Brace yourselves. Big changes are happening in the world of tech with Apple’s latest iOS 15 update.
Today, I’m highlighting some of the changes you need to know — including new privacy policies for Apple Mail, an iCloud Private Relay and FaceTime for the web — and what this means for your organization.
Introducing Mail Privacy Protection
First up is Mail Privacy Protection. This began rolling out to Apple Mail accounts in June 2021. Apple users can now hide information on whether they opened a marketing email and when (Google/Gmail is in process of rolling this out too).
Before this, emails only loaded when a recipient opened a message. This allowed marketers to place a pixel in their emails and receive notifications when they were first opened.
Now, with the Mail Privacy Protection, Apple preloads content for users — even if they never open the email.
This means marketers and organizations can no longer rely completely on pixels for accurate data about device type and email opens.
How will this affect your email list?
As of 2021, Apple Mail accounts for more than half of all email users and email opens. So it’s likely this change will impact the insights and analytics of your marketing emails. Here’s what you need to know…
- User data — such as when an email was opened, what device a subscriber used and their location — will not be available for many Apple Mail users.
- Any open-rate data and analytics will most likely become less reliable due to how Mail Privacy Protection works.
- Any email series that is automated based on opens will no longer work effectively.
- A/B testing will become unreliable. Each segment will now have higher open rates simply because of your Apple Mail subscribers.
- In the past, many email marketers have used the re-send tactic to email non-openers. Apple Mail users will now appear to have opened every email, so they won’t receive non-opener messages.
Some things WILL stay the same
There’s still good news for marketers everywhere!
Mail Privacy Protection will not have an impact on your total clicks. Email clicks will still be a reliable way to determine the success of an email because they depend on users taking real, quantifiable action.
The big takeaway? You will still see your highest marketing ROI from email IF you’re focusing on rich email content and nurturing your list.
Other Must-Knows: iCloud Private Relay, Hide Emails and FaceTime Website
While Mail Privacy Protection is arguably the largest change with iOS15, here are some other updates and changes you’ll want to know about:
- Hide My Email — With this new feature, Apple users can create new, random emails for social media or purchasing online. This keeps the user’s email hidden for an extra level of privacy and protection.
- iCloud Private Relay — Apple is also incorporating more privacy features into its web browser, Safari. Using two separate internet relays, the browser will send a user’s personal information like location, IP address and browsing activities to a third-party company. The third party will mask this with temporary information and prevent anyone, including Apple, from gaining full information about users as they surf the web.
- FaceTime for the Web — Apple’s video app, FaceTime, became essential during the pandemic. Before the update, FaceTime was not available to Android and Windows users. But, with the new iOS update, FaceTime will now be available for all users via website browser.
Ready for your next steps?
As we move into a new era of email marketing and internet privacy, this is a great time to readjust your strategies, if needed.
Here are some quick next steps to consider in your own organization and email initiatives:
1. Think through the goals associated with each of your email campaigns. Focus on metrics like list growth rate, click rate, email forwarding and conversion rate to keep track of your progress. We’re already tracking these with you.
2. Take some time to educate yourself and your team on email best practices.
3. Readjust your upcoming email marketing plans to include automation triggers based on clicks and timing instead of open rates. Automation will be BIG again in 2022 with an emphasis on value.
4. Consider experimenting with FaceTime for the web for team communications, specifically if you are working remotely.
With so many new Apple updates, the best thing you can do is to continue educating yourself.
Regardless of the current privacy and email changes, you’ll find that with a clear strategy and great content, email is still the BEST marketing tool for your campaign or organization.