The effects of iOS 15 on e-mailing and the solutions to put in place immediately
During its annual developer conference on June 7, Apple announced that new versions of its iOS 15, iPadOS 15 and macOS Monterey operating systems would include features that strengthen the privacy of its users by limiting the email activity tracking.
With Apple being the number one email provider in the world with over 49% market share , this change is a major revolution for the email marketing industry, both in terms of performance monitoring (which informs decision-making regarding the actions to plan for e-mailing campaigns) than marketing automations using the opening of an e-mail as a trigger.
In this article, we explain what Mail Privacy Protection is , what this update actually changes for marketing managers, and how to respond.
WHAT IS MAIL PRIVACY PROTECTION?
After launching the App Tracking Transparency Framework, which revolutionized advertising for mobile app publishers , Apple intends to allow users of its email reader apps (Apple Mail and Mail on iOS 15, iPadOS 15, and mac OS Monterey) from preventing their activities from being tracked.
In its press release, Apple explains that “[e]mail privacy protection prevents senders from using web beacons to collect user information. [This prevents] senders from knowing when [recipients] open an email, and masks their IP address so that it cannot be linked to other digital activity or used to determine their [geographical] location. »
This new feature will be presented to users updating to iOS 15 as a message asking them whether or not they want to protect their email messaging activities.
However, last May, an article by AppleInsider revealed that only 4% of US users had accepted the monitoring of their advertising activity . So there is little doubt that this feature will be widely adopted by Apple users.
WHAT EXACTLY DOES THE MAIL PRIVACY PROTECTION CHANGE?
Concretely, any email sent to a recipient using an Apple email reader application (Mail or Apple Mail, whether on iPhone, iPad or Mac) will return to the email sending platform the information that the email has been opened. even if it is not. This seemingly simple element will have repercussions on many parameters of email marketing. We'll focus here on the two effects that will make a difference to most marketers.
THE END OF THE OPEN RATE IN YOUR REPORTS
For email marketers, it is expected that email open rates will increase drastically. Is it a problem? Not really. On the one hand because for a long time, the open rate has been considered an insignificant measure of the effective reach of campaigns and their performance. Indeed, over the years, many technological changes have reduced the quality of the measurement of email openings, and the opening rate has never been an indicator correlated to the economic performance of the channel. The click-through rate of emails therefore remains the measure to be favored for monitoring performance. However, email open rates are important for marketers who track campaign awareness through this metric or use the " Click to Open” to optimize the content of their emails (this indicator allows to evaluate the interest of the content of an email according to the subject line and the preview text which encourage the opening). To overcome the effects of Mail Privacy Protection on the opening rate, there are solutions that we will explain later.
MARKETING AUTOMATION SHOULD BE AUDITED AND UPDATED
Many email marketing automations rely on decisions based on when an email is opened. This is the case, for example, of segmentation rules relating to engagement on emails (which make it possible to activate re-engagement campaigns), follow-up of discussions (particularly in B2B with nurturing programs ), optimization send time ( Send Time Optimization ) for some platforms like MailChimp, etc.
If you have customer lifecycle campaigns or automated campaigns using openness in message segmentation or personalization, Mail Privacy Protection is going to have a direct impact on your operations.
WHAT SOLUTIONS TO PUT IN PLACE?
This technological transformation requires a methodical adaptation of your strategy. We recommend that you take three actions now to start adapting to this change.
1. ASSESS THE SHARE OF USERS USING APPLE MAIL TO PRIORITIZE YOUR APPROACH.
Thanks to this initiative, you will be able to assess the impact this new update will have on your email contact base. Beware, however, of B2B companies: if they seem a priori less affected by this change (Outlook from Microsoft and Gmail from Google are the leaders in B2B messaging), many professionals consult their emails on several messaging clients, including their smartphone. . The effects of the update could therefore be just as important for them, because Apple has simplified the connection of its Mail application with the Google and Outlook mail servers.
2. AUDIT YOUR EMAIL AND REMARKETING STRATEGY, AND DEFINE THE CHANGES TO BE MADE.
You will have to observe on the one hand your rules of segmentation using the opening of an email and, on the other hand, the content of the emails which could use messages relating to the opening of an email. If you use contact engagement with your emails for your advertising campaign audiences (for example retargeting or look-alike ads on Facebook), also consider implementing segmentation that will avoid you targeting (or exclude) people who have not actually opened your emails.
3. UPDATE YOUR REPORTS REGARDING EMAIL MARKETING.
If you use the open rate to measure the performance of your email strategy, you have two solutions: the first is to stop tracking the open rate and focus on the click rate. The second is to adjust the open rate metric using a formula that weights the share of your contacts who use Apple Mail. As an email marketer, you might also be using open rate for your A/B testing campaigns. If necessary, it will also be necessary to find another way to identify the winning email.
DO NOT PANIC – E-MAILING EVOLVES WITH THE TIMES
While this change may scare some people, there is no reason to panic! E-mailing has been constantly evolving for more than 15 years, and its performance remains excellent with an ROI between 30:1 and 45:1, while its level of adoption continues to exceed that of social networks (3.9 billion active users worldwide compared to 3.5 billion social media users in 2019).
This evolution brought by Apple fits in a coherent way with its positioning on the protection of privacy and responds to the aspirations of consumers in this new era where digital is integrated everywhere in our lives.
Finally, if this change of parameters gives you trouble, our team remains at your disposal to accompany you in the reconquest of your email marketing strategy thanks to a complete plan to adapt to all the changes brought by the implementation. iOS 15 update and Mail Privacy Protection.