iOS 15 Is Here: How Apple Update Will Affect Your Email Marketing

The iOS 15 update is making waves in the email marketing world. Dialog Insight helps you prepare for it.
Alexia Lapointe-Ouellet
1 September 2021
Data Management
4 min

Protection of customer’s privacy is a hot topic right now that is increasingly gaining attention. Apple is one of the main advocates. Indeed, Apple has further strengthened its position by introducing iOS 15. It features new measures to protect user data. From the first time they open their email inbox, iOS 15 users have the option to have their privacy further protected with just one click.

In fact, to get an overview of this controversial subject, I invite you to take a look at the articles published by our Dialog Insight team. These articles provide details on Bill 64 and on the GDPR law, two subjects closely related to the protection of customer data.

That being said, Apple’s new update will certainly have an impact on today’s email marketing, but not to worry. This article is meant to inform you on the subject and give you some tips from Dialog Insight.

 Here’s what iOS 15 offers:

  1. Email user protection. This protects the user data and prevents the use of invisible pixels to collect data.
  2. Hide my email feature (function associated with iCloud+ users). This allows users to create unique email addresses associated with their personal account. This way, the primary email address remains anonymous.
  3. A private relay (a feature also associated with iCloud+). This disguises the user’s IP address through Apple’s proxy server, which assign a random IP address.

Concretely, here is how the update provides greater privacy protection for Apple users.

After installing iOS 15, when users open the Apple email app, a pop-up notifies them of the changes. Then, it asks them if they want to further protect the data of their email activity. If they respond positively, the following happens. Before an email is even opened by the user, the iOS 15 update forward it to a proxy server. Then, the content of the email is pre-downloaded into Apple’s cache. Thus, the pixels usually used to detect the opening rate of emails will be considered as seen, even if they are not. In order for the email content to be pre-downloaded, the user needs to be connected to a Wifi. The email application also has to be open on their phone or computer.

How does iOS 15 impact your email marketing campaigns?

First of and foremost, it is important to understand that the update only affects the Apple email application built into the phone or computer of its users. In other words, the data of customers using other types of email applications is not affected by the changes.

These new data protection measures necessarily affect statistics. Your email open rate statistics will most likely skyrocket. Indeed, this rate will be biased by the download of content made by Apple. This will directly affect how openings are distributed between desktop and mobile. Indeed, emails opened by Apple will be regarded as desktop-opened emails. As a result, mobile open rates will decrease.

As for the geolocation data, most of it will be inaccurate due to the camouflage of the users’ IP address. The deliverability rate will also be affected, since personal email addresses are now private.

What can be implemented to mitigate the impacts of the iOS 15 update?

One thing is for sure, it disrupts some of the methods used for personalized marketing. You have to be innovative.

Here are some tips to consider and implement now to prepare for it:

  1. Be proactive and clean up your database. An analysis of your customers who are not responsive would be appropriate. Then you can decide to re-engage with them or opt for an alternative approach.
  2. Test your email marketing campaigns to see how your customers react to different types of emails. A white paper on this subject is available right here. It will guide you through the many options available to you to build your marketing campaigns and predict the results with the tools available on our platform, including A/X testing.
  3. Realign your best practices so that they no longer depend solely on email open rates. Since Dialog Insight’s very beginning, our experts agree that email open rate is not a foolproof metric.
  4. Rely on the number of clicks to evaluate the interaction you have with your target audience. This is one of the most important indicators to rely on, since it is more precise and provides statistics that are closer to reality. In fact, Dialog Insight also offers the possibility of calculating the click rate on opens or deliveries. This indicator allows you, with the arrival of iOS 15, to measure even better the engagement and success of your communications.

In short, the marketing world is constantly evolving. The iOS 15 update will disturb it, yes, but not completely. You just have to be vigilant, informed and, above all, creative. Speaking of creativity, a new product has been developed by our team. I’m convinced that it will amaze you and make your marketing campaigns much easier. Stay tuned!

Find out how your business can benefit from Dialog Insight.

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