iOS 15 Privacy Settings Implications for Email Marketing Campaigns

Email marketing campaigns are often measured for effectiveness through the email open rate. iOS 15 privacy settings may change all of this. 

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iOS 15 Privacy Settings Implications for Email Marketing CampaignsIn September, Apple plans to release iOS 15.  This new version promises Apple phone consumers many new features, including an expanded Wallet app functionality, extended Safari browser capabilities, a new “focus” mode to hide apps the user doesn’t want to see, an iMessage redesign, and more.  One of the new features that are getting a lot of buzz in the marketing community is the updated email privacy settings.

Emails have become a primary method of communication for conversational and promotional purposes alike.  On average, an office employee receives 121 emails each day.  Reading all of those emails would be time-consuming, and unfortunately, only about 20 to 40% are opened.

Email marketing campaigns aim to get a message and call to action in front of a potential client or buyer. Therefore, marketers hone in using demographic analysis to segment email lists so that the most relevant communications are sent to the recipients who will be most interested in them.  Still, a 20 to 40% open rate is low.  Because of this, marketers brainstorm clever ways to attract recipients’ attention with eye-catching subject lines.

Today, professionally developed email marketing campaigns are measured for effectiveness through a variety of statistics.  One such method is the email open rate.  HTML emails include a tracking pixel–an invisible image that is automatically downloaded and displayed when the subscriber opens your email.  When the image is downloaded from the email marketer’s servers (like MailChimp), the software knows the email was opened and tracks it as thus.  Keep in mind users who scan through emails using the preview pane will be recorded as “opened” even though they may not have stopped scrolling long enough to review it.

This same monitoring program records which recipients opened the email, providing business owners with valuable information. They can begin building a picture of which clients or potential customers are most interested in their communications and may be good candidates for follow-up calls.

iOS 15 may change all of this.  Since 85% of people use their smartphones to access email, the new privacy setting included in iOS 15 is likely to limit the amount of data available to measure email marketing campaign open rates.

According to Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering, “Every year, we push ourselves to develop new technology to help users take more control of their data and make informed decisions about whom they share it with.  This year’s updates include innovative features that give users deeper insights and more granular control than ever before.”

The new iOS 15 privacy settings that will impact email marketing the most include:

  1. The Apple Mail app will begin running images through proxy serves to remove the tracking pixels. With this change, senders will be unable to detect when or if an email is opened.
  2. In addition, iCloud’s Private Relay service will encrypt users’ traffic on the internet. Without this information, third-party monitoring systems will be unable to identify an IP address and any searches or browsing history of its owner.
  3. Finally, iCloud subscribers can opt in to “Hide My Email.” This feature creates temporary, anonymous email addresses inside the Apple Mail app.  Essentially, this allows users to subscribe to email lists or provide email addresses to commercial businesses without using their real email addresses. Instead, emails received to these “temporary” addresses will be forwarded by Apple to the user’s actual email box.

What will the future of email marketing look like?

Email marketing is bound to evolve just as quickly as technology changes.  There is no doubt in our minds that emails will still be an essential communication and advertising tool for businesses.  The world of email marketing will not stop in September–it’s unlikely the number of people who will use the features as Apple has designed them will significantly change reporting capabilities immediately.  However, this is a sign that the systems we’ve relied on in the past will need to change in the future.

Here are just a few of the ways we will work with our clients to maximize email marketing effectiveness regardless of the new privacy settings:

  1. Design emails to be easily viewed on mobile devices. With the overwhelming majority of people reading emails on their mobile phones, emails must be sized and spaced appropriately for optimal viewing.
  2. Create engaging and relevant content for recipients. It’s more important than ever that every email sent to a client contains good information, so they will continue to open emails in the future.
  3. Continue segmenting email lists based on demographic data derived from other sources such as your CRM system.
  4. Continue to engage readers using strategic email marketing funnel campaigns, albeit redesigned according to changes in information types we can detect about readers.

Contact Paradux Media Group to Guide You Through All the Changes

The team at Paradux Media Group is continuously monitoring changes in the environment that impact marketing communications and promotions.   Whether you need a one-time promotion or you’re looking for a multi-tiered advertising campaign, let our experts guide you through the entire process.  Contact Paradux Media today to learn more about how we can help your business achieve success.

Angela Peacor

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