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How to adapt email marketing to Apple's iOS 15 update

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You’ve finally got your marketing strategy down to a science, and now Apple’s upcoming iOS 15 update promises to shake things up. With upcoming changes to email, you’ll need to update your email marketing strategy – specifically your open rate goals and how you measure email campaign success.

The Apple iOS 15 release is expected sometime this fall between September and November, so you only have a few months to get your marketing program updated. While Apple hasn’t released the full details yet about how this update will impact email and IP address tracking, we do know a few things for certain.

If you can prepare for the Apple update now, your email content marketing strategy will be ready to take on the change.

What the Apple iOS 15 update means for email marketing

In June, Apple announced they are releasing a new iOS that offers additional privacy features in email for users. This update threatens to negatively affect your marketing strategy, specifically, your open rate.

The new email features include:

  • Mail Privacy Protection: This will allow users to opt in to features that mask their IP addresses and to block third parties from tracking email opens and IP data. This feature will be free to all iOS 15 users.
  • iCloud+: Users with an iCloud+ subscription will be able to opt into additional features that prevent sites from tracking Safari. Users will also be able to see which websites are gathering their information.
  • Hide My Email: Finally, all iCloud users can choose to use a fake email address to share with sites. Your emails will still go to their inbox, but their real email address will be hidden.

The update highlights the shifting balance between privacy and tracking. While digital marketers have had it good for years, with the ability to get tons of rich tracking data, Apple’s update will likely be followed by many more pivots toward privacy.

This doesn’t mean that your efforts in email marketing are now moot. Instead, it means it’s time to reevaluate your marketing goals and how you measure success.

Reevaluate your open-rate goals

The main change with Apple’s announcement is that you may not be able to track a large portion of your email audience (about 35% of the global email market), so your open-rate goals will need to reflect this as well. Make sure to communicate with a manager or whoever you report your campaigns to about this change and set realistic expectations going forward.

However, Gmail, Outlook and other providers have not announced any plans to follow suit. So, you can still get some good tracking data, but not from Apple Mail and mobile users.

Update your marketing strategy now

You don’t have to update your marketing strategy alone. Please contact us to get help with your email marketing strategy.