Mail (or Mail.app) is the default email client for Apple’s popular OS X operating system. Currently at version 6.5, Mail represents one of the best experiences available for email users. Apple Mail provides some of the best support for rendering emails all in a well-designed and user-friendly package.
Mail supports the SMTP, POP3, and IMAP protocols and is commonly used with popular email platforms like Yahoo Mail, AOL Mail, Gmail, and Exchange.
With a quick setup for email providers like Yahoo, Gmail, and AOL - Apple Mail is understandably popular amongst consumers. In 2009, Apple added support for Microsoft’s popular Exchange Server, allowing an entirely new audience to start using Apple Mail.
Despite a downward trend in recent months, Mail is still more popular than any webmail clients. It currently sits at our #5 position on emailclientmarketshare.com with 8% market share.
Deliverability in Apple Mail generally depends on the service with which it is integrated. If a user is using Gmail as a backend to Apple Mail, campaigns will be subject to Gmail’s spam filters.
It should be noted that Apple Mail has junk mail settings for users, allowing them to “train” Mail to filter junk mail. The three most important settings a user can toggle (and which are toggled by default) are:
- Sender of message is in my Address Book
- Sender of message is in my Previous Recipients
- Message is addressed using my full name
If you are collecting your subscribers’ full names and have a large portion of those subscribers opening in Apple Mail, it may be beneficial to include the subscriber’s full name in your email campaigns to help insure delivery to their inbox instead of the junk folder.
In regards to rendering, Apple Mail is one of the best email clients on the market today.
Mail offers robust support for all commonly used HTML and CSS, including most CSS3 properties. Apple Mail also supports the use of both SVG and CSS Animations, which can lead to some amazing emails. Campaign Monitor reports that Mail has support for both the audio and video HTML5 tags, which could be of use to the more adventurous designers out there. However, like most clients, Apple Mail does not support the use of canvas within emails.
As a designer you will find Apple Mail to be the least of your worries. We encourage you to continue using best practices for all clients when designing campaigns, but if you have a large Apple Mail audience, you can feel comfortable exploring new techniques for your campaigns.
Wikipedia Apple Mail Article
Wikipedia OS X Article
Avoiding Apple Mail's Spam Filter
Email Client Market Share
Campaign Monitor's Guide to CSS Support
Wikipedia Snow Leopard Article
How is Spam Handled for IMAP?
Apple Mail Junk Filtering
Apple Support: Change the Junk Filter