Broken Open Rates and Hidden Email Addresses: iOS 15 And Email Marketing

To get straight to the point: iOS 15 won’t kill email marketing. The mobile operating system from Cupertino has already managed to secure a place in the “Something will kill email marketing” list. What happened?

«At the beginning of the week Apple presented a preview of the new iOS version, which will be released in the fall, at the WWDC developer conference», says Dona Apollo, an e-mail marketing specialist from essaywriterfree.net company.

Two of the features presented will indeed affect email marketing:

Mail Privacy Protection

In the future, this function in the mail app is intended to prevent e-mail marketers from collecting information about the recipients using invisible tracking pixels: it should no longer be possible to determine whether or when an e-mail was opened. The exact functionality is still unclear, but apparently in future all graphics will be downloaded immediately after sending (and not after opening the mail).

The opening rate will thus (further) lose its informative value – however, the key figure has already had limited informative value in the past, for example because in Microsoft Outlook graphics (and thus also tracking pixels) are only reloaded after a manual request. Apple also states that the IP address will be masked “so that it cannot be linked to other online activities or used to determine your location.”

The “Mail Privacy Procection” is not activated by default, but when the new mail app is opened for the first time, users are asked whether they want to activate the feature Activate the function with it.

Potential Impact on Email Marketing

Brian Sisolak described the possible effects of the new function on Twitter:

The opening rate continues to lose its informative value (associated restrictions with regard to AB testing of subject lines, segmentation campaigns based on the opening rate, etc.)

Countdown timers may no longer work properly (MovableInk: “Countdown timers are a thing of the past”, more on this: What Apple Mail Privacy Protection Means for Content Personalization)

Location-based content will no longer work in iOS, iPadOS and Apple Mail (this aspect is hardly relevant, at least in this country, since such campaigns are rarely used)

Hide my email

In iOS, Apple integrates 15 disposable addresses directly into the system. This means: If you fill out a (newsletter registration) form with Safari in the future, you can have a new e-mail address created while entering the form, which will be forwarded to the actual mailbox. However, the function is only available to subscribers to the paid iCloud + service.

Potential Impact on Email Marketing

It is even easier for users to block unwanted newsletters and mailings – all they have to do is switch off the relevant email address.

Read This Also: How-To: Send Newsletters with Worldwide Partners in Compliance with Data Protection Regulations

The e-mail address can no longer be used as a unique key for this group of people. Example: A customer’s newsletter registration can no longer be assigned to an existing customer account because two different addresses are used.

People who use this function can no longer be reached via offers such as Facebook’s Custom Audience – such offers are extremely problematic in terms of data protection in this country anyway.

And now?

The opening rate becomes even less informative. The click rate and the downstream KPIs, such as email-induced sales, will gain in importance. Here it is important to check whether the sales-related KPIs are already properly recorded and analyzed.

Animated countdown timers may no longer work without restrictions, but a fallback for iOS users could be used here.

How exactly will Apple handle tracking pixels? How many users will actually use the “Hide My Email” function? Much is still unclear here, which is why we should monitor further developments closely.

The following still applies: relevance wins. Anyone who sends really relevant e-mails and obtains a clear opt-in for this will also reach their customers via the new “throw-away” addresses from iOS and do not have to worry about recipients deactivating the address.

Next, consider reading: Best Possible Ways to Include Video in Your Email Marketing

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