How the iOS 15 update affects your E-mail marketing

Author: Katharina Rendtslev

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The tech giant, Apple, is now once again getting ready to turn up the protection of privacy and secure the users’ data. In early June, Apple announced the upcoming changes to the operating system iOS for iPhone and iPad, among others, but with the new iOS 15, it is especially mail marketeers who will feel the consequences of Apple’s search for a more confidential dominance.

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E-mail Marketing

What is the purpose of the update?

In the holy name of privacy Apple wants to protect users’ behavior when using Apple’s Mail app. The implement of the latest privacy-oriented changes should be seen as part of Apple’s “legacy of privacy leadership”. The update means that users of Apple’s Mail app will be able to select and deselect protection of their e-activity. Quite practically, it is a feature that users themselves have the option to turn on. If users choose to turn on this feature, the various e-mail senders will be prevented from using invisible pixels, which will mean the following:

  • It hides one’s IP address
  • It hides one’s location
  • It hides that you open the mail

What does the update mean for you?

This means that it becomes more difficult for companies to analyze data and behavior from their users. While users after the iOS 14 update was greeted by a prompt when opening the apps, it seems that users after the iOS 15 update need to enable the Mail Privacy Protection themselves. The process for how it is activated is therefore crucial for how much influence the update will have.

Another feature that will also have a great influence is the “Hide My Email” feature, which will be rolled out as part of Apple’s new iCloud+ subscription. This means that users who have signed up for iCloud+ have the opportunity to use a random email when signing up for your forms on your website. This will make much of the users’ data inaccessible to you.

How does it affect your results?

The update will have a great affect on companies that work with newsletters as part of their marketing mix. With the update the opening rate as a measurement tool will be much less accurate. This means that the visual numbers in this mail system may look lower than your actual numbers. Your subscribers will still receive your emails even if they have turned on the Mail Privacy Protection feature, but it will just not be reflected in the opening rate in the same way as prior.

If you have a more advanced e-mail marketing set up, where some of your automation flows are triggered by whether people have opened previous mails or not, you also need to take a closer look at this set up and possibly replace the trigger or add a few extra triggers.

  • It can be setups like:
  • Follow-up e-mails
  • More sale e-mails
  • Re-engage flows

What you need to do before and after the iOS 15 update?

Preparation for the iOS 15 update will be important to be able to compare in relation to the new data and the focus on measuring engagement, delivery ability and certain behaviors. We therefore recommend looking more closely at a causation as well as the actual sales backend in relation to conversions.

A full version of iOS 15 is expected to launch in the fall, probably in September or October. This gives marketeers about four or five months to prepare.

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Here are some steps to take now:

  • Start A / B testing variants of your subject lines for your core automations so you can find the winning version before the update
  • In addition to measuring the opening rate, you can switch to measuring the effectiveness of subject lines by looking at which ones generate the most clicks.
  • Use A / B tests of content, as measuring clickthrough rates for tracking engagement becomes more important, make sure you provide recipients with the most optimized email
  • Clear your lists for inactive contact now, as you can not use data of opening speed to manage your delivery capacity later, at least not until new solutions are implemented

If email marketing is an essential part of your company’s digital strategy, then you need to take into consideration the changes that the update will bring. Therefore, it is important that you start measuring on other metrics that are further down in the customer journey and that can help give you an insight into the same – or other – data that you can optimize your emails from.

Do you have questions about how to deal with the iOS 15 update? Feel free to call us so we can have a talk about your email marketing setup.