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Understanding Emails in Dark Mode for Apple (and Optimizing it)

The dark mode is one of the most visibly prominent features in Apple’s MacOS Mojave. It is considered to be one of the most radical changes that Apple’s interface has undergone in its operating system since the inception of Mac OS X in 2001.

Dark mode, as the name itself suggests is a setting that transforms the complete view in a negative visual. To put it in other words, it changes the color of the text from the usual white to the black. Therefore, instead of seeing black text on a white or grey background, you see the grey text on a black background.

This unique feature might be helpful for people who work late at night because of the less light that it assails. However, white text on a black background can be problematic for many. And, with Apple updating this feature throughout its system apps including Apple mail, it also affects the way the Apple users see your emails. Here’s what dark mode means for your numerous emails.

1.    Text Emails

In dark mode, the regular text emails and rich text emails are shown in dark mode by default. In fact, even when you include an image, the text appears in a light color on a dark background. Apple mail has a tendency to adjust font colors. This, in turn, transforms the white text into black and vice versa.

2.      HTML emails

While most of the HTML emails are displayed in light mode by default, the Apple mail converts the HTML emails into dark mode if they do not include any images.

Here’s a screenshot to explain you better.

Therefore, you see, how dark mode can change the way Apple users see and perceive your emails? So, if you want to give your subscriber’s using dark mode a smooth email experience, it is high time you optimize your emails for the same.


However, before we dig deep into various optimization ways, let’s clear certain misconceptions and myths regarding dark mode. Here it is.

·       Inverted colors are not dark mode

Inverted colors are different from dark mode. Though an inverted mode supports light colored text on a dark background and facilitates the best readability for the users, it is nothing like dark mode. In fact, even Windows comes with a high contrast mode to uplift the overall user experience. However, it is nothing like the Mac Os dark mode.

·       Incognito is also not dark mode

Incognito is a web browser feature which allows you to go for private browsing. To differentiate it from regular browsing, a lot of browsers change the background to a dark one (usually black). It might appear dark but, it in no way accounts for a dark mode.


Having cleared all the myths surrounding the dark node, the next step is to find ways for easy optimization of dark mode for emails. While there is no option to target dark mode specifically, there are a few alternative ways that can help you do the needful and give your customers a high-end email experience. Take a look.

1.    Experimenting with background colors

You can optimize your subscriber’s dark mode reading experience by experimenting with the background colors of your email. It can be done by including any background color that’s not white and would work in a visually appealing way irrespective of the environment being light or dark.

2.    Using an accessibility switcher

Another great way of dark mode optimization is by making extensive use of accessibility switcher. It makes use of web kit targeting to allow users to switch between a light and dark design seamlessly. With 42% of global market share, the Apple mail can be optimized through a simple coding through the accessibility switcher. All you need to do is make use of a checkbox that transforms the text color and background style depending on it either being toggled or not. Such interaction is supported not only in Apple mail but, also in iOs Mail and Outlook for Mac. Here’s a quick look at the Dark Mode Colors of Mac OS Mojave:

  1. Background: #2d2d2d
  2. Text Color: #dfdfdf
  3. Link Color: #1b89ef

So, you see the values above? Well, these can quickly help you build an interactive switcher that transforms your design in a way that it uses the background of #2d2d2d while matching Apple’s dark mode design. In fact, it even allows making use of the standard text colors that dark mode uses while giving your subscribers a seamless reading experience.


Now, since you know how to optimize your emails for the dark mode, take a sneak peek on how it can help you extract the most out of your subscribers.

1.    Facilitates high level of personalization

As a marketer, it helps you get an insight into the subscriber’s choice of choosing a mode. You can easily decipher whether they use a light or dark mode through proper optimization. It happens when your ESP stores the theme preference of the subscribers and optimizes it for all the future emails that you will send to your subscribers, thereby making their overall email experience worthwhile.

2.    Prioritizes customer preferences

Since it facilitates a high level of personalization, it has the ability to prioritize customer experience by taking their preferences into account. This serves as a great of satisfying customers while enticing them to open and click-through your email. And, we all know how it can trigger your sales and revenue to an altogether new level.


Wrap up

In conclusion, creating a light/dark theme switcher within your email is all you need to optimize your email strategy. Moreover, it is not only a reasonable investment but comes with options of scalability too. Therefore, if you want to stay ahead in the competition and not just be another mediocre or good company, go for dark mode optimization and see how you emerge as the best out of the best. Remember, giving a perfect email experience to your customers is not a luxury but, a necessity that you need to take care of.

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Kevin is the Head of Marketing at EmailMonks, one of the fastest growing email design and coding companies. He loves gadgets, bikes, jazz, and breathes ‘email marketing’. He is a brand magician who loves to engage, share insights with fellow marketers, and enjoys sharing his thoughts on the latest email marketing best practices at EmailMonks Blog.

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