The Apple Watch serves as an accompaniment to past Apple products. The iPod, iPhone, and iPad, were all self-sufficient. The Apple Watch is not. In order for the watch to work, users have to also have a recent model of the iPhone. Since the watch cannot be bought independently, the number of apple watch sales is expected to be significantly lower.

3)  The user’s iPhone needs to be close by for the majority of the Apple watch’s apps to work. Therefore, iPhones are always accessible and users are more likely to check emails where they can open links and view HTML content.

The Apple Watch is worth being enthusiastic about, providing some new and exciting features for tech lovers. Its impact on email, however, will likely not be revolutionary. In its current state, there are too many restrictive factors to have a huge impact.  By staying well informed, adhering to best practices, and understanding the industry landscape, email marketers can expect to avoid any troubling surprise with Apple’s latest innovation.

Meet the experts: 

-Viney Qazi is Zeta Interactive’s Director of Deliverability with over 12 years of experience in email delivery. He sets direction for Zeta’s deliverability strategy and issue resolution. Viney maintains Zeta’s email reputation by holding industry relationships and personal contacts with deliverability professionals around the world.

--Alex Price is Zeta Interactive’s Manager of Email Deliverability with 4 years of experience in email delivery. He specializes in email delivery optimization and issue resolution. Alex builds and maintains Zeta’s email reputation through his relationships with internet service providers and his knowledge of industry best practices.

For more information about Zeta Interactive, the Zeta Hub platform, and/or deliverability services, please email zetahub@zetainteractive.com or call 857-246-7629.


Topics: Email Marketing