Apple recently raised marketing eyebrows once again with the mention of privacy protections set to accompany iOS 15 (as well as iPadOS 15, macOS Monterey, and watch OS8).
These updates will give consumers even more control over their information and data. A wide rollout is expected later this fall, which means things could very well change between now and then. Still, it behooves email marketers to act now to avoid any potential rough patches.
After all, iOS 14 was a sign of things to come concerning Apple and its reinvigorated push for privacy, and the iOS 15 update will further spotlight email privacy, protecting users from snoopy third parties.
The iOS update’s primary feature, Mail Privacy Protection, will prevent senders from implementing hidden pixels for information gathering purposes.
What does that mean to you? When up and running, you won’t know whether or not a customer has opened your message. And that open-rate data you rely on to inform multiple marketing tactics? Out the door. IP addresses will also be masked, leaving consumers’ interactions with other sites and their whereabouts unknown. All told, your segmentation and database purging practices could be set to take a big hit.
While Mail Privacy Protection update is free to all Apple users, customers can also upgrade their accounts with advanced privacy settings (for a fee), such as hiding email addresses on submission forms.
What You Should Do NOW
Keep in mind: Apple’s Mail Privacy Protection pertains only to users of Apple Mail, and they must opt-in. Gmail and similar Android-based apps will remain subject to tracking.
So, don’t panic. The sky is not falling (yet).
The main takeaway is this: quality, informative content remains the absolute key to successful email marketing campaigns.
Sincerity and relevance will continue to reign supreme. Don’t waste your readers’ time and be authentic while not wasting it.
Keep the following in mind, too:
- Be selective: Don’t send emails willy-nilly. Taking the wide-net approach? Sometimes it works, and other times it’s a good way to end up on a SPAM list. Every person who completely ignores your email marketing efforts drags the whole campaign down just a little farther. Target the customers YOU KNOW are intrigued by what you’re selling.
- Forget “fancy”: Sometimes text-only is not only OK but also preferred. Sidestep the whole “images have been blocked” and broken link aggravation and get straight to the point.
- Consider your subject line: “No reply” verbiage is a non-starter for many people, so send your emails from an actual, flesh-and-blood human being, regardless of whether that person is doing the legwork. Provide concise, yet detailed instructions on how your readers can follow up. And don’t try too hard in the subject line. Be catchy, conversational, and get the ball rolling.
- Keep testing: In the months leading up to the wide release of the iOS 15 upgrade, test and retest (and retest) your open rates. Keep a keen eye on various criteria like subject lines, pre-headers, and times of day/week. This will allow you to glean a good before/after picture and respond accordingly.
- Optimize for mobile: If you aren’t doing this already, you’re waaaaaayyyy behind. The world eats, sleeps, and breathes on mobile devices, so make sure you’re catering to – well – everyone.
When updates that threaten upheaval to our marketing plans come at us fast and furious, it can be hard not to think of Apple – or Google – or whomever as a prizefighter throwing punches that we need to roll with yet again. Everyone is working for the benefit of the consumer, though, and by having an unshakable marketing plan in place to begin with – you can ride out any rough patches and deliver the goods. If you need help, IMPACT Marketing & Public Relations team is always just an email or phone call away.