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How to Prepare Your Email Marketing Program for iOS 15?

Have you been worrying about how iOS 15 will affect your email marketing activity? We’ve created these top tips to help you optimise your strategy.

22nd Oct 2021
Waqas Qaimkhani Digital Marketing Apprentice 22nd October 2021

Have you updated your phone to iOS 15 yet? Have you seen the new features that Apple has introduced with this update? Features such as “Focus” to allow users to filter notifications and apps when you’re focussed on work, more graphical displays of data on the Weather app and of course the new Privacy feature that allows Apple to prevent senders from knowing when an email was opened or if it was even delivered to the right account. Does the Privacy feature worry you because you’re not sure how it will affect your email’s open rates and other vital statistics? Well, we’ve got 5 top tips to ensure that you and your company adapt to the new feature instead of worrying about how to get around it.

  1. Don’t panic
  2. Build segments from historical open data
  3. Identify important data collection
  4. Evaluate how you will measure the performance
  5. Maintain email best practices

But first, a little bit of important information. The new Privacy feature will only function if the user is on iCloud+. This is a paid subscription. While iCloud+ is a beta feature at the moment, the number of iCloud users in 2020 is something that Apple doesn’t release to the public. In fact, Apple doesn’t release any figures to the public about individual services. Instead, they release a total subscription statistic each year (See chart below).

While this is a high number, Appl’s iOS Market Share Worldwide was only 15.19% in 2020.

Let’s do some simple maths to see if we can work out a rough estimate of Apple’s iCloud users. 1.2 billion (1,184,820,000 to be precise) use iOS, which is only 15.19% of the world’s population. In 2020, there were 620 million users of Apple’s services which include subscriptions to iCloud, Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, Apple News+, Apple Fitness+, let’s behave very generously towards Apple and count a quarter of 620 million as iCloud users. Then, there would be 155 million iCloud users. So, out of 1.2 billion people, only 155 million (12.43%). As iCloud is mostly a free service, this number is likely to be even smaller so please read Tip number 1 very carefully!

1. Don’t panic

First, remain calm and breathe! Open rates will be affected by this update. However, open rates will still show up for most of your users. While these may decline, they will not disappear. Therefore, don’t think about using them as the main piece of your campaign’s metrics but just a small indicator. The same will be said for Open Times as well. Again, these will be slightly more unreliable but these should not be the main indicator of your campaigns.

2. Build segments from historical open data.

As you have historical data, now is the perfect time to use it. A good way would be to use device detection on previous campaigns to see how many of your users use Apple. Create different segments between these Apple users and the users who are using other platforms such as Android, Blackberry etc. This will help to ensure that while the segment with the Apple devices is disrupted by iOS 15, your other segment should remain the same. This will help to measure your current campaigns and how they are performing using metrics such as Conversion Rates, Click-Through Rates (CTR) and Bounce Rates.

3. Identify important data collection

Take a look at your data and determine which metrics really help you and your business to create successful campaigns and focus more on these. As every company is different, these will change depending on your industry, campaign goals and data measures. Now, you need to use the data to increase your relevance with your users. If your ‘Sales’ posts garner more clicks than your ‘Information’ posts, add more weight behind your ‘Sales’ posts or perhaps use these figures to add more value to your ‘Information’ posts so that your content resonates more with your users.

4. Evaluate how you will measure the performance

As most email marketing tools have specific score systems for contacts, this should be much easier to implement into your business. Do you have an Email Quality Score? If not, start creating one NOW. This Email Quality Score will help your business to determine the best people to contact after a campaign for new business opportunities. Again, this will require your metrics to be shifted from open rates to clicks and conversions so make sure that your KPIs for each email campaign are adjusted accordingly to ensure that you’re not setting up your campaigns to fail. Additionally, this will help to determine the hard bounces and the unresponsive contacts so that you can clear out the deadwood in your contacts list and market more relevant content to the users that opt-in to your emails.

5. Maintain email best practices

In all the panic (which should’ve ended at Tip 1), I hope that you haven’t forgotten about your fundamentals. Make sure that you are continuing to follow the best practices for your emails. This will include creating UTM embedded links to measure the success of your email campaigns and track the clicks and conversions. Also, give your readers the option every year to update their preferences for choosing  the type of content and frequency. This will ensure that you always have up-to-date data for your consumers and they only get the content that is relevant to them. Now that you have the tips to maximise your email campaigns’ growth potential, we wish you nothing but success with your campaigns.

However, if you’re struggling with any aspect of your email campaigns, please get in touch and we’ll be delighted to help you.  

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