Apple has recently released its iOS 15, iPadOS, and watchOS 5 for developers to test. With these additions on the horizon later this year come huge implications, concerning email marketing!
Katie Skinner, Apple’s Manager of User Privacy Software and the keynote speaker at this year's International Symposium on Non-Invasive Brain Stimulation Technologies (ISNT), announced something very significant that further added to the dialogue on data privacy.
What is the new ios 15 update?
Apple recently unveiled iOS 15, the newest iteration of their mobile operating system that will offer some new features. Most notably, Apple has introduced several privacy and security updates to protect users from data tracking or monitoring by third parties.
Out of these, two features, “Mail Privacy Protection” and “Hide My Email,” will drastically impact email marketing.
Mail privacy Protection: A privacy feature that will offer the option to load remote content privately and not disclose their IP. This means that senders will be unable to track opens or forwards and masking recipients’ IPs, which determines physical location.
Hide my email: This allows users the ability to create single-use, randomly generated emails to sign up for offers instead of their real email address. Apple then forwards those emails to the user's main email address. The purpose behind this would be to limit companies' abilities from collecting consumers' personal data and spamming them with junk mail.
The iOS 15 update is a major step in privacy and security, but it has also left marketers scrambling to find an alternative for the "Hide my Email" feature. The good news is, only 28% use it as their primary means for checking emails while 72% prefer Gmail which isn't affected much by Apple's privacy policies.
The critical question here is, what does it mean for email marketers?
How much will the email campaign report be affected?
Email automation platforms insert an invisible 1-pixel image in outgoing deployments that track whether the recipient opens their messages or how often they do so. These images track how many times an individual opens the emails and their unique open rates so that marketers can have a better understanding of what subject lines or images or styles are working best with different audiences. This is valuable information for any marketer to know because it determines whether they want to keep sending out a particular kind of email, based on these results or not.
However, after the new ios 15 update, only users on desktop or Android devices can still have these open rates tracked, while being blind to email opens for users who have opted for the new privacy protection feature. This means that metrics such as the "last open date" or A/B tests based on open rates may be inaccurate in the future when Apple begins to load remote content privately.
This also tells us that marketers who rely heavily on "email open rates" need to work out new email marketing strategies accordingly if they want any hope of keeping up with customer insights!
So should email marketers start identifying their ios customers? The answer is no. While it may help in the short run to understand how many customers on your list actually use Apple's ios 15 mail privacy feature, it will only appear like an act of treating a symptom and not addressing the disease itself.
The new ios 15 updates are definitely going to affect your email open rates for sure, but they shouldn't render them completely ineffective either. The messages that get opened generate a valuable stream of insight for marketers. But the open rate is only one measure, and there are many other metrics to consider when measuring effectiveness and optimizing campaigns.
Impact on Customer Segmentation
For years, we’ve been segmenting our customers by engagement. This has included determining part of their level of engagement based on how often they opened the emails you sent them in a certain amount of time—if someone didn't open an email from us within that period, then it was assumed they were inactive and so we might segment them out, i.e. delete them from our newer email marketing campaigns.
However, given that Apple's iOS 15 won't show open rates for email campaigns as of September 2016—you might end up deleting active customers. Or worse: you'll keep inactive subscribers on the list, who do not wish to receive your emails, leading to high spam rates and low deliverability.
So, what can email marketers do about it? Opt for other ways to measure engagement rate.
Rely on CTA: Instead of measuring your email open rate, gauge interaction by placing 2-3 CTAs stating, "We look forward to hearing from you again". This way, you can reach out to customers who are actually interested in your products. You may rely on lower metrics here, but you will not end up increasing your list of unsubscribers.
Use RFM Analysis: Recency, Frequency, and Monetary(RFM) Analysis is like the queen's gambit during difficult times. Calculate how recently some purchased from you, how frequent their purchases were and how much money did they spend on your products. This may sound difficult but it's one of the smartest moves for e-commerce business owners to retain their customers and boost their sales.
Apply A/B Testing methods rapidly: Apple's ios 15 update will restrict 100% of IP Address visibility, this means that you have to completely rely on active engagement. You can choose to use A/B/C/D tests, instead of A/B tests. For example:
- Subject line 'a' with style 'a' (like multiple CTA buttons)
- Subject line 'b' with style 'a'
- Subject line 'a' with style 'b' (such as color blocking or adding reviews)
- Subject line 'b' with style 'b'.
Testing which variant works the best will provide valuable insight, i.e. examining which type of email received the most engagement, like clicks/purchases, etc.
New Segments to Implement After iOS 15
Since the Apple ios 15 update would hide users' IP addresses, email marketers need to look for newer segments as they have to almost give up on email open rates. Here is a list of new customer segments you can opt for in your email campaigns.
Geographic Segmentation: Geographic segmentation doesn’t depend completely on an IP address, but certain of its elements do. This type of segmentation targets consumers based on their:
- Primary location
- Cultural preferences
- Linguistic aspects
Behavioral Segmentation: This segmentation selects audiences based on how they interact with a website, for example, what kind of products they search for, which products have they added to their cart, etc.
Demographic Segmentation: This segmentation targets audiences depending on their age and gender.
Psychographic segmentation: This segmentation targets customers by using their personal information. This includes their lifestyle, income, personality, etc.
These adjustments can save email marketers from relying on IP addresses alone. In fact, it opens the door to creating campaigns more focused on targeted customers.
What are the other ways of measuring engagement?
The new update in iOS 15 has changed the way people can use email marketing. With this change, it's now harder to access users' IP addresses and open rates which is what many marketers rely on for successful campaigns. But thankfully, there are still ways a marketer could alter segments of their emails pre-iOS 15 or post-iOS15 update respectively.
A text message is a quick and easy way to reach out to customers who have already purchased from you. You can also send feedback requests, review requests, or other messages that will be received in the customer's inbox - where they are more likely to open it when compared with an email. By sending texts as follow-ups after someone has made a purchase, allows for quicker responses without worrying about metrics like opening rates which were never available for SMS campaigns!
Similarly, web push notifications can be a powerful tool for reaching and converting the customer. Web-based marketing company, Tune recently tested out a 27% higher conversion rate via web push notifications. The report also suggests that these types of messages may help increase sales more than ever before!
In the wake of the recent Ios update, it is important to note that retention marketing will be more vital than ever.
Whether you want your email campaigns, SMS messages, or other channels used in tandem with each other - make sure all messaging reflects how much importance there should be placed on retaining current clients over acquiring new ones who may not provide as good value if they cancel their subscription before getting through an entire billing cycle.
The best way a merchant can ensure this is by having customers at the center of any campaign, whether they choose real-time personalization using behavioral segmentation or practicing conventional customer retention techniques.
Clear Opt In/ Opt Out measures
Don't waste your time managing a list of inactive members. When you see the "opt-out" option, make it an intuitive and obvious choice for those who want to unsubscribe from receiving additional updates about sales or new products! To engage more potential customers with each email campaign, give them options such as opting in for specific types of marketing (such as store news) during sign-up so they can control how often their inbox is flooded by relevant promotional emails.
If your contacts don't interact with any of the emails you send them, create a trigger to ask if they would like to unsubscribe from future messages.
What are the other metrics marketers should focus on?
Email marketers are shifting their focus from the open rate to clickthrough rates, which is a much clearer indicator of success. Clickthrough rates do not consider how many times your emails have been opened and instead tell you only about how often recipients clicked on links in those messages they received. Tracking this information can show if your content was engaging enough to get people clicking or if it needs more work before being sent out again as an email campaign.
What should retention marketing automation platforms like LatticeAI do now?
For many brands, the introduction of iOS 15 has been a marketing challenge. With new updates for email privacy, email marketers are scrambling to understand how these changes will affect their campaigns.
At LatticeAI, we're committed to being on top of any new developments that can help our customers stay ahead in this ever-changing industry. We start by developing different tools to segment customers and personalize messages across channels like Email, SMS, or push notifications with an easy-to-use interface—all without spending too much time testing your campaign before you see results! So, start your 14-day free trial to prepare for the "new normal" in your business today!
Apple's iOS 15 update is making it more challenging for marketers to provide the right value to customers at the right time. However, this presents a good opportunity to look at how customer behavior and engagement can be measured in new ways.
As you can see, it's not all bad. These features still allow you to reach out and connect with your customers rather than losing them in an overwhelming sea of posts on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, etc. Email marketing is effective because it offers 1-on-1 relationships for subscribers who are interested in what's being offered through these messages! Therefore, valuable content is the key, if you keep sending them what they like, they will definitely open and check your emails. Here are some of the key rules you must follow before sending out an email to potential clients post the ios 15 update:
- Mention focus on CTR in Email marketing in the takeaway - Add the call-to-action button at least two times in your email and make sure they are clearly visible so that your customers can immediately make a purchase or connect without having to fumble much.
- Ensure your segments and triggers don't use email opens - While segmenting your customers or A/B Testing, make sure to not include email open rates as all Apple emails would be shown as opened and this may give inaccurate results.
- Add SMS marketing and Push notifications to the pool - If you haven't switched to omnichannel marketing yet, it's time to do that as marketing automation platforms like LatticeAI are leveraging multiple automated shoppers' nurturing ways like never before. Its advanced algorithms do all the heavy lifting for you - creating templates, customer segmentation, A/B testing, and so on.
How much will the email campaign report be affected?
The new Mail Privacy Protection is scary for Apple users, but it will only affect those who use the app to open and read their personal emails. The percentage of respondents using other apps like Gmail (52%) won't be impacted by this change.
What about deliverability?
No matter how engaged your recipients are, it's important to follow all of the best practices when sending out email campaigns. Leverage the power of CTAs in your email campaigns, practice unique customer segmentation like geographic segmentation, behavioral segmentation, and so on. You can also try to clean your list before the implementation of Apple's new privacy update.