The world of social marketing changed dramatically this year when Apple released its iOS 14.5 update. This privacy feature allowed Apple users to more easily opt-out of data tracking in apps. As a result, over 80% of Apple users opted to protect their personal data, severely limiting how companies like Facebook target users for ads.
However, Apple did not stop there with its pro-privacy endeavours. On September 20, Apple released its iOS 15 update, which focused on email privacy, data tracking, and security. If you rely heavily on email marketing, here is everything you need to know about the iOS 15 update and how to adjust.
- You will not be able to track opened emails.
Apple’s Mail Privacy Protection feature will prevent companies from tracking email opens by Apple users. This means that marketers will now receive incomplete or skewed results on open rates and subject line effectiveness across the board. Additionally, the privacy protection will block users’ IP addresses, which means that marketers can no longer track users’ location or online activity.
Obviously, you need your results to be as accurate as possible to have effective marketing emails. To combat the iOS 15 measurement issues, start by culling all the inactive emails from your list and deleting them or adding them to a different list for re-engagement campaigns. This will increase your emails’ deliverability and give you a better idea of open rates and effectiveness by tracking the click-through rates instead.
Additionally, you can specifically ask your email subscribers to keep those privacy settings off. If you’ve already built loyalty and trust with your email list, they’ll be much more accommodating and allow you to collect that data. But be sure you’re 100% transparent with what you collect and how you use it to maintain that trust.
- Personalization will be hard to impossible.
Email marketing is most effective when you can personalize content to your viewers. Your email management software often does that automatically by tracking what your subscribers open and ignore. And those IP address trackers are vital for re-targeting emails like abandoned cart and browse reminders. However, this new update will make it nearly impossible to collect that data.
If you don’t already have segmented opt-in lists set up, now is a great time to do so! As you gain new subscribers, ask them to check off the kinds of topics they’re interested in so that you can send them the information they want to read.
- Your list will include "burner" emails.
Another feature that iOS 15 is rolling out is “Hide My Email.” This allows iCloud subscribers to keep their actual email addresses secret by creating temporary, anonymous email addresses. These emails will get forwarded to their real inbox by Apple. However, marketers won’t actually know what the real email address is.
To make the feature even more frustrating, iCloud users can create and delete as many of those email accounts as they want at any time. So they could sign up to your lists multiple times to receive deals…or instantly cut off contact with you.
Once again, this is where trust and customer loyalty are essential! Make sure that you’re only sending out content that is 100% worth your subscribers’ time. This will encourage them to give you their real information and keep your emails coming to their inbox.
- Email marketing is still relevant.
Obviously, this update is going to change how email marketing targets Apple-based consumers. However, keep in mind that the most relevant statistics you’ll need are click-through and conversion rates. Additionally, you can collect a lot of personalization data upfront by asking visitors to join loyalty programs, complete polls for coupons, etc. You can use all that data to adjust your emails to your audience.
Plus, the Private Relay and Hide My Email features require a paid iCloud+ subscription, limiting how many Apple users will opt into those features. So, yes, things will change, but it’s not the end of email marketing!