How the Apple iOS 15 Mail Privacy Update Impacts Email Marketing

The latest iOS 15 update recently dropped and it has everyone talking. You may be wondering, what’s all the buzz about? Keep reading to learn how this update will impact your marketing efforts and what you can do to pivot and adapt.

The Apple iOS 15 Update

The Apple iOS 15 update offers enhanced privacy features to its users including Mail Privacy Protection, that stops email senders from collecting data via invisible pixels.

Apple Mail users will have to opt-in to this new feature and once enabled, it will impact any email opened from the app on any device: Mac, iPhone or iPad. Emails opened via independent email applications like Gmail or Outlook will continue to work as normal.

Although this change might seem scary, it doesn’t come as a surprise considering the latest focus of tech companies on user privacy and information security.

The Impact on Marketers

The update will significantly impact various email marketing strategies. While voluntary opt-in is required, multiple sources have predicted that most Apple users will prefer to protect their information.

Marketers often rely on email opens to gauge high level email engagement through subject lines, preheaders and brand recognition. These changes mean that email senders will no longer be able to accurately track email opens, device and location data.

Additionally, the Hide My Email feature for iCloud+ subscribers will create a single-use email address that can be used to conceal their personal email addresses.

How Can Marketers Prepare?

Apple accounts for an estimated 52% of all email opens according to Lumity, making Apple Mail one of the most popular email platforms today. Therefore, we recommend diving into your email reporting to determine how many opens you usually get from iOS users. This will help you better understand how this change will impact your organization and email strategy.

Our best advice is, instead of focusing on vanity metrics like opens and clicks, focus on metrics that affect the bottom line, such as conversion rate or quality of leads generated. Website engagements, such as trackable links on webpages and form submissions (even short ones) are much more reliable compared to email open or click rates.

If you reference “email open” in any of your campaign strategies– whether it be your engagement campaigns, scoring model, list cleaning processes, etc. — you will need to re-think these strategies. With unreliable open data there will be less accuracy on this trigger– which could throw a wrench in your lead journeys.

Automated workflows that rely on email opens will be considered ineffective or need to be re-created. Make sure you’re adding more compelling call-to-action links within your email communication as their effectiveness will become essential to measure the success of your email marketing campaigns.

If you feel overwhelmed by the new changes arriving with the iOS 15 update, you’re not alone. Need help navigating through the changes? Reach out to our experienced Marketing Automation consultants to help you re-assess your current email marketing strategy and find new ways to engage your audiences.

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Svetlana Karapetyan

Lana is a passionate marketer with extensive experience in crafting and implementing digital communication and automation strategies via Hubspot. She is skilled in marketing automation, email marketing, social media, content marketing as well as event management.