How Apple’s iOS 15 Will Impact Email Marketers

After the highly anticipated iOS 15 update from Apple, it has everyone who uses email marketing taking a giant step back, along with a different approach/strategy moving forward in this new era. This new update isn’t only going to reinvent how we use email marketing in the future, but marketers will need to adjust as soon as this month.

Most email marketers rely massively on open rates as a primary measure of successfulness; as part of a campaign, with the new Mail Privacy Protection implemented by Apple, open rates or forwards will no longer be as accurate as before. Apple will preload these images triggering the code to let Email Marketers know the email has been opened; in reality it might haven’t been, thus skewing the Open Rate data and certainly increasing Bounce Rate.

What is Open Rate? How Does It Work?

Open Rate is a percentage of the amount of people who have opened your email to whom it was sent; the higher the open rate, the more success of the campaign as more consumers opened it. Open rates have always been tracked through a tiny invisible image embedded in the email code, when the email is clicked on, the image, triggered by the code in the email loads, thus letting us marketers know the email was opened.

What Does Mail Privacy Protection Mean For Us?

Mail Privacy Protection will offer iOS 15 email users the option to load remote content privately and not disclose their IP addresses. The result will block the sender’s ability to track opens and forwards and will mask the recipient’s IP, which determines the physical location. As addressed earlier on how we know Open Rate etc. Email Service Providers (ESP) such as Constant Contact, MailChimp and so on, use a pixel to preload when the emails have been opened, thus giving us an indication of our Open Rate. This has been a ritual, with valuable information for email marketers, reflecting the impact of subject lines, pre-headers, and overall subscriber engagement.

Although  Mail Privacy Protection isn’t turned on automatically, you can certainly guarantee that once released consumers won’t hesitate to implement this and try to regain some privacy over numerous companies having their emails. As this is an iOS update, those on Desktops and Androids are still detectable to the statistics. Email marketers will target inactive users less as a part of database cleaning or cleansing, when done properly — this has a positive contribution to  future campaigns which allows them to focus on consumers who are relating and clicking on the emails which are being sent. With Apple’s new update, it makes detecting  inactive users much harder.

How Does “Hide My Email” Work?

“Hide my Email” is another new Apple feature, available on iOS 15. This feature allows consumers to sign up for email offers with an Apple-auto-generated email instead of their real email address. Apple then forwards emails into the consumers main email account. Users can delete this new email address easily, thus preventing their main email from being exposed.

Hide My Email poses several other issues for marketers. First of all, there’s no way to tell if a new email sign-up is a legitimate account or a “burner” account. This will presumably cause deliverability issues, as consumers can quickly delete their email. Because they have this power, we will start to see an increase in Bounce Rates.

How Can I Prepare?

Prepare now for the new iOS 15 update. You should be tracking your numbers from prior campaigns so you can gauge before and after results to see how badly you have been affected. Moving forward, you should think about maximizing re-confirmation emails for those who have signed up to your email list; this will give you organic results and allows subscribers who no longer want to be targeted a way out. Another crucial way to prepare is staying informed, with continuous change, it is essential you know and understand what is happening.

Think about innovative ways to encourage subscribers to opt-in with their real, permanent email addresses by providing value as well as long-term incentives beyond a welcome email coupon for new signups.